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. 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 a regular Farmer’s Market that sets up shop in the Market Place every month too. 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 throughout 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. Check out the current exhibitions here.
Entry to Botanic Gardens and the Oriental Museum is FREE with your campus card.
Climb the Cathedral Tower
After being closed for three years the Cathedral central tower is open again. You can climb the 325 steps for a small fee, the vies are truly spectacular, this is a rite of passage for many Durham students, read Katie’s blog about her experience here.