Oak Cottage

Holmside, Beamish, Durham, DH7 6EX, United Kingdom
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More about Durham


Durham Castle GatehouseDurham Castle Gatehouse

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View from Prebends BridgeView from Prebends Bridge

cathedral monasterycathedral monastery

Travel Tips for Durham

Durham Cathedral

by yooperprof

The Normans built to last. Construction on the cathedral began in 1093; this is considered by many to be the most outstanding example of Norman design and engineering in all of England. Interestingly, County Durham was governed as a Palatinate until 1836. That's probably one of the reasons why this region has such a peculiar charm!

Crook Hall

by jayhawk2000

Crook Hall is a magical place, a true gem. This small medieval manor home is surrounded by lush gardens, each with a theme. The Cathedral Garden has lovely view of the cathedral across the valley and plantings that evoke stained glass windows. Strolling the gardens or just sitting and soaking up the scents and colours is extremely relaxing.

The oldest part of the manor is an ancient hall where you can imagine a medieval banquet taking place at the tables lined up next to the fire. You can enjoy a bird's eye view of the room from the minstrel's gallery where musicians once entertained. Just be careful...one corner of the room is said to be haunted! If you stand in this one particular corner you might feel a chill...is that the hand of a dead soldier reaching out for you?

Back in the main manor is a cozy sitting room with gorgeous views over the garden. Upstairs is the Jacobean Room, which is claimed by the owners to be haunted by a 'White Lady.'

Then round off your visit with a pot of tea and scones in the courtyard.

Crook Hall is a 10-minute walk from Durham city centre, on Frankland Lane and its junction with Sidegate. You can see it from atop the cathedral's central tower. Just follow the River Wear up from Milburngate Shopping Centre. Entry costs 3.50GBP for adults, 2.50 for concessions, with a family ticket costing 9.00 (prices as of 2003).

It is important that you ring ahead as the hall and gardens are open to the public only in spring and summer. From the beginning of May to mid-September it is open ONLY on Sundays except from the end of July to early September when it is open daily, EXCEPT Saturdays. It is also open on the Easter weekend and Bank Holiday Mondays in May and August. Its opening hours are 1-5pm.

I really loved Crook Hall and would recommend that you seek it out some sunny day. Just be sure to ring ahead or email them in advance. They are happy to book groups outside of their normal opening hours.

The Venerable Bede's Tomb

by iwys

The Venerable Bede was born in 672 and died on May 27, 723 AD. He was a monk in the Northumbrian monastery of St. Peter at Wearmouth and became one of the country's greatest scholars. He is best known for writing the first history of England, entitled, "The History of the English Church and People".

He became known as the Venerable after his death. This may come from a mistranslation of the Latin inscription on his tomb, which reads, 'Here lie the venerable bones of Bede', but got wrongly translated to, 'Here lie the bones of the Venerable Bede'. He is sometimes also referred to as the Father of English History. It was a real joy for me to see his shrine.

Palace Green (II)

by steventilly

The two dominant features of Durham are The Castle and The Cathedral. They stand beside each other at the top of a hill above the city, totally surrounded by the loop of the river Wear. The Cathedral is one of the finest Norman Cathedrals in Europe, and stands in a lovely close (called Palace Green), with the castle opposite and nice, historic buildings on all sides.

Durham Cathedral - Cloisters

by iwys

A cloister, form the Latin word claustrum, is a part of cathedral, monastic and abbey architecture, consisting usually of four corridors, with a courtyard in the middle. It is intended to be both covered from the rain, but open to the air. The Cloisters at Durham Cathedral have stone corridors surounding a central square lawn.

The Cloisters have featured as part of Hogwarts School in Harry Potter films.


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