For Last weekend’s trip to Durham we were preparing for the worst weather possible! The previous few days saw the north of England being blasted with 100mph winds and snow so plenty of layers such as knitwear, coats, shirts, henleys were packed into the luggage bag!
However, we got massively lucky with the weather because there was no wind, no snow and no rain. It was actually really sunny but still absolutely freezing cold!
25mins outside of Durham you will find The Manor House in West Auckland. It is a grade one listed hotel that Henry VIII previously used as a hunting lodge when hunting around county Durham. The hotel is old, dark and crooked but this adds to the character and makes it very cosy especially when sipping on a glass of red sitting in front of an open fire listening to Christmas classics.
When the weather is freezing outside there is nothing better than doing 10 laps (we aborted at 8) of the pool, relaxing in a Jacuzzi and warming up in the steam room and sauna. The spa facilities (and gym but we’re too lazy for that) are complimentary to guests at the Manor House too!
If the predicted weather would have been what we thought this bit would certainly not have happened! However a nice sunny crisp day is fine once the layers are on! Henley, shirt, shawl knit and quilted jacket did just the job.
There is a nice gift shop and tearooms in the old stables and coach house serving up some fine winter treats to keep you warm. There was also a Christmas tree sale! This was very exciting for some reason but we had no intention of buying one.
For a nice bit of Christmas shopping you have Durham on your doorstep. There are lots of crooked cobble streets and hills making this city so picturesque. You will stumble across the impressive Durham Cathedral which is definitely worth a quick visit. The only bit missing from Durham is a few of the high designer fashion shops but maybe on our way through the winding cobble streets we just didn’t stumble across them (We did see Santa queuing up for a ginger bread man in a bakery though)!
Words by Craig Landale
Everything you'll need for your weekend in Durham