HPB’s holiday booking service has been rated 4.7 out of 5
based on 14720 customer reviews on Feefo.
Feefo Platinum Award Feefo logo

Durham: a true treasure of a town

Posted by Jonathan Broom on 21 November 2018
Related property: Lucker Hall
Durham: a true treasure of a town

Northumberland. A county of dark skies; of an unspoiled, spectacular coastline studded with beautiful beaches; of ancient castles; of countryside; of history.

And of space. Northumberland’s natives are among the friendliest to be found anywhere in the UK – but if it’s solitude you crave, or just a chance to shut out the noise of modern life on our crowded island for a while, England’s most underpopulated county is the place to be.

But surely even the most ardent lovers of peace and quiet crave the urban from time to time. Newcastle, 46 miles or so to the south of Lucker, has enough vivacity and vibrancy to suit most tastes; but Durham, across the county border and 20-odd miles further on, is a jaw-dropping gem of a city.

Durham's pretty Market Square

Chances are you’ll pass close to the place on your way to or from Lucker, in which case take a very worthwhile detour; but if you originate from the west, or further north, of Lucker, then Durham is well worth the pilgrimage.

The word seems appropriate. The final resting place of both Saint Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede (and thus an important destination for the Christian faithful), Durham is an historic city. Lying on what is virtually an island (the Durham Peninsula) surrounded by an ‘incised meander’ of the River Wear (see pictures below and at top):

medieval Durham is dominated by its 11th-Century Castle, built by the Normans to defend England against the Scots and the only Norman keep never to have suffered a breach.

Durham Castle

The Castle became the official residence of Durham’s ‘Prince-Bishops’ – a level of clerical hierarchy all its own which, along with the city’s geographical distance from Westminster, allowed holders of the office to wield extraordinary powers.

That their edicts and measures were (mostly) benign was perhaps testament to the Prince-Bishops’ faith and foresightedness. A humble dynasty, indeed: the last Prince-Bishop, William Van Mildert, left Durham Castle in 1832, moving to Auckland Castle in nearby Bishop Auckland so as to free up the city’s citadel for use by the then-nascent Durham University – the first university to be founded in England in 600 years and the third-oldest after Oxford and Cambridge. Though the Castle is in large part open to the public, it remains the home of Durham’s University College.

Durham Cathedral. Note the 'wrapping' around the central tower...

I said that the Castle dominates the city – but maybe it’s a case of co-dominance. Because also gracing the skyline of the Durham Peninsula is the eponymous Norman Cathedral, wherein lie the remains of Saints Bede and Cuthbert and which, along with the Castle, enabled the city to gain Unesco World Heritage status in 1986. Durham Cathedral is regarded, quite simply, as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Europe; and the view from its central tower over the city and the surrounding county is simply superb.

And from later next year, visitors will be able to enjoy the view anew.

The tower was closed to the public in November 2015, to allow for £1.9m of repairs to masonry and lead roofing, and the installation of a visitor platform.

But the work is now substantially complete. As of 4th December 2018, the 216-foot tower is slowly being unwrapped – carefully stripped of its cladding and scaffolding to reveal the fruits of three years of hard and careful labour.

Following the removal of the plastic sheeting, the tower will undergo the final stages of refurbishment. This last effort will be in preparation for the grand re-opening of the tower and the re-instigation of public access, expected to be later in 2019.

...and unwrapped: the Cathedral's central tower in all its glory

“Our team of stonemasons have relished working on the tower project,” said Durham Cathedral clerk of works Scott Richardson, “knowing that the central part of Durham Cathedral and Durham city’s skyline is being conserved for future generations to enjoy.”

To reach Durham from Lucker, Simply follow the A1 and A1(M) due south. The city is well signposted, especially as you approach. The journey is about 65 miles, and will take 1¼ hours.

Jonathan Broom

Jonathan Broom

How can I find out more?

The Holiday Property Bond could do as much for your quality of life as it has done for many thousands of families who have already invested. That's why we invite you to get in touch with us in any of these 3 ways and please don't forget our unique 'Money back promise' and 'interest free loan' options.

Request our brochure Speak to a representative Explore one of our UK sites

Please request our fully illustrated holiday property brochure

Please read "How HPB works" and then we will be delighted to send you our brochure, including our property portfolio, and your FREE copy of Insight Magazine. See the beautiful holiday homes and magnificent locations where you can spend your holidays as a Bondholder and learn how impressed Bondholders have been by our handling of the problems caused by coronavirus.

Please complete and submit the form or, alternatively, telephone our FREE brochure request line on 0800 230 0391

Request a brochure
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address *
Postcode *  
Telephone number
How did you hear about us?

We will use the details you provide above to send you our detailed HPB brochure and keep you updated about HPB holiday offers. Details of how we use the information you provide are in our privacy policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

* Indicates required fields
HPB’s holiday booking service has been rated 4.7 out of 5 based on 14720 customer reviews on Feefo.

You can speak to one of our representatives

Your local HPB representative will be happy to call or video call you at a convenient time for an informal chat. Simply fill in your details and we'll do the rest.

Most of our representatives are Bondholders themselves and all have visited a number of Bond sites.

The representative will give you all the information you need and then leave you to make up your own mind. He or she will talk to you about your holiday requirements and what level of investment is needed to secure the kind of holidays you want.

Video chat now available with a local representative

This request is for new enquiries only, if you are an existing Bondholder please contact us via myBond.

How should we contact you? *  
Title *  
First Name *  
Surname *  
Email address *
Telephone number *  
Post code *  
Preferred Date/Time
Preferred Date/Time 2
Preferred Date/Time 3
Please contact me to arrange a date

Your local representative will contact you to confirm the date and time.

Date/Time *  
How did you hear about us?
Chosen date (choose above) *
Chosen time (choose above) *

We will use the details you provide above for a representative to contact you. Details of how we use the information you provide are in our privacy policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

* Indicates required fields

Receive a free £20 M&S gift card when you find out more...

Have a Private Tour, Personal Presentation, Video Call or Home Appointment between 1st - 31st May 2024 and we’ll give you a free £20 M&S gift card to thank you.

...And you could double your Holiday Points for your first year!

Become a Bondholder by 31st May and we’ll enter your details into our Prize Draw for your chance to double your Holiday Points for your first year.

These extra points are for one use only. You can redeem them on holiday accommodation where and when you wish, but they will not be renewed once you have used them. Your local representative will give you full details of this offer.

See our stunning holiday properties for yourself

Having a Private Tour at an HPB holiday location is an enjoyable way to see the high standards of furnishings and facilities you could enjoy with HPB. One of our representatives will show you around the site and answer any questions you may have.

Alternatively, you are welcome to book a Personal Presentation at a hotel near you. You can chat to one of our representatives, ask your questions and view the complete portfolio of HPB locations.


This advertisement is issued by HPB Management Limited (HPBM), the main UK agent and the property manager for HPB, authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, registered at HPB House, Newmarket, Suffolk, CB8 8EH. HPB is available exclusively through HPBM. HPB is issued by HPB Assurance Limited (HPBA) registered in the Isle of Man and authorised by the Financial Services Authority there. The Trustee of HPB is Equiom (Isle of Man) Limited, registered at Jubilee Buildings, Victoria Street, Douglas, Isle of Man, IM1 2SH. The Securities Adviser is Stanhope Capital LLP of 35 Portman Square, London W1H 6LR. No medical examination is required.

HPBM promotes only HPB and is not independent of HPBA. Holders of policies issued by HPBA will not be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme if the company becomes unable to meet its liabilities to them but Isle of Man compensation arrangements apply to new policies.