Durham City is one of the jewels in the crown of the North East of England. This interesting city bustles with life and is packed with history, and it’s not too big and busy to discover in a day.

The most breath-taking sight in Durham is the UNESCO World Heritage site of Durham Cathedral and Castle. Whether it be in winter or summer, this magnificent structure will be sure to impress, both outside and in.

Whilst there is plenty to explore, see and do in the city centre, there’s also lots to discover across the whole of the county. From Beamish museum to High Force waterfall, and the pretty villages of Lanchester, Middleton in Teesdale, Barnard Castle or further north to Hadrian’s Wall, your bucket list will be full.

Where to eat in Durham City


An excellent, contemporary Thai restaurant with a fully grown cherry blossom tree indoors. The restaurant is sultry and inviting, with a great range of cocktails and intimate curved booths for groups.

Tel: 0191 3849588
Click HERE to visit their Website

The Cellar Door

A lovely restaurant accessed from Saddler Street by going down into the ‘cellar’, this interesting venue opens out to lovely views of the riverbank and surprisingly bright and airy inside. Serving an excellent standard of food all year around, this is a nice setting for a romantic meal or one to enjoy on the terrace outside in the warmer months.

Tel: 0191 3831856
Click HERE to visit their Facebook page

The Rabbit Hole

Part orient grill and part speakeasy, his interesting restaurant is like a time warp, hidden behind Durham’s first dim sum parlour, it resides in the shadow of the Cathedral only a few minutes walk from the cobbles. Cuisine is Asian and inspired by 1920’s Shanghai supper clubs. Booking essential, experience excellent.

Tel: 0191 3865556
Click HERE to visit their website.

Flat White Kitchen

Located as you walk up Saddler Street towards Durham Cathedral, this modern bistro is a go-to brunch spot in the city and serves excellent coffee and cakes.

Tel: 0191 3840725
Click HERE to visit their website

Rib and Reef

A fantastic steak and seafood restaurant based in the heart of Durham. Contemporary cuisine that matches the decor.

Tel: 0191 2508465
Click HERE to visit their website

Turkish Kitchen

An exceptionally good, authentic restaurant serving delicious traditional Turkish cuisine. Highly recommended with a great atmosphere.

Tel: 0191 3727001
Click HERE to visit their website


A quaint tearoom in the heart of Durham, this pretty little place is always full so you must make sure you book in advance. The cakes and scones are baked fresh by the Tealicious team and they’re most well-known for their brunch and afternoon tea.

Tel: 0191 3401393
Click HERE to visit their website

La Spaghettata

An infamously good Italian restaurant on Saddler street upstairs. This traditional Italian restaurant focuses on excellent food, quick service and a lively and homely atmosphere. You can’t book, you just need to turn up, but people will queue for this place because the food is brilliant and it’s very reasonably priced.

Tel: 0191 3839290
Click HERE to visit their website.

Nadon Thai

An excellent Thai restaurant serving authentic cuisine in a nice atmosphere. Booking recommended.

Tel: 0191 3741157
Click HERE to visit their website.

Where to eat in the Durham area

Ravellos, Lanchester

An excellent Italian restaurant with a great reputation. Located in the heart of Lanchester, they have a nice area out the front that you can sit out in on a warm day.

Tel: 01207 528825
Click HERE to visit their website

Yannis Greek Restaurant, Lanchester

This superb authentic Greek restaurant is in the heart of Lanchester and does a takeaway service as well as a quaint restaurant. Yannis is definitely worth a visit, and their reviews on Trip Advisor prove just that!

Tel: 01207 438161
Click HERE to visit their website.

Crinnions, Lanchester

A homely restaurant/pub with an excellent terraced beer garden. Worth a visit!

Tel: 01207 520376
Click HERE to visit their Facebook page

Knitsley Farm Shop and Granary Cafe, near Lanchester

This award winning farm shop is only a picturesque 15 minute stroll away from Number Nine, our beautiful holiday cottage just outside of Lanchester. Here you will find a superb cafe along with a butchery, bakery, shop and deli. This comes highly recommended for both the licenced cafe as well as for the produce to take home. Their outside seating area is lovely too.

Tel: 01207 592059
Click HERE to visit their website.

The Old Mill Country Restaurant and Bar, near Lanchester

Just outside of Lanchester is The Old Mill, with a spacious beer garden and a traditional feel, providing locally sourced food in a friendly atmosphere.

Tel: 01207 503388
Click HERE to visit their website

The Pavilion Cantonese Restaurant, near Lanchester

Located a few miles from Lanchester at Ivesley, The Pavilion is a long established popular Chinese restaurant with a cheaper lunchtime option.

Tel: 01207 503388
Click HERE to visit their website

Walks around Durham and the Area

From the rolling landscape in the north and west to the rich agricultural lands in the south, the Vale of Durham is a diverse destination with bustling towns, exciting activities and enthralling attractions. It’s a perfect location for walkers and cyclists with miles of breathtaking countryside, pathways and old railway lines to explore. From the Lanchester Valley Walk to the Waskerley Way walking and cycle path which follows the route of the old Stanhope and Tyne railway line there are lots of interesting routes to explore.

A walk across the Blanchland Moors offers a unique and stark scenic contrast, from the lush picturesque landscape around Blanchland to harsh rugged heather clad moorland giving you a real sense of isolation.

For information on walks in the area, visit the Visit Durham website by clicking HERE.

History of Durham


The name “Durham” comes from the Old English word for hill, “Dun” and the Norse for island, “holme”. The legend of the Dun Cow and the milkmaid also contributes to the naming of this county town and Dun Cow Lane is said to be one of the first streets in the original city.

The legend follows the journey of a group of Lindisfarne monks carrying the body of the Anglo-Saxon Saint Cuthbert in 995 AD.  It is told that while they were wandering in the north, Saint Cuthbert’s bier came to a halt on the hill at Warden Law and the monks could not move it any further, no matter how hard they tried. The Bishop of Chester-le-Street (where Saint Cuthbert had previously lain) called a three day holy fast and prayers for the Saint. Saint Bede recalled that during this time, Saint Cuthbert appeared before one of the monks, Eadmer, and told him that his coffin must be taken to “Dun Holm”. After this revelation, the coffin was able to be moved again but none of the monks had heard of Dun Holm or knew where to find it. But by chance, they met a milkmaid on Mount Joy, south east of the site of Durham, who was wandering, searching for her lost Dun Cow, which she had last seen at Dun Holm. Yes! Taking this as a sign from Saint Cuthbert, the monks followed the milkmaid who guided them to a “wooded hill-island formed by a tight gorge-like meander of the River Wear”, Dun Holm. When they arrived they built first a wooden and then a stone, structure of Durham Cathedral and around this the settlement grew. Dun Cow Lane follows from the East to the Cathedral in the current city.

Durham Cathedral


Not only is Durham an important religious site but also a defensive one. Situated high on a hill and protected by the river on three sides, Durham was important in defence against the Scots invading English lands. The Cathedral and Castle were built together by the community of Benedictine monks who wanted a monumental shrine for Saint Cuthbert and a place to live for the Bishop of Durham. The project of building the two structures was impressively ambitious, and the panoramic view of the Cathedral and Castle facing each other has been described as ‘one of the finest architectural experiences of Europe’. They are now united as a World Heritage Site.

Durham Cathedral is a stunning site to visit for all ages. The cathedral is nearly always open to the public and is still an active place of worship as well as an attraction. It has a lovely cafe, and interesting museum and gift shop, and you can even climb 325 steps up to the central tower and view the city of Durham from a very unique perspective!

Click HERE to visit the website for Durham Cathedral, where you’ll discover a host of information about the history of the cathedral and what to discover.

Local Events in and around Durham

More information coming soon!

Need a little help?

We know all of our cottages inside out, so if you have any particular queries, please don’t hesitate to call or email us. We’re more than happy to help!

Telephone: 01665 710 700 or click here to email us your enquiry.

Our cottages in and around Durham


Number Nine in Lanchester

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Sleeps: 4 No Dogs
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