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Five amazing days and stays in Durham which have been worth the wait

Durham Collage
Places to go
August 2020
Reading time 7 minutes

Now that we can get back out and explore, we’ve rounded up five great days and stays that have been worth the wait…

As we emerge from the long weeks of lockdown, Durham is the perfect destination for a fabulous staycation and exciting days out.

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Enjoy some fresh air by the sea on the stunning Durham Heritage Coast, where you will learn about its fascinating past as you enjoy a scenic stroll surrounded by wildflowers and wildlife. The Durham Coastal Footpath stretches 11 miles, with vast grassland and beautiful coastal denes, from Seaham to Crimdon. Throughout summer, skylarks and lapwings are a common sight, and as you reach the information signs along the way you’ll learn more about the area’s coal mining heritage, and how the stunning views were formed. Or, if you prefer countryside to coast, head to the Durham Dales for breathtaking views.

Beamish, The Living Museum of the North is one of the most popular visitor attractions in the North East. History will be brought to life as you stroll through the 1900s Town (which feels like stepping onto the set of Downton Abbey), drool at the sight of the treats in the Sweet Shop window, and take a peek inside the Co-op Store, then discover more of this world-famous open air museum. The majestic Raby Castle is one of the finest medieval castles in the country. Built as a palace fortress in the 14th century, it originally had a moat and was accessed by a drawbridge. Inside you can explore rooms overflowing with history and historical treasures. And The Bowes Museum has a world-class collection of fine and decorative arts housed in stunning themed galleries – no visit here would be complete without seeing the life-sized Silver Swan automaton.

Durham’s city, towns and villages are home to plenty of picture-perfect pubs, where you’ll find a warm welcome and hearty fare to enjoy after a day of sightseeing. The 18th century Rose & Crown at Romaldkirk is a good example. Their seasonal menus are packed with local produce, and you can dine in the oak-panelled restaurant or just stop for a pint in the characterful bar. Nestled in the stunning Beamish Valley, the South Causey Inn offers casual dining and quirky accommodation – their new private Bubble Pods in the garden offer a truly unique al fresco dining experience. The Impeccable Pig pub and restaurant serves bistro-style food, and also has a dedicated ‘piglets’ menu. As you explore, don’t forget to look out for the Taste Durham quality mark – a sign of great food and service.

The county’s independent boutiques are a treasure trove of unique finds. Stroll through the historic streets of Durham City where independent retailers jostle for attention alongside high street favourites, and explore the beautifully-restored Victorian Durham Market Hall, which is home to more than 50 independent traders. Across the county, each market town and village offers a unique shopping experience, such as Barnard Castle with its famous street lined with antique shops. Or, if you’re interested in big brands and big savings, head for Dalton Park – the North East’s largest outlet shopping centre.

Hotel Indigo Durham is a city centre hotel offering oodles of Victorian luxury – think brass etchings on the walls, marble tiled floors and stained glass, while Headlam Hall is a charming 17th century country house hotel in the Durham Dales surrounded by rolling farmland, and offers luxurious accommodation across 38 rooms and suites. 

Stay close to the stunning Durham Heritage Coast and enjoy seaside strolls and views which will take your breath away. Seaham Hall is set in 37 acres of landscaped gardens. A highlight among the individually-styled luxury suites is the Garden Suite, with its luxurious lounge area, private terrace and Scandinavian wood-fired hot tub. Relax and unwind in their Serenity Spa, with treatments inspired by Far Eastern healing. 

How does a post-lockdown escape for two at Seaham Hall sound? Thanks to This is Durham you could be in with a chance of winning just that. Click here to enter now!

To find out about even more amazing experiences in Durham which have been worth the wait, click here.

'Durham’s city, towns and villages are home to plenty of picture-perfect pubs, where you’ll find a warm welcome and hearty fare to enjoy after a day of sightseeing'

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