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Durham Heritage Coast

Seaham SR7 7EU

The coastline east of Durham has been revived in recent years, following a century or more when it was at the heart of the Durham mining industry. Nothing less than devastation was wrought upon much of the coast between Sunderland and Hartlepool, but with the mines long gone a huge amount of effort has been put into restoring habitats, helping wildlife and improving coastal villages. There are spectacular views across shallow bays and limestone cliffs, while the wooded valleys (called 'denes') and grasslands are rich in insects, birds and wild flowers. Best way to see the coast is on the 11-mile Durham Coastal Footpath, which runs from Seaham – where the boutique Seaham Hall offers suitably grand lodgings – down to Crimdon, with beaches, caves, dunes, woods, and old colliery sites and mining villages en route. You'll pass by Easington, familiar if you've seen 'Billy Elliot', while at Castle Eden Dene National Nature Reserve the yew, oak and ash trees are magnificent reminders of the time when the whole country was covered in 'wild wood'.

Best Places to stay near Durham Heritage Coast