Intended as a statement of power over the Saxons, Durham Castle remains an imposing and impressive edifice, albeit one now owned by Durham University. Even so, you can still enjoy the grounds, turrets, and interior attractions as part of a comprehensive Durham University student-guided tour, during which you'll learn about the lavish and learned history of this Grade I Listed building. Durham Castle also makes an excellent day trip for those based in Newcastle.
Things to Know Before You Go
Durham Castle cannot be explored independently and all visits must be conducted via guided tour, which usually run four times daily.
Infants go free, making Durham Castle a great rainy-day destination for families traveling with children.
Tours must be booked in advance as spaces fill up fast at this popular Durham attraction.
Some roads leading to Durham Castle are cobbled, which may cause problems for visitors with mobility issues; the Castle itself is also mostly inaccessible.
How to Get There
For travelers based in Durham, the Castle is a brief walk from the central marketplace. Walk up Saddler Street, turn right on Owengate, and continue until you reach the castle. From Durham Train Station, it’s a 15-minute walk or 5-minute ride on the Durham Castle Bus. If you’d prefer to drive, the closest car park is Prince Bishops Shopping Centre Car Park.
When to Get There
While guided tours to Durham Castle run year-round, even over university breaks, cancelations can sometimes occur at short notice. However, Durham is a pleasant and popular destination throughout all four seasons, although travelers may prefer to see it at its sunny best over summer. Durham is also known for hosting the annual, ambitious Lumiere Festival in mid-November.
Although Durham Castle didn’t feature in the Harry Potter movies, the adjacent Durham Cathedral did. Stop by and marvel at the cloisters where Harry released Hedwig or simply appreciate the Norman ecclesiastical beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, before heading to the Durham coast for a taste of the bracing English sea air.
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