Holiday cottages in County Durham

Durham Cathedral, County Durham
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County Durham lies in the north of England close to the border of Scotland. Once dominated by the coal industry, County Durham is still industrialised by the sea. Inland, the county is situated in the Pennines, a sparsely populated area consisting of moors and dales. Here you will discover pretty market towns and villages of the Durham Dales, the peace and tranquillity of the Durham Coast or simply get outdoors and active with the many walking and cycling routes in the area and at the end of the day you will be spoilt for choice with award-winning eateries and local produce.
 The city of Durham with its winding cobbled streets and dramatic Cathedral and Castle World Heritage site, has one of the most stunning city panoramas in Europe and is now home to Open Treasure, the Cathedral's world-class exhibition experience. Take a riverside walk or river cruise, soak up the atmosphere with boutique shops, galleries and museums or simply watch the world go by in one of the city's cafes or restaurants. By night there are numerous restaurants, bars, cinema and entertainment galore and not to be missed the city's prime entertainment venue The Gala Theatre.

Situated on the eastern bank of the River Derwent on the edge of the Pennines lies the vibrant country town of Consett. Aside from Consett's rich industrial heritage, the town is set amongst spectacular countryside close to the head of the Derwent Reservoir, popular with walkers and cyclists and is particularly known for the Consett to Sunderland Railway Path, a designated cycle route using the old railway line. Carricks Picnic Area, a stretch of grass along the River Derwent is ideal for picnickers or Allensford Country Park, another riverside park offers a shop, playground and wonderful views over the valley. For those who love culture visit Consett's Glass and Art Gallery or The Empire Theatre, one of County Durham's most historic theatre complexes.

To the east of Contest lies the picturesque market town of Stanhope at the heart of the Durham Dales and is a hub for outdoor activities. The town is a haven for those seeking rest and relaxation set in beautiful surroundings. The peaceful waters of the River Wear provide an idyllic backdrop for those who enjoy the outdoors with the ford at Stanhope, a popular location where walkers can cross the river by giant stepping stones. Fishing is available in the area and Stanhope has an excellent outdoor heated pool situated in the lovely Castle Park. There is also an array of pubs, eateries, shops and museums detailing the history and heritage of the area.

Barnard Castle is a historic market town which takes its name from the castle around which it grew. The castle looks down to the River Tees below which is popular with anglers, canoeists and those who enjoy riverside walks. A haven for shoppers and treasure seekers, the town offers many attractive antique shops, designer clothes shops, second hand book shops, local crafts and gift shops. The Witham Arts Centre offers an events programme of music, theatre, film and comedy is at the heart of the town's wide range of cultural events.
For food lovers there are plenty of restaurants, cafes and pubs serving good quality locally produced food. Visit the Bowes Museum, an impressive French-style château, surrounded by beautiful gardens and parkland. Eggleston Hall Gardens, known as the Secret Garden of the North is also worth a visit consisting of 4.5 acres of winding paths and walls, planted borders, a pretty stream and a 16th Century churchyard. Barnard Castle is an ideal place to explore the beauty of the surrounding countryside of Teesdale, Weardale and the Durham Dales.

Known as the gateway to Weardale, Bishop Auckland is a bustling market town in the Vale of Durham, situated high above the River Wear with commanding views of the surrounding countryside. Auckland Castle, surrounded by 800 acres of deer park, is a great place for a summer picnic or a gentle stroll through the vividly coloured park. The castle itself offers a new Museum extension, a stunning new glasshouse and restaurant. The town offers plenty of arts and culture, over two hundred shops to visit and plenty of places to eat and drink and wind down.

A visit to County Durham would not be complete without a visit to Beamish Museum, a living, working museum, set in 300 acres of beautiful countryside. Costumed demonstrators bring to life the Edwardian Town, Pit Village and original drift mine. Experience first-hand how the Industrial Revolution transformed agricultural life in the region. The buildings are not replicas but brought brick by brick from around the region and rebuilt to give visitors a real sense of history. Throughout the year Beamish hosts an exciting programme of events from a Georgian Fair to the Great North Steam Fair, spooky Halloween events and a whole season of Christmas. Round off your visit to the Beamish Museum with a mouth-watering afternoon tea served in period style.

Visit this beautiful, friendly county and take home some amazing memories!