Hotels in Durham

Durham hotels

Home to one of England's oldest and most reputed universities, Durham is a magnificent medieval cathedral city that has existed for more than 1,000 years and is now home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Besides the iconic cathedral, the city is also famed for its majestic castle, and is revered for its annual Durham Regatta, which has taken place since the 1830s.

The cathedral

Completed in 1093, Durham Cathedral was originally a monastery, and is one of the best-preserved former monastic sites in the country. In the English Civil War of the mid-17th century, the building was used as a prison for thousands of Scots, and was partly remodelled in the following centuries. In more recent years, however, refurbishment efforts have been centred on restoring the building in its traditional medieval style, like many of Durham's historic landmarks.

The castle

Although the current Durham Castle dates back to the Norman period, it is likely that a defence existed here in the Anglo-Saxon period. The building, which was designed in the motte and bailey style, was a bishop's palace for many years, and became the home of University College, Durham, in 1840. The castle and the cathedral were built in just four decades, which, for the Norman period, was particularly fast, and are probably best viewed from nearby Millburngate Bridge.

Other points of interest:

Visit the DLI Museum and Durham Art Gallery and learn about the history of the Durham Light Infantry over the last two centuries, or head to the Durham Museum and Heritage Centre to find out about the city's medieval origins.

If you're interested in discovering the ancient history of the local area, see The Wolfson Gallery: Living on the Hills, which exhibits archaeological artefacts from the last 10,000 years. The Oriental Museum, meanwhile, showcases many fascinating artworks and archaeological items from Asia, and is the only venue of its kind in Northern England.

Another popular, family friendly attraction is Adventure Valley, which has a crazy golf course, indoor and outdoor play areas, and several other play zones for the kids. A little further afield, you can also witness the striking ruins of Finchale Priory, a Grade I listed landmark that is more than 700 years old.

Dining suggestions

Treat yourself to some delightful local dishes at the Cross Keys Inn, or enjoy some excellent fine dining at the Restaurant DH1. The Bistro Fifty 3 and the Bella Mamma restaurants also provide other superb Italian-inspired recipes, while the Namastè restaurant is the place to be if you're a big fan of vibrant Indian cuisine.

Where to stay in Durham

For well-presented, affordable accommodation in the city, you can consider booking a room at the Premier Inn Durham City Centre or The Honest Lawyer Hotel. Other highly rated Durham hotels include the elegant Radisson Blue Hotel Durham, the value-for-money Premier Inn Durham East and Premier Inn Durham North, and the deluxe Ramside Hall Hotel & Golf Club.

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