Durham is a beautiful, compact city in the North East of England, located 17 miles from Newcastle upon Tyne (view map). The City has a rich heritage and culture, with the world-famous Castle and Cathedral sitting on top of a peninsula overlooking the River Wear. The panoramic view of the Cathedral and Castle has been described as 'one of the finest architectural experiences of Europe'. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is at the heart of the City.
Durham City has been voted the best city in the UK in previous Readers' Travel awards by Condé Nast international travel magazine, ahead of Edinburgh and London. With a population of around 43,000 Durham has a compact, friendly feel about it, but still provides the facilities you would expect of a thriving city including many excellent cafés, bars and restaurants. The Gala Theatre is a £15m building in the heart of the City offering a programme of live events attracting some of the country's leading theatre companies, comedians, bands, musicians and dance performers; and a cinema showing the latest blockbusters alongside independent and classic films.
No matter where you are in the City, you are never far from the University's colleges, departments and facilities. Durham offers a range of sporting and leisure pursuits, including 64 acres of sports fields and facilities, a haven in the form of the Botanic Garden, museums of oriental and archaeological history, as well as our own student theatre, the Assembly Rooms. The City is also only 15 minutes from Newcastle upon Tyne by train and direct trains to London take approximately two hours forty-five minutes.
You can also view a series of 360° panoramas of Durham and the surrounding area:
- View from Cathedral
- Palace Green
- Market Place
- View from Mound
- Angel of the North
- Durham Students' Union and Kingsgate Bridge
- University Library
- Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics
Durham is a beautiful historic county and city.
Start exploring the area with a visit to Durham Cathedral, the finest example of Norman architecture in the world which according to a recent survey is 'Britain's best-loved building'. Together with Durham Castle, standing high on the old city peninsula above the loop of the River Wear, it is a World Heritage Site. The Castle itself, a College of the University and former home of the Prince Bishops, offers regular guided tours.
Other University attractions well worth a visit are:
- The Oriental Museum: Britain's only collection concentrating exclusively on art treasures from all the major cultures of the Orient from Egypt to Japan.
- The Botanic Garden: a beautiful 18-acre garden with trees, shrubs and flowers from all over the world, a sculpture garden, plant houses, visitor centre and tea room.
- Old Fulling Mill Museum of Archaeology: on the banks of the river beneath the Cathedral, this famous Durham landmark displays relics of life in Northern Britain from the Roman and medieval periods.
There's plenty to do and see around Durham too. You can enjoy beautiful countryside from the North Pennines to Teesdale and Weardale, romantic castles from nearby Raby to the Northumberland coast and rich heritage from Hadrian's Wall (the second World Heritage Site in the region), Lindisfarne and the Farne Islands to the award-winning Beamish North of England Open Air Museum and the Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle. Shopping and entertainment in the The MetroCentre and Newcastle upon Tyne, the region's vibrant party city, are just 16 miles away. Also worth a visit is Hartlepool Historic Quay, Whitby, Bamburgh, Seahouses, and the Lake District.The Visit North East England website has some great videos about the area.