County Durham has a combination of a historic and beautiful city with some scenic and dramatic countryside in the North East of England. Once a coal mining hub for the United Kingdom the pits are now closed and the land given over to regeneration. The city of Durham is famous for its historic cathedral and for the university.
The area around Durham Castle has wonderful views across the city, and the streets are a delight to explore with lots of interesting shops. Nearby Barnard Castle has some really atmospheric ruins whilst the town is a haven for antique shop enthusiasts, and the Bowes Museum in French chateau style houses a number of European decorative and fine arts. In County Durham there is a rich industrial heritage from the past seen at Beamish, a reconstructed village from the nineteenth century and the National Railway Museum at Shildon.
Visit Killhope Lead Mining Museum for a tour of the mine.
Some of the rural beauty of County Durham is seen in the countryside and villages of Teesdale and Weardale in the Durham Dales. Visit High Force, the highest unbroken waterfall in England, and the market town of Stanhope. The Derwent Valley is another major walking and cycling route in County Durham. Cyclists will find some interesting routes in Hamsterley Forest with its specially designed mountain biking trails.
At Bishop Auckland the Binchester Roman Fort is a popular attraction, and many families will enjoy the Weardale Railway from Stanhope to Bishop Auckland. For sports enthusiasts Durham County Cricket Club at Chester-Le-Street is a great place to hear the sound of leather on willow. For shopping try Darlington and take the Art in the Yards trail to see some of the art in the town. Durham is a welcoming and pleasant place to visit and to appreciate the history and heritage of the North East.