UK Travel Guide



Durham in Durham

With a grand medieval appeal, the city of Durham seems like a destination that can only be arrived at by means of time travel. Built on the Island Hill peninsula in 995 AD, Durham maintains and untouched and ageless serenity. Waterways stretch for miles with the combination of river and canal running almost side-by-side while castle ruins poke through the light mist on Durhamís pristine landscape.

Two of the cityís primary attractions, Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle help uphold the medieval charm. Construction of Durham Cathedral began in 1093 by Bishop William of Calais and took nearly 200 years to complete. The Cathedral possesses many unique characteristics and was the first to use ribbed vaulting on a large scale. The stone columns inside the church were designed with a variety of beautifully carved patterns. Durham Castle built in 1072, was originally a defensive fortress offering protection from Scotland.

Durham also possesses another character due to the collegiate influence. The University of Durham has grown around the Church and Castle. Parts of the Castle are now used for student housing and are open daily for visitors. Like Oxford and Cambridge, Durham is a college town with activities catering to the student populationís needs.

With a dual nature and plenty of pleasant surprises, Durham offers the usual tourists and college attractions such as scenic sites and boating as well as nostalgic peace. A walk along the canal during summer can lead to many interesting experiences including an opportunity to see an open-air theatre production.