Durham Castle, Durham
In the heart of the City, Durham Castle forms part of Durham's UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- 13th century buildings (or older)
- 14th century buildings
- 15th century buildings
- 16th century buildings
- Breakfast included
- No car parking
- No smoking
- Historic Property
- No Internet access
- Central heating
Food and Drinks
- English breakfast (included)
- Pub (walking distance)
- Museums (walking distance)
- Historic houses
- Recommended restaurants (walking distance)
- Theatre (walking distance)
In the heart of the City, Durham Castle forms part of Durham's UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Grade 1 listed building shares Palace Green with Durham's iconic Norman Cathedral and is a few hundred yards from all the facilities and amenities that the City has to offer.
A wide variety of comfortable bedrooms is available, ranging from standard rooms with shared facilities to magnificent state rooms. Many rooms have been extensively refurbished during 2011.
Accommodation is available during University vacations; January, Easter and throughout July, August and September.
History to the present day
The present Castle began in 1072 as a simple defensive mound commissioned by William the Conqueror to defend the peninsula formed by the meander in the River Wear. Over the centuries, the Castle has been a residence of the Bishops of Durham who added to the buildings and altered them to suit the needs of the time.
The University of Durham was founded in 1832 by Bishop Van Mildert and the Dean and Chapter of the Cathedral. After Van Mildert's death in 1836 the Castle was handed over to the University and became University College in 1837, the oldest of the Durham Colleges. Early generations of students lived either in University House, now Cosin's Hall, or in the Castle Keep which was reconstructed in 1840.
The College is an academic community within Durham University of around 600 undergraduates and 50 postgraduates, and members of University staff attached to the College through the Senior Common Room. All members, both academic staff and students, share a common aim: the pursuit of knowledge. There are many other aspects of College life: cultural, sporting and social, but the main purpose of the College is academic.
Food and Drinks
Our rates include a full English breakfast served between 8 and 9am in the medieval Great Hall
The College Undercroft bar is generally open most evenings from 6 to 11pm. Check at Reception for opening times.
Grounds and gardens
The Castle, part of Durham's World Heritage Castle, is located on Palace Green across from the City's iconic Norman Cathedral. Either relax walking around the historic city or take a stroll along the nearby banks of the River Wear.
Durham Cathedral is located next to Durham Castle and as a result guests should be aware the Cathedral bells ring prior to services on a Sunday and between 18.30 and 20.30 each Thursday evening.
Rooms include tea & coffee making facilities. As part of your stay you are welcome to join one of our public guided tours on a complimentary basis. During University vacations tours are normally available every morning of the week at 10:00, 11.00 and 12:00, and in the afternoons when there are no commercial activities (e.g. weddings), from 14:00 to 17:00.
Arrival information and how to find us
Address: University College, Durham Castle, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RW, United Kingdom
Address: University College, Durham Castle, Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RW.
Check In: From 2pm. Check Out: By 10am Luggage can be stored if required.
On arrival please report to the Reception, which is open 24 hours per day.
Parking is severely restricted on the World Heritage Site, however, subject to availability. bed and breakfast guests can arrange overnight parking on Palace Green. The Lodge/Reception will provide a parking permit at check-in; however, vehicles must be moved off Palace Green by 09:00 each day.
Parking in the Courtyard is very restricted and a permit is required to park there. Bed and breakfast guests are welcome to drive in to drop off luggage and guests and then move their vehicle to one of the local parking areas at Prince Bishop’s Shopping Centre, or the Sands. During wedding receptions, it may not be possible for cars to enter the Courtyard and we ask for your patience during these special occasions.
The Lindisfarne Gospels will be on display in the Palace Green Library in the Summer months of 2013. Due to the high volume of expected visitors there will be no parking facilities around Palace Green or the Castle courtyard over this period.
Visitors and guests with mobility problems are advised to contact us well in advance so that we can provide the best advice and assistance and where possible reserve a parking space.
The entrance to the Castle (the Barbican) is a single track cobbled road with a restricted entrance through the Gatehouse to the Courtyard. The Barbican is approximately 4.2 metres wide and the Gatehouse 2.5 metres wide by 2.6 metres high.
More photos of Durham Castle, Durham
We guarantee that all our feedback is genuine and can only be submitted by people who have booked through our websites.
Mr Stephen Richards, April 2013: Exellent. I will bring the family next time. Thank you
Mr John Wollaston, April 2013: Convenient way of booking. Great stay, friendly staff & a unique building. A pleausre, thank-you.
Miss Katya Manamsa, March 2013: Fab, slight mix up over booking but the room was great as was the breakfast in the Great Hall full of interesting guests. The reception staff were friendly and helpful - lovely. The room was warm, plenty of biscuits, shower was down the hall - but it was big, clean and powerful with the best view!
Ms Linda Blake, October 2012: Fantastic value for money, enjoyed my stay!
Mrs susan Gaston, October 2012: Everything to do with our visit to Durham University was excellent, the room was far better than I expected and the reception staff were absolutely fabulous, so knowledgeable, informative and helpful...could not have been better. Thank you a wonderful experience....hope my daughter will be accepted both to the Uni and to University College!
Mr Rikin Patel, October 2012: This is such a beautiful Castle!
The walk up from the station was pleasant, and allowed me to see a bit of the town for the first time.
IThe final revelation of the Castle in my journey was breathtaking. I really did splendour the occasion!
And that was topped of f by a very warm welcome by the staff on arrival.
The room was comfortable, clean, and well decorated (I was in the upper reach).
The view from my room was nice and overlooked the courtyard.
The showers were hot and clean, and the toilets were likewise clean as well.
I would definitely come back here!
Mr John Halsall, October 2012: Staying in Durham castle was unbeatable for historic atmosphere. As previous visitors noted on the website, it's worth being aware in advance that there are lots of stairs to climb (and no lift), if, like me, your room is on the top floor of the castle tower. Great views. I wore ear plugs from second night because of the sound of the cathedral bells ringing every quarter hour across the green. Super tour of castle included. Thank you.
Mrs Shelagh Polischuk, September 2012: The young man that checked me in was top notch. My husband had needed to contact me from Canada, and the message was given to me in a very timely manner, and with great consideration to my husband's needs. This was so very much appreciated by both my husband and myself. All of the staff were wonderful, and the accommodation terrific. I would return without hesitation. Thank you for the experience!
Mrs Elspeth Watson, September 2012: Thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would highly recommend it. The tour and finding out about the history of the castle was very interesting.
Mrs christine roy, September 2012: a lovely overall experience, gorgeous location and view from the bedroom window
Mr Colin Taylor, September 2012: From my room high in the castle keep I looked out over the bailey and towards the Great Hall (surely the north of England's most stupendous breakfast room). The atmosphere of the past is all pervasive : it is impossible not to be touched by the magic of the place. But at the same time the needs and comforts of the present day traveller/visitor are more than well supplied. My little room was warm and comfortable, well appointed and quiet. So for two nights, this Englishman's home was indeed a castle.
Mr Clifford Crawford, September 2012: For me the character of staying in the castle beats a Hotel every time and the staff were friendly and helpful.
Mrs Lesley Bulmer, August 2012: Excellent service from Reception staff - friendly & extremely helpful.
Room looked as if had just been refurbished - very clean & comfortable.
Liked the floor covering on the Castle stairs too! Much improved on my last stay in 2010.
Mr Robin Jasper, August 2012: A very enjoyable stay !
Mrs Lorna O'Bryen, August 2012: An enjoyable stay....
Mrs mary napper, August 2012: enjoyed my 3 night stay - would definately come again. The views from my window were worth the 126 steps up to my room (even carrying a tuba up twice!)
Mrs anne hopwood, August 2012: had a leak in room and it was sorted straight awy.Staff fantastic
Mr Grahame Dovey, August 2012: On arrival I was a little worried because I didn't have the extension lead I'd asked for. I had to ask at the Porters' Lodge for one and they kindly obliged. So big thanks to them. I had a very pleasant stay and would recommend it to others.
Mrs Marion DAVISON, July 2012: More than a hotel stay - a great experience !
Ms Emily Goetsch, July 2012: It was great! Thanks!
Miss Joanna Fergusson, July 2012: It might be helpful if there was a warning about the number of stairs - I counted 140 up to my room, which was a lot!
Mr jeffrey gainer, April 2012: a very enjoyable few days in a comfortable setting, Thank you.
Dr John Thomas, April 2012: A wonderful location,very helpful staff, a well-appointed room and excellent location, choice and presentation for breakfast.
Mr S J czemerys, April 2012: Excellent service and facilities.
Dr Alison Wood, April 2012: Rooms were small and stylish with a iPod dock being an unexpected bonus. We were at the top of the Keep, 5 flights of stairs up, but you get that in a castle. Breakfast was in the Great Hall and it was good.