I had a fabulous time on my first visit to Durham, England last September for the Historical Novel Society Conference.
What a lovely, historical city. It was so much fun to explore, and perfect for lovely walks in that balmy, early September weather. I’ve already written about the spectacular Durham Cathedral and the (exhausting) climb up the cathedral tower.
I even wrote about my short time feeling transported to student days, living in the dorms.
Durham is known for its well-maintained medieval architecture. It was an important pilgrimage site in medieval days, with pilgrims visiting to pay homage to Saint Cuthbert and Saint Bede.
Its strategic importance, as a bulwark against the Scots, also contributed to the town’s important role. Its castle fortifications were never breached – quite a miracle in itself.
But the whole town was such a pleasant place for a wander. It probably helped that it was early September and balmy, but it’s such an enjoyable walking city.
I loved the walks along the River Wear, with its fabulous views up to the cathedral and the castle.
There were also lots of picturesque restaurants, cafes and pubs that served up food, drink and spectacular views.
And I enjoyed the busy shopping streets, and popping into all of the bookstores. My bag was a LOT heavier going back than it was on my trip over.
And all that walking and exploring is, of course, much better with a tea and scones. I did love that my accent always caused the waitresses to let me know they could also serve the scones with coffee, if I preferred.
While I rarely turn down coffee, here, I most certainly did. When in Durham…