On Tour NC 500 – Day 19

On Tour Travelogue Day 19

Monday 18 June

Well what a day and of Edinburgh is the Jewel of Scotland (which by the way it is) then Durham has to be the Diamond of the North East England.

It is a simply magnificent city and especially its buildings.

The day started with a trip to the Belmont Park and Ride terminus and a journey by bus into the city.

Well done County Durham for the brilliantly organised and efficient service you provide it made me wonder why more towns and cities don’t do it – but that I suppose is another story for another day.

Durham has so much going for it, not only has it the River Wear running through its centre, and a cathedral that is probably the finest Norman structure in Britain, or a castle that towers over the town, or even the fact that it is full of vibrant young people who are attending one of the three greatest universities in England it is simply that it is a really great place to visit.

And by the way talking to people who live here it is also a great place to live not only for itself but because it gives you access to the County Durham countryside and yet is only twenty miles from Newcastle and thirty miles from the spectacular East Coast.

Little wonder they are happy to keep it a secret.

So what of other things well at this point I should say that the idea that the United Kingdom has been overrun by ‘foreigners’ hasn’t quite caught on in Durham where people from different cultures and background just get along fine.

Could it be the environment they live in perhaps?

Though as I had a hair cut this morning it did amuse me that the barber – they do not have male hairdressers here – spoke to me with a very broad Durham accent and to the lad who he was training in Turkish because he explained it was easier for him to make the lad understand.

Before you ask I wasn’t in the least bit offended, why would I be everyone has to learn sometime and as for the speaking in a different language have you ever listened to Boris Johnston or even a very very excited Geordie – and that’s supposed to be English.

For information right next door to Durham Prison is a pub called appropriately enough the Court Inn (so I suspect not many prison visitors pay it a call) but what attracted Liz to it was the sign that said ‘we stock over 200 gins’.

Durham is a city where any self respecting matelots could have a brilliant run ashore.
And did I mention that it is absolutely spotless – I admit to having a thing about how bloody dirty my country has become – even to seeing two PCSO’s removing fly stickers from buildings as they did their rounds.

Five hours in Durham and at every turn there is something to see especially if you look up. I say this because the majority of people are so intent on looking down they don’t take the time to stop and look up at the enormous variety buildings that exist.

I suppose in many ways it is exactly the same throughout the United Kingdom in our villages and towns that have been around for centuries so just as you should take time to pause and look around at what nature provides perhaps we should all do the same with our built environment.

So here we are at the end of another day and all I can say is we will be back, so time for a small (ish) G and T – or three….


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