Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham

Durham: a perfect little city

No wonder the American author Bill Bryson called Durham “a perfect little city”. It’s a charming destination filled with historical wonders. Enjoy 18th century architecture while walking along winding, cobbled streets. Stop to chat to friendly locals, or sample some cake in an old-fashioned tea room. Durham is truly an idyllic English city, with streets that are almost frozen in time.

In terms of attractions, one of the first things you should book in is a trip to the Peninsula, also known as the Bailey. This is a historic area in the city centre. It’s where you’ll discover the amazing Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site, which is known to be one of the most beautiful historic and cultural destinations in the UK.

Durham University

If you love fairy tale-like buildings, be sure to visit Durham University. After Oxford and Cambridge, this venerable school is the third oldest university in the country. It was founded in 1932, and has a unique estate, which includes 63 listed buildings. Examples are the 11th century castle and art deco chapel from the 1930s.

Part of the campus is also listed as a UNESCO world heritage site. The university owns and manages the city’s World Heritage Site together with Durham Cathedral. This also includes Durham Castle, Palace Green and the surrounding buildings.

Cosy cafes and busy bars

Despite all this rich history, the city is also buzzing with a vibrant contemporary culture. Don’t miss the cosy cafés, theatres, bars, restaurants and galleries. Durham also has plenty of small speciality shops. Find everything from quilt and patchwork shops to fair trade stores and homeware boutiques.