Coach Holiday to Durham
Durham City was voted 'the best City in the UK' by Conde Nast magazine and is the quintessential old English University City. It has a wonderful timeless quality with rowing on the river Wear and relaxing riverside walks, and yet buzzes with a vibrant contemporary culture with superb cafes, artisan workshops, boutiques, galleries and museums.
An early morning departure to Durham starts your holiday, with a comfort stop in York on the way.
This morning we have set aside time for you to enjoy all Durham has to offer, Durham City is home to one of the most recognisable landmarks in the UK, majestic Durham Cathedral. Together with adjacent Durham Castle, this UNESCO World Heritage Site forms one of the most stunning city panoramas in Europe. This afternoon a trip down the road to Crook Hall & Gardens, a guided tour has been included with a cream tea made fresh today by the resident chef who will be on hand to share any recipes with you. The medieval manor of Crook Hall is set in rural landscape, yet it is less than a mile from the centre of Durham. The original Crook Hall was built around 1286 on lands belonging to Sydgate Manor. The property was eventually named after Peter de Croke, owner in the early years of the 14th century.
After breakfast we make our way to Castlegate Quay for a cruise on the Teeside Princess, Sit back and relax while you are taken on a 1 hour cruise from Stockton to Preston Park, watching the beautiful countryside on your way, this afternoon a visit to Hartlepool, Hartlepool Marina is one of the most modern Marina facilities in Europe. Featuring one of Europe's biggest boat hoists and attracting hundreds of vessels, the £60 million Marina is Hartlepool's most alluring and relaxing location. High fashion, waterside restaurants and romantic promenades may be more characteristic of a continental port, but Hartlepool has definitely made marina life a delicacy of its own. Modern Apartment blocks, high class restaurants, hotel, high-tech business centres, shops and entertainment venues are just some of the sights you will come across when you visit this fabulous destination.
Today a visit to Alnwick Castle, Alnwick Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England (after Windsor Castle). The Castle contains the finest collection of Italian paintings in the north of England and also one of the most important collections of Meissen porcelain in Britain. The castle is made up of two main rings of buildings. The main rooms are in the inner ring which surrounds a small courtyard. The outer ring forms a bailey around the central block. As the castle expanded a large number of buildings were built along the south wall of the bailey. The buildings along the south wall are connected to the central block by a link building. There are towers at regular intervals along the walls of the outer bailey. Also the set of the popular Harry Potter movies Alnwick Castle is an attraction not to be missed. On the return journey a stop at Barter Books, Back in April 1991, and in the face of a rather large overdraft, Mary Manley decided to open a secondhand bookshop - one that would be based on the swap system and called Barter Books. Her husband, Stuart, immediately took to the idea and suggested that Mary open the shop in the front room of what was then his small manufacturing plant, located in Alnwick's magnificent old Victorian railway station. From that time a joint partnership was formed that would eventually result in what the New Statesman magazine would call 'The British Library of secondhand bookshops'. This beautiful building houses an amazing collection of books which are available to either swap with your own or part exchange, and you can check out the sales along the walls of rare collectables, or simply sit in the coffee shop and enjoy a nice cup of tea.
We depart the hotel for our return journey to Lincolnshire, with a comfort stop in Harrogate enroute
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