Behold the glorious architecture of Durham Cathedral, an 11th-century cathedral that holds the relics of two saints and is revered for its quintessential Norman design.
Settle in for a relaxing one hour drive south and inland through the green rolling countryside to Durham. This captivating city with winding cobbled streets frequently draws rave reviews for its cultural and historical attractions. None is more iconic than Durham Cathedral, arguably the finest example of Norman architecture in England.
Founded in 1093 to house the bodies of St. Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede, who had died centuries earlier, Durham was the third cathedral built on the site. It is so revered that it has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for the visual drama of its architecture. As you wander through the cathedral, be sure to notice details like the geometric designs on the nave’s carved pillars, the bishop’s throne, and the stone rib vaulting—the first in any cathedral in Europe. The stained-glass windows are mainly Victorian, but no less fantastic.
Then, it’s on to the beautiful cloisters and grassy Palace Green, where you may catch sight of the 11th-century Durham Castle, which William the Conqueror ordered to be built. Now largely used as a residence for University students, the immense building is one of the world’s largest Norman castles and one of the grandest Romanesque structures to survive in England.
Afterwards, you will enjoy approximately one hour of free time to explore the nearby streets clustered about the River Wear. The atmosphere is unmistakably medieval, as the area has changed little over the centuries.
Need to Know:
Note: This tour includes approximately 75-minutes of moderate walking plus any additional walking at the guests’ discretion during free time. There will be an uphill walk to the cathedral, some uneven floors, stairs and cobblestone surfaces to negotiate.
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Scenic & City Tours
Tours with this activity level involve a considerable amount of physical activity such as substantial walking over cobblestone streets, uneven or steep terrain, climbing stairs, or extended periods of standing. Not recommended for guests with physical limitations. Comfortable, sturdy shoes are recommended.
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