Durham is home to some of the country’s most historic castles, iconic abbeys and landmarks. Take a step back in time with this tailor-made itinerary, discovering the dramatic castles and cascading landscapes across the county.
There’s nowhere better to understand medieval history than the magnificent Raby Castle. Unearth history in this ‘living’ attraction, which has been home to Lord Barnard and his ancestral family since 1626. Don’t miss the newly refurbished tea rooms, kitchen gardens and deer park, which provide a stunning backdrop for a leisurely scenic walk.
Feel the force at High Force Waterfall and explore the dramatic landscapes which have shaped the Durham Dales over bygone eras and still remain just as impressive today. For calmer waters and a spot of serenity, head to Derwent Reservoir in the North Pennines AONB, where you can indulge in a spot of trout fishing or sailing across the beautiful shore. Pack a picnic and discover the vast wildlife walks which border the reservoir.
Next, marvel at a castle which is the beating heart of Bishop Auckland – the stunning Auckland Castle. With the castle set to re-open its doors in 2019, the grounds of Auckland Park have now opened their gates for guests to explore the bridges, ponds and deer house which date back over 800 years. Whilst in the historic market town of Bishop Auckland, check out Kynren: An Epic Tale of England, with live performances enchanting visitors from across the country from June - September.
Looking to dine like a King and Queen after all of that exploring? Retreat to the 600 year-old Lumley Castle in Chester-le-Street and enjoy a delicious feast in the Elizabethan-inspired Black Knight restaurant.
Stay: Headlam Hall Country House Hotel & Spa - This idyllic country house hotel stands in immaculate walled gardens and is surrounded by its own rolling farmland in picturesque Teesdale. Dating back to the mid-17th century, the Hall has a relaxed feel to it with a blend of stunning period features and subtle interior design in the 38 bedrooms to reflect the rural heritage of the property.