10 reasons why Durham has been named one of the best cities in Britain

by James Powell

10 reasons why Durham has been named one of the best cities in Britain

It is steeped in history and welcomes thousands of tourists every year.

Now Durham city has been named one of Britain's eight most beautiful cities by National Geographic.

Durham was described as a 'perfect little city' by writer Bill Bryson on the site, with the perfect spot for taking pictures found along the banks of the Wear.

With towering views of the Cathedral and castle, to the Elvet Bridge and Framwellgate Bridge, there are plenty of photographic opportunities.

Here are 10 reasons why Durham has been named one of the best cities.

Durham Cathedral

There's no doubt about it, the Cathedral looks stunning from all angles.

Dominating the skyline, it has no doubt been photographed from every viewpoint in the city.

And, just to make it even better for those who like to take a snap, a ban on photographs being taken of its interior has been lifted.

Visitors are now encouraged to get snap happy, capturing everything from the medieval architecture, to the intricate stained glass windows and St Cuthbert’s Tomb, which lies at the heart of Durham Cathedral.

Durham Castle

After visiting the Cathedral, you can pop to the castle which sits in the heart of Durham's World Heritage Site.

Occupied continuously since the 11th Century, the castle is currently home to the students of Durham University's University College.

Tours of the castle take place on a regular basis but you are best to check in advance in case it is closed for a function, such as a wedding.

Prebends Bridge

It is one of three stone-arch bridges in the centre of the city, along with Elvet Bridge and Framwellgate.

The Grade 1 listed bridge is part of Durham Cathedral's estate and can be found below the Watergate at the end of South Bailey.

It is the perfect spot for taking pictures along the River Wear.

Durham University Botanic Garden

Set in 25 acres of mature woodlands in the south of the city, the garden is full of exotic plants with collections ranging from Chile, China and Japan.

Visitors can explore the glasshouse tropical rainforest, desert plants and can also see tropical insects such as stick insects, scorpions, butterflies and tarantulas.

Durham Market Place

The Market Place has been in its current location since the medieval times.

Located in the heart of the city, there is plenty of architecture to admire and it provides the perfect thoroughfare to the hustle and bustle of the city's shopping area.

Durham Museum

Visitors can relive the story of Durham from the Medieval times to the 20th century.

Displays give an insight into the origins and development of the city, with objects illustrating social life and the lost trades and industries.

Leisure scene

From luxury fashion shops, to £15 million hotels, new restaurants and numerous bars - there are plenty of options.

Revolution, Players and the Butterfly Room have all opened their doors in the city, or if they don't take your fancy why not dine at the Marco Pierrie White Steakhouse Bar and Grill.

The development of the Riverwalk and Milburngate are both changing the face of the city centre, with both schemes investing millions of pounds in their projects.

Wharton Park

Reopening in 2016 after a £3m revamp, the 10-acre attraction has a heritage centre, cafe and play areas.

Overlooking the city, it has magnificent views of Durham Cathedral and is considered one of the city's hidden gems.

The park hosted the first ever Durham Miners' Gala in 1871.


Back in 2019, there will be an extra special programme of events to mark its 10-year anniversary.

The hugely popular light festival transforms the ancient streets and buildings every other year and attracts around 200,000 people to the city.

The first event in 2009 saw imaginative light installations created by a mixture of local, national and international artists, linking landmarks and little known areas of the city.

Durham Heritage Coastline

Technically outside of the city, but it has to be mentioned. The stunning scenery showcases the best of County Durham.

There are plenty of colourful and dramatic landscapes along Durham's Heritage Coast for people to enjoy, with beaches, cliffs and stunning wildlife.

Source: ChronicleLive.co.uk

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