Regarded by many as the finest Norman cathedral in Britain, Durham cathedral (0191 386 4266; dominates the city, which is 15 miles south of Gateshead, and sits across the green from the castle which was built to protect it. The Cathedral opens 9.30am-6pm Monday-Saturday, and 12.30-5pm on Sundays; admission is free.


Holy Island, as this tiny land mass is also known, is accessible from the mainland by a causeway which is submerged at high tide. Lindisfarne (01289 389200; is regarded as the cradle of Christianity, and the Priory which was founded there by St Cuthbert opens 9.30am-5pm daily, until 4pm during October, February and March, and 10am-2pm Saturday-Monday from November to January. Admission is £3.60.


Several of the old fortresses along England's old northern frontier (pictured above) are worth visiting. Nearest to the city is Segedunum, at Buddle Street in Wallsend (0191 236 9350;, which has a reconstructed Roman bath house. It opens 9.30am-5pm daily until the end of October, 10am-3.30pm November-March, and admission is £3.50.


The Duchess of Northumberland's garden (01665 511350; is still a work in progress and has attracted visitors and controversy in equal measure. Latest attractions include a poison garden, and water sculptures by William Pye in the Serpent Garden. It opens 10am-4pm daily, later according to the time of year, and admission is £6. The village of Alnwick is 35 miles north of Newcastle.


This fascinating outdoor museum (0191 370 4000;, nine miles south of Gateshead, is a chronicle of life in the North-east, with reconstructed buildings furnished with period objects. It opens 10am-5pm daily until the end of October, 10am-4pm Tuesday-Thursday and weekends until the end of March. Admission is £15, reduced to £6 in winter, when part of the museum is closed.