Durham is a sweeping emerald canvas with breathtaking dales, a dramatic coastline, a vale steeped in history and a vibrant city at its heart.
The Durham City skyline is one of the most stunning city panoramas in Europe, dominated by ‘the UK’s Number One Landmark’ Durham Cathedral, and the adjacent Durham Castle – together forming a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Get a glimpse of times gone by at enthralling attractions across the county. In the Vale of Durham, board a tram at Beamish - The Living Museum of the North, VisitEngland’s Large Visitor Attraction of the Year 2012. Discover the county’s role in the development of the railways at Locomotion: The National Railway Museum at Shildon, or visit Auckland Castle which was the palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham for over 900 years. 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.
For those craving culture, you will find a host of fascinating museums across the county. 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 Orient. Durham Light Infantry Museum is acclaimed as among the finest regimental museums in the country, sharing its home with Durham Art Gallery. 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’s 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. 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.
For some family fun, there are great days out to be had across the county, including Hall Hill Farm and Adventure Valley.
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 Durham International Cricket Ground 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.
Visit the official tourism website for more information and to plan your perfect break.