Autumn is a great time to press pause, escape your everyday routine and indulge in some much-needed me time.  

You'll find lots of ways to #EscapeTheEveryday on an autumn escape in Durham.  

Ramside treehouses, Lumley Castle Hotel and themed room at South Causey Inn.

1. Book a stay in a unique getaway

From rural retreats and coastal escapes, to cosy cottages and heritage city hideouts – there’s plenty of places to enjoy a relaxing getaway in Durham. 

The historic Headlam Hall and Rose & Crown in the Durham Dales are an ideal choice for those seeking peace and quiet. Located in the heart of Durham City - Hotel Indigo and Radisson Blu Hotel are perfectly located for exploring the historic city. And take your pick from the county’s many unique stays including the luxurious tree houses at Ramside Hall, sleep like a king at Lumley Castle or book a quirky themed hot tub room at South Causey Inn

Exterior of Seaham Hall Serenity Spa, woman getting massage at Rockliffe Hall Spa and inside of Ramsdie Hall spa

2. Chill out and refresh at a soothing spa 

Recharge your mind and body on a pampering spa day or spa break in Durham. Enjoy an indulgent coastal break at the luxurious Seaham Hall Hotel and Serenity Spa – where you can take your pick from holistic treatments to help you feel fabulous from head to toe.  

Winner of the Good Spa Guide’s ‘Best Spa for Wellness’ Rockliffe Hall’s spa is home to fabulous facilities including poolside treatment rooms, thermal suites, spa garden and hydro pool. 

family family in the durham dales, low force waterfall and couple walking on the durham heritage coast

3. Go wild in Durham’s great outdoors 

The breathtaking beauty of the Durham Dales and North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark provide ample opportunity to go wild in Durham’s great outdoors. From adventure activities and wildlife watching to exhilarating rides, refreshing walks and discovering incredible natural hidden gems – there’s so much to explore. 

Home to magnificent beaches, clifftop walks and buckets full of coastal charm, Durham Heritage Coast has something for all ages to enjoy. Search for Seaham's famous sea glass, try out seaside water sports at the county's one and only marina, or take on the 11 mile coastal footpath.   

Woman eating at Tango restaurant, afternoon tea at South Causey Inn and man drinking pint with dog at Kingslodge Inn

4. Indulge in fabulous food and discover new favourites 

Delicious seasonal food and drink can be found in abundance across the county. Settle down by the fire in a cosy countryside pub or inn, enjoy a warming hearty meal at one of the many #tastedurham award winning eateries or take a pitstop to rest and refuel as you explore the county’s many walking trails.

Treat yourself to an indulgent afternoon tea or head to Durham’s welcoming farm shops and traditional farmers markets, which are bursting with tasty local produce

winter landscape, high force waterfall and Killhope during night time.

5. Lose yourself in the night sky 

With shorter days and longer evenings, stargazing season officially begins in the autumn. The Durham Dales and North Pennines AONB and UNESCO Global Geopark are home to some of the darkest skies in England, making it the ideal place to enjoy a spot of stargazing. See the Milky Way in all its glory, distant galaxies and sparkling star clusters as Durham's skies come alive after dark.

You’ll find a wide range of astronomical events to enjoy throughout the dark sky season, suitable for beginners and more experienced stargazers. From astronomy and astrophotography workshops, to ‘out of this world’ events at the recently opened Grassholme Observatory.

After all the stargazing action, lay your head at one of Durham's dark sky friendly accredited accommodation, all offering special dark sky touches which make for the perfect stargazing getaway. 

Beamish Museum, inside The Bowes Museum and family admiring stained glass window inside Durham Cathedral

 6. Step back in time

Delve into Durham's amazing history and see the past come to life at award-winning attractions.  

Most of Durham's amazing heritage attractions and historic sites have now re-opened with new measures in place to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable visit

Take in the spectacular autumnal views of Raby Castle, medieval gardens and deer park and see if you can spot the resident Red and Fallow Deer during rutting season. Follow in the footsteps of the Prince Bishops of Durham as you explore Auckland Castle Deer Park and be amazed by The Bowes Museum remarkable collections. Get up close to historic vehicles and engines from Durham’s railway past at Locomotion, take a step back in time at Beamish, The Living Museum of the North or take a look inside the breathtaking Durham Cathedral.

Planning on visiting during half term? You'll find lots of family-friendly events and activites taking place to enjoy. Or follow the path less trodden and discover some of the county's historic hidden gems and lesser known historic sites, like Binchester Roman Fort and Durham Town Hall

Make sure you know before you go and check entry and opening details directly with attractions before you travel, as many attractions now require pre-booking before arrival.     

couple shopping in Durham City, Entrance to Dalton Park and shops at Barnard Castle

7. Treat yourself to a little retail therapy

Wander the cobbled streets of Durham City and discover independent shops and boutiques, browse an amazing array of unique shops and local producers throughout Durham's many towns and villages or soak up the atmosphere at Durham's bustling markets, including Durham City's indoor market hall.

Thinking of treating yourself or getting a head start on the Christmas shopping? Head to Dalton Park - the region's biggest outlet and discount shopping centre, with over 60 shops selling over 200 brands and designer labels. 
 

Durham is still open for business and we look forward to welcoming you. Tourism businesses have taken every step to ensure they are Covid-secure, and we’re asking anyone visiting the county to comply with the local restrictions in place. 

Plan ahead and ‘know before you go’ to ensure that you #LoveDurham safely. Our wide open spaces are waiting to be explored, and businesses across the county can welcome you back safely.

Please also remember to 'check in' via the NHS Track and Trace app as you visit Durham's attractions, accommodation, restaurants and shops.  

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