The sights and sounds of Newcastle and Gateshead are only 15 minutes' train journey north of Durham. Straddling either side of the Tyne and linked by their iconic bridges, they offer an exhaustive selection of entertainment and leisure facilities.
The Sage offers a spectacular new venue for live music, while the Baltic has become a major international centre for contemporary art. Gateshead is of course also home to Gormley's famous Angel of the North.
The Durham coastline was awarded heritage status in 2001, and offers the visitor stunning cliftop scenery, beautiful beaches, and miles of walking and cycle routes. Further north the untouched beauty of the Northumberland coast, dotted with castles and islets, cannot help but leave a lasting impression.