Happy World Heritage Day!
Our favourite Durham landmarks
There’s never been a more perfect time to reflect upon our region’s rich history - and believe us, there’s plenty of it. Whether you’re planning a stay in Durham and want to make sure you see all of the sights, or you’ve just never stopped to truly appreciate your hometown, read on to discover Durham’s must-see landmarks.
Out of all of the city’s incredible landmarks, this is probably the one you’re most familiar with. Durham Cathedral is truly at the heart of the Durham World Heritage site. Built in 1093 to house the shrine of St Cuthbert, the cathedral has been a place of pilgrimage for over 1000 years, and is the final resting place of Venerable Bede - the famous monk and one of the greatest scholars of the Anglo-Saxon period. Not only is Durham Cathedral steeped in fascinating history, its spectacular, Romanesque architecture alone makes it worth a visit - you’ll definitely want to snap a few shots for Instagram! Located in the heart of Durham City, a visit to the cathedral is a must on any Durham day out, being just a short walk from a variety of cute cafes, quirky shops and delicious restaurants.
Fancy feeling like royalty for the day? Durham Castle is a must-see when you’re in the area.
Continuously occupied since the 11th century, the castle is now a part of the prestigious Durham University campus. Experience over 1000 years of history with guided tours, discover how it functions today, and take part in some good old-fashioned family fun thanks to a range of events and activities on offer throughout the year. Concerts, plays, talks, you name it - Durham Castle has it all.
Things to see in Durham
A living, breathing museum, Beamish gives visitors the chance to quite literally step back in time. With exhibits dating back to the 1920s through to the 1950s, explore the North East through the decades, interact with the “locals” and take part in an interactive learning experience. With a tea room, fish and chip shop, traditional pub and the ever popular old-fashioned sweet shop offering a rainbow of treats in every flavour you can think of, Beamish is the perfect place to try some traditional British grub. Don’t forget to stop by the gift shop on the way out for old-school toys and stationery - a lovely keepsake to remember a family day out.
Durham World Heritage Coast
Located a stone’s throw away from our stunning hotel, the majestic Durham World Heritage Coast runs from Sunderland to Hartlepool, and is the perfect pastime for nature lovers. Follow the coastal path and enjoy gorgeous views across the North Sea, look out for wildlife and soak up the natural surroundings. Magnesian Limestone cliffs, shallow bays and magnificent beaches all await when you take a stroll along the Durham coast.
We always recommend a coastal walk to our guests - there’s no better way to start the day, blow away the cobwebs and make the most of a seaside escape. For more adventurous walkers, the 11 mile route from Seaham to Crimdon is highly recommended, following the England Coast Path National Trail, where you’ll find wildflowers, deer, birds and a range of marine life.
Created by local sculptor Ray Lonsdale, the Tommy statue has become somewhat iconic in County Durham, with many residents still flocking to see it and snap photos seven years after it was installed on the Seaham coast. Standing at nine feet and five inches tall with a rusty red finish, you can’t miss the statue, which depicts a First World War soldier. The perfect memorial, the famous Tommy statue provides a place to reflect on the region’s history, and see some of its finest art at the same time. Located on the Terrace Green, close to the seafront, there’s an array of cafes, shops and restaurants nearby, as well as ice cream parlours and water sport facilities within walking distance - be sure to say hello to Tommy when you’re out and about.
Of course, we couldn’t mention Durham’s local landmarks without mentioning our beautiful Georgian house hotel. First built in the 1790s, it’s safe to say the building has enjoyed an intriguing past. From wealthy heiresses to world-famous poets, many colourful characters have graced the corridors of our luxury boutique hotel. Lord Byron famously married Anne Isabella Milbanke here when it was home to his fiancé, making it a must-see for poetry and history fans alike. With Durham World Heritage site on our doorstep, there’s no better place to stay this World Heritage Day.
Fancy taking a trip down memory lane? Book a stay at Seaham Hall and take in all of the heritage and history Durham has to offer.