Just outside the train station car park is a viewpoint from which the whole of Durham is spread before you.
The cathedral and castle are both there to admire. I was lucky enough to see them both during the fading light of the sunset (a view I will never forget). Once the sun had gone they were both brilliantly illuminated
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It really is a joy to walk by the river Wear and to take advantage of photo opportunities to take photos of Elvet bridge (the recommended starting point), Kingsgate bridge, Prebends bridge and Framwelgate bridge. Stop for lunch here and lookout for the lovely cute birds which inhabit the riverbank just by Framwelgate bridge. The best route to take is between Elvet bridge (follow the signs for riverside path/walk) and Framwelgate bridge
One of the most impressive cathedrals I have ever seen. Its twin towers dominate the riverbank. The spiral swirls and designs on the interior columns as well as the exteior and interior arches reminded me so much of the mosque I visited in Córdoba in Spain. The Norman architectural splendour is apparent as you look up to the central tower and at the intricate adornments. Sadly photography is not allowed inside the cathedral but you can pause for reflection and take photos in the quieter cloisters of the adjacent Dominican monastery which has it's wonderful original wooden ceilings.
From the cloisters you can appreciate the stupendous views and photos of the central tower and nave. Entry is free but a donation is suggested (£5 is sufficient)
Durham Castle may be overshadowed by its more revered neighbour, the Cathedral Bill Bryson described as “the best on planet earth,” but both are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site and the castle is fascinating in its own right. Not just a historic attraction, the castle is a working college for students at Durham University. Students live in its wood panelled dorm rooms and act as tour guides for visitors. The tours take in several great sights, including the creaking black staircase and original medieval kitchen – and reveal quirky academic traditions like “sporting the oak” - but best of all is the Norman Chapel deep in its bowels. Its historic use as a chapel was only recently discovered by an archaeology post graduate at the University and over the years it has doubled as a bike shed, billiards and table tennis room for students.
Last winter, during the height of the worst winter Britain had endured in decades, we were more or less marooned in a holiday cottage on the outskirts of the city. We couldn’t have been stranded in a better place! We were within walking distance (along picturesque riverside paths) of all that this compact city has to offer in terms of bars, bistros and boutiques. For its size Durham packs a lot in – with magnificent historic buildings, plenty of independent shops and restaurants, an interesting market hall as well as the usual high street stores and eating places. Make sure that you check out the Durham Deals to get the best value from your stay (see the website below).
A classy jam packed vintage store in the heart of Durham City. Many vintage designer pieces and friendly staff.
45 The Gates, Durham City. 15 minutes walk from Durham train station.
07887 536 409
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