Durham Oriental Museum

With 30,000 items on show, Durham’s OrientalMuseum is a treasure trove of ancient artefacts. But don’t let the name fool you - as well as exhibitions showcasing artwork from China, Japan and Korea visitors can see items from the likes of Egypt, the Middle East and India.

Lectures, child-friendly tours and workshops help to bring the exhibits to life. With the doors open seven days a week this is a good place to seek solace and inspiration when the sun isn’t shining.

Image credit: © Jamie Pham / Alamy

Bistro 21 

Durham’s cup is over-flowing when it comes to cafes, bars and restaurants. One of the top attractions is Terry Laybourne’s Bistro 21, which is regarded as one of finest places to grab a bite to eat in the city. Laybourne is a north east celebrity and an award-winning chef with a handful of establishments famed for serving outstanding food in unpretentious surroundings. Bistro 21 continues the trend with express lunches, veggie options and hearty grub dished up in a beautiful, rustic building near Durham city centre.

Image credit: © liv friis-larsen / Alamy

Durham Light Infantry Museum

A firm local favourite, this museum celebrates the bravery of the soldiers who have served Durham’s famous regiment. War stories are told here in art and items, with some of the most powerful testimony gathered in the world’s largest collection of audio recordings recounting British activity in World War II.

Covering everything from the origins of the regiment to the latest deployments to the Middle East, this is a moving and fascinating thing to do in Durham for visitors.

Durham walks

Trains to Durham drop you off right in the middle of a stunning city and once you leave the carriage you needn’t set foot on transport again. Almost everything is in walking distance, and there are many routes worth taking just for the joy the views.

Navigate around the city’s peninsula from old ElvetBridge to modern MilburngateBridge for a pleasant riverside stroll. Or stalk the shadows of Durham’s historic buildings with a saunter down North Bailey near the cathedral.

Image credit: © PAUL MARSHALL / Alamy

Old Cinema Laundrette

This one will leave you in a bit of a spin. The working Old Cinema Laundrette will get your whites whiter than white, but it’s the quirky retro stylings and coffee shop that make it a top attraction for locals. Located in the old Rex cinema, this unique venue also doubles as a stage when visiting bands wash up to play. Tickets are available from the laundrette’s website.

 

The Old Fulling Mill Museum of Archaeology

Once a key part of Durham's cloth-making industry, The Old Fulling Mill is now home to Durham University's Museum of Archaeology. The collections on display provide a fascinating insight into the rich heritage of the North East of England, as well as showcasing items from across Europe. Highlights include outstanding Roman collections together with Anglo-Saxon, Medieval and Tudor finds from Durham City and the local area.

In addition to the permanent displays, The Old Fulling Mill hosts regularly changing, temporary exhibitions and a lively program of family activities at weekends and during school holidays.

Durham Heritage Centre and Museum

A local history museum housed in a historic church close to the cathedral. The exhibition tells the story of Durham from the 10th Century to the present day using displays, artefacts, models and videos. The museum also has a program of regularly changing temporary exhibitions and an education service providing special activities for school visits. Brass rubbing is also available and there is a gift shop with refreshments.

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