Things to do in Durham
County Durham has a variety of attractions and sights to offer. Durham Castle dominates the centre of the city, while a highly regarded cathedral looks out over everything from its hilltop location. The beautiful riverside setting is made extra picturesque by a number of stately buildings that line the banks.
The famous old railway bridge that crosses the Tees is a popular visitor spot as it offers stunning views of both castle and cathedral, with their respective towers reaching into the blue sky above. It’s especially picturesque in the summer when students hang their brightly coloured hammocks between its metal struts - but no worries if you don't spot any colour on your first visit; they are only put up during those warmer months!
The Cathedral is another one of Durham’s most notable landmarks. It dominates the skyline, even when compared to the Castle, and can be seen clearly as soon as you arrive in town. Standing at over 300ft tall it towers above everything else in the city and is especially visible during winter when it often has snow on top of its spires.
Durham Mining Museum
The County Durham mining museum located near Hetton-le-hole contains various interesting artefacts from this period of history when mining was an extremely common way to make a living. For example, this place contains various examples of tools that were used for mining such as lamps (to light up the mines), pickaxes and mining helmets.
This museum is located in the centre of County Durham, which was once also a mining area so it is possible that you or somebody you know may have at least been employed in the mining industry. If they were you could take a trip to this place as a bit of an interesting trip down memory lane! The building itself contains various forms of information about the history and working conditions in mines through different periods of time including ventilation, transport and chemistry. It's also worth mentioning that this particular museum is free to go into which makes it all the more reason to check it out.
In terms of culture, Durham holds many arts events at its Gala Theatre almost every week. These include music concerts and dancing competitions which are very fun to watch! Even during England's annual Euro 2012, The Gala Theatre hosted where massive screens were put up outside so that everyone could see what was going on inside!
Duke Street Gardens - (1604) Stretching from Priors Lodge all the way down to the river Wear, this is a great place for all ages. It contains many old trees, a fish pond where you can rent a paddle boat and some crazy looking squirrels. There are also tennis courts, bowling greens, an outdoor gym and a bandstand for concerts in the summer months.
Durham University - (1832) Founded by Bishop Hatfield this was one of the original campuses to form Britain's first University in which each college houses both students and academics. The College buildings are stunning and there is always something going on from societies to speakers so check out Durham Student Union or Durham Uni Fresher's guide for more information. Durham County Cricket Club have their home ground here at Riverside Ground which is just behind South Road however this doesn't open until April time but it would be worth trying your luck with a Google search of Durham Cricket.
Shopping in County Durham
Durham is surrounded by great towns and villages with fantastic shopping opportunities, including Beamish the UK's largest open-air museum which is about a half hour drive from Durham. If you like markets then don't miss out the fantastic array of stalls every Thursday on Framwellgate Peth or if its more modern shops you're after then try Eldon Square which has many high street brands as well as some great restaurants and bars.
Where to eat in durham?
This should be easy for you being so close to some incredible curry houses such as The Ship Inn, which serves an authentic Indian lunchtime buffet or The Black Bull in Old Elvet, they have both been serving the area for over 30 years each and are very highly rated amongst reviewers.
Where to go for a drink in Durham?
The places you should go to are: The Tunnels which is set underground *A bit like the Bear pit but not on the same scale* with live music throughout the week, especially good at weekends. The Owlerton Greyhound Stadium it has a huge selection of real ales as well as having great food and they show Sky Sports so if your into your sports then this is the place for you! Also we must mention The Moon Under Water which was voted Britain's best back-garden pub in 2011.
Sporting venues in Durham
Durham's sporting facilities include the 14,000 capacity Durham County Cricket Club ground at Chester-le-Street, which has a world class facility and is used by international teams as a warm up before test matches. The £32 million Sir Ian Botham Sports Centre was opened in August 2002. There are indoor pitches for hockey and five-a-side football, plus an athletic track around the perimeter. Inside there is also a 200 metre running track with high quality synthetic surfaces across all sprint and jumping areas. The centre also provides grass pitches for football (soccer) and rugby union, complemented by an artificial pitch complex designed for lacrosse, field hockey, baseball/softball and tennis courts.
Durham Landscape Gardens is a public park of 47 acres (190,000 m2) designed by Humphry Repton for the 3rd Earl of Durham. The Grade I listed building and gardens are in a romanticised Neoclassical style on the banks of the River Wear opposite Durham Cathedral. It was opened to the public in 1832.
Hard and Soft Landscaping
A touch of class with old school customer service