Top ChoiceCathedral in Durham

Durham Cathedral

Monumental Durham Cathedral is the definitive structure of the Anglo-Norman Romanesque style, a resplendent monument to the country’s ecclesiastical history and, since 1986, a Unesco World Heritage Site. Beyond...

Top ChoiceHistoric Site in Haltwhistle & Around

Housesteads Roman Fort & Museum

The most dramatic site of Hadrian's Wall – and the best-preserved Roman fort in the whole country – is at Housesteads, 4 miles north of Bardon Mill on the B6318, and 6.5 miles northeast of Haltwhistle. From here,...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Barnard Castle

Bowes Museum

A monumental chateau half a mile east of the centre contains the lavishly furnished Bowes Museum. Funded by 19th-century industrialist John Bowes, and opened in 1892, this brainchild of his Parisian actress wife,...

Top ChoiceHistoric Site in Haltwhistle & Around

Vindolanda Roman Fort & Museum

The extensive site of Vindolanda offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily life of a Roman garrison town. The time-capsule museum is just one part of this large, extensively excavated site, which includes...

Top ChoiceCastle in Alnwick

Alnwick Castle

Set in parklands designed by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown, the imposing ancestral home of the Duke of Northumberland has changed little since the 14th century. It's a favourite set for film-makers and starred as...

Top ChoiceCastle in Durham

Durham Castle

Built as a standard motte-and-bailey fort in 1072, Durham Castle was the prince bishops' home until 1837, when it became the University of Durham's first college. It remains a university hall today. Highlights of...

Top ChoiceHistoric Site in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Victoria Tunnel

Walking Newcastle's streets, you'd never know this extraordinary tunnel runs for 2.5 miles beneath your feet. Built between 1839 and 1842 as a coal-wagon thoroughfare, it was used as an air-raid shelter during...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Life Science Centre

Part of a sober-minded institute devoted to the study of genetic science, this centre lets you discover the secrets of life through a fascinating series of hands-on exhibits. The highlight is the Motion Ride, a...

Top ChoiceBooks in Alnwick

Barter Books

Coal fires, velvet ottomans, reading rooms and a cafe make this secondhand bookshop in Alnwick's Victorian former railway station wonderfully atmospheric. It's responsible for the renaissance of the WWII 'Keep...

Top ChoiceGallery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

BALTIC – Centre for Contemporary Art

Once a huge mustard-coloured grain store, BALTIC is now a huge mustard-coloured art gallery rivalling London's Tate Modern. There are no permanent exhibitions; instead, rotating shows feature the work and...

Top ChoiceMuseum in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Discovery Museum

Tyneside's rich history is explored at this unmissable museum. Exhibitions spread across three floors of the former Co-operative Wholesale Society building around the mightily impressive 30m-long Turbinia, the...

Top ChoiceGastronomy in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

House of Tides

A 16th-century merchant's house is now the home of Newcastle's most celebrated restaurant, the Michelin-starred House of Tides. Established by acclaimed Newcastle-born chef Kenny Atkinson, it incorporates premium...

Top ChoiceObservatory in Northumberland National Park

Kielder Observatory

For the best views of the Northumberland International Dark Sky Park, attend a stargazing session at this state-of-the-art, 2008-built observatory. Its program spans night-time safari observing sessions to family...

Top ChoiceGastronomy in Barnard Castle

Raby Hunt

A two-century-old, ivy-clad drovers' inn 11 miles east of Barnard Castle is now the staging post for gastronomic expeditions by self-taught chef James Close, who received his first Michelin star in 2012 and...

Top ChoiceDeli in County Durham

Knitsley Farm Shop & Cafe

It's worth stopping off 12 miles northwest of Durham en route to Northumberland National Park and Hadrian's Wall to stock up on Knitsley Farm Shop's incredible cheeses, meats, fruits, veggies, homemade sweets,...

Top ChoiceSeafood in Tynemouth

Riley's Fish Shack

Steep timber stairs lead from East St to the beach and this rustic, tucked-away shack. Phenomenal local seafood underpins wood-fired dishes from wraps to empanadas and mains like cod on puy lentils with pancetta...

Top ChoiceGastropub in Barnard Castle

Bay Horse

It's well worth the 19-mile trip east of Barnard Castle to this 15th-century coaching inn in the pretty riverside village of Hurworth-on-Tees, but book ahead so you don't miss out on exceptional locally sourced...

Top ChoiceDeli in Corbridge

Corbridge Larder

Gourmet picnic fare at this fabulous deli includes bread, over 100 varieties of cheese, chutneys, cakes, chocolates and wine (you can get hampers made up) as well as made-to-order sandwiches, pies, quiches,...

Top ChoiceSeafood in Bamburgh

Mizen Head

Bamburgh's best place to eat and/or stay is this stunning restaurant with rooms. Local seafood – lobster, mussels, crab, salmon, squid and more – is the kitchen's speciality, along with chargrilled steaks. Its 11...

Top ChoiceGastropub in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Broad Chare

Spiffing English classics and splendid cask ales are served in the dark-wood bar and mezzanine of this perfect gastropub. Starters such as crispy pig ears, pork pies and venison terrine are followed by mains that...