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Originally posted July 22 2011 at 20:07 under General and Friends. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled.

A Brief Durham Outing

As mentioned, to get away from things last Friday Jan and I took the ten minute or so train journey down to Durham, not having been there in a while. Hasn’t changed much, but we saw a few new sights.

Anyone who has been through Durham on the train knows that the station sits high above the city, providing panoramic views across to the cathedral and castle. It’s a short stroll down the hill (and more annoying slog back up it at the end of the day!) to the main precincts.

We took a look around the indoor market; quite reminiscent of Newcastle’s Grainger Market in feel, though the building housing it isn’t as nice and it feels more cramped. The usual range of little stores though. After that we made our way to the familiar Shakespeare for a pint (every pub needs an old sewing machine hidden in a table).

From there we headed on up to the cathedral—somewhere I’ve never actually visited before. First we had to negotiate the strange music and dancing taking place on the open green outside—rehearsal I think for Pan.Optikum, part of the “Brass” festival. Anyway, after the obligatory photo with the sanctuary knocker we wandered around inside, enjoying the Durham Photography Society exhibit (ironically in a space which bans photography) before being tempted to climb the tower (having managed to miss out in York, twice). I think Janet regretted the decision by the time we reached the top of the winding spiral staircase (castle visiting seems to have made me immune to such things). The view would be more spectacular if it were easier to get to, the high stone surrounds at the top of the tower necessitating peering through gaps (and the ginger, awkward holding of the camera over the drop)—I suppose I’m again too used to castles, with their highest towers specifically designed to give easy lookout (unfortunately the castle wasn’t open). At least the walk back down was easier, though we had to squeeze pass the idiots that seemed to think carrying a rucksack up was a good idea.

After a sandwich outside the cathedral we headed back into the town centre and the Coach and Eight pub. Not the most attractive pub inside but it does have the advantage of having a beer terrace on its roof right next to Framwellgate Bridge, offering good views across the river to castle and cathedral. Refreshed there we headed for a pleasant walk along the river bank taking in school boy/girl liaisons and a family of ducks negotiating a drop in the river before we reached the strange sculpture near Prebends Bridge (Reveal, by Richard Cole). Across the aforementioned bridge (slightly alarmingly seeming being held up by scaffold while under repair) and back along the other side of the river brought our little trip more or less to a conclusion. We did have a last pint in the Market Tavern overlooking the previously mentioned indoor market (where I got served a random pint rather than what I ordered, but never mind) before that climb back up the hill for the quick train trip to Newcastle again.

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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