Shrouded in mystery and intrigue, Durham is a captivating place with a rich if not slightly turbulent history. The prosperity of the city naturally developed around the Norman Cathedral, St Cuthbert’s Shrine, which has been attracting pilgrims for the past 900 years and has been used as a venue for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter movies. No less spectacular is Durham Castle. Built during the Norman invasion, it is now used as a college of Durham University. With its picturesque view of these ancient sites, Durham is the perfect location for a stroll along the river to delve into its history. The Industrial Age gave prominence to County Durham at the heart of the vital coal fields, and saw the creation of the world’s first passenger railway in 1825. Step back in time into the Industrial Revolution and visit the Railway or Mining Museum during your stay. Today, the city of Durham serves not only as a major tourist venue, but also as a centre for culture, education (The University of Durham is England’s third oldest behind Oxford and Cambridge), spirituality and commerce. Boasting a striking coastal scenery and countryside, Durham also has a lot to offer beautiful nature and landscape. Explore the country's beauty by walking or cycling in one of the numerous National Parks or along the coastline.