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GO Romantic in Durham

Romantic Evenings in Durham If you want to show a loved one just how much you care then plan your romantic break in the beautiful city of Durham, the historic land of the Prince Bishops.

For starters there are a number of luxury hotels in the city centre that offer all the right ingredients for a weekend of love.

The landmark Kings Lodge Hotel [map], which stands on the site of the battle of Nevilles Cross where, in 1346, the invading army of King David of Scotland was beaten off by English troops led by Ralph Neville and Henry Percy. Fortunately the area is now the setting for this comfortable and tasteful residence with fine dining available at the prestigious Knight’s Restaurant, a cosy traditional bar that also serves afternoon teas.

Part of the national chain, the Durham Marriott Hotel [map] lies close to the impressive cathedral and castle, making it the perfect location romance. Luxuriously furnished throughout and with fine views over the River Wear, this hotel is undoubtedly one of the region's premier places to stay. Each bedroom has satellite TV and a minibar, while the award-winning leisure club offers a range of facilities for guests, including an indoor pool, spa, gym and unique samarium.

Alternatively you could stay on the outskirts of the city centre at the stylish Ramside Hall Classic Hotel and Golf Club [map], a four star hotel set in 220 acres of parkland with a 27-hole championship golf course.

Each of the 80 en suite bedrooms are individually decorated and furnished, and all have hairdryer, satellite TV with in-room movies, radio, direct dial telephones, iron and trouser press and fresh fruit. But if you really want splash out for that special someone you could always book one of the premier or feature bedrooms that have the added luxury of a whirlpool bath and large bathrooms.

Ramside Hall also has a restaurant overlooking the impressive gardens and fountain, along with a bistro and café-bar. In addition the hotel boasts a sauna and steam room as well as the golf course, which comprises three loops of nine holes with large areas of mature woodland, 14 lakes and bunkers.

Once your accommodation is arranged you’ll need to decide how to spend your precious time together.

Luckily, Durham has a wealth of attractions where you get in the mood for intimacy and romance, including the idyllic Durham University Botanic Gardens [map]. Here you can enjoy a quiet walk among exotic trees in the Prince Bishops Garden or take a peek at the butterflies in the tropical house.

If you want to enjoy a picnic with breathtaking views of Durham head to Wharton Park [map], a city centre park with impressive floral displays, a Victorian style conservatory, tennis courts and a putting green.

Art is also a classic attraction when it comes to romance so why not head to the city’s main art gallery and get ready for love. Durham Art Gallery [map] displays an ever-changing exhibition of top quality traditional and modern paintings, designs and crafts. Past exhibitions have included work by Maggie Hills, Durham Cathedral’s artist-in-residence, whose monumental watercolour-on-canvas explore themes of escapism and nostalgia.

To cap off your fairytale day, pay a visit to Durham’s top two attractions, the cathedral and the castle.

Durham Cathedral [map], is dubbed the finest example of Norman architecture in the world, has many exhibits including the shrines of St Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede.

Just next door to here is Durham Castle [map], which dates back to 1072, and boasts a Norman Chapel, the Great Hall and a 57ft high Black Staircase. Although the place is now halls of residence for university students, you can still enjoy a guided tour of the building.

As evening approaches why not enjoy a slap-up meal at one of Durham’s exquisite restaurants, such as the swanky Hide Café-Bar and Grill [map] on Saddler Street, which is one of the most popular eateries in town.

If you’re looking somewhere small but lively seek out Rock ‘n’ Amigos [map], on Claypath, which serves excellent Mexican cuisine in a buzzing atmosphere.

Alternatively, located on Millburngate overlooking the river and the cathedral is Durham’s only Thai restaurant Numjai’s [map] another venue for those wanting an intimate dinner for two.

After dinner why not enjoy a night at the theatre or the cinema, where you can hold hands in the dark and even sneak a kiss if you’re lucky.

Situated on Millennium Place in the heart of the central Durham, the Gala Theatre [map] is the city’s one and only venue for top class drama and music events. It forms part of Durham’s new Millennium City development, which also comprises the city’s only cinema, the Gala Giant Screen Cinema [map].

If you want to comment on our choices or recommend somewhere, why not use our What You Recommend form to let us know.

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