Saturday, 11 December 2010

Durham (2) Winter riverside walk

Following on from the last walk, most of the photographs in the second half of the post were of the Silver Street bridge. The above photo is from on top of the bridge. We are going to take a walk along the right hand side of the river here towards the bridge in the distance. Most visitors see this walk in Summer, so I am going to make you feel special by taking you in winter ... 4th December 2010.

Firstly, we gain access to the riverside by the steps. Notice Bella Italia opposite... reasonably priced for a meal, however it is not quite Venice ... but they do squeeze in a few too many window seats as all the diners want one ! Durham Castle in the background was originally built for the Bishop of Durham but is now home to Durham University and was built in the 11th century after the Norman conquest with additions in the 14th century.

The ancient city of Durham stands on a hill inside a severe river bend of the River Wear which starts in the Pennines and enters the North Sea at Sunderland. This is the most spectacular moment of its journey.

Although there was a church on this site prior to the Cathedral for the chapel of St Cuthbert and The Venerable Bede ( two famous North East of England saint ), Durham Cathedral was constructed essentially within 40 years starting at the end of the 11th century. The towers were added later in the 13th and 15th centuries with on going major repair work going on throughout its history.

The Old Fulling Mill was originally a watermill from its construction in the 17th century and is now home to an archeology museum with the University looking after it. The above view is probably more famous for annual calendar publications and local Christmas cards.

Everyone knows about the Oxford and Cambridge boat race, but not many people know about a lesser tournament between the Universities of Newcastle and Durham... The River Tyne versus The Wear...

The oppositions boat house !!

I scrambled down an icy slope near the river to get the above and below picture... I hope you appreciate the effort .... and danger !!

Just before crossing the bridge, I spotted a wintry scene up a slope that seemed worthy of a picture...

After crossing the bridge, I headed back in the direction of the Cathedral and came past an unusual door...

But I was left wondering as I walked further along this street.......

South Bailey street

spot the difference...  LOL
Where were all the people ? ! .......

To be continued....


  1. winter everywhere and no place to hide!
    I was born in june and I think that next time I will choose january...ha ha
    At least the sun is trying his best in some of your wonderful images!

    I like this castle and if I will have one (even if only in my dreams)I will build it high above next to a river just like Durham Castle!

    I like also those empty streets...
    You had the courage to leave home in winter and this is only the beginning of it!
    I wish you a lot of sunny days!
    See you soon!

  2. As I said in my previous comment I have fond memories from Durham. Some years ago I live for one month there, on a grant from St. Mary's College. Mainly I researched in the library for my Ph.D. It was in autumn and the weather was fine. I was aquainted with the former Registrar of the University and I remember a meal inside the Castle, and one not far from the Cathedral, in a little Indian restaurant. It was very cozy.

    Thank you for showing me how Durham looks in winter. Your pictures are great! I would like to wander there...

  3. Gorgeous pictures!. The wintry scene on the slope would make a great Christmas card. Glad you didn't fall in the river - you would have frozen solid.

  4. Such classic winter photos. I love the bridge photo that is reflecting on the water.

  5. This is my favourite of all your posts. Some superb shots. Difficult to beat a still day in winter, perhaps a few more breaks in the cloud but difficult to have everything. A great job.

  6. That is a brilliant post and set of photos. A place I have yet to visit and thanks for inspiring me to.

  7. Marvellous pictures!
    Regards from Sweden,

  8. you're just leaving us hanging, wondering where all the people are! These are stunningly beautiful photos. I am kicking myself for not getting to Durham while we were so close - three times! You need to make a coffee table book with these prints. They're amazing! Thanks for sharing them with us. I can see that Durham can be enjoyed in summer AND winter.

    P.S. My winter view from the deck was taken behind the building just to have some sort of frame of reference for all the white out there. Today is sunny but still strong winds. Wish I had a castle or cathedral to view out my window!

  9. I love the 12th picture - the empty street.
    For me, a person in that shot would have spoiled it.
    Mind you - where is everyone? Hope you are going to tell us.

  10. Hello!
    Beautiful photos!
    Very interesting post!

  11. Love the photos with the reflections in the water, and that street with no people in is just like cartway in the town of Bridgenorth where I was born, you make a very good tour guide and have enjoyed reading and looking at your posts, can't wait to see where the people are, lets take a guess Christmas Shopping!!!
    George says thanks for the comment :)

  12. Very nice pictures.Greetings Andrzej.

  13. These are all wonderful shots and the first one is pure magic! Thanks for braving the cold to capture such beauty.

  14. Great pics of Durham! I was a student there at Castle and lived on Owengate.

  15. the old castle in the winter lanscape. very nice and very poetic.

  16. It's a lovely city and snow makes it even more beautiful!

  17. beautiful image, atmo ...
    ahoj K

  18. beautiful images...great places...well done

  19. Great set of photos! All are beautiful but the top one is my favourite. Snow and water together make a great combination.

  20. Oh wonderful! With snow it looks more romantic! I love this winter impressions! Hugs from Luzia.

  21. I love these images but most of all the deserted
    How could you hold with this winter there your
    I am wondering...

  22. I felt like I was walking inside your photographs. Fantastic photos esp the first image.

  23. This second part is really pleasant and beautiful !!
    The snow gives a charm to your photos and the landscapes are gorgeous !
    the first is my favorite !
    thank you for this nice ballad !! :))


  24. I do not know how Durham is in the summer but in late autumn is beautiful, your pictures have transported me to a place enchanted!
    Have a good week!

  25. That is the ideal winter walk! Wow, I'd love to do that (you've made me envious!). Beautiful pictures.

  26. Gorgeous photos - it shows it's worth the effort to get out even when it's freezing. I just bought some fingerless gloves so I can keep my hands a little bit warm and still use my camera!

  27. Wind... No pain, no gain for a May baby !, I left the car at home... 15 minutes on the train. A post for Adrian and not for Wind !! your time will come with the more spectacular scenery.... maybe not in June. However, I'm pleased I managed to show you that we have sun here ! ha ha. The empty streets...patience is a virtue waiting for people to leave.

    Travelling Hawk... I'm pleased I reminded you of happy memories. The Castle interior and dining room is awesome when I saw it a few years back on a castle tour.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze... Thanks for your good wishes. I might do some Christmas cards next year. I need to get sorted in plenty of time though.
    Farmchick... Thanks, reflections are always worth looking out for.

    Darryl and Ruth... Thanks, pleased you enjoyed them

    Adrian... Thanks, I thought you would like this set. It's not often that I am fortunate to travel and see snow at the same time. I have a dedicated car route that I do in such times around the country roads near Beamish museum.

    Martin Rye... It's not quite the sort of thing I thought you would like but everyone has a sideline. I plan to go to the southern Lakes after Christmas for a couple of days to meet with a new group of people so possibly some smaller Wainwrights.. weather dependant.

    Lasse... Thanks, nice to see you. I must get your blog checked out properly.

    Cranberry Morning... Thanks, It's not possible to see everything so I hope I have given you a flavour of what is here in the three posts. I have some summer pictures of the cloisters taken last year. I might go in the summer again and that will give me the excuse to post some of those at the same time.

    Trevor Woodford... Thanks, I had about a 5 second window to take that shot while someone disappeared around the corner, I was about to be overtaken by someone behind the camera.

    Amin... Nice to see you, thanks.

    George the Lad... Thanks, you guessed right, it was a bit obvious for December but it was worth giving it some thought.

    Pietrzyk... Thanks, pleased you liked them.

    Vicki Lane... Thanks. I would have just been sitting in the house... maybe typing on the computer or something !!

    Northern Kayaker... Thanks, nice to see you. I was wanting some photos of Owengate as I've seen some good ones... too busy though and scaffolding up at the moment. Hope you liked what you saw.

    Pharaonx... Thanks, the castle does look spectacular in winter I think.

    Joo... Thanks, I don't often get the chance to see it like this so it was worth making the effort today as the other plan was cancelled at short notice.

    Klaudia J... Thanks, pleased you enjoyed the moment.

    Cimpoaca Laurentiu... Thanks, it's a special place.

    JM... Thanks, It"s a good job that the water did not freeze into ice today.

    Luzia... Thanks, very inspiring today, romantic... the only couples I saw today were ones trying to walk very fast ... to the coffee shop !!

    Bitch... The deserted streets were worth waiting for... and I couldn't wait to get my hands back in my pockets again !

    Rizalenio... Thanks, Praise indeed. That is my dream to make people feel that they are here... I seem to have achieved that today with you and for that... I thank you again.

    Mahon... Thanks, Durham is a place where you be all poetical and apart from a place of scenic beauty, it has a delicious atmosphere... something difficult to portray in pictures.

    Sciarada... I am pleased to have transported you then. Today, this was a dream for me as it was so easy to pick so many natural scenes.

    T. Becque... Thanks, I am fortunate to live so close without having to make expensive or long term travel plans... then again I would like to visit some of your scenery also.

    Jennyfreckles... Thanks, you have some nice winter images... must be the determination to use those fingerless gloves... mine are too big, consequently I don't wear them with the camera... shame.

  28. I had to come back here and look at your photos again. They're still my favorites, the first and ninth. You'll have to show us Durham in all its summer glory sometime. And when you do get there again, I hope you'll have the opportunity to stay for Evensong service.

    1. I've got all my cloister shots now, maybe I should arrange the permit as well.

  29. Took a similar walk on a warm spring evening recently and was directed at your post by our mutual friend, Cranberry Morning. What stunning photos, sir!!


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