Things to do on the Durham Coast
Discover the beauty of the Durham Coast. Embark on a seaside stroll, looking out for rare flora and fauna such as the Durham brown argus butterfly and the deep-pink bloody cranesbill flower. Alternatively, why not try your hand at skimming a stone or flying a kite?
Explore the coastline from up high, and take in the views that stretch as far as the eye can see. There are miles of coastal trails to wander – look out for surprising sights such as the 'Your Turn, Little Tern' sculpture by David Buurma at Cotsford Fields near Horden.
Head to Blast Beach for a coastal adventure. Paddle in the waves, seek out sea creatures on the shore and look for wildflowers – some of the fields above Blast Beach are among the best places to enjoy them on the Durham Coast.
You won't be able to miss the sweeping cliff-top views here, though they’re quite different to how they looked at the end of the last century. Once home to the biggest coal mine in Europe, the area has been the subject of a huge clean-up project, ensuring that people and wildlife can safely use this stretch of coast again.
Discover the great variety of wildlife that calls this coastline home all year round. Which of these can you spot?
Durham brown argus
This rare little butterfly is the flagship species for a stretch of coast that's full of interesting and unusual wildlife. There are several colonies along the coast. Warren House Gill is one of the best places to look for them when they're on the wing in June and July.
There's nothing like the sound of the skylark to make it feel like spring has sprung. They nest all along the coast in the grassland, so it's easy to enjoy their song flights.
The numbers of this once-common bird have seriously declined, and it’s now a protected species. Happily, you can still find grey partridges on the Durham Coast. Beacon Hill is a good place to keep an eye out.
This is one butterfly that lives up to its name. It may not be the most beautiful, but we still like this rare little insect. Look for it basking on bare earth.
It’s very unusual to have areas of limestone on the coast. As a result, the Durham Coast is home to lots of rare plants, such as the bloody cranesbill, dyer’s greenweed and devil’s-bit scabious.
The patches of scrub that intersperse the grassland provide shelter for birds such as grasshopper warblers. Listen out for their insect-like song. You can find some of the best wildflower meadows at Blast Beach and Shippersea Bay.
Family fun on the Durham Coast
Tick off some of the activities on your list of ‘50 things to do before you're 11¾’. There are plenty to choose from on the Durham Coast, whether you want to try your hand at skimming a stone, hunting for bugs, flying a kite or climbing a tree.
We've also hidden loads of geocaches on the Durham Coast, so why not get out there and find them? Geocaching is a high-tech treasure hunt that's fun for all ages. All you need is a GPS device or a GPS-enabled mobile phone and a sense of adventure.
Durham Coastal Half Marathon
Want to set yourself a challenge? Held every July, the Durham Coastal Half Marathon could be for you. Whether you’re looking to set yourself a personal best or simply finish the route, you’ll take in spectacular views along the way as you run along the Durham Coastal Path.
Discover the 780 miles of beautiful coastline in our care. Plan your next coastal adventure, whether you want to explore soft, sandy beaches or rugged, windswept cliffs.
While canoeing and kayaking are great ways to experience nature and keep fit, they can be dangerous if you don't follow the guidelines. Learn how to stay safe with our advice and guidance.
Try out the ‘50 things to do before you’re 11¾’ activities children can enjoy by the sea, from paddling or swimming, to catching crabs and skimming stones.
Set yourself a challenge to run 13.1 miles across tricky terrain while taking in coastal views on the Durham Coastal Half Marathon 2022, hosted by Trail Outlaws on our behalf.
Learn how we've been working on a project to reintroduce wildflower meadows on the Durham Coast to restore and conserve the landscape for the area's unique wildlife.
Learn about the vital work we've been carrying out to save the rare Durham argus butterfly on the Durham Coast.