Durham Historic Sites

Historic Sites in Durham, England

Durham Historic Sites

Types of Attractions
Sights & Landmarks
Sights & Landmarks
Traveller rating
Good for
9 places sorted by traveller favourites
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.
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What travellers are saying

  • NorrisHatter
    Stockport209 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    As a medieval architecture anorak (200+ churches visited all over Europe) I get really annoyed by the horrendous fees charged by English cathedrals whilst places like Reims and Amiens are free. It denies access to the glories of our architectural heritage to the less well off. Not so at Durham. You can pay whatever you can afford (even if nothing). We were very happy to pay the suggested £5 each to visit one of mediaeval Europe’s most important buildings.

    The cathedral is full of interesting stuff and lots of friendly staff to educate you on all the different features. But for me, the anorak, I was only here for one thing, Which I implore you to notice (hard to miss actually). It's the rib vaults. Durham is generally considered to be the first full deployment of the technique. The rib vault solved the problem of vaulting in stone but building high and with plenty of light. The rib vault directs the weight of the roof down into the columns of the nave (and outwards and down again when flying buttresses are used). It was a turning point that allowed the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages (such as the two I've mentioned already) to be built and to still be standing today.

    So please visit this cathedral (it's a steep hill up but the 40 bus at £1 all day makes it easy). To get a full picture of English mediaeval church architecture add two more (you don't have to be an anorak like me and visit 200). They are both optional donations for entry too. Beverley Minster is the full guidebook to the three main phases of English gothic all in one building. Early English apse, decorated nave and perpendicular west end and towers.

    I say full guide but in fact it's missing one piece - the late gothic excesses of fan vaulting and the like. So add Peterborough, remarkably. I say remarkably as it's mainly a really good example of the Norman architecture that came before gothic (at least in England; France had a much wider variety of so-called Romanesque styles). But walk all the way to Peterborough’s east end and you will be amazed to find a chapel added much later with outstanding fan vaulting.

    Visit all three and amaze your friends with your encyclopaedic knowledge of English church architecture styles (choose your friends appropriately though!).
    Written 7 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jessica Helen G
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We were taken around by the lovely Sophie who did a fantastic job of pointing out all the really interesting little nooks, crannies and fascinations of the castle and explaining all the ways where history and modern usage comes together in this beautiful building
    Written 6 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Just T
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We loved it here. Staff were very knowledgeable and friendly. Gardens we're absolutely stunning and there was lots to do.
    Written 23 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • janet
    Derbyshire, UK13 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A lovely experience. Our daughter and son-in-law treated us to the Easter weekend away. It was lovely to explore the grounds and the museum. They have a well stocked secondhand book shop where we bought numerous books at reasonable prices.
    We were able to visit Beamish museum for a day as not too far to travel.
    We were met by Lesley the Duty manager who was very helpful and friendly. The staff serving in the breakfast room/ cafe were also all very pleasant and helpful.
    Would highly recommend.
    Written 4 April 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Janice S
    5 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Popped in to the town hall to make an enquiry the lady with the spanish accent was extremely friendly & helpful such a lovely person.
    Written 4 September 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Graham M
    Leeds, UK9 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    I've always been fascinated by the story and took the opportunity to see this statue on our visit into the city. It's smaller than I thought it'd be but good all the same
    Written 26 March 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • sheepygold
    london5,605 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a very impressive structure that dominates the skyline opposite the Cathedral and castle. The best views of Durham are arguably from a train crossing this viaduct.
    Written 20 October 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • sheepygold
    london5,605 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This bridge is several hundred years old and is quite picturesque. It is built on a slant as has shops at either end. The views are not as good as from other viewpoints in Durham.
    Written 22 July 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • daveandlynda311
    Morpeth, UK331 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    One of a number of bridges with information plaques to build up your knowledge of the history of the area.
    Written 5 March 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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