Looking for a historic break full of fun, facts and fantasy with the kids? Look no further than a family-friendly historic break in Durham.
Stand in the footsteps of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry alumni in the cloisters of Durham Cathedral. The ancient cloisters doubled as a film location for Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone back in 2001. Against a snowy backdrop, the cloisters became the snow-covered quadrangle where Harry magically releases Hedwig the owl from his hands. Harry and friends also returned the following year filming for the Chamber of Secrets sequel.
Whilst in the grounds of the historic Durham Cathedral, grab a spot of home-cooked lunch in the Undercroft Restaurant, or if the weathers on your side, enjoy lunch alfresco and pack a picnic to enjoy on Palace Green.
What better way to experience Durham’s historic landscape than by boat? Catch the Prince Bishops River Cruise from Old Elvet and discover the magnificence of the River Wear, its stunning riverwalk grasslands and the UNESCO World Heritage Site peninsula of the cathedral and castle silhouetted in the distance.
After marvelling the city’s history, it’s time to up the tempo. Keep the kids entertained at Adventure Valley. The North East’s biggest family adventure park has exhilarating indoor and outdoor activities to keep children chipper all year round. Just a five minute drive from the city, it’s clear to see why it remains a firm favourite with families visiting the county.
Objects aren’t locked away in glass cases, this really is hands-on history. Explore the 350-acre site and meet friendly costumed folk who’ll share their stories with you. Ride on a tram, catch a lesson in the village school, go underground at a real coal mine, and sample the tasty treats in Herron’s bakery, Davy’s Fried Fish & Chips and the infamous sweetshop.
Next stop: all aboard at Tanfield Railway! Just a short drive from Beamish, Tanfield Railway. The steam railway and the oldest railway in the world, is based on a section of the 1725 Tanfield Waggonway Trains with a variety of vintage carriages. Travel into the scenic Causey Woods where the 1727 Causey Arch Bridge is the centrepiece in a deep valley with many walks and display boards giving the 18th Century railway history of the area.
Top tip: Check for any additional family-friendly activities in the city during your stay on the Durham BID website.
Stay: Radisson BLU introduces a stylish first class, full-service hotel to the city of Durham. Nestling on the banks of the River Wear, the new purpose-built hotel is the perfect choice for family travellers. Ideally located in the heart of the city, close to cultural attractions, shops, Durham Cathedral and the historic market place.