Summer is here. Schoolchildren have finished for the holidays, undergraduates are already a quarter of the way through their summer vacation, and it appears as if the glorious weather is here to stay. Durham Castle bustles with tours and weekend weddings, the Cathedral grounds are packed with picnickers, and the riverside cafes and restaurants are full of visitors enjoying the sunshine and long summer evenings. Even some of the remaining postgraduates are finding the time to unwind outside of the academic term; and can be found relaxing by the river on the Racecourse, studying in the sunshine outside the Palatine Centre, or taking dissertation breaks amidst the quietude of the Botanic Gardens.
Durham and the wider North East has an abundance on offer throughout the summer months, with a myriad of things to do and places to see. Collected here are just a few of the many exciting things happening across the remainder of July, and into August. If you’re still in Durham, or coming back for term early, make sure you take some time to enjoy the local area.
Full moon market
Every month, Durham City plays host to a Full Moon Market, the next of which take place on Friday August 17th. Head down to the Market Place to purchase a range of foods from various street vendors. There’s everything from burgers to crepes, and with the warm weather in tow, it makes for a special evening in the city centre. There’s often music playing in the background, with the option of retiring to the riverside or a nearby pub after filling up on delicious food. And of course there’s regular Farmer’s Market that sets up shop in the Market Place. Full of food and local produce, it’s well worth a wander through on the way to/from the library.
Stroll around the Botanic Garden
Why not journey up to the Durham University Botanic Garden for a stroll, sometime this summer? Explore the many different natural areas, with new plant-life and hidden artworks around every corner, then relax in the cafe or join one of the Teddy Bears Picnics! Entry is free for University members, and throughout July and August there are a number of ‘spotter’ events. Feel free to wander through the Garden spotting as many Signs of Summer (July theme) or Marvellous Mini Beasts (August) that you can. The Garden runs a full programme of family friendly activities througout the year and summer is the perfect time to enjoy this oasis on the edge of the city.
Discover a hidden gem
Just across the road from the Botanic Garden, Durham’s Oriental Museum is well worth a visit. Explore the stunning collections in the Egyptian Gallery, then follow the silk route through the Chinese Gallery to India and beyond.
The current exhibition The Emperor’s New Clothes: Transforming 19th Century Japan has been created by students studying for the MA in Museum and Artefact Studies at Durham University and runs until 9th September 2018. There are a host of events linked to the exhibition including family activities and a talk on 14th July To Wear or Not to Wear Kimono: Transnational Fashion Exchange in Meiji Japan and Britain This exhibition is part of Great Exhibition of the North 2018.
Climb the Cathedral
We’ve all become accustomed to the ‘plaster’ on top of Durham Cathedral but, in lieu of not being able to climb the steps of the central tower, the Cathedral have opened guided access to the North West Tower on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the daytime. The views are truly spectacular, and you can even see the ‘plaster’ up close. Booking is essential, and can be done at the Visitor’s Desk in the main Cathedral building.
As you pass through the city centre on Friday the 17th of August, between 12:30 and 1pm, pause to listen to the National Youth Girls Choir as they perform a number of their favourite songs to the general public, for free! Despite the lovely sunshine, why not indulge in ‘The Addams Family’ play at the Gala Theatre? The darkest of literary families takes to the stage between 1st-4th August for a comedic tale of Wednesday’s new boyfriend and his introduction to her family. Booking is essential.
For more information on University visitor attractions events and activities taking place over the summer visit the What’s On Guide
To find out more about places of interest around County Durham https://www.thisisdurham.com
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