A Weekend Away in Durham

We’ve just spent three lovely days in the North East, in Durham; the city where Aidan and I went to university and met. A very long time ago now! Last year, we took the kids back there for a visit and had such a great time, we decided to go again this year. 

Posing in front of the Christmas tree in the market square

We didn’t have many great or specific plans about what we wanted to do there. Yet, somehow we managed to spend three days in a pretty small city.

Durham Market Square, complete with tree and police car from The Interceptors

No trip to Durham is complete without a visit to the magnificent castle and cathedral. Despite having seen it probably a hundred times, it never gets fails to amaze me with its size and ornate beauty.

The foundations of Durham Cathedral – or The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, to give it its full name – were first laid in 1093. It took 40 years to complete this, now, World Heritage Site. It’s easy to see why when you admire the intricate detail inside the main building and out. The whole three years we were both at university, the end of the cathedral was covered in scaffolding as part of the ongoing repair maintenance works. Last year, it still was covered. For us, that’s 14 years of never seeing the end part of the cathedral, so imagine our joy upon discovering the work was completed (for now) and the end was now uncovered.

Finally finished!

The kids really enjoyed looking round inside and exploring the cloisters. We weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the main building, and we couldn’t look too deep into the cathedral as usual because they were preparing and practising for the Christmas services. 

Christmas tree, Corliss and Cloisters…

Not the best picture, but Corliss loved the cloisters and the Christmas tree in the middle! 

Outside Castle college. Dexter is doing ‘head, shoulders, knees and toes’ as he misunderstood my instruction to pose!

The walks around Durham are lovely too. We walked miles! Which was probably a good job considering how much we ate over the weekend… 

Feeding the Ducks at our old college of Van Mildert

It was lovely to show the kids where we met and spent such a formative part of our lives. It was fun to reminisce about our time there too. Most of my memories seem to involve daft nights out, our rubbish houses we lived in and some of the characters we met there… Aidan seemed to spend his whole time working, playing squash, cycling and running in the woods. Not much has changed with us there then! 

Dexter’s dream: giant fluffy toys!
Enticing the robot with squeals and skips!

There was a little Christmas market on while we were there, nice to look round but we didn’t buy anything. on Sunday, the kids were enthralled by the giant squirrels and robot. Corliss chased the robot round for ages, enticing it to squirt her. She was soaked! Dexter loves teddies and fluffy toys so he was smitten with the squirrels. 
Overall, a fantastic weekend of walks, historical buildings, food and fun. Perfect way to kick off our Christmas. 

Durham Cathedral at night
Bronze statue of the Dun Cow

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