Whether you’re planning a staycation, or simply want to hop in your car and explore new and exciting places, Durham is a real gem. Located in north-west England and astride the meandering River Wear, Durham is a great place for an adventure with the old city being listed as an official UNESCO World Heritage Site and featuring 600 listed buildings.
Here are 10 places to pop on your itinerary.
Well-known for its stunning Romanesque-style architecture, Durham Cathedral towers over the city and can be seen from all angles, whether you’re navigating the winding inner city streets or sitting on the banks of the river. Highlights include the graceful Galilee Chapel, the Norman Nave and the Cathedral Tower.
2. Durham Castle
As part of the Durham UNESCO World Heritage Site, Durham Castle is a dream spot for history lovers and anyone looking to find out more about the UK’s past. Built as a fortress by the Earl of Northumberland in 1072, this landmark is also home to University College, housing 100 students making it truly unique.
3. Durham University Botanic Garden
Tour the city in style with a trip to the Durham University Botanic Garden. Covering a 25-acre site, this attraction hosts many plants from across the world including a spectacular bamboo grove. The impressive glasshouses also include a collection of tropical rainforest plants, desert plants, and those from the Mediterranean as well as exotic creepy crawlies.
4. Durham Town Hall
The interior of Durham Town Hall is a real talking point, with the Main Hall featuring stunning stained-glass windows and a hammerbeam oak roof. As a Grade-II listed building, Durham Town Hall also features Crush Hall which includes memorabilia of Count Boruwlaski, a Polish-born dwarf who was just 39 inches tall and lived to the grand old age of 98.
5.Crook Hall and Gardens
Crook Hall and Gardens has a long and interesting history stretching back to the 13th century, with construction also taking place in the 14th and 18th centuries. The Grade-I listed building is treasured by the local community and attracts numerous tourists each year.
6. Beamish Museum
Durham’s open-air Beamish Museum is a much-loved attraction which delves into what life was like in the north-east during the 1820s, 1900s, 1940s and 1950s. From the 1900s Pit Village to the 1940s Farm, you’re sure to come away with plenty of useful insights about Durham and its communities.
7. Darlington Market
Located in the south of County Durham, Darlington Market is the UK’s finest covered market, offering a wealth of fresh, locally sourced produce, and has been going for over 150 years. Darlington Outdoor Market also dates back to medieval times and is the ideal place to buy fruit, veg, clothes and jewellery.
8. Oriental Museum
If you’re heading to Durham, don’t miss the spectacular Oriental Museum on Elvet Hill, which is home to art and archaeological collections from the Near and Far East. A wealth of eastern cultures and periods are represented including Ancient Egypt, Tibet, China, India and Japan.
9. Museum of Archaeology
As you’ve probably grasped by now, Durham is all about history and preserving fascinating objects from times gone by. The Museum of Archaeology at Palace Green Library houses finds from the Norman, Roman and Anglo-Saxon periods. Many were discovered in the old city centre during archaeological digs in the late 20th century.
10. Finchale Priory
Finchale Priory is an English Heritage building nestled beside the River Weir. The remains of this once grand 12th-century priory are wonderful to explore and provide the perfect backdrop for some beautiful pictures.
When in Durham, feel free to visit our Croxdale dealership, renowned for serving the local area for over 50 years.