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Round-Up   ›   Travel Inspiration  ›  North East England

Most instagrammable spots in Durham- where to take the best photographs

Ever wondered where to find the most instagrammable spots in Durham or where to take the best photos? You are about to find out where to go to discover those elusive beauty spots and grab a gorgeous walk and tasty treat while you are there.
You will venture across the county to those perfect spots and capture that amazing photo to wow your friends, family and followers.
Most importantly you are about to have an exciting, fun packed trip out (or two) and by the end of it you will be armed with a camera roll of snaps, have had a great walk and be topped up with a delicious cake and coffee.
Here are my 5 most instagrammable spots in Durham.

May 5, 2022


Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral has to be top of the list of the Most Instagrammable spots in Durham

Its ancient architecture dominates the Palace Green and visitors flock from far and wide to catch a glimpse of its beauty and snap that all important picture. The most popular spot is outside and at the front of the cathedral on the palace green. I would suggest standing at various points on the palace green, both near the Cathedral and at a distance (nearer the photographer) looking at the cathedral or walking towards it, this draws the viewers eye in to see what you are seeing. Try some real close-up shots to capture some of the old features of the cathedral such as the famous door and knocker.

There are also some amazing buildings that sit around the palace green. There are some beautiful old doors and windows which add great interest to a photograph. Stand near the old doors or sit on the steps and gaze into the distance – both make gorgeous backdrops for a great photo.

To continue adding to your camera roll in Durham City, walk to the back of the cathedral and explore the cobbled backstreets and beautiful stone houses. Keep walking and you will come to prebends bridge. Carry on over the bridge and grab a shot of Prebends cottage, this is one of the most photographed places in Durham City. In fact it even has its own hashtag on Instagram! A walk along the river will also give you some great views of the cathedral from an alternative angle.

Top tip – Make sure the sun is behind the photographer, this reduces glare and makes for a better photograph.

To round off your trip I would suggest coffee and cake at Vennels Café, it’s hidden up a back street and is a gorgeous traditional café with a beautiful cobbled terrace.

The Tommy Statue, Seaham

Officially called Eleven-O-One but affectionately known as Tommy by the locals, this is one of the Most Instagrammable spots in Durham.
Originally a temporary sculpture, he was so adored by the people in the town that they raised funds to keep him. Find him on the Terrace Green in Seaham, right above the seafront.
You have so many opportunities to bag yourself a great shot with Tommy.
You can take a simple shot next to him and this will give a perspective of the immense size of Tommy next to you. Try standing in front of the sculpture and look up at his face, again this will give a comparison of your height and the statues. You will be completely dwarfed by him. Even more effective with children!
You could take a close up of your hand in his, the detail on his hands is amazing and quite emotive. A lovely time to take photos is at sunrise. This quiet time makes for a stunning photo with a fiery sky around Tommy and usually no one else around.

Top tip – try editing some of your photos and make them black and white. This really highlights the age and history of the statue and gives it a timeless feel.

Take the opportunity while you are in Seaham to visit one of the beautiful coastline walks. You can go sea glass hunting on Seaham Hall beach or head up the road to blast beach and Noses point for a more rugged beach walk.

Work up an appetite then head back the town centre to Clean Bean for a delicious healthy lunch or coffee and cake, lots of vegan alternatives served here alongside the most amazing coffees and smoothies. This is one of our favourite places to eat in Seaham.

If it’s an instagrammable café you are looking for, then head to The Flamingo Café which will give you loads of photo inspiration, from the gorgeous flowers adorning the cafe to the beautiful coastal terrace. You will be spoilt for choice for pretty, instagrammable shots.

Finchale Priory, Durham

Finchale Priory is a hidden gem. A little-known English Heritage property that is set on the banks of the beautiful River Wear. You are guaranteed to add this to your list of the Most Instagrammable spots in Durham. You are about to walk in the footsteps of the monks on retreat from Durham Cathedral. We have spent many happy hours wandering the ruins, playing hide and seek and of course taking many photographs.
Have a wander around the priory and explore to get a feel for any spaces that catch your eye. There are some underground rooms with amazing architecture and these can make fabulous atmospheric photos. Because there are some old windows there are often gorgeous shadows cast on the floor which can be used if you want to get creative. Walking down the long green avenue with the ruins either side is a popular spot and looks fantastic on a bright sunny day.
Find a ruined window and take a photograph looking though using the frame of the window to frame your shot. Get someone to take a photo of you through the window and be the centre of your snap with the window as a frame. Next head to the bridge, another of the most instagrammable spots in Durham. It’s a great place to capture your little ones running across towards you!
I would recommend a lovely stroll along the river. If the weather is good there are a few perfect little paddling spots to cool down. In spring the woods are adorned with wild garlic flowers and with the water flowing in the background this is most definitely a walk to awaken your senses.

Top tip – use your surroundings, such as the windows, to frame your photograph. It adds interest to your picture and is a great way to capture the essence of the environment.

Finchale Priory has a lovely little traditional tea room. Serving light bites, hot drinks and ice creams, it’s the perfect stop off between your Priory visit and the river walk.

Hardwick Park, Sedgefield

There are so many photo spots in Hardwick Park that it is difficult to pick the best one! From the Rapunzel tower to the artists easel by the lake, the list is endless. The one I recommend you start with is the Serpentine Bridge.
The bridge will offer you a spectacular view up the tree lined river leading your eyes to the infamous Rapunzel tower. In the wall of the bridge are tiny windows and I would experiment taking photographs through each of the bridge “windows” as they all offer a slightly different yet beautiful frame.
Next stop is the tower. I love a photograph here of someone walking up the hill towards the tower or of a child running down the hill from the tower towards you – usually with a huge smile on their face! Why not take a dressing up outfit for a little one and really get them in role – these will be photos to print and keep.
As you stroll around the lake, you will come to the artists easel. This is the perfect prop for a more arty style photo. Get your subject to pose and pretend they are painting. Taken from a distance with the lake as a background this spot will wow your friends, families and followers.

Top tip – try taking a few props to add interest and style to your photos. If you have children, they are more likely to pose if they have their favourite dress up outfit or toy.

The Hardwick Park café is a perfect place to refuel at the end of your photoshoot and walk. They serve a great variety of cakes and light lunches along with a good selection of hot drinks.

Raby Castle, Darlington

Raby Castle and Deer Park will offer you some stunning photograph opportunities alongside a fabulous day out. I would head straight to the castle for your first photo opportunity. There are so many options here but you can’t beat a straightforward photo with the magnificent castle as a backdrop. There are many amazing spots around the castle but the two I would recommend are the side and back view. If it is a still day and there is no current on the lake, you should be able to capture a reflection of the castle which is stunning – this is on my list as every time I go it seems to be overcast or breezy!
Walk to the back of the castle and you are guaranteed to spot the deer roaming the estate. There’s nothing more beautiful than a photograph of a stag with a castle as a backdrop which is why I have added this to the list of most instagrammable spots in Durham.
The new Plotters’ Forest provides an amazing adventure for children and also the most stunning and magical backdrop for beautiful photographs. On a sunny day I would suggest snapping photographs as your children adventure around the forest and capture the joy and excitement they are experiencing. Nothing beats a natural shot of children having fun.

Top Tip. Capture the moment by taking your photographs as your children or subject are having fun and are engrossed in the moment. This is the best way to capture the fun and sentiment of the day.

No visit to Raby café is complete without a visit to the yurt café. Serving delicious cakes and bakes alongside the best coffee, it will be a welcome break after all the adventuring through the forest and estate.

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May 5, 2022