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“Off putting, difficult to find”
Review of Finchale Priory

Finchale Priory
Ranked #12 of 58 things to do in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Sheffield, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
24 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Off putting, difficult to find”
Reviewed June 17, 2014

Firstly, I am am English heritage member, which, for a substantial annual membership fee includes free admission and parking. a I am often touring round, I almost always have the car.

The site is dificult to find from the south/Durham/A167, with zero signposts. On another occasion i did see the signs when travelling into Durham from the North along A167, so I thought I'd call in. You pass a number of prisons by the way.

Approaching the site, you feel youre about to cross the German border. A host of threatening signs welcome you, park and pay up on departure or else, CCTV watching you, wheel clamping, if youre a canoeist why should we let you use the river etc., then you reach the barriers, all what was missing was a sentry shouting achtung halte.
So I turned around in the half metre widening of the road, to undoubtedly cater for many more simular to myself.

Very dissapointed, and suprised that English Heritage collaborates with this practice. Have written to them directly to complain about the issue.
Will investigate alternate means of access such as riverside paths, uness these have been landmined at the perimeters.

Visited June 2014
5 Thank ChilliAndGarlic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
godrica, Next to priory, caravan manager at Finchale Priory, responded to this review, September 3, 2014
I would like to point out that we only open and close the gate of the Priory, we also police the Priory if there are any unruly youths climbing the walls.

We are separate from the Priory owning the land around the gated Area and our main income is the caravan park

We note that a few people have issues with the parking fee, the fee covers quite a few things (as it is private land we do not get any grants and every thing we provide for a all day fee of £3 ) maintenance of the roads , beautiful mowed lawns Picnic tables, Toilet facilities, cafe ,access to the river bank and most of all the peace and tranquilly Finchale has to offer

We do get the very obnoxious customer ( I guess this is where the beware of custodian come in ) when I am working in the shop and some person starts being abusive to me and my staff sorry we will not just stand and take it .

Finchale is a fabulous little gem we are very lucky to work here as I am told many many times in a day, by very very nice people from all over the world.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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164 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
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English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
65 reviews
29 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 11, 2014

Located beside a shallow fast moving river, this site is rather large, but interesting to wander through. It is a private road and there is a 3:00GBP parking fee minimum.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank Gladesville22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
266 reviews
204 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 465 helpful votes
“Finchale Priory and walks along the banks of the river Wear.”
Reviewed May 28, 2014

We visited this lovely little priory recently when travelling through Durham.
The priory is situated next to a caravan park,but is also by the river Wear which is lovely.
Unfortunately as there were no information boards around the ruins,we were unable to find out what part of the abbey we were actually standing in.However we just enjoyed taking photographs and wandering through the ruins.
There is a lovely walk over the footbridge that goes alongside the river,we didn"t do it all but i can imagine that it is lovely to do if the weather is good.
This is a lovely little priory but the downside is the £3 car parking fee even if you are English Heritage members,the fee has to be paid as you need the receipt to let you out through the barrier.
It is also confusing of where you are to park as it is not well sign posted and you are not allowed beyond the sign for the caravan park.
Now i have visited this abbey i don"t think it is a place i would hurry back to visit again.

Visited May 2014
2 Thank PhilfromCheshire
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Durham, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
574 reviews
403 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 261 helpful votes
“A nice ruin but beware of the issue with parking.”
Reviewed May 26, 2014

Finchale is really nice ruin set on the banks of the river Wear. There is still a substantial amount remaining so there is quite a lot of exploring to do, and you can take dogs with you. There is also a footbridge over the Wear and you can spend time working through the picturesque woods that line the river banks. A word of warning. The abbey is surrounded by private land and there is a barrier. Once you enter you need to pay £3 to exit. It really isn't on this this isn't mentioned on the EH website. Small shop where you can buy an overpriced icecream of beverage.

Visited May 2014
1 Thank durham05
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Washington, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“New Year wander”
Reviewed May 6, 2014

Always a beautiful walk from the north side down to the river along the banks to the Priory. Brisk walk beautiful scenery. If you've never been try it for an hours amble.

Visited January 2014
3 Thank michael g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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