A note on Durham in Spring

February is racing by, and with it goes the last whispers of the winter season. Enter spring: the season of new life and warmth. As a child, I hated spring. It was the end of a long and cold winter, but still not quite warm enough to be running around the garden the way I wanted to, which just seemed a bit pointless to me. But, every year, I find more and more reasons to love the season, especially in Durham. While there might still be the occasional violent wind or rain shower to remind us that it’s still February, the signs of beautiful springtime are starting to bloom all around. They might seem small at first, but they are there.


Spring is in blue skies and sunlight on the river. It’s the last rays catching Durham Cathedral during golden hour.


Spring is coming out of a 4pm contact hour and it still being light outside.


It’s in sitting outside coffee shops and bars, pretending you’re in a far-off European town (or anywhere vaguely warmer).


Spring is in the crocuses blooming secretly in Gilesgate, and the £1 bunches of daffodils sold in Tesco.


Spring is when it becomes socially acceptable to order iced coffees in the Billy B café again (unless it’s an iced americano – they’re never socially acceptable, sorry).


It’s the Easter eggs lining supermarket shelves, even though Easter is still a good seven weeks away.


Spring is rainbows over Prebends bridge on a Sunday morning, and beautiful sunsets every evening.


It’s when your college puffer jacket becomes just slightly too warm to live in (leaving you with a huge clothing dilemma until it’s warm enough to go completely jacket-less).


Spring is in the way your student house is marginally less cold each day, and the way that the trek to the science site won’t be treacherously icy anymore.


Spring is not waking up in total darkness, making that 9am seminar a little more bearable.


It’s the bluebells that start popping up in the woodlands, and the flowers waking up across the Botanical Gardens.


Spring is in the return of the hares, dashing across grass on a random day in college.


It’s in the blossom framing the picturesque buildings on Palace Green, and sunlight over cobblestones on the Bailey.


It might be summative season, and the busiest time of year for every play, concert, fashion show, and sports match – seriously, they’re all happening at once – but, when you get the chance, remember to look up and take a breath of fresh air. Spring is slowly making its way across the city, bit by bit; even if you can’t see all the signs yet, they’re on the way. Durham is coming alive all around us, and there is a host of springtime delights to be enjoyed, if only you look for them.


Featured image by Jan Kroon on Pexels

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