Hexham Gaol

After breakfast we checked out of the Vermont and, in a last minute change of plan, visited Hexham on the way to our new destination, Durham. First port of call was Hexham Gaol which is built with stone from the nearby Roman Corbridge site and bills itself as the earliest purpose-built prison in England.

The Moot Hall - Hexham

Afterwards we walked around the town calling in at a couple of book shops where Mr C hoped to find a book on the Battle of Hexham, before having lunch in the Refectory Cafe at Hexham Abbey. We both chose a toasted cheese scone with chutney which was delicious, although messy due to melting butter.

Angel Wings - Hexham Abbey

After lunch we visited the Abbey which currently has an installation called ‘Angel Wings’ that was inspired by the 2020 ‘Wing and a Prayer’ installation at Ripon Cathedral. The Angels are displayed at a height of 45 ft in the chancel and in other places around the building. They are personal dedications and commemorations from people who were affected by the 2020/21 pandemic.

Tour of Britain

As we left Hexham, we noticed that the road was being cordoned off and there was a police presence. We soon realised that this was due to a stage of the Tour of Britain cycle race passing by that afternoon. A bit further down the road we were redirected by a police motorcyclist as our planned route had also been temporarily blocked. We realsised this was a ‘not to be missed’ opportunity so did a U-turn and parked at the side of the road near to where the cyclists would pass and waited for them to arrive.  When the last of the cyclists had gone by we continued our journey following the race until eventually it peeled off in a different direction.

Tour of Britain Tribute

This explained a lovely bicycle display that I had admired whilst walking around Hexham.

The Wenlock Suite

Once at Durham we checked in where there was a bit of a saga with authorising the credit card. When this had been resolved we were directed to a lovely room on the ground floor, named The Wenlock Suite. We were also informed that the room would be serviced every three days and that if we needed tea or coffee to ask at reception. We were rather dismayed to find only paper cups!

We unpacked our bags and chilled out for a while before visiting the hotel bar for a pre dinner drink. They had run out of our first choice of beverage so we had to go for plan B. Dinner was in a restaurant called The Cellar Door. We managed to walk down the wrong set of very steep outdoor steps only to be redirected to the correct entry to the restaurant, a small doorway where we were led down just as many steps into the cellar. I chose chicken supreme which was delicious.

The Market Square

Durham at Night

After dinner we had a stroll around the square to the sounds of a busker singing ‘I only have eyes for you’.   Someone in the square decided to join in with him which rather drowned out his lovely singing voice.

We returned to the hotel for a nightcap and were told by the bar staff that the bar was closing in 10 minutes. It was 10.20 and the bar shouldn’t close until 11pm. We made our order and 15 minutes later we were told it was last orders if we would like anything else to which we said no thankyou.

A little while later, just before 11pm another couple arrived and sat down at the bar and ordered drinks only to be told the bar had shut. The produced an exclamation of ‘Really’ to which the reply was ‘well we are in 2.5 minutes time’. They were promptly served causing another larger group of people to purchase another round of drinks. Shortly after this the bar tender tried to take Mr C’s glass away before he had finished his drink!

2 Comments CherryPie on Sep 27th 2021

2 Responses to “Newcastle & Durham – Day Four”

  1. It sounds a lovely day. The Angels’ Wings installation looks stunning and I do like that bike!

Leave a Reply

Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree