Acclaimed American travel writer Bill Bryson is supporting Durham Cathedral in its bid to win an award. The cathedral has been nominated in the category of Heritage Site of the Year as part of the prestigious BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2017.

You might think Durham Cathedral – being part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Europe’s finest examples of Romanesque architecture – would have an excellent chance of clinching the prize, but the cathedral is up against some serious competition.

Other sites nominated in the Heritage Site of the Year category include the stone age village of Skara Brae on Orkney, Stonehenge, the historic seaside town of Tenby, and the picturesque artificial lake of Rutland Water.

Bill Bryson Backs Durham Cathedral to Win BBC Countryfile Award
Bill Bryson says the cathedral is stunning from every angle, inside and out

Mr Bryson, who was responsible for nominating the cathedral, said, “I have a sentimental attachment to Durham because I was chancellor of the university for seven years, so was constantly in and out of the cathedral.”

“Almost 1,000 years old, it is unquestionably one of the supreme achievements of the architectural world, and the most thoroughly satisfying building I know – a wonder to behold from every possible vantage point, inside and out.”

The dean of Durham Cathedral, the very reverend Andrew Tremlett, said, “We are delighted to hear that Durham Cathedral has been nominated for Heritage Site of the Year.”

“Not only is Durham Cathedral steeped in history and tradition, it is also a living heritage site which continues to play an important role in the lives of many people today.”

“We would encourage as many people as possible to vote in the BBC Countryfile Awards 2017, and extend our congratulations to other worthy nominees.”

The BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards have been running for six years. The awards, which aim to celebrate the British countryside and its people, have 12 categories in total.

Other sites nominated in the north east include the Northumberland Coast for Holiday Destination of the Year, Embleton Bay in Northumberland for Beach of the Year, and the Farne Islands for Nature Reserve of the Year.

All the nominations are listed in the February edition of BBC Countryfile Magazine, which is available now.

In the last year, Durham Cathedral has won or been nominated for a number of awards. In 2011, it was voted Britain’s Best Loved Building by readers of The Guardian newspaper.

You can vote for Durham Cathedral by going to Voting is open now and will last until 28th February. The winners in each category will be announced in an online ceremony in March and will appear in the May issue of BBC Countryfile Magazine.


Get Durham Magazine direct to your inbox

* indicates required


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here