Home to the iconic Durham Cathedral and Castle World Heritage Site, Durham celebrates its past and the people who played their part weaving a rich tapestry of heritage that’s waiting to be discovered. Set within surrounding countryside of moors, hills, valleys and meandering rivers that have since been declared an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
Day 1 Travel to County Durham and the Redworth Hotel**** where we stay five nights.
Day 2 Built in stages during the 19th Century, the Wensleydale Railway continues to wend its way over 18 miles of Yorkshire Dales countryside, from Leeming Bar to Redmire, whilst passengers relax in authentic period carriages and let the steam train take the strain.
This is how life used to be for dale dwellers travelling between villages and much of the surrounding scenery remains unchanged from the original railway heyday.
Over at Raby Castle, however, changing times are more easily marked at one of the best-preserved castles in north east England.
Spanning Medieval, Victorian, Georgian and Regency periods, the wonderful rooms and walled gardens capture the essence of life through the ages from over 600 years of history.
Day 3 The Living Museum of the North is todays destination on a journey that visits Beamish Open Air Museum to learn about Northern ways and bygone days. No recreation of local history would be complete without a colliery, animated by characters that once earned a living through the coal trade.
Pit Village would have housed the families the miners supported, whilst the railway station would have relied on the black gold to power its engines across the countryside, hauling passengers and cargo to industries that once peppered this part of Britain.
Pockerley Old Hall gives a glimpse of how the other half lived and for those who prefer to get down and dirty with the outdoor life, the 1940s farm offers a view of what living was like on the rural front in the north east and how farming saved the nation from starvation during the war.
Day 4 Comprising Durham Cathedral, Castle, and the buildings in-between, Durham World Heritage Site was amongst the first declared by UNESCO in 1986 in recognition of its outstanding universal value.
The former home of the Prince Bishops, Durham Castle still dominates the city from its setting on a peninsular formed by the meanderings of the River Wear.
The cathedral contains the shrines of St Cuthbert,an instrumental figure in spreading Christianity throughout this part of the country and the Venerable Bede, whose scholarship informs the earliest works of English history.
A boat cruise on the Wear combines sightseeing and waterside relaxation to end a perfect day of discovery in delightful Durham.
Day 5 A day of scenic driving over the Durham Dales and North Pennines, taking in the pretty stone villages of Blanchland and Hexham. Heather-clad moorlands, dramatic dales, rushing streams, and upland meadows are just some of todays sights that youre likely to see.
Day 6 Return home
Ride on the Wensleydale Railway.
Entrance to Raby Castle.
Entrance to Beamish Open Air Museum.
Cruise on the River Wear.
Excursions as detailed.
5 nights hotel stay on half board
This 17th Century country house is set in beautiful grounds and retains many features from its Jacobean origins, including the Great Hall. Guest rooms are comfortable and tastefully furnished, and access to excellent leisure facilities are included.
The hotel has a lift.
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