County Durham and the city of Durham have a special place in my heart. My family moved up there when I was nine and and I did not move back south until I was in my twenties. I still have family there and this year it was time to introduce Beany to the delights of the dales.
Car packed up, we headed off early for what would be at least a six-hour journey, one of the main reasons we don’t visit that regularly. Considering it was her first long car journey, Beany was very tolerant and we arrived, that evening, at Jasmine Cottage, Pondfield Villa Farm, Rowley, our home for the week.
Jasmine Cottage is owned and run by Kevin and Margaret Steel, a very welcoming and hard-working couple who run the farm on which they keep horses. The cottage is beautifully situated on the dales and was more than sufficient for our little family. With two bedrooms and two bathrooms we had more that adequate accommodation, quite a luxury.
Durham is about twenty minutes away and is known for its cathedral and castle, and as a university town there is never a dull moment. During our holiday we took a trip into Durham to visit the cathedral and take a walk along the river.
Established by monks on a pilgrimage with the body of St Cuthbert, Durham Cathedral is magnificent and as with many old buildings in need of constant repair.
The sanctuary knocker on the cathedral door is of particular import. The story goes that people could request sanctuary for 37 days in order to make good with their enemies or plan their escape. I wonder what tales it could tell and how many have used this knocker to gain refuge from their enemies or law enforcers?
The river Wear frequently buzzes with the sound of rowers; professional, university and tourists. The day we visited it was a little quieter due to the rain and sheltered under the trees we were able to enjoy the quiet contemplation of a river walk.
I would recommend a trip to County Durham to all and there is plenty to do and see for all the family. Over the next couple of weeks I will be posting about our trips to Beamish Open Air Museum, Hadrian’s Wall, Vindolanda and National Trust properties Gibside and Seaton Delval. I hope you will join me and enjoy the posts. I’ll see you there.
Have you visited County Durham or Durham City. I’d love to hear what you think, so don’t forget to let us know below.