5 short break activities in County Durham

So here is our top 5 things to this autumn in County Durham.

1 Durham Castle

Discover more about Durham Castle with a guided tour explaining both its 900 year old history and its functions today. The present castle began in 1872 as a defensive mound commissioned by William the Conqueror. Over the years the Castle has been a residence of the Bishops of Durham and in 1836 the Castle was handed over to the University and became University College.
Durham Castle along with the Cathedral, was awarded the status of a World Heritage Site in 1986. The Castle and Cathedral sit side by side encircled by the meandering River Wear.
Parking is severely restricted at the site, however the bus and train stations are a 15-20 minute walk away. For the less active there is a bus service that runs between the train and bus stations and the Cathedral, which is directly opposite the Castle, the fair is only 50p or free to Senior Citizens and covers travel all day of the purchase. The tours cost £5 for adults and £3.50 for concessions.

2 Durham Cathedral

The Durham Cathedral is a Norman building which was constructed between 1093 and 1133, it was founded as a monastic cathedral built to house the shrine of St Cuthbert. The Cathedral is regarded as the finest Norman building in Europe, and in 2011 The Guardian readers voted it as their favourite British Building.
There is no fee for visiting the Cathedral, however they do ask for a donation towards the running costs,

3 Beamish

Go back in time at Beamish – the world famous open air museum which is located within the County Durham countryside. The various areas of the museum tell the story of Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian living. It shows how life in the North East of England has changed over the past 100 years.
The things that makes Beamish different to other museums is that the objects on show are not behind a glass window, they will be in their original context. The staff are costumed and are acting out tasks that would happen in day to day life, this makes it a perfect museum for families with young children as there is a real hands on feel. So if you don’t fancy walking about the museum you can jump on board the vintage trams and buses.
The museum is open 7 days a week from 10am to 5pm and tickets cost £17.50 for adults and £10 for children (5-16 years). Each ticket is valid for 12 months after your first visit to the museum for an unlimited number of visits.
Why not make a weekend out of your visit, and stay at The Rose and Crown, which is just 30 miles away from the museum. Prices start at £99.00 per person per night.

4 High Force Waterfall

If you enjoy the great outdoors, then you must visit the High Force Waterfall, England’s highest uninterrupted drop of water that falls 70 feet into a plunge pool below.  Situated within the Forest in Teesdale, it can be seen during a woodland walk, which makes a perfect day out if you like to be outside and take in natures great sights. The walk is near the riverside on well maintained paths and can be continued along the river, depending on your time.
After a day walking in the fresh autumn winds, why not relax in the spa and at Headlam Hall and enjoy a great nights sleep in one of their luxurious bedrooms.

5 Castle Eden Dene

Castle Eden Dene is a National Nature Reserve with around 12 miles of walks through a wooded valley which is both owned and managed by Natural England. Parts of the reserve remain almost unaltered by man since the Ice Age. It is the largest area of semi-natural woodland in north-east England, renowned for yew trees. The tangled landscape is a survivor of the wildwood that once covered most of Britain. English Nature helps it stay as near natural as possible.
The Dene is open for 365 days a year and is rich with wild flowers and woodland birds. This makes it a fabulous location to explore for families and couples.
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