Durham Cathedral
Durham Cathedral

Historical Durham Cathedral in the City of Durham.

Durham city has a wealth of culture and heritage to inspire you with. From the beauty of the Norman Durham Cathedral with its stunning position on the peninsula overlooking the River Wear to the castle which houses Durham University both of which are one of only two World Heritage sites in the north east of England. The other being Hadrian’s Wall which stretches from the east coast of England at Wallsend, to the west coast near Carlise.

Durham is also famous for the Durham Regatta. This has been held in Durham since 1834, when a few trophies were battled over for three days. Now, Durham Regatta last for two days but has many more trophies. The River Wear around Durham also hosts many pleasure rowing boats which are available for hire.

The Durham Chorister School has several famous ex students namely Tony Blair, former Prime Minister, Rowan Atkinson, actor, Sir Peter Vardy, businessman.

The great Radio Two presenter Jeremy Vine studied English at Durham University. Arnab Basu, CEO and entrepreneur also studied at Durham before leading Kromek, a spin-off from Durham University, to be at the forefront in digital colour 3D imaging. The fantastic Hawk-Eye system used in tennis, cricket and now Premier league football, was invented by Paul Hawkins who studied for a PhD in computer science at Durham University.

So we Durham folk consider ourselves to be in rather good company.


There is a host of Newcastle art galleries and museums in covering many aspects of taste. The Centre for Life has a wonderful Science Village which is well renowned for its research. The Discovery Museum displays life in Newcastle with its shipbuilding history and many world changing inventions. A Newcastle artist really does have lots of painting inspiration at his fingertips.

A real artist favourite is the Laing Art Gallery which has a plethora of paintings, watercolours, acrylic and oil paintings as well as decorative historical silverware. It also houses glassware and pottery by many local artist Newcastle based painters and crafts people.

Some famous art here are The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, by John Martin, and also many paintings by Turner and Cotman.

There is also The Biscuit Factory which opened its doors in 2001. It consists of two floors for working Newcastle artists and two floors of exhibition space for local artist exhibitions. It contains several contemporary artist exhibitions all year round with various media from paintings through to film and glass.

If you are an artist looking for inspiration: For lovers of music, film and theatre Newcastle has more theatres per person than anywhere in the UK, including Newcastle’s Theatre Royal and the Sunderland Empire providing world-class theatre to suit all tastes. Live Theatre produces work as varied and diverse as its’ audiences and Northern Stage is a world-class for theatre making. The Metro Radio Arena and The Sage Gateshead attract big-name performers and underground acts alike with their versatile performance spaces, whilst film-buffs are more than catered for with Metrocentre’s state-of-the-art ODEON IMAX screens as well as Newcastle’s smaller independent cinemas such as the Tyneside Cinema.

Arts and Culture in the region Gateshead’s BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art with its rolling programme of exhibitions is the biggest gallery of its kind in the world – an organisation who captures Newcastle’s passion for culture which began, arguably, with Antony Gormley’s Angel of the North.

There’s also a wide range of smaller galleries across the area including the Hatton Gallery which has a fantastic collection of historical and contemporary art. Explore our History and Heritage In the heart of Newcastle City Centre the Castle Keep, one of the country’s finest examples of a Northern Keep, hints at the region’s thousands of years of heritage in contrast to the neo-classical architecture of Grainger Town, with Grey Street winning Academy of Urbanism’s Great Street Award 2010.

Attractions such as 2,000 year old Tynemouth Priory and Hadrian’s Wall confirm the region’s rich past and complement the offering of museums like the newly refurbished Great North Museum: Hancock. Miles of breathtaking coastline and beaches guarantee you’ll be impressed by our stunning coastline which, studded with some of the country’s best beaches, provides the perfect setting for a summer day at the seaside or a refreshing autumnal stroll. In 2010, all of Tynemouth’s beaches were awarded prestigious Blue Flag status alongside Sunderland’s Roker and Seaburn beaches and South Shields’ Sandhaven, guaranteeing the highest standards in safety and cleanliness.

A centre of shopping excellence Newcastle is well-known for its excellent shopping provided by Eldon Square, the UK’s largest city centre shopping complex, and the Metrocentre, Europe’s largest indoor shopping and leisure complex. Paired with the range of boutiques around Market Street, High Bridge and Hood Street and scattered throughout fashionable suburbs like Jesmond, as well as the quaint and quirky markets of Tynemouth and the Armstrong Bridge market is a shopaholic’s dream!

A wide variety of dining and diverse tastes Our brilliant nightlife is a point we needn’t labour, and you won’t be short of surprising places to eat, drink and be merry during the daytime too – whether it’s dining out, calling into a cosy bar or being spotted in a cutting-edge club, Newcastle and its surroundings provide a feast of choice.

For something a little different why not try Blackfriars restaurant which, housed in a historic friary in Newcastle City Centre, is the country’s oldest dining-room, or Cafe 21, one of four restaurants owned by the well-known North Eastern chef Terry Laybourne.

For those of a sporty and active nature Regularly hosting the best in international athletics talent at Gateshead International Stadium, plus climbing walls, the UK’s largest water park, a dry ski slope, surfing school and much more, it’s not just football we’re passionate about… although if you fancy a kick around or want to watch a match in one of our two impressive stadiums, Newcastle United’s St James’ Park and Sunderland’s Stadium of Light, we promise we won’t say no.

Newcastle and its surroundings are packed full of accommodation options to suit all tastes and budgets. There’s a huge choice in the town and city centres and the surrounding areas with everything from hidden rural gems and boutique hotels to large-scale luxury with all the trimmings.

Whether you’re looking for all-inclusive indulgence, a traditional Bed and Breakfast or a home from home – it’s all here. Visit our accommodation section to browse and book online. The place for world-class events Newcastle hosts all sorts of exciting events throughout the year. EAT! Newcastle is a food festival with a difference. Quirky, imaginative and of course delicious, EAT! proves that food festivals aren’t exclusively for connoisseurs.

Sunderland International Airshow, the biggest free event of its kind in Europe, never fails to amaze kids and grown-ups alike with jaw-dropping flying displays from the Red Arrows, as internationally acclaimed acts perform in the open sea air. Enchanted Parks sees Gateshead’s beautiful Saltwell Park transformed into an intriguing winter wonderland whilst Juice, Newcastle’s award-winning festival for children and young people, hosts all sorts of wild and wonderful events for babies, children and teenagers… and it keeps the parents entertained too! And don’t forget the Great North Run, the largest half marathon in the world which in 2010 celebrated its 30th year.

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