Scientific research shows that spending time in the great outdoors can make you healthier. Escaping to the countryside, woodland or coast and spending time in nature is proven to help improve yours and your families physical and mental health.

Across our county there is a wealth of wild and wonderful activities to enjoy and breath-taking landscapes to explore. Here are our top picks of where to visit across the county this winter, to keep them pesky winter blues at bay.  

Beamish Wild, Durham Heritage Coast and Hamsterley Forest  

Beamish Wild

Test your limits and get your adrenaline pumping at Beamish Wild High Rope course, set in the Treetops of Beamish Hall’s ancient woodland. 


Durham Heritage Coast

With over 20 miles of coastal footpaths, the Durham Heritage Coast is the perfect place to blow away the cobwebs and enjoy a refreshing walk along the colourful landscape of the coast with its beaches, rugged cliffs and imposing headlands. 

Hamstelrey Forest

From exciting outdoor play and interactive woodland trails, to relaxing dog-friendly walks, miles of horse riding trails and some of the UK's best cycling and mountain bike routes. There’s something for all ages and abilities to enjoy at Hamsterley Forest. 
 

Land of Oak and Iron, North Pennines AONB and Hardwick Park


Land of Oak and Iron

Bursting with acres of beautiful natural woodland, rich in wildlife and lots of industrial and cultural heritage, the Land of Oak & Iron has so many interesting historical places to discover in the Derwent Valley. From walks and out door play, to wildlife watching and volunteering activities, there's something for all nature lovers to enjoy.  


The North Pennines AONB 

The North Pennines AONB is a magical place to visit day or night, but time your visit for after the sun sets and you can enjoy some of the best stargazing breaks in the country, as the North Pennines AONB boosts more nationally recognised Dark Sky Discovery Sites than any other part of the UK. 


Parks and Gardens 

Durham is full to the brim with wonderful gardens and parks to explore, no matter what the weather. From beautiful flower gardens to impressive country parks, there's plenty of natural spaces to soothe your spirits and de-stress.

Raby Castle, Seaham Marina and Teesdale Alpacas

Raby Castle 

Found in the heart of the Durham Dales, the magnificent Raby Castle gives visitors a fascinating insight into more than 600 years of history. Whilst the castle is closed throughout the winter months, there's 200 acres of beautiful parkland to explore on foot or two wheels, where you can enjoy the enchanting sight of the resident red and fallow deer.  *Deer Park open daily from 10am to 4pm, Castle re-opens in March.  


Seaham Harbour Marina and Activity Centre

Sit back and relax at Durham's only marina, treat yourself to a delicious home-make cake and coffee in one of the seaside cafes or pick up a souvenir to take home with you at the unique harbour shops. For those looking for something a little exhilarating, you can try out a number of water sports including sea kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, plus cycling and climbing at the Marina Activity Centre


Teesdale Alpacas

There's no better way to explore the Durham Dales countryside than with a Alpaca in tow! Enjoying Alpaca trekking through the stunning Tessdale landscape with Teesdale Alpacas, a great way to explore the outdoors for families and animal lovers alike. 

The TCR Hub and Weardale Adventure Centre

The TCR Hub 

From high ropes and BMX tracks to canoes, kayaks, archery and even yoga! There's lots of outdoor activities all ages and abilities can enjoy at T C R The Hub in Barnard Castle.   


Weardale Adventure Centre

Explore the wild side of Durham with Weardale Adventure Centre - where fully qualified staff offer exciting outdoor activities across the county from underground exploration and canoeing on the River Wear to rock climbing, bushcraft and gorge walking. It's a one stop shop for wild adventures in Durham. 

To start planning your outdoor getaway to Durham click here. 

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