Premier Inn Durham City Centre

Chain hotels usually get a bad press, especially the more ‘budget' versions, but the Premier Inn Durham City Centre gets my vote for its cost-effective simplicity.

There are no frills in this hotel, but then again, there needn't be. It's ideally situated (although try to avoid being given a room overlooking the bars surrounding the hotel) and when combined with its outstanding customer service and comfortable rooms, this hotel is a real bargain.


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The twin ancient delights of Durham’s cathedral and castle await visitors to this stately northern settlement, both dating back to around 1000AD.

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Deep inside Durham Castle lies St Cuthbert’s coffin and many other items of historical note, giving a glimpse into the life of a seventh century saint. Another interesting, though very different, collection is the Light Infantry Museum and Art Gallery, chronicling the history of the local regiment. Returning to the fresh air, the Botanical Gardens are well worth a visit, acres of woodland and greenery, hosting many events to keep all the family amused, and the banks of the River Wear are an excellent spot for a peaceful walk.

Durham is also an excellent base for trips out into the surrounding countryside, where the sights include High Force Waterfall, and typical rugged Yorkshire villages.

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Then spend the evening relaxing in one of the city’s pubs, many of them ancient watering holes serving a variety of Real Ales - one of the by-products of a large student population.

England’s most haunted pub is in Durham, so sign up for the Ghost Walk around the city and then if you fancy a fright with your drink head for the Shakespeare Tavern.

Durham Cathedral, The College, Durham, County Durham DH1 3EH (0191) 386 4266
Believed by many to be the finest Norman building in Europe, Durham Cathedral is the burial place of the Venerable Bede; author of the first English history.

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Open all year round and with free admission (although the mission does ask for donations), the cathedral attracts around 600,000 visitors each year.

Durham Heritage Centre & Museum, St Mary-le-Bow, Durham DH1 3ET (0191) 384 5589
Close to Durham Cathedral and housed in an historic church, Durham Heritage Centre and Museum displays artefacts, models and videos telling the story of Durham since the 17th Century.

The museum also doubles as a brass rubbing centre where visitors can make brass rubbings based on the many replicas the centre has available.

Beamish Museum, Beamish, County Durham DH9 0RG (0191) 370 4000
An open-air museum that recreates life in the North East in the early 1800s and 1900s, Beamish is also a live museum, where the town’s characters come to life.

Take a tram or stroll around shops, an Edwardian town or admire the Georgian landscape. Beamish also hosts a number of events throughout the year that are included in the admission charge.


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