A total of three days was spent in the city of Durham and its surrounding areas, as we and fourteen other travel writers were conducted through a whistle stop tour by our tourism office hosts. With a very diverse itinerary that included Auckland Castle, the River Wear, visually spectacular Durham Cathedral, the haunted Crook Hall with its beautiful gardens, the vast indoor Durham Marketplace, plus a champaign reception at Newcastle's newest luxury aparthotel (apartment hotel) The Kennsington House, we experienced a bit of the best that Northumbria has to offer to all who visit this northeastern coastal region of England. Anglican bishops from around the world were very much in evidence touring around the cathedral, as they made their own sightseeing visit prior to heading south to London for the Church of England's Lambeth Conference.
While in Durham City, we also had the opporturnity to witness the pomp and glory of the Durham Miner's Gala. This annual parade through the winding streets of the city centre features colourful banners representing the coal miner assosciations of a now bygone era, plus other labour organisations that are still very active. Throw in a lively mix of brass bands and Scottish pipe and drum bands, and a spectacular event of historical proportions was enjoyed by the thousands of people who were on hand. As is always the case, this event and the entire weekend was dutifully documented by your photographer. Plenty of ideas for future travel-related stories were acquired, as well.