Durham is particularly quiet over the Easter break apart from the open days. Making the most of your time in this picturesque city over the holidays and earning a well-deserved library break is essential.
There are lots of things to do in Durham and beyond over the holidays, here are a few of my personal recommendations:
Now the sun is out, making the most of the coast is a great way to spend a day off over the Easter weekend. Tynemouth, in particular, is a favourite of mine, being only a quick metro ride away from Newcastle. On Saturdays and Sundays, Tynemouth has a bustling market, with good food options including Raclette, Greek food and local produce. There are also several artisan stalls with everything from crockery to fashion. Once a month, Tynemouth station have a book fair with many fiction and non-fiction books ranging from 30p. Longsands Fish Kitchen do an incredible old-fashioned curry sauce with your fish and chips which is perfect for sitting on the beach. When you finally get to the beach, you can rent surfing equipment to make the most of your day. It’s a beautiful sandy beach and usually pretty quiet.
Old Durham Gardens
While it has limited opening hours, between 2-4pm on Thursdays and Sundays, it is a hidden gem of Durham. Along the river path by Maiden Castle, it’s an excellent way to get out of an afternoon slump while studying or a great place to go when your parents or friends are visiting Durham. I have to admit, I didn’t get here until my fourth year which is such a shame. I wish I had visited sooner.
Places to brunch are key in Durham. In the holidays Flat White Kitchen has a smaller queue and sometimes no queue at all! Easter is the ideal time to visit Riverview Kitchen as you can get the perfect window seats, eat pancakes, relax and enjoy the view. If you’re not in for a river-view, Waffly Good Company is a great place to suit a mixture of sweet and savoury tastes with a smaller price tag for a filling meal.
Brown’s rowing boats
Now that spring is here, Brown’s Rowing Boats are finally open. Being able to have a leisurely row and take your mind off lecture and seminar work or revision is a plus. Take a trip along the tranquil river in the heart of the city – it’s easy to forget how lucky we are with the city around us and the river we walk past daily. Being able to row along the river and see Durham in its natural beauty, for just £7 per person makes this is one of the prime things to do over the break.
After almost four years in Durham, I believe there could be a pub quiz for every night of the week! However, having spent time in numerous pubs and having my confidence knocked in general knowledge, I believe the two best quizzes have to be The Bridge Hotel quiz on a Sunday and Ye Old Elm Tree on a Wednesday, both starting at 9 pm for just £1 admission. As a religious attendee to these quizzes, the main deciding factor for attending so regularly is not only a rigorous quiz which challenges you, but there is a meal equivalent at these quizzes for a £1. While I couldn’t quite believe it at first, it has now become a regular way to achieve dinner as a student alongside meeting friends who are also here over the holidays after you’ve been stuck in the library all day.
Discovering Britain Walks
If you’re looking for free and active things to do to get away from the library, The Royal Geographical society has many walks across the North East in their Discovering Britain walk series. The Durham city walk focuses on the ‘lost’ river of Durham and allows you to understand the different geographical features unique to Durham.
If you’re interested in taking a walking break over exams, the charity Living Streets are leading free themed walks for National Walking Month around Durham focussed on food and fitness on the 14th of May. Whether you want to beat exam stress, make the most of your lunch break or just enjoy the great outdoors, Living Streets are on hand to help. Their food-themed walk will see us ambling through the city, exploring the very best vegan and vegetarian places to eat. Their fitness-themed walk will involve a pleasant stroll along the river, led by a qualified personal trainer who will show us how to incorporate gentle exercises to gain maximum benefits.
I’ll be there and you can sign up to take part in the walk here.
Disclaimer: It’s impossible to mention all the places to go in Durham. There are so many cafes, pubs, and restaurants, in the four years I’ve been here I haven’t been everywhere yet – if you think I’ve missed somewhere great then let me know at email@example.com.