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2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore

Hunter Valley NSW...
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2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore


Whilst the men folk enjoy 2 days at the cricket test, I will be taking the ladies out and about. Have the first day sorted - will spend visiting the castle and cathedral, cruise on the river and a walk around the town area. Leaving the car at home and catching public transport in from our B & B at Belmont. The next day has me a bit stuck. Have spent some time looking at the This is Durham site and thought the High Force water fall at Forest at Teesdale looked good. Can see this is about an hour drive away. Was initially thinking that we should just head to a section of Hadrians wall but am having a bit of trouble figuring out which portion is closest to us. Can also see that Auckland castle could be worth a look. So am asking for feedback as to how to best spend this one day - we enjoy natural beauty, history, and gardens. Looking forward to the suggestions.



Durham, United...
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1. Re: 2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore

Hello Suz & welcome to the Durham forum.

You have made some great choices for your first day,the Castle & Cathedral, cruise on the river and a walk around the cobbled streets, there are many coffee shops / tea rooms and Pubs if you need to stop off for some refreshments or a meal.

I think the nearest attraction part of Hadrian's Wall would be Corbridge Roman Town. This would take between 45 - 55 minutes.


Other places of interest:

Bowes Museum at Barnard Castle


Beamish Museum


Middleton in Teesdale - High force


Durham University Botanical Gardens


Witton Castle Cpuntry Park


Alan :)

Durham, United...
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2. Re: 2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore

There's a bus into Durham from Belmont about every 10 minutes during the daytime so you should be fine using public transport. Another interesting garden in Durham is at Crook Hall which is a historic house in the city centre http://www.crookhallgardens.co.uk/

During August there will be an exhibition about the Lindisfarne Gospels which are being loaned to Durham for 3 months. You would be able to visit that at the same time as the Cathedral.

The best parts of Hadrian's Wall are west of Hexham. Chesters is probably the nearest Roman Fort. Slightly further away Housesteads and Vindolanda are the most interesting forts to visit. If you want to walk along a section of Wall Housesteads is the best place. Corbridge is a Roman town but it's actually about a mile away from the Wall itself. Another option is Segedunum which is the fort at the eastern end of the Wall at Wallsend, but it's in an urban area so would be more easily visited by train to Newcastle and metro to Wallsend.

England, United...
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3. Re: 2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore

We stayed in Durham two years ago and really loved this city. The cathedral and university buildings are very interesting. When we were there, we were the very first customers in the newly opened tourist office shop. There is a lot of information inside the cathedral regarding the Durham Light Infantry. (My grandfather was a soldier in that regiment during WWI.) The river cruise takes about an hour. The boats can't go all the way along the river as there are weirs at both ends, but as you pass by the university grounds, you get some very interesting and different shots of the cathedral.

If you drive out of Durham and head north towards Hexham, the scenery around Whittenstall is staggering. There are several large poppy fields around Corbridge and I recalled that The Times newspaper featured a photograph of a young girl standing alone in the middle of one such field.

If you visit Hexham, a very nice traditional market town, they serve a nice cup of coffee in the Abbey next to the old Magistrates Court. At the time we were there, a scheme had just been launched to restore the mediaeval monastic complex originally confiscated by Henry VIII at the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

We spent about 2 hours at Chesters Roman Fort and museum. It is possible to see a small section of Hadrian's wall down by the small river that runs along one side of the buildings.

Edited: 12 May 2013, 18:21
Tenterden, United...
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4. Re: 2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore

Although you would need to change buses at Cockfield, Raby Castle is beautiful and very well worth a visit. For some reason it is not mentioned very much on TA.


Durham, United...
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5. Re: 2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore

Make a visit to Killhope, the North of England Lead Mining Museum (http://www.killhope.org.uk/), a fantastic day out - open every day of the week, loads going on and fantastic cafe (free entry to cafe and shop). You won't be disappointed! About 60 mins drive from Durham.

United Kingdom
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6. Re: 2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore

A bit of distance from Durham but Bowes Museum is a fantastic Day out & just off the town Centre at Barnard Castle..

A full day in Durham City centre with the Castle and Cathedral will not disappoint,but it's very hilly so bring some stout shoes..

Guildford, United...
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7. Re: 2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore

If you have a full day to drive then my preference would by to drive up Teesdale to High Force/Langdon Beck and then cut across the moors and return along Weardale (or in reverse). Nice small towns (Barnard Castle, Stanhope), viillages (Middlleton), scenery - High Force and elsewhere and some tourist attractions like Bowes Museum and Killhope.

If you have time deviate after Stanhope and go to Blanchland.

Or you could go to the coast, although that is close enough to be an evening trip in the summer.

Edited: 13 July 2013, 20:52
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8. Re: 2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore

Bowes museum and Teesdale in general; Killhope Lead mining centre and Weardale in general. Bowes has a fantastic cafe.

9. Re: 2 full days in Durham - best areas to explore

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