>>Beamish, the North of England Open Air Museum >>Durham Cathedral >>Durham Castle >>Raby Castle and Gardens >>Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle >>Escomb Saxon Church >>Auckland Castle, Bishop Auckland
>>Binchester Roman fort, Bishop Auckland
>>Killhope Lead Mining Museum >>The Weardale Museum, Ireshopeburn >>Crook Hall & Gardens >>University Botanical Gardens >>University Oriental Museum
About County Durham
County Durham with its impressive scenery and a rich and varied heritage, contains archaeological evidence dating to Roman times, magnificent castles, Christian, cultural and industrial heritage and unspoilt countryside.The County is still known as the 'Land of the Prince Bishops' referring to the period in history when the Bishops of Durham were granted the right to rule this part of northern England, creating their own armies, holding their own courts, minting their own money and imposing their own taxes.
In Durham City the magnificent Norman Castle and cathedral have dominated the city’s skyline for over 900 years. The city still retains its medieval layout with narrow winding streets and vennels (alleyways). The Castle and Cathedral are a World Heritage Site. The city also has the 3rd oldest Unviersity in England.
The Durham Dales are made up from Teesdale and Weardale and is a peaceful, rich and varied landscape of moors and hills, valleys and meandering rivers. Dotted with picturesque villages and market towns, the Durham Dales is also home to the North Pennines Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Barnard Castle is the main market town of Teesdale, full of character, with interesting streets, shops, and its medieval castle. The Bowes Museum, in the style of a French chateau, houses one of the finest collections of European art, ceramics and furniture. Raby Castle to the north has history dating back over 1000 years. Teesdale is also home to England's highest waterfall, High Force.
Stanhope is the historic market town capital of Weardale and was a centre of the mining industry, for coal, iron ore, limestone and slate. The Lead Museum at Killhope tells the areas industrial heritage.
Then from rolling landscapes in the north and west to rich agricultural lands in the south, the Vale of Durham offers bustling towns, exciting activities and attractions. Bishop Auckland is the main market town of the area and Auckland Palace the official residence of the Bishop of Durham. At nearby Escomb you can visit one of the finest examples of early Christian architecture in the 7th Century Escomb Saxon Church. Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon, just outside of Bishop Auckland, was the first National Museum in North East England and houses up to 60 vehicles from the national collection. The world famous award winning Beamish Museum, set in 300 acres of beautiful countryside, is an open-air museum telling the story of the people of North East England. Visit the town, colliery village, working farm, Pockerley Manor and 1825 railway, all recreating life in the North East in 1825 and 1913. It is not a traditional museum. Most of the houses, shops and other buildings have been dismantled, brought to Beamish and rebuilt.