Family activities in Durham City on Easter Monday

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EXCITING hands-on activities will take place in Durham City on Easter Monday.

There will be walking tours, live music and historical re-enactments around Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, Owengate and Palace Green Library between 11am and 6pm.

International World Heritage Day will end with a free lecture by Dan Jackson, author of “Northumbrians: North-East England and Its People”, in the early evening at the Assembly Rooms Theatre.

Alison Clark, Head of Culture, Sport and Tourism at Durham County Council, said: “This one-day event will celebrate International Heritage Day and see Durham’s history come to life like never before, celebrating its people and culture, with the people of Durham.

“This free, family-friendly festival demonstrates the county’s wealth of cultural activities and living history and shows why County Durham is now one of four locations in the UK to be shortlisted for the prestigious title of UK City of Culture 2025.”

The open day will be an opportunity to see the hidden history of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham.

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As of 2008, the site boundaries include Palace Green and the buildings around it, as well as Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle.

Durham Cathedral, which took 40 years to build and is one of the finest examples of Norman architecture in Europe, will offer opportunities for children to meet Alwin the Monk in the Chapter House or dress up as a monk.

This year, Durham Castle celebrates its 950th anniversary.

The historic Prince Bishops’ House and now home to Durham University students will open to visitors for self-guided tours, while a medieval re-enactment will take place on the grounds.

In the Palace’s Green Library, families can explore the Lindisfarne Gospels and create artful creations to take home. Palace Green itself will host food trucks and community stalls and live music from local bands and musicians between 12pm and 6pm.

“Living Lives” will allow visitors to meet and discuss with the important historical personalities of the World Heritage Site.

Attendees can chat with a 10th-century monk who carried St Cuthbert’s coffin to what was then Dun Holm, the milkmaid who paved the way, a stonemason who built Durham Castle on William’s instructions the Conqueror, and discover how Durham inspired the work of 19th-century poet Sir Walter Scott.

Eight primary schools worked with an artist to create a treasure trail, including Cleves Cross, Shotton Hall, Ludworth, Ferryhill Station, Fishburn Primary, Wingate, Yohden and Coxhoe Primary Schools. On the day of the event, participants will explore Durham on a map to find the letters created by children celebrating Durham’s heritage.

Free blue badge guided tours of the world heritage site and the town’s mining history can be booked on the day.

Discussions on everything from bookbinding to medieval cooking will also take place throughout the day in Owengate.

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