Durham Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by tim07
  • Durham Castle & River Wear
    Durham Castle & River Wear
    by spidermiss
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Most Recent Things to Do in Durham

  • hawkhead's Profile Photo

    Museum of Archaeology

    by hawkhead Written Oct 21, 2012

    This is housed in an old fulling mill, right on the banks of the Wear. A good exhibition of archaeology connected with Durham and the county. A special exhibition on the archaeology and scientific analysis of bones was excellent.

    Staff very friendly and knowledgeable.

    Quite a few things for children to do or amuse themselves with.

    The little gift area has a good choice and the prices are far less than those found elsewhere in Durham.

    Reasonable entrance fee at £1.

    Tea and coffee and biscuits/cakes served upstairs on a help-yourself/honesty basis.

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    Durham Cathedral

    by yvgr Written May 30, 2012

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    The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham (usually known as Durham Cathedral) is a cathedral in the city of Durham, England, the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The Bishopric dates from 995, with the present cathedral being founded in AD 1093. The cathedral is regarded as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with nearby Durham Castle, which faces it across Palace Green.

    The present cathedral replaced the 10th century "White Church", built as part of a monastic foundation to house the shrine of Saint Cuthbert of Lindisfarne. The treasures of Durham Cathedral include relics of St Cuthbert, the head of St Oswald of Northumbria and the remains of the Venerable Bede. In addition, its Durham Dean and Chapter Library contains one of the most complete sets of early printed books in England, the pre-Dissolution monastic accounts, and three copies of the Magna Carta.

    Durham Cathedral occupies a strategic position on a promontory high above the River Wear. From 1080 until the 19th century the bishopric enjoyed the powers of a Bishop Palatine, having military as well as religious leadership and power. Durham Castle was built as the residence for the Bishop of Durham. The seat of the Bishop of Durham is the fourth most significant in the Church of England hierarchy, and he stands at the right hand of the monarch at coronations. Signposts for the modern day County Durham are subtitled "Land of the Prince Bishops."

    There are daily Church of England services at the Cathedral, with the Durham Cathedral Choir singing daily except Mondays and when the choir is on holiday. The cathedral is a major tourist attraction within the region, the central tower of 217 feet (66 m) giving views of Durham and the surrounding area.

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    Bemish Living Museum

    by yvgr Written Apr 15, 2012

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    c Beamish, The North of England Open Air Museum is an open-air museum located at Beamish, near the town of Stanley, County Durham, England. The museum's guiding principle is to preserve an example of everyday life in urban and rural North East England at the climax of industrialisation in the early 20th century.
    Much of the restoration and interpretation is specific to the late Victorian and Edwardian eras, together with portions of countryside under the influence of industrial revolution in 1825. On its 300 acres (120 ha) estate it utilises a mixture of translocated, original and replica buildings; a huge collection of artifacts, working vehicles and equipment; as well as livestock and costumed interpreters.

    The museum has received a number of prestigious awards since it opened its present site to visitors in 1972 and has been influential on other "living museums". It is a significant educational resource, and helps to preserve some traditional north-country and rare livestock breeds.

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    Durham Lumiere

    by Maria81 Written Nov 20, 2011

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    Crown of Light Show

    Durham Lumiere is a bi-annual lights festival featuring a series of light installations and projections on Durham's buildings, streets and bridges. The first edition was in November 2009 (which I missed), and the second in November 2011 (which we did attend). The festival, produced by Artichoke, is expected to return in November 2013, too!

    Most of the installations are on from 6pm to 11pm, with the Crown of Light being the main exception - the Cathedral show starts half an hour later, at 6.30pm.

    Some other notable light artworks on show were New Moon, Liquid Space, Utopia, Binary Waves, 60 Secon Cathedral, Be Faithful to Your Dreams (by the artist Tracey Emin), as well as several artworks on the city's bridges.

    To Keep in Mind:

    The festival is very popular with both locals and tourists so expect the city centre to be crowded. We had to queue for over 30 minutes to go up to the Durham Cathedral to see Lumiere's centerpiece - the Crown of Light show on the walls of the Cathedral.

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    The Tower at Durham Cathedral

    by tim07 Updated Jun 20, 2011
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    There are 325 steps to the top of the tower. It's quite a climb and the upper part is very narrow. However the view from the top of the Cathedral, city of Durham and surrounding countryside is pretty spectacular.

    The Tower is open all year round. It's closed though during most services and events. Also at times of bad weather.

    The current admission is £5.00.

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    visit Market Square

    by uglyscot Updated Jun 20, 2011

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    Market Hall
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    We arrived at Prince Bishops car park, and shortly after reached Market square. So many interesting things meet the eye. St Nicholas church stands at one corner. The Market Hall is magnificent. The Market Tavern catches the eye, and there are the war memorial and the statue of Neptune, which dates to 1729.
    Around the square are banks, shops and cafes.
    Cobbled streets lead from it.

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    Take the Riverside walk

    by uglyscot Updated Jun 20, 2011

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    The Cathedral from the river
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    Durham lies in the loop on the River Wear. From the Cathedral we walked down to the river and along , coming up the steps beside Elvet Bridge, This gives wonderful views of the cathedral, weirs and Framwellgate Bridge.
    The river itself is rather dirty, and fallen trees can be seen., probably deposited by flood.

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    • Hiking and Walking

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    Durham Castle

    by uglyscot Written Jun 19, 2011

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    The castle entrance
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    The castle was built in the 11th century. It is the only castle in England that was never breached.
    Nowadays it is used as residences for the University of Durham, and it is not always open to the public.
    It was closed when we visited, but we were able to see the quadrangle with its lovely buildings ; some with heraldic adornment, others with creeper -clad walls; and the lawns. The heavy doors have a heavy iron bar to keep it closed.
    I particularly admired the pepper-pots on the roof, and the heraldic shields.

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    • Castles and Palaces

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  • uglyscot's Profile Photo

    Visit the Cathedral.

    by uglyscot Written Jun 19, 2011

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    Durham Cathedral
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    The cathedral as we know it today was built by the Normans in 1093. The earliest part is where the bones of the Venerable Bede are buried, and the relics of St Cuthbert.I really liked the arched ceiling.
    The main body of the cathedral is rather dark, with light entering through the various stained glass windows. A font stands near the entry, with a tall wooden structure around and above it.

    Photography is not allowed in the Cathedral.

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    Cathedral

    by sandysmith Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    cathedral

    The Cathedral is well worth a visit to see its interior - photography is not allowed but you can visit various websites for photos of that. I contented myself with walkin around the outside in the lovely sunshine, enjoying all the angles possible! This view shows off the cathedral window.

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    Cathedral, Castle and Cloisters

    by jonathanbarker Updated Feb 26, 2011

    Durham is famous for its castle and cathedral atop the hill above the city. These buildings are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The castle is not always open as it's also part of Durham university, but was the first building here from the late 11th century, on the same site is the Norman cathedral (dedicated to Jesus, the Virgin Mary and the saints Cuthbert and Bede) which although free to enter, a donation is appreciated. However at 11.00 and 14.30 one of the chaplains will take visitors for a tour with commentary for about an hour. Questions are welcome. The grounds also contain the original cloisters from when the cathedral was a monastery. These buildings contain accommodation for the university and a refrectory.

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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Durham Castle

    by spidermiss Updated Sep 5, 2010

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    Durham Castle Gatehouse
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    This Norman Fortress began to be built in 1073. These days the castle is now part of Durham University. You're able to look round the exteriors and the grounds but you'll need to join a guided tour (cost 5 GBP) to look inside.

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  • spidermiss's Profile Photo

    Durham Cathedral

    by spidermiss Updated Sep 5, 2010

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    Durham Cathedral, Durham
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    The Norman Cathedral was built between 1093 and 1274 by Bishop Carileph and was the church of the Benedictine Monastry until The Reformation during the 16th Century. The cathedral has a variety of architectural designs including ribbed vaults and the lozenge and chevron carvings on the structures suggesting Moorish influence from Spain.

    You're able to explore most of the Cathedral including the Nave, the Quire, the Sanctuary and High Alter, St. Cuthbert's Shrine, the Galilee Chapel and the Cloisters. There is no charge to look around the cathedral although a donation is always appreciated. For a charge, 5 GBP, you can go up one of the towers for great views over the city centre.

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    • Photography

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  • gordonilla's Profile Photo

    Durham Cathedral

    by gordonilla Written Jun 18, 2010
    Exterior (1)
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    I had an enjoyable visit to the Cathedral, and the quite and cool of the Cathedral of a welcome change from the heat and bustle of the area around this building. The University was in full swing when I made the visit, and the students were lively and noisy.

    The visit took place on a late Friday afternoon. The facilities were closed; however I did encounter the Choirsters (school boys) who were sitting in fully costume. They were in fact being told of by a clerical gentleman.

    It was a pleasant place to visit, scale and style of architecture was awesome.

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    Market Place

    by iwys Updated Nov 24, 2008
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    Market place is Durham's main town square. It is dominated by two statues. The largest is an equestrian bronze, by Raffaelle Monti, of Charles William Vane Stewart, 3rd Marquis of Londonderry and Lord Lieutenant of County of Durham, wearing his hussar uniform. It was unveiled on December 2nd, 1861. The second statue, which is much older, is a stone figure of Neptune, wearing a crown and carrying a trident, astride a small dolphin. It was commissioned by George Bowes, who gave it to the town, in 1729, as a symbol of the scheme to link Durham to the sea by improved navigation of the River Wear.

    Market Place is flanked by the Town Hall, Guildhall and St. Nicholas Church. It is a very pretty square.

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    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

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