"Durham: famous for seven things" Durham by iwys

Durham Travel Guide: 244 reviews and 614 photos

Durham is a small, historical city, which stands on a sharp, wooded bend in the River Wear. It is dominated by a magnificent cathedral and a castle, the latter of which is now wholly occupied by the university.

There is an old saying that the city of Durham is famous for seven things: Wood, Water, Pleasant Walks, Law, Gospel, Old Maids and Mustard. The wood, water and pleasant walks can all be explained by the forested slopes of the Wear Valley, the law by the university, the gospel by the cathedral and the old maids by the local tradition that an old woman go from house to house on Christmas Day carrying figures of the Virgin and child whilst singing the carol 'God rest ye merry gentlemen'. English mustard was invented in Durham in 1832 by one such old woman called Mrs Clements.

Durham, with its cathedral, and castle, overlooking the river, and narrow, cobbled streets, is very much a medieval city and in may ways reminds me of Prague.

  • Last visit to Durham: Sep 2006
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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