Famous for its cathedral and beautifully ornate shrine to Saint Cuthbert (pictured), Durham also boasts a number of hidden gems, including the Durham Heritage Centre & Museum situated in the historic church of St Mary-le-Bow on North Bailey. A stone’s throw from Durham Cathedral, this museum tells the fascinating story of St Cuthbert’s life and his monks’ journey from Lindisfarne to the city. The displays cover more recent times too, including collections about local industries past and present.
This UNESCO World Heritage site features Durham Cathedral as a particular highlight on account of its beauty and opportunities for tranquillity. Admire the grandeur of the Norman cathedral – which broke new ground, architecturally, with a huge stone-vaulted ceiling – as well as the inspiring and imposing towers. Inside, the Open Treasure exhibition of Anglo-Saxon artefacts is worth seeing, and refreshments are available in the Undercroft restaurant and café.
No visit to Durham is complete without a stroll through Market Place where, unusually, a statue of Neptune is now situated. This sculpture commemorates an ambitious plan to turn the city into an inland sea port – linking the Tyne and Wear rivers through a canal which was never constructed.