Days Out Attractions & Buildings
Crook Hall and Gardens
Durham, County Durham
A medieval hall with Jacobean drawing-room, turret and gallery, set in 4 acres of gardens including 2 walled gardens, a silver and white garden, an orchard, courtyard fountain, large moat pool and a maze. The hall is haunted by the White Lady. Ruskin and Wordsworth visited Crook Hall in the 1800s. Described as 'A tapestry of colourful blooms' by Alan Titchmarsh, Crook Hall is enchanting throughout the seasons. Light lunches and homemade cream teas are served in the Georgian dining room or in the pretty little courtyard. Wednesday-Sunday, 11-5pm adult: £6 child& conc: £4.00
Less museum and more theme park, Diggerland offers visitors the unique opportunity to ride in dumper trucks and – unsurprisingly – diggers ‘til their heart’s content. Amateur construction workers are also afforded the chance to take photos and learn about the metallic contraptions that they’re driving. On-site too is The Dig Inn, a restaurant to grab a bite in between bouts of digging and generally mucking around. Open: Summer 10am-5pm. Telephone for winter opening. Prices: Adult/over threes £15/ OAPs £7.50; carers and Under-3s free.
Dilston Physic Garden
Open: April-October, Weds and Sat only. Adult £4, Conc. £3, under 16s fre Inspiring medicinal herbal plants garden.
This shop sells an array of unique gifts for all ages, including toys for children, souvenirs from the museum and local history items.
One of the finest stretches of coastline in the country with a nature reserve, lake, water sports, cafe, visitors’ centre, kids’ play area, woods and meadows. The bay spans a huge area from the old village of Hauxley in the north to Cresswell in the south. The Country Park is a big favourite with wildlife enthusiasts and the views are simply stunning - take a flask, lie back and enjoy.
Druridge Bay Country Park
Open all year. Toilets and information open 9.30am-4.30pm. Café, shop and display rooms open April – Sept, weekends, bank holidays and school holidays 11am – 4pm. Closed to vehicles at night.
Craster - near Alnwick, Northumberland
Open: April-Sept 10am-5pm daily. Oct 10am-4pm daily. Nov-Mar 10am–4pm weekends only. Adults £4.20, child £2.50, conc. £3.80, National Trust members free.
A Grade II listed structure, which consists of 1,700ft of braced timber. Built in 1890 to move coal from local pits on to the colliers berthed directly below on the River Tyne. Best seen from the Newcastle banks of the Tyne.
Open: 10am-5pm daily Durham Castle dates from 1072 and was the seat of the Prince Bishops of Durham until 1832. It is one of the largest Norman castles and Romanesque palaces to survive in England and as such is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Oh, and it’s also the oldest inhabited university accommodation in the world.
Open: Worship and prayer 7:30am-9:30am Mon-Sat, 7:45am-12:30pm Sun. Generally open Sept-Dec 9.30am-6pm Mon-Sat. 9am-5pm Sunday. Free, although donations are welcomed. Rightly considered to be one of the most important church buildings in Britain, the Cathedral is arguably the finest example of Norman architecture in the world and houses the tombs of St. Cuthbert and Bede.
Durham World Heritage Site Visitor Centre
Provides an overview of what a World Heritage Site is, what makes Durham important enough to be a World Heritage Site, and what there is to see and do. Features displays and interactives for adults and children. Also hosts temporary exhibitions and cultural events. A good place for information about events in Durham, and to book tours.
Free entry. The riverside ruins, principally the solar tower, of a manor house progressively fortified against the Scots during the 14th century.
Eggleston Hall Gardens
Four acres of garden are contained within a high wall which formed the original kitchen gardens of Eggleston Hall. There has been a house on the site for almost 400 years, as well as diaries that record crops still grown today, the ruins of an old parish church, victorian greenhouses, and nursuries where visitors can buy many of the species seen at the gardens.