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Xmas in Durham

London, United...
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Xmas in Durham

Hi

We've booked a stay for five nights in the Radisson over Xmas itself.

Any suggestions/tips very welcome. Obviously the Cathedral, The Castle (if it is open over Xmas?) and relaxing in our room and pool (hopefully, it is open most days).

We are coming by train so I imagine we cannot really venture much outside the City by public transport given the Bank Holidays, weather, etc, but it would be nice to do a day trip if the weather is ok and trains/buses are available.

I like real ale - preferably in quiteish historic pubs. Any folk music type places? Hidden architectural gems? Recommended restaurants?

Many thanks for your time.

Philip

Durham Cathedral
Sacred & Religious Sites, Historic Sites
Crook Hall & Gardens
Historic Sites, Gardens
Hall Hill Farm
Educational sites, Farms
Cambridge, United...
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1. Re: Xmas in Durham

Hi, one of the best restaurants in Durham is a short taxi out to The Best Western Honest lawyer, it's not a central resturant but its one of the best for food. There is a good view point in the shopping centre, go past BHS and follow the signs for the car park, (Yes - this is right) continue to the stairs and go up one level and you've got a good view of the city.

Also, you can get down to the River through the same stairs or lifts. Now, the Cathedral is recommended and if you do struggle walking up the hill take the Cathedral bus (50p) single possibly still, free to bus pass holders which is also the same service that goes between the Railway Station and the river front near the Premier Inn, across the river from the Raddison Hotel, now it's the c2(I think if route number hasn't changed) but it may be a better deal than a taxi.

Also, the Restaurant within the Raddison at the front the one where you have breakfast does very good Italian food in the evenings. It is expensive but worth it, also Ask do good Italian near the Theatre (there is a express lift) from near the steps behind premier inn up to the restaurant level or you can get up stairs there to. Now, the cafe next to Waterstones in the courtyard is very good for snacks. There's also a Slug and lettuce pub plus Wetherspoons in the same area near the library (I've lost the name of the area I'm afraid)

You get a good view of the Cathedral, from the bridge across the river next to Esquires Coffee and Cafe Rouge. I hope this is of benefit, there's also a nice cafe at the Cathedral.

Durham, United...
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2. Re: Xmas in Durham

If your looking for cheap and cheerful and full of atmosphere and the food is great check out tripadvisor.co.uk/Restaurant_Review-g190832-… it's 3 floors up and above the resteraunt is a small bar and you will be spoilt for choice on the real ale around Durham front hope this helps

Durham, United...
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3. Re: Xmas in Durham

Public transport is very limited around Christmas - no buses or trains on the Bank Holidays, and a Sunday service on the days between Xmas and New Year. Newcastle would be an interesting day trip when the trains are running.

Plenty of real ale pubs to choose from in Durham. The CAMRA pub trail is on

www.camradurham.org.uk/documents/aleTrail.pdf

The Dun Cow used to have regular folk music sessions. There's also a microbrewery in Fowler's Yard. The Court Inn is good for pub food.

Crook Hall, along from the Radisson, is open until Dec 23rd but closed over Christmas. The Castle should be open for tours but check the sign outside as they are sometimes cancelled because of functions. The Cathedral is the highlight but have a walk down the Baileys for some more historical architecture, and along the riverbanks passing bridges dating from the 12th century, and Ove Arup's more modern favourite Kingsgate Bridge. A mile further upstream is Old Durham Gardens, a walled garden dating from the 17th century.

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4. Re: Xmas in Durham

That's a good point, is that the same as the university botanic Garderns, as that's nice but don't want to go into detail if that's the same place.

London, United...
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5. Re: Xmas in Durham

Thanks for the tips and recommendations - much appreciated. I will check them all online to find out more. I like the idea of finding a good view of the city from a car park! I have since checked with Crook Hall directly and in December they only open for special events, one of which being on the 23rd.

Durham, United...
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6. Re: Xmas in Durham

Old Durham Gardens is different to the University Botanic Gardens. Under restoration by volunteers so opening times for the inner courtyard are very limited. The outer area is accessible at any time though http://www.olddurhamgardens.co.uk/

Botanic Gardens are well worth a visit but it appears to be closed over Xmas/New Year. For contrasting architectural styles have a look at the University sites down South Road like the hexagonal blocks of Trevelyan College.

Durham, United...
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7. Re: Xmas in Durham

Welcome to the Durham forum.

A great website for information on Durham is:

www.thisisdurham.com/

As for real ale pubs in Durham, have a look at the link Colin055 posted above. There are some great real ale pubs in Durham, one's that I visit often are:

The Bridge Inn, Ye Old Elm Tree, The Shakespeare, Market Tavern, Woodman Inn and the Victoria Inn.

These places have character & history, especially The Shakespeare and Victoria Inn (known as The Vic) it's like stepping back in time when you visit these places. Other places offer real ale, but I find them modern and have no character.

Anything else, just else.

Alan :)

Edited: 30 September 2012, 12:38
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8. Re: Xmas in Durham

Thanks, Alan - will circle those pubs on The CAMRA map!

Hunwick
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9. Re: Xmas in Durham

Another nice place to visit is Wharton Park which has a great view of the city from above the viaduct. If you look at durham station on google maps, wharton park is right next to it. Pictures on google images give you an idea

Also, we just did the pubs and prisons ghost walk tour in Durham, well worth it and not like the commercial ones you get in York and the like. http://www.durhamghostwalk.co.uk/tours.html

Recommended restaurants : Central Thai, La Spaghetata, Cellar Door, and Shahins Indian Restaurant. Pubs as above.

London, United...
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10. Re: Xmas in Durham

Thanks - will see if a pubs and prisons ghost walk tour is on during our stay and will check out your other suggestions.

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