This historic little town is the perfect place to visit if you’re looking for an authentic english experience. The city is littered with cobbled streets, quirky cafes and lots of cool pubs. Oh, and it’s also my hometown so it holds a dear place in my heart.
Durham is a wonderful little city with lots of character and history and is a great place to spend a few days away. At the heart of the city you’ll find Durham Cathedral, a world heritage site that never seizes to amaze. Built in 1093 to house the Shrine of St Cuthbert, it really is spectacular and a must see if you are in Durham. General admission is free but access to the open treasure does cost £7.50 for adults. The Norman architecture and the stain glass windows are just incredible. It sits opposite Durham Castle, another incredible Norman building that has been occupied by Durham University students since 1840. The Cathedral also has been used as a backdrop in a number of blockbuster movies including Harry Potter and most recently Avengers: Infinity War.
Depending on what day you’re visiting there is usually something happening in the market place. On the weekends it is filled with stalls selling everything from vintage jumpers to homemade fudge. There is also a great little independent bookshop inside the market place where you can pick up some cheap fiction. Also once a month the Full Moon Markets come to town, the events showcases food stalls from all North East business accompanied by some live music. Everyone knows that people from the North East are the friendliest people in England so you shouldn’t have any trouble making friends or asking locals for help while you’re there.
After you’ve had a walk and a talk, ate some food at the restaurants I’ve recommend below, make sure to check out The Shakespeare Tavern for a good old english ale. It is apparently one of the most haunted pubs in England. However, if you fancy something a little bit more chilled that comes in a martini glass then head down to Whisky River for a fancy cocktail, they make really good margaritas.
Durham is a 3 hour train ride from London and is renowned for it’s magnificat view as you enter the city over the viaduct on the journey from London Kings Cross. With an estimated population of 50,000, this little city has a big heart and a busy schedule. There are so wonderful things to see and some beautiful walks around town, but if youhave your own car then you can also drive to some amazing places near by including Beamish Museum and Hadrian’s Wall.
The city is currently undergoing a massive transformation which plans to see a number of new shops, bars, restaurants and cinemas open up on the Riverwalk early next year. Given the status of the university and the fact that Durham is one of only two cities in the UK with a walk in passport office, the number of tourists and visitors is increasing so it’s great to see the council investing back in the city
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BREAKFAST: FLAT WHITE KITCHEN
Located on Saddler street is flat white kitchen, an independent cafe run by guys who actually care about their product. They do the best coffee in town and understand the difference between a long black and an americano. Highlights include the avocado on sourdough toast with poached eggs, chilli, feta and coriander and the pancakes. The also serve a selection of juices and cakes along with their brunch menu which runs all day. Expect a queue, this place is very popular with locals and students alike.
LUNCH: BILL’S RESTURANT
Also located on Saddler street is Bill’s. This cute and quirky restaurant is the perfect place to have a light lunch. There is a good selection of vegetarian dishes available on the menu as well as a good selection of beer, including their own which is brewed in Lewes, Sussex. Highlights include the veggie mezze the crumbed halloumi sticks.This place is busy on the weekend so booking is wise.
DINNER: LA SPAGHETTATA
Also located on Saddler street is Spag’s, the perfect place to unwind and have a cheap Italian dinner. You can get a bottle of house white or red wine for £10 with a garlic bread. Highlights include the Durham Pizza (Veggie) and the spinach and ricotta tortellini. Once again, this place is very popular with locals and students so avoid peak times. Once you’ve finished dinner head to upstairs to Fabio’s and enjoy the rest of your evening.