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Pocket Guide: Durham

County Durham is an attractive rural county that is noted for its dramatic North Sea coastline and medieval market centres. From budget friendly bed and breakfasts to top-of-the-range country hotels, the county has a wide variety of accommodation to suit different tastes.

Explore Medieval Durham

Durham is renowned for its well-preserved Norman castle and cathedral, which comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site and offer wonderful views of the city and the Wear valley. The cathedral is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Britain, and the castle was for many centuries a powerful stronghold of the Prince-Bishops of Durham, who played an important role in defending northern England from foreign invaders.

From luxury hotels to affordable accommodation, Durham has a good range of hotels catering to different budgets.

The Durham Heritage Coast

This magnificent rocky coastline between Hartlepool and Sunderland includes some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in Britain, with photogenic Magnesian Limestone Cliffs complemented by pristine sandy beaches. For quick and easy access to the coast, you can book a hotel near Hartlepool or Peterlee.

Visit the Historic Port of Hartlepool: From Shipping Hub to Shopping Hub

Hartlepool has been a maritime centre for more than 1,000 years, developing from a small monastic centre into a bustling ship-building centre by the 19th century. Today, it is a revitalised shopping destination, with a fantastic marina and an impressive museum featuring a fine art collection and other exhibits illustrating the town's growth into one of Britain's largest ship-building centres. Hartlepool also has several affordable and deluxe hotels, some of which are on the seafront and include romantic sea-view rooms.

Come To The Bowes Museum

In the picturesque medieval market town of Barnard Castle, the Bowes Museum is housed in a magnificent French-themed building that dates back to the late-19th century and emulates a château. See its vivid national and international portraits ranging from medieval European artworks to elaborate sculptures and ceramics. Have a wander through the attractive grounds, enjoy a coffee at the pleasant café, and visit the souvenir shop where you can browse a wonderful selection of art history books and other gifts.

Take the Family to the Beamish Adventure Park

With exciting zip wires, ropes courses and other adventure trails, the Beamish Adventure Park offers an unforgettable experience for families. Surrounding by scenic woodlands, just a short drive south of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, this attraction is suitable for children aged 10 or above and offers two hours of endless fun. The park is within easy reach of plenty of family-friendly hotels and bed and breakfasts near Durham via the A1(M).

Durham Hotels With WiFi

Virtually all accommodation establishments in County Durham provide WiFi access, and this service is often available in all rooms and public areas. If you are visiting the area on business, you can choose a hotel with conference facilities and a fully equipped business centre with printing, faxing and photocopying facilities. Some hotel rooms also have tea and coffee-making facilities and private bathrooms with free toiletries for your convenience.