County Durham Accommodation Guide
County Durham is a ceremonial county in the north-west of England. At 1,051 square miles (2,721 km2) however, Country Durham is a relatively small county when compared to its neighbours. Despite its size, the city of Durham welcomes approximately 20 million people every year however.
Famous for its university, cathedral, monuments and coastline, County Durham is a region that is also known for its natural beauty and rich heritage. In this brief tourist guide we will exhibit some of County Durham’s best accommodation choices and also explore some of the region’s finest attractions.
The city of Durham is located on a hill surrounded on three sides by the River Wear forming a protective peninsular. The city’s unique location gave rise to its name and it descends from the Old English word ‘Dun’ meaning ‘hill’ and the Old Norse word for island ‘holme’.
County Durham shares a border with Cumbria to the east, with Northumberland and Tyne and Wear to the north and North Yorkshire to the south. It also has a beautiful coastline to the east which borders the North Sea.
County Durham’s long association with the sea is best explored by walking the Durham Coastal Footpath. This stunning footpath extends from Seaham in the north to Crimdon in the south. Despite being only 11 miles long, allow at least one full day to properly enjoy this amazing walking trail. The clifftop scenery is so beautiful you will want to stop often to take photos and enjoy the views!
The City of Durham is perhaps the county’s finest attraction being the home of two UNESCO designated World Heritage Sites; Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral. This city is one of the UK’s prettiest with over 630 listed buildings, 569 of which are located within the city centre’s ‘conservation area’.
Many famous events take place in Durham on an annual basis, the most famous of which is Durham Regatta. This world renowned rowing event has been held on the River Wear in Durham since 1834. It is the second oldest rowing regatta in Great Britain and is often referred to as ‘the Henley of the North’
County Durham / Tourist Information
- County Town: Durham
- Land Area: 2,226 km2 (859 square miles)
- Population: 530,094 (2019)
- Population Density: 237/km2 (610/square miles)
- Average Temperature: (Summer 19 °C)
- Days Of Rain: Dry for 162 days a year
Best Attractions In County Durham
Bowes Museum: The Bowes Museum is a testament to the kindness of John Bowes and his wife Joséphine Benoîte Coffin-Chevallier. This large museum was built to showcase John and Joséphine’s incredible collective of artwork and it was opened to the public in 1892. The building is one of the UK’s finest examples of French style architecture and it is thought to be based on the town hall in Le Havre (France).
Durham Castle: Originally built in the 11th-century, Durham Castle is an excellent example of the early motte and bailey castles favoured by the Normans. It has been in continuous use for over 900 years and is the only castle in the United Kingdom never to have suffered a breach! The castle has been the home of Durham University since 1832.
Durham Cathedral: Durham’s Cathedral’s official name is the Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham. This normal build cathedral is famous for being the final resting place of Saint Cuthbert and Saint Bede the Venerable. The Cathedral was founded in its present form in AD 1093 and remains a centre for Christian worship today.
High Force Waterfalls: Quite simply, the waterfalls that are collectively known as ‘High Force’ waterfalls are possibly the most spectacular in the entire British Isles, especially after a period of intense rainfall. One of the UK’s largest rivers (The River Tees) plunges 21 metres (70 feet) over an almost vertical cliff edge in two stages. There are several viewing platforms and there is a small admission fee.
HMS Trincomalee: Moored in Hartlepool, HMS Trincomalee is the oldest British warship still afloat! Built in Bombay India in 1817, this incredible ship is made from Malabar Teak which is incredibly resistant to salt water. Beautifully restored, this classic frigate of the Royal Navy provides a unique day out for all the family. Organised tours are available and highly recommended to learn about the ship’s unique history.
Best Accommodation In County Durham
The Turnip Barn (Witton Gilbert near Durham): This beautiful stone flagged holiday home sleeps 6 people across 3 bedrooms. The barn style accommodation features large open plan communal spaces with double height ceilings. There is also an open fireplace and a delightful lawn to the rear. A number of beautiful foot and cycle paths lead from the barn’s doorstep. Dogs are also welcome.
The Hay Barn (Hetton-Le-Hole): Located on a working farm in a perfect rural setting, this barn style accommodation sleeps 6 people across 3 bedrooms. The accommodation is best described as modern and contemporary and double height living spaces with large expanses of glass. There is a lovely log burner in the sitting area and a small patio
Granary Barn (Ouston, Northumberland): If you are looking for the quintessential barn conversion for your next holiday, you may have just found it! Sleeping 4 people across 2 bedrooms, this is one of our favourite properties in the north-east of England. Enjoy a peaceful break on this working family farm just outside the rural village of Kibblesworth within the rolling hills of Northumberland.
Stay In Britain is the ultimate guide to places to stay and things to do in Great Britain. Whether you are looking for a luxury self-catering cottage, a cheap B&B for a weekend stay, a short break in a caravan park or a business-friendly hotel in the County Durham area, we have everything you need. Enjoy your stay in Britain!