Heritage tourism in Durham City is set to benefit from a new Churches, Chapels and Cafés guide, which launches this week.

Delivered by Visit County Durham in partnership with Durham City Area Action Partnership, Durham Churches Together and the Durham Diocese, the guide has been produced to encourage visitors to extend their length of stay in Durham City, by providing the opportunity to find out more and step inside these fascinating buildings.

The guide builds upon Durham City’s reputation as a world class heritage destination and features 17 churches each with their own story to tell and role to play in how worship shaped the historic city.

Michelle Gorman, managing director at Visit County Durham, said: “Heritage is a key element of the city’s tourism offer, and evidence shows that visitors are attracted to destinations with compelling stories. The Durham City Churches, Chapels and Cafés guide brings these buildings to life, through stories of Christian heritage, architecture, stained glass and social history”.

“Complemented by some of the best cafes and cosy coffee shops in the city, the guide not only gives us a point of difference to other destinations, but encourages visitors to spend more and stay longer – both key priorities of the Durham Tourism Management Plan”.

In addition to extending the length of stay of visitors, it’s hoped the project will engage communities, churches and local businesses, who have been involved in the delivery of the project.

Revd Alan Middleton, Chair at Durham Churches Together, said: “The Churches, Chapels and Cafés guide in printed and digital form will enable visitors and residents to discover and enjoy the heritage and treasures of Durham City’s churches. Our churches are grateful to Visit County Durham for producing the guide and we’re looking forward to welcoming new visitors”.

The guide will be distributed across Visit County Durham’s Visitor Information Network, and available online as an interactive map. It can also be downloaded online. Visit www.durhamcitychurchesmap.com for more information.