Monday, May 21, 2012

Day 48 (May 20): Durham & Bishop Auckland

Today was sunny and we enjoyed our walk to church.   The walk back to the flat took us through the center of town as we needed to make two quick stops.

River Wear looking north from the Old Elvet Bridge

River Wear looking south from Old Elvet

on the Old Elvet Bridge, looking up into town

After lunch and a rest I took a long walk in a direction I hadn't gone before.  And then, still itchy and wanting to enjoy the good weather, I decided to take a bus to Bishop Auckland, a town about 12 miles away through the countryside, in order to see Auckland Castle, home to Durham's Prince Bishops from the 12th century until just a few years ago.  (I felt very brave doing this all by myself.   Chris was enjoying a long Sunday afternoon nap and Caroline didn't feel like going anywhere.)

12th century part of the building, originally a banqueting hall, now a chapel

nice view from inside the castle

inside the chapel (largest private one in Europe)

I had a very nice tour guide all to myself who took me all through the building and told me lots of interesting stuff.  There are also lovely grounds that used to be the Bishops' "deer park".  Basically the estate was the Prince-Bishops' weekend home and I guess the town that is there now grew up around it.

Home, dinner, some reading, some dumb TV.  A good day all-around.