Durham, England – Travel tips from The Amateur Anthropologist

Hello all!

It’s The Amateur Anthropologist here (interesting name I know). Krysti has kindly allowed me to do a special guest blog post in exchange for the chance to write on my blog (her post is accessible here). So buckle your seat belts and get ready for fun (and educational) adventure – it’s time for YOU, to learn about Durham (United Kingdom).


So why Durham? Well, not only is it a medieval city with a history stretching way back before I was even born, it’s also my current home. So forgive me for being a bit bias and patriotic, but Durham is definitely somewhere you should consider going if you ever in north east England.  Capital of its own County, Durham is picturesque little town with cobbled streets, old tea rooms and vintage shops. It’s a university town, so it’s very lively during term time and quieter during the summer time when the students have gone home for vacation.


Its two most famous landmarks are Durham Cathedral (see photo), which is a Norman-styled built in 1093 to house St Cuthbert’s Shrine and was also used as one of the locations of Hogwarts for Harry Potter, and Durham Castle, a traditional motte and bailey castle that is also home to the some of the students of Durham University during the academic year. Together, they have both been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Although the typical, daily British wish is for it to not rain, it can nevertheless be avoided. So if you’re in ever in Durham, a raincoat or brolly (umbrella) are two definite must-brings! And don’t forget your coat, temperatures can fluctuate very unexpectedly (e.g. it was cold and raining yesterday but now it’s super sunny and warm). Make sure your choice of footwear is comfortable as Durham is hilly and cobbled.

Durham’s got a wealth of places to eat. There are plenty of pubs and restaurants, and every so often there’s an international food festival in the market square! I like to have afternoon tea (which involves tea, cakes, sandwiches and scones with oodles of clotted cream and strawberry jam!) with my friends in one of the local tea rooms. They’re all really good, and there are so many of them. The ones that I’ve tried so far are Treats, Tealicious and Chapters. And if you’re there during the winter time, then you must have a hot chocolate from Esquires – it’s super chocolatey and comes with loads of whipped cream and marshmallows.

If you’re into shopping (like I am), Durham’s definitely the right place for you. From Topshop to The Fragrance Shop, to health shops and home & living stores, there’s always something in town that’s suitable for even the pickiest of shoppers. I personally like The Mugwump, a little boutique selling gorgeous gowns, perfumes and other girly gifts, and Andersons of Durham, the perfect shop for all your seasonal clothing necessities, decent leather shoes and wellies, and, importantly, coats for your dog!

So if you’re ever globe-trekking or on tour in England, make sure you add Durham to your list.

It’ll be worth it, I promise.



The writer of “The Amateur Anthropologist” is university student reading Anthropology (hence the blog’s name) based in North East England. She started this blog in 2013 to help her family and friends from around the world update themselves on her daily adventures. Since then, the blog has expanded to cover topics other than travel including food, fashion, books and reviews of events and brands, all of which the writer is incredibly fond of. She also draws all the images and takes all the photos that are present in the blog. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys playing badminton, swimming, drawing, playing the guitar,baking (especially cakes), making new friends, and “attempting” to take fashionable selfies of herself (of which her mother deems as a “narcissistic” act). She hopes to one day qualify as a lawyer and become a part-time fashion illustrator or journalist.


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