The city of Durham, complete with its world-famous Cathedral, quaint winding cobbled streets and relaxing riverside walks, lies to the north east of England.
The route north from London starts from Kings Cross station, home of Platform 9 3/4 for trains to Hogwarts. But you can take a real train to find sanctuary in the Cathedral, dodge scary pigeons and Britain’s wickedest woman, before picking up the Harry theme again to wander the winding streets of medieval Diagon Alley, before ducking under them to meet Vikings. Then find the tallest building in the world (in 1311), the first recognized contract between a king and his people, and the steepest coffee shops on ‘Britain’s Best Street’.
Explore Durham Cathedral it’s Sanctuary Knocker and Open Treasures Exhibition
One of the grandest cathedrals in Britain, head to the cathedral and discover its history.
You may recognise its incised columns in the nave, and the cloisters famous in the Harry Potter films. Indeed, the shape of Hogwarts was largely based on the cathedral itself.
Sanctuary Knocker – In the medieval period Durham Cathedral offered the right of sanctuary – or protection – to criminals fleeing from the law. Anyone who grasped hold of the sanctuary knocker on the cathedral’s north door was safe, at least for a while. Kept safe, fed and watered by the Benedictine monks of Durham the fugitives then had 37 days in which to consider their options – go to trial or into voluntary exile.
Tour of Durham Castle and University hosted by a student from Durham University
Durham Castle, Cathedral and University are all part of Durham’s World Heritage Site, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNESCO in 1986. Durham Castle was built over 900 years ago to protect the English borders and today it’s home to the students of University College who will act as your guide to the Castle Keep, the leaning Black Stairs and the Great Hall where the scholars take their meals
- 1hr 30 min / 70 miles
- 50 min
Perfectly placed half-way between Edinburgh and London, York is unlike any other English city.
York’s Chocolate Story
York is known as the UK’s home of chocolate, from the Chocolate orange to the globally famous KitKat. Discover how to make and taste chocolate like an expert.
Don’t miss Brew York to sample some craft beer located within the city walls.
A royal castle built for Henry III in the middle of the thirteenth century, it offers superb views over York. It was one of two motte-and-bailey castles in the city.
Marvel at the largest expanse of medieval stained glass in the UK and one of Europe’s artistic masterpieces.
Stroll along the Shambles, Europe’s most intact medieval shopping street and an inspiration for Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter series.
Perched high on a cliff, it’s easy to see why the haunting remains of Whitby Abbey were inspiration for Bram Stoker’s gothic tale of ‘Dracula’.
Bettys Café Tea Rooms
No visit to York is complete without a trip to our famous Café Tea Rooms on St Helen’s Square.
Explore the Jorvik Viking Centre
A groundbreaking visitor experience where you take a journey through the reconstruction of Viking-Age streets and experience life as it would have been in 10th century York.
- 1hr 44 min / 80 miles
- 1hr 42 min
Magna Carta, Britain’s best street and the Lincoln Imp.
Lincoln’s picturesque Steep Hill was awarded the title ‘Britain’s Best Place’ in 2012 by the Academy of Urbanism, because of its fascinating array of independent shops lining a parade of architecture that spans almost two thousand years.
Discover the Lincoln imp at Lincoln Cathedral
Explore inside the Gothic style Lincoln Cathedral, which was built between 1185 and 1311. Those with sharp-eyed might find a demon, a little charmer who became the symbol of the whole county, the Lincoln imp. There is a spotlight to help you find him.
Magna Carta at Lincoln Castle
Lincoln’s Magna Carta is the primary surviving copy of the original document of 1215, delivered to the cathedral’s muniments room that year. Having been taken to Fort Knox, Kentucky for security during the second world war, Lincoln Magna Carta is now on permanent display in Lincoln Castle.
Medieval Bishop’s Palace
Standing almost in the shadow of Lincoln Cathedral, with sweeping views over the ancient city and the countryside beyond, the Medieval Bishop’s Palace was once among the most important buildings in the country