This is the city’s piece de resistance and reason for being. Durham Cathedral is the largest and most spectacular example of Norman architecture in Britain. The present Cathedral has stood on this spot for over 900 years and has been used as a venue for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies.
Located on the grounds of Walworth Castle with forest and river, Birds of Prey is a fantastic venue not only to see the birds very close in all their beauty and get information on them, but also to have your own falconry experience. Put on a falconry glove and learn how to handle and fly the various birds of prey.
At the Hall Hill Farm, there is plenty to see and do and is the perfect place to spend a lovely day with the whole family. Children will love the bumpy tractor ride, lamb bottle feeding, rabbit handling, pony rides as well as the outdoor playground. Keep the kids entertained watching the sheep race or puppet show.
Just north of the River Tees estuary, you can experience life on board of a prestigious heritage fleet. HMS Trincomalee was built in Bombay in 1817 and is one of the oldest warship afloat in the world. Step into the history of the Royal Navy, watch old guns and the cannons being set off and see how life on board was like.
The beautiful cottage gardens at Crook Hall provide views across open countryside and a peaceful and relaxing environment. Some of the gardens have been largely untouched for centuries, while others have been created afterwards. Let yourself be inspired by the magic of these gardens as with every turn there is something new to admire.
The Killhope Lead Mining Museum is a fascinating, restored nineteenth century Victorian lead mine where you can delve into the history of mining by mining for your own gemstones or panning for fools gold. The museum has a host of different minerals on display and is surrounded by woods and forest inviting for long walks.
Auckland Castle is one of the UK’s most important historical buildings with the largest private chapel in Europe. Once built as an estate for hunting in pleasant surroundings, it has since then been used as the palace of the Prince Bishops of Durham. You can see how the men of great power resided in this historical building as well as many important works of art and treasures.
A French château is home to the Bowes Museum and venue for the founders’ amazing love story. It is filled with treasures and has an internationally renowned collection of paintings, porcelain, furniture and fine arts on display. The highlight of the exhibition is a 240 year-old Silver Swan.
The Oriental Museum evolved in conjunction with the teaching of oriental languages at Durham University and is completely devoted to the art and archaeology of the regions of Northern Africa, Near and Middle East, as well as Asia. It boasts a unique collection of Asian artefacts and there are plenty of activities like dressing up or colouring to keep children amused.
On a rainy day in Durham, visiting the Gala Theatre Durham on the banks of the river Wear centre could be a great option to escape the bad weather. It is considered one of the best theatres in the north east and showing leading theatre companies, comedians, bands, musicians and dance performers as well as a cinema programme.
Take a stroll in the fascinating Botanic Gardens of Durham University with a unique collection of indigenous and exotic plants and animals. Once created primarily for teaching and research to protect biodiversity on the campus, it has opened its doors to the public. From arid desert to tropical rainforest and native woodland, the Botanic Gardens has it all.
Looking for a thrilling experience and the ultimate adrenaline kick? With over 2500 acres of beautiful countryside to explore, quad biking, off-roading or clay pigeon shooting at Fury Events is a must do for action lovers. Tracks are challenging as well as speedy and will push you to your limits.
Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County hosts one of Durham’s most well-known traditional restaurants. Served in a classical, elegant dining hall, the food is traditional British fare. A strictly jacket-and-tie, and elbows off the table affair is advisable. It is also recommended to book early.
The Old Mill, a typical English Inn, is located in a countryside setting with an intimate and cosy atmosphere. Formerly used as a mill, its interior has been turned into a tasteful and stylish restaurant. The food is outstanding and portions are more than generous even for a big appetite.
The Head of Steam is an English pub, situated directly in the centre of Durham, and has a huge variety of draught and bottled beers from all over the world with wheat beers and lots of Belgian beers among them. Test your appetite in the Burger Challenge and see if you can finish the giant burger.
The Dun Cow is a quaint little pub and has anything you could possibly wish for in a proper, traditional English pub. Nested between some houses off the noisy city centre pubs, it has remained unchanged for decades and serves home-made bar snacks and a selection of local ales.
Ye Olde Elm Tree attracts a mix of young and old as well as families. On the menu you can find a wide selection of real ales, tasty food and a delicious choice of vegetarian or gluten-free specials like wheat free ale. This lovely pub with a large beer garden and Folk Music, certainly serves something for every taste or special diet.
The name already suggests itself, Whisky River is a stylish, yet old-fashioned cocktail bar with outside seating overlooking Durham’s famous riverside and Elvet Bridge. However, non cocktail lovers will also enjoy themselves as there is a good selection of continental beers and lagers and live music nights as well.
The Big Jug is a great place to spend a fantastic night out. Listen to live bands every Friday night and dance to the music of top DJs on Saturday nights or watch the world’s most important sports events on big screens. The upbeat atmosphere will definitely make your night a fun experience.
From the outside you can already see little welcoming signs and that is what The Library is all about. The quirky pub The Library, a little gem with student bar vibes, has a friendly and welcoming atmosphere to have a relaxing evening with friends. Regularly you can listen to acoustic live music and watch all the big games on the screen.
Located directly next to the riverside, The Gates Shopping Centre is hosting over 30 retailers all under one roof. From Charles Eagles & son to Wilkinsons or Thorntons, the Gates Shopping Centre has both a lovely inner mall as well as an outer walkway and is boasting a great variety of retailers.
The open air Prince Bishops Shopping Centre is located right in the heart of Durham, just a few leaps away from the historic Market Place. It is boasting over 40 leading brands, among them Bhs, Next, Boots and Clarks just to mention a few. After a successful shopping day, you can relax in one of the cafes or bars.
Truffles is specialised in luxury hand-made Belgian chocolates and truffles and is a must see for chocolate lovers. They have a wide variety of carefully selected top notch chocolate to cater for any taste or occasion. All items are available with a personalized gift wrapping and ribbons with the recipient’s name.
Durham's unique boutique The Mugwump was founded in 1966 by two art school graduates aimed at creating a shop full of treasures and unusual things. Since then it has not changed a lot and the philosophy has remained basically the same: finding exclusive clothes, accessories and perfect gift ideas or homeware.
In this art gallery in the city centre you can find unique and hand-crafted contemporary art including paintings, sculptures, ceramics and glass, jewellery as well as textiles. Each item is individual and crafted by high quality art glass. Watch how the glass is transformed at the onsite working glass studio.
People's Bookshop Durham is an independent bookshop mainly specialised in second-hand books about local history, politics, biographies, poetry, collectable books and all kinds of little ideas and forgotten stories of the local community. Have a look inside and browse through the eclectic selection of books.
This old sweet shop is not only a children’s paradise, but also grown-ups will be amazed at the sheer number of traditional sweets and hundreds of old-fashioned jars. Since 1909, this shop has made people happy with retro and classic sweets like space dust popping candy, original peppermint creams, merry maids, Scottish humbugs or Bassetts liquorice sticks.
Visit the nearby historic Barnard Castle, a European market town named after the famous castle. The array of antique shops and independent retailers make it a heaven for shoppers that are looking for distinctive, charming items off the high streets. Treasure seekers can find home décor, second-hand books, designer clothes, jewellery, vintage and retro items or local crafts.
Durham Gin is a small-batch craft distillery located on the outskirts of Durham City. They produce genuine, hand-made gin made with traditional methods and only best quality ingredients. Production is still old-fashioned from the 400-litre copper pot and small batches of a few hundred bottles at a time to the hand-made labels.
Get Dressed for Battle is a unconventional mix between a museum and a retail store and offers a host of quality medieval re-enactment supplies like armor and weapons, helmets, shoes, medieval and Viking clothing, cooking pots and utensils and many more quirky items that are made by local craftsmen.
A creative hub and one of Durham’s best kept secrets can be found in Fowler's Yard. Creative workspaces have maintained their authentic charm and an artistic community shares their skills with visitors, including wool spinning and fleecing, furniture restoration, jewellery design, portrait painting, tapestry weaving and micro-brewing.
Antiques and vintage items can be purchased at Something Different Antiques. It is a small family-owned business which offers English and Continental furniture, clocks, pottery, barometers, ethnic carpets, vintage clothing, chandeliers, decorative items and collectable.
Durham and the surrounding area are served by Durham Tees Valley Airport. This small and friendly international airport regularly sees 1 million passengers per year and is located 30 kilometres from Durham city and close to many of the attractions this region has to offer. There are numerous bus services you can use to reach the city. Bus service 12 operates between Darlington and the airport. www.arriva.co.uk You can find taxis just outside the terminal building.
Durham city has a well-connected railway station for both local and nationwide destinations. Major destinations and railway companies are: East Coast - to Scotland and London Kings Cross Cross Country - to the Midlands and South West TransPennine Express - to Manchester Airport and Liverpool Northern - to Seaham, Bishop Auckland, Shildon, Newton Aycliffe and Heighington. The National Rail Enquiry Line:
While the station is on a hill some 10 minutes’ walk from the city centre, there are regular buses between the two. Durham Cathedral Bus links the Cathedral, Rail Station, Bus Station, Car and Coach Parks and operates every 20 minutes. You can choose between various types of tickets. Adult single tickets start from as low as 80p and range up to £6.60 for longer journeys. An adult daily ticket for the city costs £3.50 and a daily ticket for the regions costs £6.00.
There are few of the famous Black ‘Hackney’ taxis in Durham but plenty of mini cabs to choose from. There are taxi ranks at the Rail and Bus Stations, outside the Prince Bishop’s and Gates’ Shopping Centres and at Market Place. ABC Cab Company +44 919 682 0437 www.abctaxicabdurham.com Durham’s Best Cab: M&M Taxis, Pratt's Taxis, Park Taxis, Axle Taxis
All medication is readily available, either over the counter or on prescription. Boots Chemist has numerous outlets in Durham. Boots Chemist: 6 North Rd, Durham, DH1 4SH 2-5 Market Place, Durham Durham City Retail Park, Mcintyre Way, Durham, DH1 2RP Leak Chemist: 6 Blue House Buildings, High St, Durham, DH1 1AR29 Front St, Durham, DH1 5EE