Durham Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by tim07
  • Durham Castle & River Wear
    Durham Castle & River Wear
    by spidermiss
  • Things to Do
    by LittleDee

Durham Highlights

  • Pro
    78Eva profile photo

    78Eva says…

     Lively little student town, medieval and lovely to look at, great atmosphere 

  • Con
    sourbugger profile photo

    sourbugger says…

     Bloody cold in winter 

  • In a nutshell
    maykal profile photo

    maykal says…

     An impressive historic city, like a York without the crowds. 

Durham Things to Do

  • Durham Cathedral

    The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham (usually known as Durham Cathedral) is one of the famous cathedrals in England. Durham Cathedral occupies a strategic position on a promontory high above the River Wear.The present cathedral replaced the 10th century "White Church", built as part of a monastic...

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  • Durham Castle

    The Castle and the Cathedral were our main purposes to see in Durham. The castle stands on top of a hill above the River Wear on Durham's peninsula, opposite Durham Cathedral.Durham Castle is a Norman castle. It has been wholly occupied since 1840 by University College. It is open to the general public to visit, but only through guided tours, since...

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  • I wish I'd gone there at night.

    When I was recently in Durham and wandering fairly aimlessly about the place (as is my wont), I stumbled upon the Angel pub in Crossgate. In fairness, I had heard about it before. Whilst asking where there might be live music on a midweek off-season evening, this place was suggested by a helpful local. I didn't manage to get there that night but I...

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  • A fine old Church.

    Durham is an very religious city, founded effectively by monks on an older prehistoric site and with the Bishop of Durham still being one of the senior clerics in the Anglican church in the UK. No surprise then that the city is endowed with many wonderful old churches and this is one I stumbled across more or less accidentally whilst wandering...

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  • A fully-functioning Castle.

    When I say fully-functioning in the title of this tip, I do not mean that it is functioning as the defensive building it was designed as but rather as one of the more prestigious academic institutions in the UK. It is home to over 100 students from Durham University and, as such, you can only visit as part of an organised tour and I mention this...

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  • A well-deserved building.

    The title of this tip may appear a little confusing, so let me explain. The complex comprising Durham Cathedral and the Castle is quite properly a UNESCO World Heritage Site, a type of site I am trying to visit as many of as I can. I have noted on my homepage the lamentably few I have managed so far.I can now add to the list the Cathedral and...

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Durham Hotels

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Durham Restaurants

  • Excellent food, excellent price.

    I had been staying at the Queens Head a little out of town (see seperate tip) which is effectively a bar / restaurant with rooms upstairs and I spent a little time in the lounge bar which doubles as the restaurant. I noticed that it seemed a popular spot and was quite busy even in midweek which is always a good sign. A look at the menu and...

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  • I only had a snack.

    Having had a hard day's sightseeing in Durham (and there are plenty of sights to see there), I decided a quick pint would be in order and dropped into the Fighting Cocks pub in South Street right in the centre of town. I have subsequently read on a student website that this establishment gets a reputation as one of the roughest pubs in the City but...

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  • A Surprise

    Looking for somewhere for lunch and not seeing a pub, we went in here. We were very pleasantly surprised as we had expected the usual franchise food. It is part of a franchise but a step above. The restaurant is located down steep stairs but the room itself is right on the river and it is pleasant to sit and watch the scenery. The food was good,...

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  • Not Quite Up to Snuff

    We were really looking forward to visiting this restaurant for dinner on a recent visit to Durham. Our welcome was lukewarm and unenthusiastic, although our booking was honoured and we were seated immediately. We found the menu to be rather unbalanced, especially if one was choosing an appetiser and a second course. We started off with humus and...

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  • NOT ANOTHER ONE!

    First thing I looked for when I arrive in a town or city is a Costa Coffee (or a Starbucks if Costa isn't available). I then plan my assault on the town over a delicious cup of Latte. LATTE AND LEMON AND POPPY SEED MUFFIN

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  • On the riverside for Italian

    Had a business meeting with the representative of the Perry company, Mr. Richard Driver and after spending an entire day examining the equipment he had to offer, he further enriched the offer by first of all returning me to my hotel AND taking me out to dinner. He suggested we visit the Bella Italia, a nice Italian restaurant along the river Wear...

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Durham Nightlife

See all 11 Nightlife in Durham
  • Sourbugger's guide to the Pubs of Durham

    At one point the City of Durham had more pubs than you could shake a stick at. I believe there were over 30 along Elvet alone.For a tourist I would most easily recomend the "Swan and three Cygnets" on Elvet Bridge. It's got good real ales, old-fashioned food that is good value and an outside seating area overlooking the bridge.I would also point...

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  • Seems like a young crowd

    I had seen the signs for live music outside Osbourne's earleir in the day (Thursday) and had decided I would pop in later to check it out. This was, however, before I heard about the folk night in the Dun Cow (see seperate tip) which sort of trumped it as I am a folkie at heart. I did decide to drop in early just to see what it was like. I should...

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  • Friendly folk night.

    I had intitially visited the Dun Cow as I had been told it was one of the best little pubs in Durham, and it certainly did not disappoint. In the tiny front bar, i was given an extremely friendly welcome by both staff and regulars alike. This is definitely a regulars pub, as everyone knows everyone else. During a conversaton with one of the locals,...

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Durham Transportation

  • Let the train take the strain.

    Within the British Isles, the train is definitely mt preferred mode of transport. Flying has become such a time consuming and unleasant chore that even when I would have flown a few years ago, I am now taking to the rails.When I recently visited Durham I arrived from Edinburgh and left a few days later to return to my home in London completing both...

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  • Useful and green as well.

    I have noted elsewhere that I found Durham to be a very compact city and I was more than happy to walk around it. I appreciate that this does not suit everyone for whatever reason and so the Cathedral bus may be of use to them. The bus is a service linking the rail station and coach park with the Cathedral / Castle complex via the Market Place. The...

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  • Cathedral Bus

    The station for Durham is rather away from the centre, and down quite a hill one way and then up a hill (vice versa for the return trip). There is a Cathedral bus which goes every 20 minutes between 09.00 and 16.30, stopping at the bus station, the market square and then Palace Green for the Cathedral area.Cost is 0.50p per trip, which is a...

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Durham Shopping

See all 4 Shopping in Durham
  • A fine indoor market.

    I know that I rarely write shopping tips as it is no secret here on Virtual Tourist that I hate shopping although I do have a great fondness for markets. When I was wandering round Durham fairly aimlessly one day it was therefore pretty certain that I would check out the Indoor Market when I saw it.The Market building itself is impressive, built in...

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  • Food shopping around Durham

    Students need to eat, and the shops in Durham are mostly small and expensive.It took us a while to figure out where to best go food-shopping, but in the end it was Spennymoor, a little town outside Durham, easily accessible from our little village Coxhoe and from Durham itself. There is ASDA, Aldi, co-op etc.Of course this is only really possible...

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  • CHEAP shopping at the Tynemouth

    There is a great outlet centre right next to where the ferries leave in Newcastle/Tyneside. I unfortunately only discovered it when I left, but that was a great shopping spree I had then. I bought lots of clothes, and very good brands for very little money. My boyfriend was saying all the women there were like vultures circling their prey, but o...

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Durham Local Customs

  • Become a 'local' in minutes....

    1.Tea! Durham has many many many tea shops that also have cakes - indulge in a British afternoon tea for under £5. Its worth it, whether you are admiring the view or escaping from the cold!2. A 'Chip Butty'These are generally found across Northern England, but if you need something very filling on a cold day - ask for a 'chip butty'. This is a chip...

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  • The Mining heritage

    Coal mining has been an essential part of the North-East since the beginning of the industrial revolution.Nowadays the pits have all gone - and it has been a traumatic change for many of the local communities with the wholesale closure of pits following the collapse of the miners strike in 1984.Despite all this the tradition of the 'big meeting' or...

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  • Tuck into a Stottie cake.

    Stottie cakes are a kind of large, flattish white loaf that you find in Durham and the rest of the North-East.Only one of them makes for an excellent sandwich. Several bakeries sell them, although branches of "Gregg's" the bakers are most often credited with reviving this regional bread on a commercial basis.

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Durham Warnings and Dangers

  • Women in Durham

    I have lived in Durham over the past 3 years and have some tips and warnings for women (and couples!) wanting to visit Durham, but are concerned by the reports that 'its rough at night'.I work late night at a bar and walk home on my own regularly at 2.30am!Durham is A VERY SAFE PLACE. As long as you use some common sense when you are out and...

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  • Night-time wanderings

    For quite a small town, Durham can seem a bit rough in places after dark. Don't panic, it's not a no-go zone once the sun sets, but you may need to be a bit careful down North Road late at night...this is the livelier end of town, and once the bars anc clubs start turfing people out, things can turn nasty. Friday and Saturday nights are the worst,...

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  • Night life in Durham

    Durham is really one of the most beautiful towns in Europe but when the sun goes down, get the the hell out of there! (it can get quite rough..) If you are really brave though, walk through North Road at 2 am!!

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Durham Off The Beaten Path

  • A PEACEFUL SPOT TO PICNIC

    FINCHALE PRIORY ON THE BANKS OF THE RIVER WEAR, IS ONLY A SHORT DISTANCE FROM DURHAM CITY,ITS OFTEN OVERLOOKED BY VISITORS TO THE AREA,I HAVE A LOT OF VERY FOND MEMORIES FROM MY CHILDHOOD DAYS SPENT CAMPING HEAR,THIS IS A REALY NICE RIVERSIDE PLACE TO VISIT,TAKE TIME TO VISIT AND HAVE A PICNIC ,I BELIEVE ENTRY TO THE PRIORY IS FREE. THERE IS ALSO A...

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  • SELDEN SEEN PARTS OF DURHAM 2013 MAY

    JUST A WONDER AROUND DURHAM PICTURES OF LESSER SEEN PARTS,PIC 1 FULLING MILL IT APPEARS IN NEARLY EVERY PICTURE TAKEN OF DURHAM CATHEDRAL, UNDER THE FAMOUS TOWERS OF COURSE ITS SEEN FROM THE OTHERSIDE. OF THE RIVER.PIC 2 A MOCK TEMPLE IT CAN BE SEEN JUST PAST FREBENDS BRIDGE.PIC 3.LOOKING UP BOW LANE A STREET OF GEORGIAN HOUSES,CATHEDRAL IN...

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  • Where there is heaven...you also have...

    Durham maybe one of the most holy sites in England - a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of years, but it also has a darker side.You can maybe see the Cathedral from Durham Prison, but built in 1810 and containing 600 cells and at least on ghost - this place may have put a sense of fear into many people over the years.Before it became illegal,...

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Durham Sports & Outdoors

  • Just one cornetto...give it to me....

    When I was up here we used to go punting out on the river. It was a very pleasant way to waste an afternoon, although sometimes it somewhat spoiled by the very wittly local youths who enjoyed singing the 'Just one Cornetto' song (how amazingly original of them !) from an old advert for walls ice cream.Oh, that and then gobbing off the bridges onto...

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  • Hold the pink flamingos

    Croquet is a sport you don't see very often, but there is a fine tradition of it being played in Durham.The Current world champion passed through at the same time as me, and although far out of my class I remember giving him a run for his money once or twice.At our college we developed a slight twist on the sport by turning it into a drinking game...

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  • Rowing on River Wear

    There's a rowing club not far from the castle and cathedral of Durham. As an old rower I loved watching the boats on the river of course. What a nice location for a picnic trip! A boat, two sculls and a sunny day

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Durham Favorites

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  • Durham as it was for me in May of 2004

    We visited Durham on the way from York to Edinburgh.This charming city sits on the River Wear and is well known for its Norman Cathedral and 11th century Castle, both designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Upon the most central and prominent position high above the Wear, the cathedral dominates the skyline. The steep riverbanks are densely...

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  • PICTURE AROUND THE CATHEDRAL GREEN/...

    THE CITY OF DURHAM IS WORLD FAMOUS FOR ITS NORMAN CATHEDRAL,ANY VISITOR MUST BY SHOWN IT MAJESTIC SPLENDER. THE FONDEST THING,IS THE THING I DO EVERY TIME I HAVE BEEN IN DURHAM,AND THATS TO WALK ALONG THE BANKS OF THE RIVER WEAR,AROUND THE CATHEDRAL AND CASTLE.

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  • Market Square

    The Market Square is the main shopping and dining area for Durham, the center square and two smaller streets leading off are the entire complex from the Millburngate Bridge on the north, the Prince Bishops Shopping Center on the east, the castle on the south and the Framwegate Bridge on the west which leads you across the Wear River to the Gates...

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Comments

 
Explore Deeper into Durham
Anyone seen a ghost?
Things to Do
The Jewel in the Crown.
Things to Do
Great Statue, awful image!
Things to Do
Go for a walk.
Things to Do
Get your artistic head on.
Things to Do
A brilliant regimental Museum.
Things to Do
A statue of the start.
Things to Do
Excellent kebabs.
Things to Do
DURHAM CATHEDRAL
Things to Do
Museum of Archaeology
Things to Do
Durham Cathedral
Things to Do
Bemish Living Museum
Things to Do
Durham Lumiere
Things to Do
Durham by Car
Transportation
Durham Cathedral Cloisters
Things to Do
Durham Cathedral winter bleak
Favorites
Strolling the banks of the Wear River
Favorites
Castle Durham
Favorites
The Stuff and Staff
Restaurants
The Tower at Durham Cathedral
Things to Do
visit Market Square
Things to Do
Take the Riverside walk
Things to Do
Durham Castle
Things to Do
Visit the Cathedral.
Things to Do
Cinema
Nightlife
Cathedral
Things to Do
A coffee shop in the artistic area
Restaurants
Saddle up for a delicious snack
Restaurants
Cathedral, Castle and Cloisters
Things to Do
Local buses from the station to the cathedral
Transportation
Great for Fair Trade Coffee
Restaurants
Durham Castle
Things to Do
Durham Cathedral
Things to Do
Durham Cathedral
Things to Do
Fat Buddha
Restaurants
Market Place
Things to Do
Durham Miner's Gala
Things to Do
Durham Castle
Things to Do
Durham Castle - Keep
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Palace Green
Things to Do
Map of Durham

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