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County Durham, which stretches from the land above the Yorkshire Dales to the coast at Hartlepool, is a county of varied sights and attractions. Whether you enjoy days on the beach or visits to exciting attractions such as the Durham’s castle and cathedral, the Beamish Museum and the Bowes Museum in Barnard Castle, you’re sure to have an action-packed itinerary for your short break or holiday.

  • County Durham
  • County Durham
  • Weir in County Durham
County Durham County Durham Weir in County Durham
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  • County Durham is great for History History
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Your guide to County Durham

County Durham at a glance:
  • A county with a rich history and beautiful rural spaces.
  • Attractions include castles and the educational and immersive Beamish Museum.
  • Ideal for day trips to the Yorkshire Dales.
  • Long stretches of coastline, including popular beach resorts.
  • Walk amongst the North Pennines in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.

Rich in history and in natural beauty, the primarily rural County Durham is a wonderfully peaceful choice for holidays and short breaks. The Yorkshire Dales, the North Pennines and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty are all within easy reach, and when you wake each morning you’ll be able to look out from the window of your hotel room to a sunrise over mile after mile of stunning open countryside.

The County Durham landscape is one that looks spectacular in all seasons, whether the fields are coated with a blanket of snow or are decorated with wildflowers through the spring months. The same dramatic settings that you’ll explore on your holiday have played host to some of the UK’s most important battles through history, with the region’s castles and historic houses as lasting evidence of the county’s turbulent past.

Visit famous landmarks like Hadrian’s Wall and the Angel of the North, or take a drive to the coast for a day on the sand. You might also want to set aside a day to spend at the Beamish open-air museum, bringing County Durham’s history to life with character actors, scenes that include a Pit Village and a 1940s farm, and a town complete with vintage buses and trams. Buy treats at the old sweet shop, watch a printing press at work and learn what it was like to work in the coal mines.

A visit to County Durham is certainly a memorable and educational experience, made better by attractions such as the spectacular Bowes Museum, set in a grand and elegant French chateau home to wonderful collections of art. Other County Durham attractions include Durham Cathedral and Castle, the HMS Trincomalee and the beautiful Hardwick Hall Country Park.

Treat your county Durham holiday as a chance to refresh the mind and rejuvenate the body, with long walks through rural surroundings and with chances to learn about Durham’s incredibly diverse history. See High Force – one of the highest waterfalls in the UK – and visit towns such as Chester-le-Street and Barnard Castle where you can put your credit card through its paces. Wherever you spend your time and however many miles you cover, you can always return to your County Durham hotel for a relaxing drink and a wonderfully comfortable sleep.

What's nearby?
Local attractions
  • Hadrian's Wall
    Hadrian's Wall
  • Durham Town Hall
    Durham Town Hall
  • World Heritage Site Visitor Centre
    World Heritage Site Visitor Centre
  • Beamish Museum
    Beamish Museum

Explore County Durham

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Hotels in this region
  • Bay Eden Arms Hotel
    Bay Eden Arms Hotel

    Explore Durham from a convenient base

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