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The grand Norman-era Durham Cathedral (which plays a role in Harry Potter). And nearby fairy-tale, turreted castle have the words 'World Heritage Site' written all over them. The majestic north east city of Durham is a historical treasure trove. Castles nestle in riversides, parks thrive with deer, and living museums radiate with industrial heritage. That’s just a taste of the best places to visit in Durham. For sports fans, you'll not be short of things to do in Durham. It’s 'cricket mad', especially when The Ashes come to town.

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MARCH - MAY High 12.61°c Low 4.06°c Precipitation 0.06mm/hr
JUNE - AUGUST High 19.63°c Low 11.06°c Precipitation 0.07mm/hr
SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER High 13.94°c Low 7.28°c Precipitation 0.07mm/hr
DECEMBER - FEBRUARY High 6.79°c Low 1.43°c Precipitation 0.06mm/hr


The City of Durham is one of those magical places that outdoes itself at every turn, and merits the trip to this county by itself. The River Wear loops around the Romanesque Durham Cathedral and Norman Durham Castle. North of the castle, 13th-century, medieval Crook Hall is home to gardens and a maze. South of the river, Durham University offers a Botanic Garden with woodland and tropical plants, and the Oriental Museum exhibiting Asian, Egyptian and Middle Eastern artefacts.


The first steam-powered passenger trains in the world chugged along the Stockton and Darlington Railway from 1825, so this market town has reason to be proud of its contribution to the world . Head of Steam is a railway museum at the North Road station George Stephenson’s Locomotion No. 1, the first engine on the line looks as good as new. Darlington’s Covered Market is in an impressive hall with an iron frame, that was completed in 1863 and has stalls that have been passed down through families for generations.


The story of this coastal town echoes that of many next to the North Sea. Hartlepool was just a small place until railways and industrialisation arrived in the 1800s. Within decades it was one of the most productive fishing ports and shipyards in the region. Bringing in fresh fish and raw fleeces and sending it west to Yorkshire and Lancashire’s woollen mills regions. While exporting coal and textiles. So the old waterfront is an apt setting for Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience.


This market town was the eastern terminus for the Stockton and Darlington Railway, and in its boomtown days was another of the Northeast’s big shipbuilders. But its most famous contribution to the world was the friction match, invented by a local chemist in 1827. Preston Park is a huge green space to the southwest of the town, with attractions that have recently been given a makeover. The museum in the stately Preston Park Hall has wide-ranging exhibits of old stagecoaches, armour and art, and also offers a window on daily life and industry in Stockton 200 years ago.


Durham is the birthplace of mustard, invented by Mrs Clements and first ground at a mill in Saddler Street in the city in the 17th Century. Lanchester Dairies, the largest independent dairy in the North East of England, supplies milk, cream and ice cream to local Tesco stores. Husband and wife team Rachael and Edward Jewson of East Knitsley Grange Farm raise and butcher all their meat and their specialities include pork and red onion marmalade and chilli and chocolate sausages.


Durham is served by excellent roads. The A1/A1(M) motorway provides fast, easy access from the South. From the North choose from the A1 coastal route or the A68 cross-country 'holiday route' through. Durham is well-served by rail from London, covering the journey in around 3 hours.