Durham Cathedral celebrates Platinum Jubilee with invitation to picnic in the Cloisters


A once-in-a-lifetime picnic opportunity in the heart of Durham Cathedral is on offer as part of the city’s landmark week-long program of events to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Visitors are encouraged to bring blankets and baskets to the cathedral and enjoy an outdoor lunchtime picnic in the usually off-limits green space bordered by the cloisters. The area will be open for picnics from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily between May 28 and June 5.

From the enclosure, guests will be able to admire another side of the cathedral as they relax on the grass, where they will be asked to avoid the fragile stone basin – the sink – in the center, where the monks of the old monastery once washed and is now feeling the effects of having been outside for hundreds of years. And those who wish to complete their picnic during their visit will be able to do so from the café which will offer drinks, salty and scones.

Read more: North East Jubilee Celebrations

The cathedral has dedicated a week to its Jubilee celebrations and a landmark moment will see the building join monuments across the UK on June 2 to be illuminated in red, white and blue. On June 3, it will host a celebration concert Summer in the City: Marching Band!, when Music Durham’s annual showcase event takes on a festive theme.

Also on the program is a service of thanksgiving to be held on June 4 at 3 p.m., which will include music from a children’s choir assembled especially to mark the Queen’s milestone.

Durham Cathedral will open green space in its Clositers so visitors can enjoy picnics during its Platinum Jubilee celebrations

On the weekend of June 4 and 5, the cathedral will also host a workshop for children aged seven and up to show how to hand sew a patchwork flag to take home. Other activities offered throughout the week will include Jubilee Wreath making and a trail to spot Bede the Bear around the Cathedral.

Visitors will be able to discover why people, including kings and queens, have made pilgrimages to the cathedral over the years and the recently reopened Cathedral Museum has an exhibition reflecting its royal connections over the years.

Crown and Cathedral: Durham’s Royal Stories reveals, for example, which king’s head is buried in the cathedral and features the royal cope worn at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. For more information on the Jubilee program and to book activities (picnic areas do not need to be reserved), click here.

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