Durham city break

Whether visiting Durham for a city break or to use it as a base to explore the delights of the surrounding county, this fascinating and beautiful city offers stunning architecture, peaceful pottering and a rich sense of history. Stand in the shadow of its Norman cathedral or take a walk through the cobbled streets and prepare to be captivated.

Durham itinerary

A Durham city break feels a little like a trip into another century. This incredibly well preserved city is reminiscent of a northern Sienna, with winding cobbled streets that criss cross the old centre. The architecture is sublime, from the stunning Norman cathedral - which starred in the Harry Potter movies - to the grand and looming presence of Durham Castle and the historic splendour of the university, the third oldest seat of learning in England after Cambridge and Oxford.

Named "Best city in the UK" by the prestigious Conde Nast Traveller magazine, whether it's shopping, sightseeing or a romantic stroll along the banks of the River Wear, Durham offers a uniquely atmospheric city break.

Follow this itinerary for a taste of the city's main sights:

  • Durham Cathedral. The Norman Cathedral, voted the UK's best building by readers of the Guardian newspaper, is a World Heritage Site.
  • Durham Castle. The 11th century castle perches imperiously on a promontory high overlooking the banks of the Wear.
  • Victorian Indoor Market. The beating heart of the old city, Durham Indoor Market has been operating since 1851 with a strong emphasis on local produce and craft.
  • Museum of Archaeology. Offers a fascinating insight into the history of Durham and its people, including the story of the city's cloth-making industry.
  • The Gala Theatre. The city's main arts venue programmes theatre, cinema and music events throughout the year.

Out and about

For a wider picture of Durham's history and culture take a trip out of the city. The nearby Dales and Durham Heritage coast offer stunning scenery and excellent hiking and walking trails. The market town of Barnard Castle is a bustling and friendly day trip away and the lush and picturesque village of Romaldkirk feels like being transported into another time. A Durham city break has something for everyone.

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