At the heart of County Durham, the Binchester Roman Fort is one of Britain's best preserved Roman ruins. It's close to a good range of hotels in Bishop Auckland and nearby Durham and Darlington, and is open to the public from spring to autumn.
The History of the Binchester Roman Fort
The site is estimated to date back to the 1st Century AD, soon after the Roman Conquest of Britain began. When complete, it was one of the largest Roman settlements in northern Britain, and remained inhabited until the start of the Middle Ages. For years, it was an important military site, accommodating a cavalry unit that had travelled all the way from Iberia, and also included a large Roman bath with an under-floor heating system.
The under-floor heating system still survives, and visitors can also observe the remnants of buildings that were excavated from the late-19th century onwards.
Other Places to Visit near the Binchester Roman Fort
If you are interested in Saxon history, visit the nearby church of Escomb, which dates back to the 7th Century and was probably built with stone from the Roman fort. Learn about local railway history by taking the family to the National Railway Museum at Shildon, or explore iconic Auckland Castle, a grand Gothic-style landmark dating back to the 12th Century.
Hotels near Binchester Roman Fort also make a convenient base for day trips to Durham, a lively university city famed for its Norman castle and cathedral UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the delightful Durham University Botanic Garden, or visit the Durham University Oriental Museum for a fascinating insight into Asian history. You could also head a few miles outside of the city to Finchale Priory, another impressive ruined landmark that dates back to the 13th century and was once a monastery.
Romantic Hotels near Binchester Roman Fort
One of the most romantic hotels in the vicinity is the Durham Marriott Hotel Royal County, a splendid four-star venue just minutes from Durham Castle and the cathedral. It has chic, spacious rooms and an indoor pool, and is only 10 miles from the Binchester Roman Fort.