Day 35 01-06-2014 Sun Durham

We really wanted to see Durham Cathedral today, but the guided tours did not start until 1pm, so we took our host’s advice and visited the nearby North Sea coast first.

We started at Seaham harbour,

IMG_5725 IMG_5729but there was not a lot to see there, so we continued past Sunderland to the Souter Lighthouse, a very prominent and well-kept National Trust structure notable in that it was (allegedly) the first electric lighthouse in the world. We walked through lovely meadow to the cliffs to see a colony of seabirds perched atop a pillar of rock just metres offshore.IMG_5733IMG_5738IMG_5739IMG_5737

the fog horn

IMG_5743 IMG_5744 IMG_5746Our next stop was only several kilometres further north, in South Shields (the south bank of the mouth of the River Tyne). We again walked through a huge meadow by the sea to reach the cliffs. Here an old local prompted us to look out for a porpoise.

IMG_5747 IMG_5749 IMG_5750_cr IMG_5751 IMG_5755 IMG_5757 IMG_5758Now dashing back to Durham for a quick lunch and then off to the cathedral.

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town hall square

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for Andy
for Andy

Drats! Only pre-booked tours on Sunday. Not only that, but a significant portion of the cathedral was roped off. Worst of all, photography was not allowed, the first time we have come across this in England. That’s a shame because some of the windows were quite beautiful.

To console myself, I paid to climb the 325 steps of the tower in order to hurl myself off the top out of disappointment. Interestingly, there was a defibrillator device half way up the climb. The view was good, but it reinforced the impression that Durham is quite a small place.

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