Durham, England
 By Syd & June Burns   2010

Syd & June Burns take on the cobblestones of Durham, England to explore its many Medieval wonders.

Durham Cathedral dates from the 10th century.

Durham Cathedral dates from the 10th century.


We decided to have a few days away as the throes of winter were leaving us. We had a great journey over to Durham. The trains were really on time, and we even managed to catch an earlier one, which got us into Durham almost an hour earlier than we expected. The train staff were brilliant in getting us on and off.

Premier Inn was really good with one of the best roll-in, roll-out bathrooms we have ever experienced. The meals at the hotel are really good; June stayed with the Chinese menu and I had a variety of steak. We never stay up late so it was a few drinks and to bed.

yd at Durham Cathedral's entrance.

Syd at Durham Cathedral's entrance.

Durham doorknocker close-up.

`Durham doorknocker close-up.

Thursday we were up early walked into the town and found a good breakfast place and then up the mediaeval streets to the Cathedral and Castle. The cathedral being one of the oldest in England was totally awe inspiring. Volunteers were on hand everywhere to help and explain to the visitors. Alas I was not allowed to take pictures inside, which was a shame as the columns are spectacular.

We were allowed in to see St. Cuthberts tomb in a chapel, which is set aside and was closed to the public. There were special tour maps for wheelchairs. I went and described any places of interest to June where the wheelchair couldn't go. Like the city itself there was not much interest shown for the disabled in mediaeval times. According to the cathedral's history,during the Middle Ages this church provided sanctuary  for fugitives who knocked at their door.

We spent several hours in the cathedral and then walked across the green to the castle.
We could view the outside, but it was closed to the public as it is used as part of Durham University. The area was all cobblestones; making it pretty painful for June so after taking some pictures we went back into the town. The streets are so steep and the pavements narrow it was a struggle to manoeuvre the chair in places but one expects that sort of difficulty in a place like Durham.


After lunch we took to the footpath of the River Wear, a walk almost made for wheelchairs. The scenery was drop dead gorgeous and there were all sorts of follies along the route. One particular one was a seat which on the rear had a collection of gargoyles from the cathedral which had been discarded during renovations. It was really weird.

We walked for several hours and eventually got ourselves back again to the rear of the castle. It was one of our few bad moves. The ramps were so steep and badly designed that we really got stuck. We huffed and puffed but as we were half way up and the ramp got steeper we could go no further. We were starting to get really worried when a couple of students were passing and offered help. They took us right out on to the road again. Panic over! On the way back to the hotel, we passed a sculpture of monks carrying St. Cuthbert on his travels. A really spooky one. Another quiet night after a good meal.

On Friday we had a last walk around the town before catching the train home. This time we went to the covered market. The market prides itself on being a supermarket for individual attention. They are right you can buy almost anything at all there.

 

June rolls to Durham Castle.

 

A narrow lane in Durham.

  Durham's cobblestone streets prove challenging for a wheelchair user.

June rolls to Durham Castle.

 

A narrow lane in Durham.

 

Durham's cobblestone streets can prove challenging for a wheelchair user.

`June checks out a seat decorated with gargoyles salvaged from the renovated cathedral.  

June visits a sculpture of monks carrying St. Cuthbert.

  June tours Durham's covered market.

June checks out a seat decorated
with salvaged gargoyles from
the renovated cathedral.

 

June visits a sculpture of
monks carrying St. Cuthbert.

 

June tours Durham's covered market.


We got the most the most attentive service again with the train people and they even put us in first class. A nice way to travel. We were home by mid afternoon--back to the normal routine. That brings you up to date and the next trip is to Liverpool on the 29th March.

Check out Syd & June's other adventures to:

Liverpool, England '10
Liverpool, England '09
Sheffield, England '09
Wynyard Hall '09
London, England & Dordogne, France '07

Amsterdam '07
Tennessee Trip '07
London in Spring '07
Weekend in London '07

Sheffield, England's Marriott '05

New Zealand Part I
New Zealand Part II

Barcelona '06
Palma Mallorca
Tenerife
East Coast Of America (Boston to Richmond and return)
Chicago and Las Vegas

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