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How to spend 48 hours in Durham Tees Valley

By Kingfisher Visitor Guides

You will be surprised how much you can pack into 48 hours in Durham Tees Valley. Take some inspiration from our weekend guide.


Day one

Start the day in the beautiful city of Durham, home of the Prince Bishops. From Market Square, take a 10-minute stroll through the shop-lined cobbled streets to Palace Green. There you will find the breathtaking Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle. Visit Palace Green Library at this UNESCO World Heritage Site to marvel at the collections in the Oriental Museum and contemporary galleries.

Drop by the famous Market Hall and pick up a picnic before boarding the Prince-Bishop River Cruiser or stroll along the Riverside Walk as it meanders around the dramatic rocky peninsula. Durham University’s Botanic Garden offers fun for all the family, with special events most weekends.

Take in the architectural delight that is Durham Cathedral

Take in the architectural delight that is Durham Cathedral

A visit to the world-famous Beamish Museum will give you an action-packed, fun-filled trip into Durham’s past. Ride the trams, stroll through town and pop down a coal mine at this fantastic living museum. Thrillseekers can follow adventure trails and tackle the high ropes course at Beamish Wild Adventure Park.

Upper Teesdale is a delight for walkers with waterfalls galore. Cauldron Snout, England’s highest, and High Force, England’s biggest, will leave you open-mouthed, and wet if you stand too close. The Bowes Museum on the edge of historic market town Barnard Castle, is home to the world-famous clockwork Silver Swan. Raby Castle, with its walled gardens and deer park, is a delightful spot to while away the hours. Rail buffs will love Head of Steam at Darlington, packed with memorabilia and steam engines, while the National Railway Museum at Shildon has more than one million artefacts.

A visit to the world-famous Beamish Museum will give you an action-packed, fun-filled trip into Durham’s past

Day two

If sea, sand, surfing and ships are the order of the day, then Durham Tees Valley is just the place with its rugged coastline, seaside resorts and natural harbours. From Hartlepool to Saltburn, there is something for everyone. After a walk round the Headland, drive to The National Museum of the Royal Navy Hartlepool, a fabulous interactive museum, where you can re-live the times of Nelson and Napoleon.

Along the coast lies the Victorian resort of Seaton Carew, with miles of golden sands. South of Hartlepool, on the north bank of the Tees, is a bird-watcher’s paradise, RSPB Saltholme, with its state-of-the-art building overlooking the wetlands. And at Seal Sands you may spot Harbour and Grey seals basking on the mudflats.

Adrenaline junkies will love a trip to Air Trail in Stockton

Adrenaline junkies will love a trip to Air Trail in Stockton

Upstream you will find the Tees Barrage with its International White Water Course and £1 million Air Trail for adrenaline junkies. Preston Hall Museum is close by, beside tropical rainforest hothouse, Butterfly World, with its exotic inhabitants and meerkats. Go skating at Middlesbrough’s Albert Park, learn about Captain Cook at Stewart’s Park and pet the animals at Newham Grange Country Farm.

As you head off to the coast, look at the Cleveland Hills to see if you can spot Roseberry Topping. Climb it if you have the time – the views are fabulous. Surfers and fans of Victoriana will enjoy Saltburn. Wander the colourful Italian Gardens, travel to the shore on Britain’s oldest water-balanced Cliff Lift and stroll along the pier, watching the surfers. Finally, drop into The Ship Inn for a well-deserved bar meal.

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Image credits: ©Dave Cooil/Right Click Studios/Tees Active; Durham Bid; Mike/stock.adobe.com

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