Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Bimbling around Durham

Hiya, it's been a lovely day up here in Durham. I put on my walking boots and shorts, and with my sandwiches made I set off  down the road, and turned left after the railway line to walk across the fields to town. There's a little iron bridge hidden behind the trees, and the path carried on up and over the brow of the hill and joined the road near to Nevilles Cross. 
I got chatting to two ladies walking in the same direction because I wanted to know if there was anywhere to park on the road that didn't have restrictions. I noticed that most of the roads had parking bays marked out but there were meters everywhere. The minimum charge was 50p for half an hour which I thought was a bit steep. I passed a lot of terraced houses and wondered what the people living there did with their cars. Apparently they have to buy an annual pass to park outside their own home. I like these coloured boxy windows.

Eye catching colourful flowers decorating the roundabout.

I liked the design of the round windows on this black and white building, but the shop front below spoils it. It's a shame they didn't make a sign in keeping with the rest of the building.  
 The Market Place was very busy, buskers were entertaining everyone with their singing and guitar playing. In the bottom left hand corner is the Town Hall which I went inside. There was only two rooms to see, the Great Hall was interesting the walls were covered in plaques, and it had a colourful stained glass window. Next to it is the indoor Market Hall, which was bustling with shoppers.

Quite a few places had flower displays outside on the front.

It was very hard to get a picture of the castle. I walked all around it but there are so many trees it's impossible to see very much at all. A big disappointment really.

The Cathedral was open to visitors as you would expect, unlike the Castle which you needed to get a ticket and join the guided tours. I went in the Cathedral but not the Castle. 

As far as I could see this was the Castle entrance. No entry unless you have a ticket for a tour. I sat on a bench and had a sandwich but couldn't see anyone waiting for a tour to start. 
There are several bridges crossing the river, which has a great big loop in it, making the bit where the Castle and Cathedral stand almost an island. I kept losing my bearings going round in circles. Very confusing.

This sculpture is near the Gala Theatre. If you read the words below it tells the story of how Saint Cuthbert came to be buried in the Cathedral.

I spent a few minutes watching in fascination of how this gigantic drill was screwed deep into the ground. You can see the height of the boom, that is the depth of the drill. It must be quite a large building going up.

There are lots of cobbled streets, and lots of narrow allyways. 
When you walk along the river it's easy to forget you are in the middle of a large city. It's quite peaceful. There are paths along both sides for most of it.

That's about the best shot you are going to get of the Castle. 
 As I set off back, I turned round and looked back. The two large buildings dominate the skyline.
I took a different route back to the Guest House, it was nice to get back out into the fields again. Although I like visiting towns and cities, I am a country bumpkin at heart. The sun was shining, I wanted to sing, 'The hills are alive with the sound of music'.
I missed out on a couple of places which I was planning to see. They weren't in the city, and I didn't leave myself enough time to fit them in. I wasn't really bothered because they had an entrance charge, I didn't need to spend money, I had a lovely time just bimbling around taking in the atmosphere. I did treat myself to a punnet of Scottish strawberries, they were delicious, so juicy and sweet.

I'm off to Newcastle tomorrow on the train, looking forward to that.
Toodle pip


  1. Beautiful Ilona! Thanks for that little trip and lovely pic's. Stay safe and can't wait for the next installment. :)

  2. This is one part of the UK I want to visit as my ancestors are from that area.
    Jane x

  3. Sounds like just my cup of tea and a nice mix of city, culture and countryside not to mention sunshine to do it all in!

  4. Great photos around Durham. We went a few years ago. Did you know that parts of Durham Cathedral was used in the Harry Potter films?

  5. Lovely city Ilona. It is a shame about that phone shop not fitting in with the style of the building, but what I think is more of a shame is that they haven't had anyone proofread their sign. It says REPAIR'S. The state of English in this country is shocking, how are our children supposed to learn correct English if we can't write signs etc properly ourselves?

  6. Thank you for posting your gorgeous photos of Durham. We had a lovely 4 day break there a couple of years ago and it brought back memories. All in all its a beautiful city and like you we had a lovely walk by the river and it is extremely peaceful. Hope you enjoy your day in Newcastle.

  7. Love the pictures! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Danneke here going down memory lane, I was brought up just outside of Durham City and went Ice Skating there every chance I had. The statue of the horse and rider in the square is really lovely, there was a lot of controversy some years ago when some big wig wanted to move it, but the vote was to keep it where it is , the sculptor did not put a tongue in the horses mouth and when I was young my granfather used to say we would have a day looking for the tongue. There used to be a policeman standing close to the statue directing all the thro traffic years back also, he was a big attraction with his big white gloves and all his arm gestures getting traffic thro the city. Thanks for all the lovely pictures Ilona, they certainly took me down memory lane.

  9. Sounds like you have a wonderful time! I found a schedule for Antique's Roadshow UK. Thot you might be interested in seeing where they are going to be next.

  10. I like this photo tour, especially of the stone buildings and the river area. I am following your blog starting today, on and hello from me in California.

  11. Thanks for the lovely pics of my home town Newcastle upon Tyne
    your right there is too much to see in one day. There is a tour bus you can get on with your bus pass it akes you to all of the points of interest. Durham is very lovely as is our Northumberland counrtyside and coastline. Hogwarts school from Harry Potter was filmed at Alwick castle the home of the Duke and Dutchess of Northumberland
    a bit expensive to get in but well worth it. We have loads of castles like Bamborough and fine country houses like Cragside hall and Wallington. Over in Durham you have Beamish museuman open air working mini towns and miners villages its amazing. My own grannies shop window was rebuilt in the mini town. Theres a bank a dentist and a coop and lots more all original stuff from the early1900s its huge and too much to mention here.
    I alslike the archtecture in Liverpool as well a fine city.

    1. Sorry for the typos I was typing on a bus. Hurrah for bus passes.


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