How many of these activities, landscapes and places on the Durham Heritage Coast can you tick off your bucket and spade list? 

1101 sculpture at Seaham, County Durham


The 9ft 5inch tall sculpture of a soldier from the First World War stands on guard on Seaham seafront. Known locally as ‘Tommy’, this amazing metal statue was commissioned to commemorate the First World War centenary.

Created by local artist Ray Lonsdale, named '1101' (Eleven-O-One) refers to the first minute of peace as the armistice came into effect at 11am on November 11, 1918. 

two men bird watching on the Durham Heritage Coast

Bird watching 

The varied landscapes and habitats along the Durham Heritage Coast are home to wide variety of unique wildlife, making it the perfect place for a spot of bird watching. 

From the Skylark and Kittiwake, Sanderling and Purple Sandpiper, to one of the rarest seabirds The Little Tern - which return from West Africa every year to breed. 

couple walking through sea cave at Blackhall Rocks Beach, County Durham

Blackhall Rocks

Famously featured in the final scene of ‘Get Carter’ starring Michael Cane in 1971, Blackhall Beach has been transformed from its industrial past to a beautiful stretch of beach.

From playing hide and seek in the largest sea caves on the Durham Coast, to exploring the many rock pools at low tide and wildlife watching – Blackhall makes for a great family adventure. 

Castle Eden Dene Viaduct in County Durham

Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve

Home to more than 450 species of plants and mammals and covering over 500 acres – Castle Eden Dene is a great place to enjoy a peaceful woodland walk or wildlife spotting.

As you follow winding trails through the largest area of semi-natural woodland in North East England, you’ll be able to experience ‘the wildwood’ that once covered much of Britain, hundreds of years ago. 

Crimdon Dene Beach in County Durham

Crimdon Dene Beach  

The long sandy beach of Crimdon is the perfect place for a picnic or plodge. This dog-friendly beach is also great for taking in stunning scenery on a beachfront dog walk. Here you’ll find Durham Coast’s only sand dunes, which provides unique habitat opportunities for wildlife. 

Couple walking past Easington Colliery pit cage memorial

Easington Colliery 

Running across the former colliery site you’ll find a network of footpaths offering breathtaking coast and countryside views. The nature reserve is also home to an array of wildflowers and grasses providing valuable habitats for rare insects and small mammals.

You’ll also find a Mining Pit Cage Monument over-looking the former Easington Coal Mine, which in the past would have transported the miners up and down the pit shaft.

Family looking at lifeboat at East Durham Heritage and Lifeboat Centre, County Durham.

East Durham Heritage and Lifeboat Centre

Uncover fascinating stories and facts behind Durham’s maritime, industrial and social past at East Durham Heritage and Lifeboat Centre. Found in Seaham’s Harbour Marina, the centre is also home to the historic lifeboat The George Elmy.

Hawthorn Dene Viaduct overlooking Hawthorn Hive Beach

Hawthorn Dene 

The county’s second largest coastal dene is a site of special interest with nearly 200 different plants, trees and animals having been recorded here. If you want to escape it all, this is the place to do it. The ancient woodland is a haven for wildlife and during spring the woodland floor is covered by a blanket of Snowdrops, Wild Garlic and Bluebells.

Stretching down to the sea, the dene opens out under the impressive Edwardian railway viaduct onto Hawthorn Hive, with cliffs and rocky shoreline. 

The Little Tern sculpture on the Durham Heritage Coast

Little Tern sculpture 

Parched high on the clifftop the Little Tern Sculpture overlooks Limekiln Gill Beach at Horden. From here you can enjoy spectacular views out across the mighty North Sea and along the coast as you follow windswept clifftop walks down to the beach below. 

group of people enjoying watersports at Seaham Marina

Make a splash at Seaham Harbour Marina 

Seaham is home to the county’s one and only marina, and it’s here you will also find the Marina’s Activity Centre –where you can take to the water to paddleboard, kayak or canoe.

Two women walking towards the outdoor pool at Seaham Hall Hotel Spa

Seaham Hall 

Everyone deserves to be pampered every now and then, and the 5 Red Star Seaham Hall Hotel and award-winning Serenity Spa is the perfect place to enjoy a luxury coastal getaway. Recently named by TripAdvisor as the 5th Top Luxury Hotel in the UK and one of the UK’s most romantic hotels. 

collection of colourful sea glass found at Seaham Beach, County Durham

Seaham Sea Glass

No matter what time of year you visit Seaham Beach, you’re guaranteed to find an abundance of unique sea glass. People travel from far and wide to hunt for the famous sea glass, which has been shaped by the sea over several years before returning to the shore.

The parish church of St Mary the Virgin, in Seaham, County Durham.

The parish church of St Mary the Virgin

Described as one of the finest small churches in the country, St Mary the Virgin Church is one of the oldest churches in England. The enchanting Grade I listed building found in Seaham, is one of the earliest Anglo-Saxon churches in existence. 

family eating together at the Look Out Cafe in Seaham Marina

Tuck into a tasty seaside treat

Dotted along the coast you’ll find an amazing range of eateries offering tasty delights and delicious local produce. From traditional fish and chips and award-winning ice cream, to fine dining and homemade pub grub, you’ll be spoilt for choice with what's on the menu. 

couple walking along the clifftops of the Durham Heritage Coast

Walked the whole Durham Heritage Coastal Footpath

Stretching for 11 miles from Seaham in the North to Crimdon in the south, the Durham Heritage coast walk is overflowing with rugged clifftop walks, beautiful beaches and breathtaking views. Great for blowing away the cobwebs and taking in the fresh North Sea air. 


Durham Heritage Coast
Durham Heritage Coast

Experience the colourful and dramatic landscape of Durham’s Heritage Coast with its beaches, rugged cliffs and magnificent flora and fauna.

Durham Heritage Coast Walk
Walking Route
couple walking on the Durham Heritage Coast

The clifftop coastal footpath of Durham's Heritage Coast is a treat for nature lovers. This once coal scarred landscape has been lovingly restored to thriving coastal grassland, home to wild flora and fauna and with beautiful views.



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