From simple tranquil chapels to magnificent architecture, art and craftsmanship both ancient and modern, peaceful churchyards, stories of saints, pioneers, battlefields, local families and communities - exploring churches will satisfy on many levels.
This rich heritage first took shape during the Golden Age of Anglo-Saxon Northumbria in the 7th century, leading to the medieval glories of internationally-renowned Durham Cathedral, Hexham Abbey, and former monastic sites such as the Holy Island of Lindisfarne, St Paul’s Church in Jarrow and St Peter’s Church in Sunderland.
But don’t just visit the big famous churches – from Norham in the north, Hartlepool and Darlington in the south, to Alston in the west, there are so many fascinating churches and chapels waiting to be discovered in cities, towns and villages, sometimes tucked away around a corner or surrounded by trees!
Churches featured in this website are mostly open daily or at advertised times. Some offer a café, bookshop or guided tours whilst others offer the simplest of experiences. Some stand amidst stunning natural beauty whilst others are places of sanctuary facing busy city streets.
Even if the door seems firmly shut, it is worth trying the ancient handle and taking a peep inside – if it is unlocked it is because visitors are welcome!