Visiting Durham
Durham Cathedral

Durham City

Durham is a compact city yet offers a wide range of facilities. A good range of shops and restaurants co-exist happily with the Victorian Market. Much of Durham’s shopping area is closed to traffic, making for a more relaxed atmosphere.

The City can trace its history back a thousand years, to the arrival of a religious community. As a shrine for their saint, they built first a wooden, then a stone church, on top of a rocky hill, protected on three sides by the River Wear.

Night Scene Following the Norman conquest of 1066, King William also found this site appealing and realised it offered an ideal strategic location from which to rule Northumbria and defend the region against the Scots.

The Cathedral, which is now recognised as a World Heritage site, was built to provide a monumental shrine for St Cuthbert, and the Castle, to act as protection for the Cathedral and to provide a palace for the Bishop.

A thousand years of welcoming pilgrims has given Durham a reputation for hospitality. Visitors are encouraged to explore the city and discover for themselves what makes it so special. Yet within minutes, it is possible to escape the bustle of this thriving market town by taking one of the many paths that lead down to the riverbanks. Watch the river for rowers from one of the university teams, or take the ‘Prince Bishop’ river cruiser for a gentle trip along the river with stunning views.

Beamish Museum Dozens of regional attractions are easily reached from Durham, such as Beamish Open Air Museum (left), making it an ideal touring base.

Contact Durham Tourist Information Centre for more information about places to visit in and around Durham.

Why not enjoy a City break with bowling included? We can suggest a variety of local hotels and can organise your bowling for small or large groups. Contact us by phone or email to discuss your requirements.