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Durham and the North East, The Reclaimed Coast

Learn about the industrial heritage of small mining towns and enjoy unique flora and fauna as you explore this largely undiscovered coastline.

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Day 1

Hartlepool and Tees Valley

Start at Redcar and Saltburn-by-the-Sea. These resorts were popular in the Victorian era and home to a water-powered cliff lift and impressive pier that extends 200 metres from the shoreline. 

Drive on through the Tees Valley stopping at Hartlepool. Enjoy the Hartlepool Maritime Experience incorporating the historic quay, Museum of Hartlepool and HMS Trincomalee, a recreation of an 18th century seaport telling the story of the Battle of Trafalgar. 

After lunch start exploring the Durham Heritage Coast. Originally an important coal mining area, the coastline is now internationally important for wildlife. Coastal Magnesium Limestone outcrops have generated unique flora and fauna ideal for exploring on foot. Discover more about the industrial heritage of this part of the coast at Horden Heritage Centre. Overnight in Seaham or Seaton.

Day 2

Durham Coast

Spend the morning in Seaham, a lively harbour town offering spectacular cliff-top views. 

Visit the World War One “Tommy” art installation, the pre-Viking St Mary the Virgin church and head to Durham’s only marina, with its heritage and visitor centres. Seaham Harbour Activity Centre offers a range of activities including kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and much more. 

Go on to the picturesque Castle Eden Dene, a peaceful National Nature Reserve with 550 acres of natural woodland and 12 miles of footpaths and home to more than 450 species of plants and wild flowers, many of which are typical of those found in ancient woodlands that date back to pre-medieval times.

Regional Airports: Newcastle and Durham Tees Valley

Trains every half hour from central London to Durham (3 hrs) and every hour to Hartlepool (3 hrs 30)

Three coaches a day from central London to Durham (7 hrs) and two a day to Hartlepool (7 hrs)

Daily overnight ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle