Located in the North-East of England, Durham is a cathedral city and the county town of County Durham. Now I may be a bit biased as I’m from County Durham, but Durham and the surrounding County is one of the best places to visit for a weekend break. Whether you’re a history nut, nature-lover or window shopper, there’s something for everyone in this rich, vibrant city. Here’s my itinerary for a 4-day weekend break in Durham!
Arriving by train into Durham (or plane via Newcastle), check into your hotel and drop off those bags!
Head out into the city, maybe grab a bite to eat for lunch and start to explore your surroundings. I’d highly recommend doing a free walking tour today (of which there are plenty!) as this will help you to get your bearings, discover some hidden gems and maybe even find you a place to eat tea this evening.
The rest of the afternoon is all about exploring. Try heading to the Botanical Gardens or partake in a little window shopping!
Durham has so many amazing bars and restaurants so why not treat yourself this evening and discover some delicious food and drink – if you’re a gin lover, definitely head to Tin of Sardines. With over 200 brands and over 50 mixers you can easily spend your entire evening here!
Today is all about history and culture.
If you’re feeling a little peckish, I’d suggest starting your day with a delicious breakfast from The Flat White Kitchen.
Take a wander up to the famous Durham Cathedral and take in its breath-taking architecture. With construction starting in 1093 by Bishop William of St Calais, the Cathedral is still used today as a place of worship, prayer and reflection. Whilst there’s no fee to enter the Cathedral, an optional £3 donation is suggested in order to support the Cathedral’s maintenance and protection for future generations. If you’re feeling energetic, why not embark up the Cathedral’s spiral staircase and witness some impressive views of Durham City! You can easily spend most of your morning here, walking through the ancient building and beautiful grounds – but don’t forget there’s so much more to see today!
Up next is the Durham Museum and Heritage Centre. Located near to the Cathedral, this museum is home to exhibitions, models, activities and videos and offers visitors a unique journey through Durham’s Heritage. With models showing what Durham looked like through medieval times and the 19th Century as well as the reconstruction of a Victorian Prison Cell, this is truly a step back in time!
Before your stop for lunch, why not take a walk along the iconic Durham river. Or even better, grab a takeaway lunch and a coffee for a picnic by the water! On a sunny day, there’s really nothing better and the river walkway offers some beautiful views of both the river and the city.
After a well-deserved break, this afternoon is all about exploring Durham’s market place! Durham’s town hall has been a vital establishment since the 14th Century and is the perfect place to find out more about Durham’s Heritage. With interactive information points, short films on show and audio guides, this is the perfect spot for a rainy afternoon too!
Perfectly located next door to the town hall is Durham’s indoor market. If you’re after some local souvenirs, some delicious local food or a second-hand book then I’d definitely recommend venturing in to this quirky spot.
Take a trip back to your hotel, freshen up and head out for dinner at any of the incredible eateries Durham has to offer. I’ll leave a few of my favourite recommendations down below!
After a well-deserved lie in and relaxed start to the day, head out to Durham Castle this morning. Durham Castle’s construction began in 1072 under order from William the Conqueror and was a pivotal location for defending England from Scottish Invaders and controlling English rebellions. The Castle stand proudly above the River Wear and is the perfect place to start your day.
If you fancy a chilled afternoon, after lunch why not head out for a river cruise.
Wake up early, get yourself prepped for the day and check out of your hotel.
Why not spend this morning getting any last minute gifts, souvenirs or photos and just take a little while to take in the sites of Durham one last time.
From here, head to the train station!
Here are my top recommendations for all things food, coffee and accommodation!
|Food and Drink||Coffee Break||Accommodation|
|-Tin of Sardines (Gin Bar) |
-The Rabbit Hole
|-The Flat White Kitchen |
-The Secret Garden Coffee Shop
|-The Kings Lodge Inn |
-Honest Lawyer Hotel
-The Queen’s Head
-The City Hotel
-OYO The Townhouse
Have you been to Durham before? What was your favourite spot? Let us know in the comments below!