Romantic in Durham
||If you want to show
a loved one just how much you care then plan your romantic
break in the beautiful city of Durham, the historic land
of the Prince Bishops.
For starters there are a number of luxury
hotels in the city centre that offer all the right
ingredients for a weekend of love.
The landmark Kings Lodge Hotel [map],
which stands on the site of the battle of Nevilles Cross
where, in 1346, the invading army of King David of Scotland
was beaten off by English troops led by Ralph Neville
and Henry Percy. Fortunately the area is now the setting
for this comfortable and tasteful residence with fine
dining available at the prestigious Knight’s
Restaurant, a cosy traditional bar that also serves
Part of the national chain, the Durham Marriott Hotel [map] lies close to the impressive cathedral and castle, making
it the perfect location romance. Luxuriously furnished
throughout and with fine views over the River Wear,
this hotel is undoubtedly one of the region's premier
places to stay. Each bedroom has satellite TV and a minibar,
while the award-winning leisure club offers a range
of facilities for guests, including an indoor pool, spa,
gym and unique samarium.
Alternatively you could stay on the outskirts of the city
centre at the stylish Ramside Hall Classic Hotel and
Golf Club [map],
a four star hotel set in 220 acres of parkland with
a 27-hole championship golf course.
Each of the 80 en suite bedrooms are individually decorated
and furnished, and all have hairdryer, satellite TV with
in-room movies, radio, direct dial telephones, iron and
trouser press and fresh fruit. But if you really want
splash out for that special someone you could always book
one of the premier or feature bedrooms that have
the added luxury of a whirlpool bath and large bathrooms.
Ramside Hall also has a restaurant overlooking the impressive
gardens and fountain, along with a bistro and café-bar.
In addition the hotel boasts a sauna and steam room as
well as the golf course, which comprises three loops of
nine holes with large areas of mature woodland, 14 lakes
Once your accommodation is arranged you’ll need
to decide how to spend your precious time together.
Luckily, Durham has a wealth of attractions where you
get in the mood for intimacy and romance, including the
idyllic Durham University Botanic Gardens [map].
Here you can enjoy a quiet walk among exotic trees in
the Prince Bishops Garden or take a peek at the butterflies
in the tropical house.
If you want to enjoy a picnic with breathtaking views
of Durham head to Wharton Park [map],
a city centre park with impressive floral displays, a
Victorian style conservatory, tennis courts and a putting
Art is also a classic attraction when it comes to romance
so why not head to the city’s main art gallery and
get ready for love. Durham Art Gallery [map] displays an ever-changing exhibition of top quality traditional
and modern paintings, designs and crafts. Past exhibitions
have included work by Maggie Hills, Durham Cathedral’s
artist-in-residence, whose monumental watercolour-on-canvas
explore themes of escapism and nostalgia.
To cap off your fairytale day, pay a visit to Durham’s
top two attractions, the cathedral and the castle.
Durham Cathedral [map], is dubbed the finest
example of Norman architecture in the world, has many
exhibits including the shrines of St Cuthbert and the
Just next door to here is Durham Castle [map],
which dates back to 1072, and boasts a Norman Chapel,
the Great Hall and a 57ft high Black Staircase. Although
the place is now halls of residence for university students,
you can still enjoy a guided tour of the building.
As evening approaches why not enjoy a slap-up meal at
one of Durham’s exquisite restaurants, such as the
swanky Hide Café-Bar and Grill [map] on Saddler Street, which is one of the most popular eateries
If you’re looking somewhere small but lively seek
out Rock ‘n’ Amigos [map], on Claypath, which serves excellent Mexican cuisine in a buzzing
Alternatively, located on Millburngate overlooking the
river and the cathedral is Durham’s only Thai restaurant Numjai’s [map] another venue for those wanting an intimate dinner for
After dinner why not enjoy a night at the theatre or the cinema, where you can
hold hands in the dark and even sneak a kiss if you’re
Situated on Millennium Place in the heart of the central
Durham, the Gala Theatre [map] is the city’s one and only venue for top class
drama and music events. It forms part of Durham’s
new Millennium City development, which also comprises
the city’s only cinema, the Gala Giant Screen
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