A cosmopolitan university community in a Medieval citadel
urham offers the best of both worlds, with a majestic skyline bringing together medieval heritage and urban innovation. Stroll along the banks of the River Wear and visit the iconic Cathedral, before heading out into the unspoilt countryside of the Durham Dales and Vale of Durham. It’s the perfect place for a life-affirming blast of fresh air.
History and Heritage
Durham’s dramatic landscape is studded with historic buildings, none more impressive than Raby Castle . Its Baron’s Hall was where the 700 Earls of the North plotted their unsuccessful Catholic uprising against Elizabeth I. Together, the city’s Castle and Cathedral form one of the first designated World Heritage Sites and such rich history and architecture makes it easy to see why.
Arts and Culture
Set in a French-style chateau, the collection of art at Bowes Museum is just as impressive as the exterior, with works by Goya and El Greco on show. For a treat from the East, the Durham University Oriental Museum is dedicated to the art and archaeology of the Orient, including intricately carved rhinoceros horns from China.
The best Cathedral on Planet Earth.
Must See Attractions
Don’t miss the opportunity to feel the spray of High Force Waterfall as the River Tees spectacularly drops into a plunge pool below, making it England's highest uninterrupted drop of water. Head to Durham City and soak up the calming atmosphere the medieval Crook Hall , or stroll around the exotic trees at The Botanic Garden at Durham University . Visit the Durham Dales and decend a mine at Killhope , the north of England lead mining museum.
For mountain bike enthusiasts there’s a cracking downhill course at Hamsterley Forest , as well as a skills section where you can perfect your tricks. And then there are incredible walks through the Durham Dales or along the Heritage Coast . This truly is one of the most picturesque parts of the country, so give yourself time to immerse yourself in the scenery and tranquil atmosphere.
In Durham, explore the small atmospheric streets and stylish boutiques off Silver Street and Saddler Street. For handmade crafts be sure to visit the artists’ studios at Fowlers Yard . Or head out into the county, where you’ll find lively market towns such as Barnard Castle , which is a great place to pick up antiques.
For a healthy blast of brass in July check out the international acts performing at the Brass: Durham International Festival . Streets of Summer Festivals sees the historic streets brought bang up-to-date with dance, folk music and street performers on display throughout August. The cream of literary talent also descends on the Durham Book Festival making it a must for all bookworms.
For that ‘awww’ moment take a trip to Hall Hill Farm and feed and pet the cuddly animals. Or for an altogether manlier experience visit Diggerland which is home to a great selection of monster machinery. Alternatively, bounce, zoom and climb your way around the Adventure Valley so they can burn off some of that excess energy.
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This is Durham - The official tourism website for Durham.
Things to do
From events and attractions to fine dining and nights out; discover things to do in Durham.
Part of the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty...Durham Dales