Renowned for its fine Norman Castle and striking Romanesque church, Durham is a charismatic university city along the River Wear. Boasting more than 600 listed buildings within its historic centre, it’s also home to the long-established Durham Indoor Market.
Things to do in Durham
Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the 11th-century Durham Cathedral is considered one of the finest Romanesque cathedrals in Europe. Witness the Cuthbert of Lindisfarne shrine and treasures and the remains of renowned monk Venerable Bede, then soak up the views across Durham and the surrounding countryside from the 66-metre-high tower.
Durham Castle is another highlight of the UNESCO-listed cityscape and was established to project the power of the Normans following their conquest in 1066. Join a lively guided tour by one of the resident students, with the castle keep boasting the oldest student accommodation in the world.
Spend an afternoon wandering around Durham University’s beautiful Botanic Garden, which is nestled amidst mature woodlands on the outskirts of the city. Explore the alpine garden, bamboo grove and picturesque wildflower meadow, then visit the glasshouses where tropical species, cacti and an impressive collection of bugs and insects are on display.
Don’t miss the Victorian-era Durham Indoor Market, which is adorned with a giant mural depicting the city of Durham. It’s clustered with more than 50 stallholders selling everything from fresh vegetables to meats, tobacco and traditional sweets. Time your visit for the market’s annual food and Christmas festivals.
Getting around Durham
Newcastle International Airport is a 30-minute drive north of Durham and is just over three hours by train from London. Buses travel throughout Durham and many of the sights are within easy walking distance of the main train station.