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Durham riverside at sunset Unsplash
Places to go
January 2024
Reading time 3 Minutes

With its meandering river, cobbled streets and iconic cathedral, this picture-perfect city promises so much to see and do

Here's how to spend the perfect weekend in Durham.
Flat White Kitchen


Whether it’s a pit-stop for a coffee or brunch with friends, Flat White Kitchen is always a popular choice. Vennels Café is another must-try, filled with character (thanks to its exposed beams, crooked ceilings and original fireplace), their internationally renowned scones are baked fresh every morning. Cakes and bakes are also on the menu at Cafédral. La Spaghettata is an award-winning Italian and for something extra special don’t miss the 10-course tasting menu at Faru. Dine with river views at The Cellar Door and Riverview Kitchen, go down The Rabbit Hole (part Oriental grill, part speakeasy), and don’t miss the café/bar at Old Cinema Launderette. Within a year of opening, Coarse has already been recognised by the Michelin Guide and it's a must-visit for its show-stopping tasting menu and wine pairings.


When school’s out there are ensuite bedrooms available for bed and breakfast at Durham Castle so you can be as close as possible to the action, Hotel Indigo has an outpost in the historic Old Shire Hall on Old Elvet, and OYO The Townhouse is a Grade-II listed Georgian property with individually themed rooms. Also in the heart of the historic city, Host & Stay’s Castle View is a modern home from home. Just on the outskirts, Farnley Tower is a cosy guesthouse with stunning countryside views.


Art-lovers will want to browse the shelves of Elvet & Bailey where you’ll find plenty of work by a variety of local artists including Rhianne Sian, Sophie Photography and JK Pebble Art. Freya Lillie sells sustainable clothing for children and their mothers, Mugwump is a treasure trove of gifts and Collected is Durham’s new independent bookshop where you can browse and read books with a cup of coffee. Durham’s Indoor Market is an historic space crammed full of independent traders selling everything from cheese to homeware. Just on the outskirts is Rustic Revive offering a bespoke furniture service and custom-built pieces.

Don't Miss

The reason anyone visits this city is to see the majestic Durham Cathedral and its neighbouring castle, whether you’re a Potterhead wanting to get your photo taken by the cloisters or you want to climb to the top of the central tower for the best views. 

Around the corner...

Inspired by the open-air museums of Scandinavia, the world famous Beamish museum was built using donations of objects, images and stories from local people, creating a varied, one-of-a-kind archive of North East life covering the past two centuries. Visit 1820s Pockerley, the 1900s Town, 1900s Pit Village, 1940s Farm, 1950s Town and the 1950s Spain’s Field Farm exhibits at this world famous museum to learn more about our history. Don’t miss the sweetshop for a bag of your favourite old-fashioned sweets.

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