Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Durham (3) Palace Green ... in early December

Durham Cathedral and Castle are at opposite ends of a small area of grass called Palace Green. Other historic University buildings line the other two sides of the square in between.

As I headed along South Bailey street and North Bailey street ( The last two street scenes from the previous post), I took a little customary diversion from the route to do what first time visitors do and that is have a quick look at the Cathedral.

The west end... snow on St Bede's chapel (local saint)
Every place has a back door view
This particular weekend must be the only time when the Cathedral is overshadowed by something else and it seems to be quite popular every year...

2009 event
At the point where the street merges from North Bailey into Saddler street (above), I am greeted at the entrance of the official route up to Palace Green by a fanfare of Christmas carols....

student buskers change their tune in December

.... and then the short walk up into the Palace Green only to discover that it is totally covered by a huge marquee.... for Durham Christmas market.... (Yes, I've finally succumbed to the Christmas theme.)

Hark the herald Angels sing

A sample of three interior photos entitled... " I'll get the hang of this thing yet " !! .....

colourful character... err... which one?!

"Here's one made I made earlier"

The Harry potter stall having a bit of mobile trouble !

The exhibitors seem to be allocated the same spot every year ( I was talking to a Photographer displaying his photographic work in a small tent in the market place and he's been trying to get a display table in the warmth of the Palace green marquee for a while). One exhibitor who has a large array display of garden ornaments, opts to camp out in the cold just outside the marquee entrance...

Meerkats ... and a bit more !

Like all good Christmas markets, Santa usually arrives at some point and after a major re-arrangement of presents on his alternative sleigh, is asked to pose for next years official Christmas market photograph...

Durham Castle as I said in the previous post is home to the University and some of the students do very interesting Castle tours during the summer. Those days seem a long way off today...

castle entrance ... welcome for visitors ... prison for students??? !
Another thing of Palace green interest to both the visitor and student is the unlikely object of the postbox!

This reminds me that it is that time of year when I must write my Christmas cards and for the University students to ......  thank their parents for all the money that they have sent them through the year !!

It is time to leave and head home but not before taking a last look inside the town hall in the market place

17th - 19th century under used coffee shop !
Despite the Town hall being available for hire throughout the year for functions, this building was the original home of the Christmas market before it outgrew itself and is now just an overflow coffee shop for the event.

I could have ended the post with the final photo of the day of the railway station platform....

looking to home ... and warmth !
 ... but instead, I'll take you to just outside the railway station where the visitor gets the first and last view

... and a closer inspection of the wall in front of the seat reveals a resident who can enjoy Durham in all of its glory during certain times of the winter only !! ...

"someone has wiped the smile off my face"


  1. Gracias por estas preciosas fotografías de este país tan bello. Los paisajes con nieve una delicia. Mis felicitaciones. Saludos.

  2. Very interesting post and beautiful pictures.Greetings Andrzej.

  3. Hi J,
    Very interesting as always. Thanks for sharing.

  4. I usually say that no matter how beautiful Nature or inanimate objects are , it's the presence of people that makes a picture interesting and lively.
    Most of your pictures here depict people: the fanfare players, the make-up ladies,the people in the carriage/ at the Christmas market/ in the coffeeshop, etc..
    The snow is very ...photogenic and dominant!

  5. So many things that I like about these pictures. The postbox, Santa with the pony cart (too sweet), and the student performers. Charming.

  6. What a treat! So many photos. Living there, you can give us so many to enjoy. And I always enjoy a play on words. I hope the UK never replaces their ornate post boxes. Ours are so utilitarian looking. on the next-to-last photo I had to zoom in a few times to see what 'resident' you were writing about. If I'd only scrolled down to the next photo, I would have known!

    I hope the students appreciate the fact that they're residents of a castle and treat it with respect, rather than destroy it because they neither own nor have to pay to be there(and it's never the same if your parents are paying).

    Thanks again for the great tour!

  7. Oh man! Those street performers are die-hards! I had no idea there was a place in the UK called "Durham". This past weekend I flew to Raliegh and drove through a Durham North Carolina. Now I know where we Americans copied the name from!

  8. Jay...........a veritable feast of photos, some real crackers but it is the human interest you have introduced that makes this post for me. Thanks again.

  9. Great pictures! Durham Christmas market looks like fun.

  10. So nice to see snowman in Christmas!
    Merry Christmas to you!

  11. Fantastic pictures and story as usual, J!
    I do love these Christmas Markets here in Europe! Going tomorrow to Lille France to check out that one!
    Happy Holidays!

  12. Very good post, J.
    Nice and warmth explanations.
    Great photos and yes, the snow!!
    Wish you a very good Christmas with
    friends and family!!

    Greetings from ATHENS,

  13. Hey J!
    Is early morning and a cold winter here in Romania! Saturday - my favorite day!I am glad that you found Santa in Durham because I was worried about him with this world economic crisis..ha ha... but as I see, hopes and dreams never dies.
    The bench is for me?...ha ha...
    Thank you for that...I'll sit there to wait for spring to come!
    After that I will be frozen like that snowman with no smile...ha ha
    I really love your photos and the stories hidden inside!
    I wish you a great white weekend!
    Best regards

  14. A wonderful trip !
    I like your photos with the snow, she adds charm !
    My favorite is the 13, but she are all superbs !! :))


  15. Fantastic scenery and beautifully captured.

    Darryl and Ruth : )

  16. Victoria Eugene... Gracias por la visita y el comentario.

    pietrzyk... Thanks for your visit and comment.

    Trevor Woodford... Thanks, this one was a bit different as I tried to keep my interest as well.

    Duta... Thanks, I tried to capture people in the market and not just items for sale, a bit of chracter.

    Farmchick... Thanks, too many things too photograph and edit out later.

    Cranberry Morning... Thanks, what you don't realise is that this post box is leaning to one side which I rectified at the time when i photographed it !! The students seem to be of a more classier nature... well on the Castle/Cathedral side of the river anyway !!

    Kae Lani... Yes, the street performers are doing this all year round either in a shop doorway when it's raining or out in the open when sunny. with the amount of people today, this is their biggest payday.

    Adrian... Thanks, nice change to do something a bit different instead of just scenery, objects and art.

    Sweet Virginia Breeze... Thanks, it is fun but it gets more difficult each year to find something interesting to photograph as it follows the same format even down to the location of the stalls in the marquee. The snow helped this year to provide something a bit different.

    Rafael Lam... I'm a bit late in replying... December/Christmas things to do and all that. Hope it was good for you.

    Debbie Smith... I always try to fit in a Christmas market in December... never seem to buy much, but fascinating to look around at times.

    Bitch... Thanks, sorry I'm a bit late with the reply, Hope Christmas was good for you and your family.

    Wind... Santa managed to find some money in order to travel to Durham !! The bench is not quite the last picture in the series but it IS your kind of thing. I start to smile now as the snow has now melted and travel plans will hopefully not be cancelled for a while.

    Mahon... Thanks, I appreciate it. I like adding photographic variety to the post... if and when I can.

    Darryl and Ruth... Thanks for your appreciation.

  17. I enjoyed these three Durham posts all over again this afternoon, J. Wishing I could be there to see it in person, although I'm pretty sick of winter, so I might want to wait until warmer weather.


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