Durham is a sweeping emerald canvas with breathtaking dales, a dramatic coastline, a vale steeped in history and a vibrant city at its heart.
Visit medieval Durham City where the winding cobbled streets lead to the imposing Durham Cathedral and adjacent castle – together forming a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a guided tour or explore Open Treasure, Durham Cathedral’s new world-class visitor experience where you can journey through 2,000 years of history.
See the past come to life at amazing attractions across the county. In the Vale of Durham, board a tram at award-winning Beamish: The Living Museum of the North, and in the Durham Dales look out for the resident deer at Raby Castle, one of England’s finest medieval castles, or head to Killhope, an award-winning Victorian mining museum. Plus, don’t miss Kynren – an epic tale of England – a spectacular live-action outdoor night show that takes place between July and August, taking audiences on a captivating 90-minute journey through British history, myth and legend.
For those craving culture, you will find a host of fascinating museums across the county too. In Durham City, Durham University’s Oriental Museum is the only museum in the North of Britain dedicated to the art and archaeology of the great cultures of Northern Africa and Asia. And in the Durham Dales you will encounter the surprising sight of a French-style chateau as The Bowes Museum comes into view – home to one of the greatest collections of fine and decorative arts, and the famous Silver Swan.
Take some tranquil time out in one of the county’s many green spaces. Crook Hall and Gardens is an oasis of calm just a short stroll from Durham City centre, and Durham University Botanic Garden is a delight throughout the seasons.
Durham’s great outdoors provide the perfect opportunity to get active or enjoy some peace and tranquility. For walking and cycling breaks, escape to the breathtaking surroundings of the Durham Dales and North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, home to High Force waterfall – a magnificent sight. At Hamsterley Forest you will find 2,000 hectares of woodland to explore, or stroll along the coastal path to discover dramatic views of the Durham Heritage Coast. Watch the video to see what Ben Fogle got up to when he visited the county.
Let us entertain you. Head to Gala Theatre in Durham City for the best in live entertainment, or if you prefer sport to shows, catch the county team and international action at the Emirates Riverside Stadium in the Vale of Durham.
If you love to shop, Durham City provides quite the setting for a little retail therapy. Across the county, towns including Bishop Auckland and Chester-le-Street in the Vale of Durham, Barnard Castle and Stanhope in the Durham Dales and Seaham on the Durham Coast offer their own unique shopping experiences. And if you’re hunting for a bargain, head to Dalton Park – the region’s biggest outlet shopping centre.
For accommodation and more ideas of things to see and do visit thisisdurham.com.