A Trip to Durham

September 11, 2016

I have lived in Newcastle for three amazing years and with Durham just on it's doorstep, I cannot believe that I had never actually visited this visually beautiful place until a few days ago.

After hearing about Durham from numerous acquaintances and seeing stunning photographs of the architecture and city, I finally persuaded my boyfriend, Matt, to take the speedy train ride with me. With just a fifteen minute train ride from Newcastle Central Station to Durham city centre, it is a quicker journey than my usual half an hour bus journey into work and I was not disappointed at what I saw.

Full of cobbled streets, boutiques, galleries, country pubs, cafes and restaurants, we were soaked to the core from the heavy downpour of rain we had just been caught in but that did not matter anymore! I could not believe how different Durham is to Newcastle although a mere 20 miles separates these two north-eastern cities.

A visit to Durham Cathedral made me feel like an extra in Harry Potter as a few scenes were filmed in this very cathedral; all I needed was a robe and a wand. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed in the cathedral but this allowed me to fully take in the mesmerising detail and intricacy of the architecture. I did however take advantage of being able to take photographs of the external architecture of the cathedral. Built between 1093 and 1133, this religious and holy place has the shrine of St Cuthbert, a saint of the early Northumbrian church. An ornate and beautifully decorated shrine, visitors are welcome to congregate and pray here with the cathedral remaining a place of worship and pilgrimage. 

The clouds slowly started to break up and the glorious sun and blue sky became visible for the remainder of the day casting down interestingly shaped shadows from the tall buildings. A large number of modern and mainstream shops situated in old buildings make up the main streets of the city. Small doorways and creaky, winding staircases of the shops make them quirky and give a sense of being in the past. I would highly recommend visiting the upstairs area of the Jack Wills shop where you will no longer feel like you are in a shop but more like a royal person's house. 

The River Wear flows though Durham where we had a little walk down by the riverbank where we were again met with picturesque views. Durham really is beautiful.

After exploring the streets of this city, we had time for a quick bite to eat in an Italian restaurant where we had a view of the river. The sun was beating down, the smell of Italian food was lingering and Italian music was playing softly in the background; I felt like I could have been in Italy! We really wanted to hire a rowing boat out to have a row down the river, have a visit to the castle and the University but unfortunately we did not have the time so this is a must for the next time we visit!

I would recommend Durham to anyone seeking adventure as there is a tonne of things to do in this historic, medieval city.

Feel free to comment below!

Best of wishes.

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