On Tuesday 1st August, we invite all registered participants of SMG20 to attend the conference dinner at Durham Castle. The evening will begin with a champagne reception at 7pm (held outside in the Castle courtyard, weather permitting), followed by a three course banquet in the Grand Hall (which we have exclusive use of for the evening) at 7:30pm. We provide details of the menu below. It is likely that the conference photo will be taken in the courtyard during the drinks reception. Following dinner, the Castle's Undercroft Bar will be opened for casual drinks.
We welcome guests of SMG20 participants at the conference dinner. Details of how to reserve extra spaces have been sent out via email - please email the LOC if you require further information. The deadline to register for additional spaces at dinner is Friday 14th July 2017.
For those who wish to take the 0.7 mile walk from the OCW building (in which the conference will be held) to the Castle, the most direct route on to the Bailey is along Church Street, crossing the river via Kingsgate Bridge. It is likely that a number of locals will be taking this route, and will be happy to guide visiting delegates. For those who wish to arrange their own taxis, we will be providing contact details for several local taxi companies in the welcome pack; we strongly advise pre-booking, as Durham has relatively few taxis, and we will be arriving at the Castle during one of the busiest times of their day.
High(er) resolution version available here.
Freeman's Quay Leisure Centre
Close to both the Radisson and the Premier Inn, Freeman's Quays has an excellent public swimming pool and gym facilities. Get the pool timetable here.
Freeman’s Quay, Walkergate, Durham City, DH1 1SW
Tel: 03000 268 488
Approx walk from OCW: 20 mins; Town: 5 mins.
Indoor climbing centre featuring bouldering style climbing (i.e. relatively short climbs with crash mats and no ropes) catering to a wide range of abilities. A couple of miles out of town, so transport needed (contact the LOC for more information).
Parent and toddler sessions weekdays (£5 for a climb & a cuppa) 11am-midday.
Regular buses from Durham bus station (journey time 5-10mins).
St John's Road, Meadowfield Ind. Estate, Durham, DH7 8TZ
Tel: +44 191 378 9555
University Botanic Gardens
Cafe, large gardens for running off some energy, a shallow pool with fountains for splashing in, indoor rain-forest & cactus desert, and creepy crawly tanks. The normal admission price is £4/adult, however we are pleased to offer free admission for SMG20 delegates and their guests during the week of the conference.
& South Durham Baby Gyms
Open play sessions for Under-5's with gymnastics equipment at Ushaw Moor and Spennymoor based gymnastics centres. A 10 min and 20 min bus 'adventure' away respectively. Ask us for advice on buses.
Museums in Newcastle (and Gateshead)
There's an excellent range of museums in Newcastle which have a strong child-centric focus. Here's a useful list to check out:
Centre for Life:
Science museum round the corner from the train station with a focus on interactive child-friendly scientific experimenting. Happens to have a dinosaur exhibition on during 2017, as well.
National Centre for Childrens Books. Dress-up and stories. Check the website for how to get there.
Great North (Hancock) Museum
A natural history-type museum with a planetarium.
A science & local history museum. Tiny Sparks Play & Invent Under-5's session on the Wendesday of the conference.
Art gallery with an Arts & Crafts section for the kids.
A (non-exhaustive) list of Durham's many dining options is available here, courtesy of the What Matter(s) Around Galaxies conference website: click
We have suggested some child-friendly activities in the "Things to Do" section above
For day-care of under-5's, we recommend a local nursery (Stepping Stones), who may be able to take a small number of extra children during the conference. You can contact Stepping Stones directly via the contact page on their website to make the necessary arrangements (please do this as early as feasible).
Alternatively, you can find a list of registered local childcare professionals at the Durham County Council Families Information Service.