All you need to know about Durham

City Facts - Durham

Durham is a city and county town in North East England. It overlooks the River Wear, and is located close to Sunderland, Darlington and Newcastle upon Tyne. It has a population of over 48,000 and temperate climate characterised by lower than average rainfall.

The name ‘Durham’ is a combination of the Celtic word “dun”, meaning hill fort, and the Old Norse phrase “holme”, meaning island. There is evidence of settlement in Durham as early as 2000 BC. During Medieval times, the city became known for its spiritual associations, and provided the final resting place for two major Saints of the period.

Due to its location, Durham played a pivitotal role in the protection of England against the Scots. The Battle of Neville’s Cross is just one example of conflict fought on its soil.

By the 19th century, Durham was known for its carpet-making and weaving. The city was also involved in coal extraction and the manufacturing of mustard. Durham University was built during this period, with Durham Castle serving as the first college.

To this day, Durham remains a popular university city, with over 18,000 students, home to cobbled streets and a beautiful Romanesque Castle. Famous sites include Durham Cathedral, Crook Hall & Gardens, and the Marquess of Londonderry Statue. For great views, head to East Durham Coast or embark on a Durham Riverside Walk. And, if nature is your thing, visit Old Durham Gardens. Other attractions worth seeing are the Oriental Museum and the Museum of Archaeology.

The city is known for its good schools, many of which are top performing. It also has a rich history of sport, and plays host to football, rugby, cricket, rowing and archery clubs. Notable residents of the city include actor and comedian, Rowan Atkinson, and former British Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

The city offers train and bus links. It is served by Durham railway station, which connects to Edinburgh and London via the East Coast Main Line. All buses that run through Durham can be boarded at Durham Bus Station – which has a total of 11 stands. The close airport to Durham is Newcastle Airport, at roughly 26 miles away.

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