Best known for its Norman cathedral and 11th-century castle, Durham sits on the River Wear in the North East of England. Unlike many northern cities, it remained mostly untouched by the industrial revolution and was therefore able to preserve much of its most attractive architecture. Until the late 20th century its economy was focused mainly on coal mining. Today it’s a popular tourist destination and home to one of the UK’s most admired Universities.
Durham railway station is situated on the East Coast Main Line between Edinburgh and London; rail travellers coming from the south enter Durham over a spectacular Victorian viaduct high above the city. By road, the A1 (the modern incarnation of the ancient Great North Road) passes just to the east of the city. Newcastle Airport lies to the north and Durham Tees Valley Airport to the south, both being about 25 miles (40 km) away.