With cultural capital Durham city at its heart, the land of the Prince Bishops – County Durham – offers a magical mixed landscape of Dales, Heritage Coast, ancient market towns and family fun industrial heritage museums. The North East’s two World Heritage Sites, Durham Castle and the breathtaking Norman Durham Cathedral are essential visiting in the region. Stay in a boutique B&B in Durham City, one of Europe’s favourite cultural city breaks, and be close to Durham’s superb markets, award-winning inns and restaurants, specialist shops, chic cafes, river boat trips and world class museums.
The beautiful Durham Dales sweeping west of Durham City are rich in spectacular family friendly walks like the memorable High Force and Low Force waterfalls walks. Tour the pretty villages of Weardale, Teesdale and Derwentside in the Dales, all brimming with craft and local produce shops, markets, traditional inns, tearooms and a choice of holiday cottages and B&Bs. The ancient market towns of County Durham are idyllic holiday settings. Stay in Barnard Castle and be close to the acclaimed Bowes Museum with its world class art collection and castle ruins alongside the River Tees.
County market town and architectural gem Bishop Auckland along the River Wear is a great gateway into the Weardale area of the Durham Dales. The town’s spectacular Auckland Castle is the historic stronghold of the region’s famed Prince Bishops, with beautiful surrounding woodland, a deer park and parklands.
Spectacular coastal walking is along the breathtaking Heritage Coast, once dotted with coal mines, and today lined with coastal nature reserves and a mecca for birdwatchers. The Durham Coastal Footpath pushes along 11 miles of the coastline, taking in a mixed scene of coastal cliffs, sandy and pebble beaches and saltmarsh.
Some of the most popular family attractions in the North East are here in County Durham like the enchanting Beamish Open Air Museum near Stanley, with recreated 19th Century mining village, Edwardian town and a host of year round festivals, family activities and seasonal events. If you’re a lover of scenic heritage steam railways, County Durham won’t disappoint. Visit family friendly ‘Locomotion’. The National Railway Museum, Shilden and hop aboard the pet friendly Weardale Railway with station stops at Bishop Auckland, Wolsingham and Stanhope. If you head deep into the Weardale area of the Dales you’ll find fantastic family friendly museums digging deep into the region’s ancient industrial heritage like the Killhope North of England Lead Mining Museum on the edge of the wild North Pennines.