Durham City Centre
The sight of Durham Cathedral, on the horizon, is a familiar sight to regular travellers on the East Coast main line between London and Newcastle. Why not take a break and have a closer look?
Durham railway station is set high on a hill about a 10 minute walk from the City Centre and the pedestrian route involves negotiating a steep staircase.
Fortunately, the number 40 bus route runs every 20 minutes between the station, the city centre, the cathedral and the adjacent castle. This service is fully accessible and a flat rate ticket priced £1 offers unlimited daily travel.
Durham Cathedral is as impressive as it appears from the train. Admission to the main cathedral is free of charge, but there is a charge for guided tours and The Open Treasure Exhibition.
Taking photos is not permitted in the main cathedral but the cloistered quadrangle, leading from the cathedral to the shop and Undercroft restaurant, provides some wonderful photo opportunities. Especially on a sunny day.
The Castle next door is also open to the public but this is by guided tour only. Tours are hourly and are likely to be popular,
While it is only a short down-hill walk from the Castle to the city centre, it is possible to detour, exploring the historic streets and strolling on the riverbank.
The city centre is compact and packed with history. Twenty-first century brands mingle with independent stores and coffee houses on the edge of the thriving market. Alleys and passages reveal hidden gems like Vennels, an ideal stop for coffee and cake.
Prince Bishop River Cruises run sightseeing tours from Elvet Bridge the tour takes an hour. No advance bookings are taken, as fares are collected on the boat.