Top 79 attractions to explore in Durham
Durham is a cathedral city and the county town of County Durham in North East England. The city lies on the River Wear, to the southwest of Sunderland, south of Newcastle upon Tyne, and to the north of Darlington. Founded over the final resting place of St Cuthbert, its Norman cathedral became a center of pilgrimage in medieval England.
Apollo Pavilion is an iconic example of 1960s public art and designed by Edwin John Victor Pasmore (d. 1998) during his time as consultant Director of urban design for Peterlee Development Corporation. The design consists of large geometric planes of white concrete, the only decoration being two oval murals. The structure spans a small lake that frames a large geometric statue by Pasmore; in its original form, the Pavilion provided a pedestrian link between the two halves of the estate.
Auckland Castle, once home to the Prince Bishops of Durham. It is one of the best-preserved bishops’ palaces in the whole of Europe and is at the center of The Auckland Project. Previously a deer park, Bishop Hugh Pudsey established a manor house on the site in around 1183. Because it was near to his hunting estate, a successor, Bishop Bek, relocated his main residence from Durham Castle to Auckland and he later converted the manor house into a castle.
Balderhead Reservoir is a reservoir in Baldersdale, County Durham, England. It is one of four of the very best wild brown trout fisheries in the UK that we have in the stunning Teesdale countryside. Surrounded by the fantastic scenery of the North Pennine grouse moors, there are few more tranquil and relaxing ways to spend a day’s fishing than roaming the banks of these waters, and even fewer places where you can catch truly wild browns.
Baldersdale is a dale, or valley, on the east side of the Pennines in England, northwest of Barnard Castle. Its principal settlements are Hury and Briscoe. Baldersdale lies within the traditional boundaries of the North Riding of Yorkshire. The river flows through three reservoirs on the way: Balderhead Reservoir, Blackton Reservoir, and Hury Reservoir. Running roughly parallel to Baldersdale to the north is Lunedale.
A majestic and beautiful castle which was set on a high rock above the River Tees. It sits on the fringe of an attractive working market town also known as ‘Barney’ so there is plenty to do for families on a day out. The castle, an English Heritage property, was named after its 12th Century founder, Bernard de Balliol, and was later developed by Richard III whose boar emblem is carved above a window in the inner ward.
Experience a real sense of your past at Beamish, a living, working museum, set in 300 acres of beautiful Durham countryside. This huge open-air museum provides a glimpse of life in England from the early 1800s until the mid-20th-century. Volunteers throughout the museum dress in period clothing and are more than willing to chat about life in the past.
The Roman fort at Binchester lies above the River Wear just outside the historic town of Bishop Auckland (Co. Durham). Known to the Romans as Vinovia, it commanded the main road that ran from the legionary headquarters at York northwards to Hadrian's Wall. It formed a key element of the complex frontier system that lay both sides of the Wall that marked the northern-most edge of the Roman Empire for nearly four hundred years.
Bishop Auckland Town Hall is a multi-purpose cultural venue situated in the Bishop Auckland marketplace. The Hall with its theatre, gallery, library, and café has undergone a major refurbishment program and was due to fully reopen to the public earlier in 2020. The building held a prominent position in the town and dominated the area with its strong mansard pavilions, spires, and associated ironwork.
A beautiful park, which was located in the Blackhill conservation area, it was laid out on reclaimed land by the Consett Iron Company and gifted to the community in 1891. There are rolling expanses of cultivated lawns, decorative borders and beds interspersed with woodland areas providing a picturesque link between Consett town centre and Blackhill and also there is the original Victorian Fountain and a recreated Victorian-style bandstand on which colliery brass bands perform through the summer,
Blackton Reservoir is located in Baldersdale and is one of a chain of three reservoirs on the River Balder. It sits immediately downstream from Balderhead Reservoir and it was covered with beautiful scenery and also you can have a walk around this place which will give you a new experience in the middle of nature.
Blast Beach is a great place for a coastal adventure. Some of the fields at Blast Beach are among the best places to enjoy them, with plants like bloody cranesbill, dyer’s greenweed, and devil’s-bit scabious creating a riot of color in the summer. It was one of the famous beaches in this area which is suitable for families.
Durham University's 10 hectare Botanic Garden is set amongst beautiful mature woodlands on the southern outskirts of Durham city. Open to the public, the Botanic Garden offers a wide variety of landscapes to explore and discover, with guests young and old visiting throughout the year. There are wonderful glass houses. Walk through the desert house to see the collection of cacti that thrive in this arid climate.
Bowes Castle is part of a small cluster of English Heritage sites in the south of County Durham. It was constructed to guard the strategic route known as the Stainmore Pass, and was occupied from the late 1st century AD to the late 4th century. The importance of this route and the crucial defensive position of the fort were recognised by Henry II who built the keep in the north-west sector of the fort.
Dramatic moorland situated on either side of the arterial A66 road. Little changed since Roman times. most of it covered by blanket bog, which supports significant breeding populations of a number of wading birds. Many Roman artifacts have been found here over the years, including a Roman aqueduct.
Bowlees Visitor Centre has all you need to make your visit to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty a memorable one. The information point stocks a range of walks leaflets, maps and books about the North Pennines and also has a café and gift shop. The centre is run by the North Pennines AONB Partnership and includes events, exhibitions, galleries, Gibson's Cave, and waterfalls.
Brancepeth Castle is a medieval castle near Durham. First constructed in the mid-12th century, it has a dynamic history, constantly changing hands and use. The current building is a combination of the Neville’s medieval towers with early 19th-century additions by the Russells, who employed Edinburgh architect John Paterson to sensitively create a grand stately home within the walls and extensions.
Burnhope Reservoir is a reservoir above the village of Wearhead, County Durham, England. There are some wonderful woodland trails and lakeside paths to enjoy. It's a very quiet place with a series of picnic tables where you can stop to enjoy the lovely scenery of the North Pennines AONB. The reservoir supplies water to the Wear Valley treatment works at Wearhead and there is a pipeline connection to Waskerley Reservoir, which supplies Honey Hill water treatment works.
Castle Eden Dene is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserve in the Easington district of County Durham, England. It is located mostly in Peterlee, between the A19 and A1086 roads. The dene is the largest, and biologically the richest, of a series of deep ravines that have been incised through the Magnesian Limestone and overlying boulder clay of coastal Durham by streams flowing into the North Sea.
Causey Arch bridge over the River Team near Tanfield was built by the Grand Allies in 1726. It is renowned to be the world's oldest surviving single-arch railway bridge. Horse-drawn wagons crossed the arch on Tanfield Railway to transport coal from local mines to the River Tyne. The Arch has been Grade I listed since 1950. It was restored and reinforced in the 1980s. There are a series of scenic public paths around the area and the Causey Burn which runs underneath it.
Map of attractions in Durham