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Durham tourist information and travel guide

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Durham
The beautiful 1000 year-old city of Durham provides you with a perfect combination of city and countryside, located as it is, near gorgeous beaches, Hadrian’s Wall Country and the undulating Cheviot Hills. Should you select one of the vacation lets in the historic centre itself, you will enjoy gentile surroundings and laid-back atmosphere not often experienced during city breaks. In the summer months, the cobbled Market Place buzzes with vitality, street entertainment and prize-winning floral displays. The Farmers Market provides an opportunity to stock up on juicy local produce for some good home- cooking back at your holiday home. Many of the holiday homes in Durham can accommodate groups of 8 or more and there is a wide range of property accessible for disabled vistors. There are some beautiful oak-beamed cottages to let near the River Wear, where you can take a riverboat cruise or enjoy a picnic on the bank while watching the rowers from Durham University practice their technique.

Durham Cathedral
Whether you’re renting a vacation home in central Durham or based in rural cottage, you should see Durham Cathedral, the city’s most famous site and one of the best examples of cathedral building in the country. It is notable for its innovatory Gothic style - all pointed arches, corrugated vaults and soaring buttresses. It was erected swiftly beginning in 995 by Lindisfarne monks who had fled their island home when the Danish Vikings came calling. The interior has a cohesive style not often seen in the medieval period.

Crook Hall
A short stroll from many 5 star holiday homes in Durham’s bustling centre, is the 13th century Grade I listed Crook Hall, a highly unusual union of mediaeval, Jacobean and Georgian architecture on the edge of the glorious gardens. Refuel in the tearoom with the lovely terrace or enjoy the grand dining room with its Georgian fireplace.

North of England Open Air Museum
The area around Durham is rightly popular with families, and there are endless days out that children of all ages will love. If you are looking for a holiday cottage for a family, you will find many that are child-friendly and well equipped with cots, high chairs and small beds. Just 12 miles north of Durham is the Beamish Open Air Museum that nestles in over 300 acres of countryside. You can take an old tram around the authentic reconstruction of an Edwardian north-eastern market town, visit a hundred-year old colliery with pit cottages where you can learn how miners and their families lived, and buy your ticket in an Edwardian railway station. There is also an old home farm.

North Pennines
The dazzling landscape of the North Pennines contains plenty of self- catering cottages that ooze character – many with real log fires. Situated amongst beautiful meadowland, rivers, heather-strewn moors and peat bogs are cottages with real old world allure and spectacular views. Stay in a lodge in a secluded forest that is home to increasingly unseen wildlife. Four-fifths of England’s red squirrel population is found here as are endangered otters and species of rare alpine plants. Or you might want to be nearer village life. Rent a honey-stoned cottage in the village of Blanchland, with an Italian- inspired piazza that has appeared in many period dramas. Or stay in Allenheads, England’s highest village with a fascinating lead mining past that you can read about in the heritage centre. The North Pennines has been named an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) since 1988, and is also a UNESCO Global and European and Global Geopark that actively promotes environmentally aware tourism. There is an increasing range of eco-friendly cottages, equipped with solar panels and wind generators so you can keep your holiday green.

High Force Waterfall
The High Force Waterfall is a truly remarkable spectacle easily reached from your holiday cottage in County Durham. At little more than a whisper, the falls starts amongst the heights of the North Pennines. As you walk through the heather-capped peaks of Forest -in- Teesdale there is a barely audible trickle of a stream, the beginnings of the River Tees. When you snake along the meandering path with its ever-changing view, the water gets progressively louder, before it rises to a bellowing roar. It is a stirring sight – the river plummets the 20 metre drop over a precipice of igneous rock, the Whin Sill, into the dark basin below. The falls used to freeze into intricate ice formations but this is rare nowadays. If you’re lucky you’ll see the breathtaking sight of the force of the deluge forming a rainbow in the sunshine. The painter JMW Turner was inspired to draw High Force in 1816.

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