A New Thing Every Month – May: Be A Tourist in Your Own City

I saw this idea online and thought it was a great one – how often do you really do the sites around where you live? It’s something we often take for granted so I thought it would be a nice thing to try for our ‘one thing a month’ this month.

Durham, UK

Durham-cathedral-from-river-watermarked

Durham is a gorgeous little city in the north east of England. Home to a number of museums, restaurants and a rather splendid cathedral, it’s a popular destination for tourists all over the world. And now us!

Museums

I’d heard about the Oriental Museum before but we’d never been, so what better time to try it out.

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The entry fee is only £1.50 each, which is seriously a bargain. There are 4 floors (kinda) of exhibits and there really is something for everyone.

 

The gift shop is fun too – as well as ‘tat’ (rubbish) for the kids, there’s a nice selection of Asian-inspired gifts and art. My other half bought me some Chinese Feng Shui coins: 3 coins tied with a red ribbon to represent Heaven, Earth and Humanity. They’re said to promote wealth and luck. They’re now in my purse so we’ll see…

Lunch

Wish I had more positive things to say about this experience, but I don’t. We went to a local café where we were left sitting for ages before finally being told that half the things on the menu weren’t on that day. We left and went to a grubbier café/diner with surly staff. At least the food was cheap! Still yet to find our ‘go-to’ place in Durham.

Cathedral

Durham-cathedral-mist-watermarked

Durham Cathedral is stunning, it really is. Unlike many cathedrals, it’s also free to enter, although photography isn’t permitted inside as it’s also a ‘working church’ and nobody wants to be chatting with god only to have to put up with *flash, click, flash, click*.

We have of course been to the cathedral before, so we wanted to do something different in honour of being ‘tourists’. Currently, the Cathedral has a Lego model version of itself next to the shop & café. It’s been added to brick by brick for a long time now and is due to be finished next month (July). You can pay £1 per brick and add to the model, something we’d never done, so you guessed it, we did!

It’s impressive, isn’t it?! Our contribution was to a window you can see in the top left picture. I’m so glad we weren’t a piece of grass, I think I’d have been very disappointed if he’d handed me a green brick!

I/we (me really) also got a marvellous sticker telling me I helped build Lego Durham Cathedral – hurrah. I shall wear it with pride.

A Walk and a Coffee

We finished up with a walk along the river and a coffee at a quirky little place called Flat White.

Sorry for the dark pic of me, I didn’t take it!

A Successful Experiment

I’m glad we tried this. I wondered at first whether it was a bit of a cop-out but when you think about it, you rarely take the time to do the things that are right at your door. Plus, when you visit locally and eat locally, the money goes back into the local economy and that’s quite heart-warming.

I wholly recommend you being a tourist in your own city and would love to see the sights and hear about the experiences where you are, so feel free to share in the comments!

See you next month!

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