Two North East and North Yorkshire attractions have been ranked as some of the best in the country for a free day out – with the region stealing second and third spots on watchdog Which?’s list.

Unsurprisingly for many North East residents, Durham Cathedral was rated the best historical attraction in the country when customer service group Which? surveyed around 3,000 people.

When rated on nine criteria including accessibility, the quality of food and drink available and lack of crowds, Durham Cathedral came out on top – beating out other competitors like St David’s Cathedral, Chichester Cathedral, and the Houses of Parliament.

The National Railways Museum in York, which displays more than a hundred locomotives including the Mallard, became one of the nation’s favourite free days out when it tied with the Royal Air Force (RAF) Museum in Cosford putting them into a joint second place.

Read more: Durham Cathedral named among UKs most Googled free attractions

But overall, it was Cardiff’s St Fagans National Museum of History that came out on top, which achieved a customer score of 94% in a survey of almost 7,000 people.

The open-air museum offers a “fascinating glimpse into history” and features 40 reconstructed buildings including a working forge, a school, a chapel and Workmen’s Institute, while practical exhibits involve demonstrations of blacksmithing, pottery and weaving.

The York Railway Museum has a wide range of exhibits and attractions - including the Mallard, a working replica of George Stephenson’s Rocket and the only Shinkansen bullet train outside of Japan.

The watchdog also asked almost 3,000 people to rank their favourite historic attractions, rating them on nine criteria including accessibility, the quality of food and drink available and lack of crowds.

Durham Cathedral, once described by Bill Bryson as “the best cathedral on planet Earth”, topped the ranking with a score of 86%.

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St David’s Cathedral also rated highly on 80%, followed by Chichester with a score of 77%.

The Houses of Parliament followed on 76%, with any UK resident able to avoid paying around £25 a head by contacting their MP, or a member of the House of Lords, to request a free 75-minute guided tour.

Other highly rated free museums and galleries are:

  • The National Museum of Scotland (90%).
  • The Cardiff National Museum (87%).
  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow (87%).
  • Royal Air Force Museum, London (87%)
  • Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool (87%)
  • Oxford University Museum of Natural History (86%)
  • The Scottish National Galleries (86%).