Step into a thousand years of history
Whether you arrive to Durham City by road or by rail you will be greeted by the imposing site of Durham Cathedral and Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Cathedral is often cited as the finest Norman building in Europe, and the city skyline is one of the most stunning panoramas in Europe.
In the summer of 2015 a fascinating exhibition will take place in the heart of Durham City’s World Heritage Site, commemorating the 800th anniversary of the sealing of the Magna Carta. Whilst the Cathedral holds three editions of the “Great Charter”, it will be the 1216 issue (the only surviving copy) that will go on display at Durham University’s Palace Green Library from 1 June as part of Magna Carta and the Changing Face of Revolt.
Discover a real sense of your past at Beamish
At Beamish Museum you can step back in time and explore what life was life in the North East in the 1820s, 1900s and 1940s. The award-winning Museum vividly brings the senses alive, you can touch, taste, hear, see and smell history at this living, working Museum. Hop on a tram back to the Georgian era, feed the animals at the Second World War farm or go down a mine; be amazed as you see history come to life.
Escape to the countryside
The Durham Dales is home to more of the county’s historical treasures, and in Teesdale you will find the surprising sight of a French-style château as The Bowes Museum comes into view. The result of a loving bond between husband and wife founders John and Josephine Bowes, the museum showcases its stunning collections in a series of themed galleries, along with a programme of exciting contemporary exhibitions. If the Museum is one of the jewels in the county’s heritage, then the Silver Swan is its crowning glory. Don’t miss the 240-year old musical automaton in operation from 2pm every day.
Click into the links below to find out more about the amazing experiences you can have on a visit to Durham.
Delve into History
Explore Durham City’s breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site and experience a fascinating Magna Carta exhibition in 2015.
See History Come to Life
See, touch, taste, hear and smell history as you take an unforgettable journey into the past at award-winning Beamish Museum.
- Auckland Castle in the Vale of Durham was home to the Prince Bishops of Durham for more than 900 years?
- Locomotion, the National Railway Museum at Shildon is home to over 70 heritage rail vehicles from the national collection?
- Raby Castle in the Durham Dales was the setting for the Rising of the North 1569 - a plot by Catholic nobles from Northern England to depose Queen Elizabeth 1 and replace her with Mary Queen of Scots.
- Durham County Cricket Club was established in 1882 and grew from humble beginnings to stage an Ashes test match in 2013.