Things to do in Durham

Alexander Iles

Travelling to Durham can feel like travelling back in time. As you journey through the green landscape and through valleys on winding roads, the hills peel away to reveal the city with the grand Romanesque cathedral at its centre seen for miles around. Durham Cathedral and Castle sit on top of a rocky outcrop, which was the very reason for Durham’s construction on this side. The city is full of wonderful medieval narrow streets that echo a historic ambience. Durham has some lovely independent shops that offer from bespoke jewellery through to designer fashion, meaning that you can pick up something totally unique to take home from your visit. High quality food is widely available with successful farms and a nearby thriving sea fishing culture, fresh produce and artisan foods make their way to the restaurants with ease and tantalise your tastebuds with the taste of County Durham.

It is not just Durham city that gives you reason to travel to the region; Barnard Castle is home to the Bowes Museum – a wonderful collection of art, sculpture and curiosities housed in the majestic splendour of a grand chateau. To the North is Beamish, a popular living history museum, which shows how the people of the North-East of England lived over the last three hundred years and is a wonderful day out for the family. County Durham itself draws in visitors with its beautiful landscapes and rolling green hills. The North Pennines to the West and wonderful valleys to walk in such as the Derwent Valley and its Land of Oak and Iron Heritage Centre to the North, you will discover wild beauty and land reclaimed and revitalised after centuries of successful heavy industry.

Staying in the region is also a pleasure with wonderful rural hotels such as the High Force Hotel, part of the Raby Castle Estate. A short distance will take you to one of the most impressive waterfalls in England (High Force) or to another one of Durham’s impressive castles. Another excellent place to stay is the South Causey Inn, which provides luxurious and unique accommodation for exploring the region, with options ranging from private houses through to a refurbished London Red Bus. From cathedrals and heritage, through to beautiful rolling landscapes, a visit to County Durham has something for everyone.