It is surprising how many visitors to the UK rush from London to Scotland via York without a thought of Durham. Yet it is a lovely city with a magnificent castle and cathedral and is home to England's third oldest university.
In his Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson said: 'I got off at Durham... and fell in love with it instantly in a big way. Why, it's wonderful - a perfect little city - and I kept thinking, Why did no one tell me about this?'
So don't say you haven't been told!The cathedral is one of England's - indeed, the world's - very best for Norman architecture. It was founded in 1093 and is one of the most picturesque cathedrals in the UK, particularly when seen in its lovely setting on a peninsula high above the River Wear. Opposite the cathedral is the city's Norman castle - now part of the university - which dates from 1072.