How to Spend a Rainy Weekend in Durham

Image Caption: Enjoy Views of Durham Cathedral from Ramside Hall's Golf Courses. Photo by Tom Page CC BY SA 2.0
Image Caption: Enjoy Views of Durham Cathedral from Ramside Hall’s Golf Courses. Photo by Tom Page CC BY SA 2.0

With Autumn on the way, we need to start preparing ourselves for the occasional rainy weekend. Our beautiful countryside really does lend itself to sunny summer days of dog walking and picnics in the park, but if you use a little imagination then there is plenty to do around Durham in the cooler months. Read on to find out some of our favourite ways to spend a rainy weekend in Durham.

Indulge in some ‘Me Time’ at Ramside Hall

Ramside Hall is one of Durham’s most exclusive hotels, with a myriad of different strings to its bow. If the weather remains wet, then treat yourself to a half day at the spa. Half day passes last for 4 hours and allow visitors to use of all the facilities, including the UK’s largest hydrotherapy pool and the full thermal suite – it is heavenly.

Prices start from £65, which includes breakfast or lunch served in the Fusion restaurant. The ‘Bento Box’ option is a great choice for lunchtime, as you can choose exactly what you’d like from a healthy, fresh, Asian inspired menu; the prawn and mango salad is particularly delicious.

For those who are less interested in the spa, there is of course the option to just dine. Additionally, with the USPGA championship in full swing if you do get a break in the weather and feel inspired, the golf courses here are truly world-class.

Both golf courses are renowned for their incredible views of Durham Cathedral and are open to non-members, but if you did fancy treating yourself to a membership, there are a number of competitively priced options to choose from. Membership includes entry to the clubhouse, complete with sauna and steam room, which is a welcome break in inclement weather!

Try your luck at Admiral Casino

Sometimes you need a little excitement of an evening and a great place to achieve that, whilst keeping dry, is Durham’s main casino, Admiral. If it’s your first time in a casino, then this is a friendly one to start at, but its always a good idea to brush up on your etiquette. Remember to keep chatter fairly quiet and always ask before joining a game that’s midway through.

Of course, the most important rule of all is to have fun! Set yourself a spending limit and have fun trying to make it last for the whole night. There are all the slot machines that you could hope for, as well as tables for roulette, poker players and more. Why not challenge yourself to trying out a new game during the evening, it could become your new favourite?

See beautiful artworks at The Oriental Museum

Durham might not be where you’d expect to find a museum devoted entirely to The Orient, but it is indeed home to the largest museum of its kind in the North of England. The museum holds artefacts from Ancient Egypt to modern China, from an area covering North Africa to South East Asia.

At the moment there is a particularly interesting exhibition, featuring an installation of contemporary ceramics by artist Katrin, Moye. These ceramics are a response to the experiences of international students, largely from China, who talked with Moye about the things they most missed from home. This is a touching collection of works, which are only here until the 27th of October, so visit while you can!

Treat yourself to food & drink at Old Toms

Photo by Mon Petit Chou Photography / CC BY 2.0 Caption: Enjoy Cheese & Charcuterie at Old Toms
Photo by Mon Petit Chou Photography / CC BY 2.0
Caption: Enjoy Cheese & Charcuterie at Old Toms

Durham has more than its fair share of quirky pubs, but Old Toms is a really special place. The pub takes up a traditional Tudor building, which is estimated to date back to the mid 1500s. The pub retains so much old world charm that it seems almost like setting foot in a museum over a pub!

Gin lovers will rejoice, as in respect to its namesake Old Toms offers more than 350 gins, all on display for you to choose from. Alongside your gin, why not try a cheese or charcuterie board? These have been hand selected to accompany a range of different gins. A tasting experience with cheese, meat and gin? It sounds a lot less pretentious than a tasting menu with wine, but it’s no less delicious.


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