ESTABLISHED 1946

 

DURHAM

By TIM WELLOCK


Email Tim at: timwellock@aol.com

CHESTER-LE-STREET


DIRECTIONS: (Satnav - DH3 3QR) The cricket ground is only a mile from the A1(M), so access is very easy. Those travelling by train probably need to alight at Durham City (six miles away) or Newcastle (12 miles) then take a taxi.


CAR PARKING: To date, car parking has always been allowed adjacent to the box, without prior permission.


FACILITIES: After seven years of sharing a leaky little cabin with rolled-up matting, followed by a further seven years in a superior version, the Press were finally granted a palatial permanent home for the Bangladesh Test in 2005. There are two radio rooms on the first floor and seating for arounb 100 on the second. PA contact: Tim Wellock (landline 01325-718212, mobile 07983-976252, email: timwellock@aol.com). The scorer is Brian Hunt, as it has been throughout Durham's first-class history. We usually direct queries through Rob Scanlon, who can be contacted on 07896-961428. Tea and coffee are provided, with a cold buffet lunch. The only place within walking distance for a lunchtime drink is Austin’s Bar, part of the pavilion, which also serves hot food.


ACCOMMODATION:Lumley Castle is the nearest, half a mile away, but is expensive. There is a Marriott (the Royal County) in the centre of Durham City, while most teams use Ramside Hall, about six miles down the A1 and off to the east towards Sunderland. It has a good golf course. For those preferring a pub, easily the best for character, value and good beer is the Beamish Mary in a village called No Place, about six miles from the ground near Beamish Museum. Rather more upmarket, and in a very pleasant village a mile from Durham City is the Seven Stars at Shincliffe and the Victoria Inn in the city centre. There's a highly-rated bed and breakfast at Low Urpeth Farm at Ouston, near Chester-le-Street (landline 0191-410-2901). Of the pubs in the area, the Beamish Mary is the one not to be missed. Anyone interested in a pub crawl round Durham City should try the Victoria, the Dun Cow and the Half Moon, all very handy for the Royal County Hotel. Durham City also has a new theatre, The Gala, among its many attractions, but the best restaurants and nightlife in the area are to be found in Newcastle.


LEISURE: The best golf course is at Slaley Hall, which also has a five-star hotel, but it’s about 25 miles away. The next best is probably Brancepeth, a few miles west of Durham City, while the Chester-le-Street course is adjacent to Lumley Castle. There is a leisure centre with a pool at the cricket ground.