Type:Castle / Fort
Experience over 1000 years of history on a Durham Castle Tour and discover how it functions today as the home of University College.
Durham Castle, together with the Cathedral, was awarded the status of a World Heritage Site in 1986 providing international recognition for this unique, historic and scenic site. Built in the Norman period as an imposing fortress, Durham Castle’s story is entwined with that of the Prince-Bishops of Durham, whose semi-regal status made them some of the most powerful and wealthy men in the country.
Discover a castle that gradually turned into a lavish palace, which was affected by major historical events from the Norman Conquest to the English Civil War. It was transformed in the Victorian period into a place of learning, as the home of University College, the founding college of Durham University.
Today Durham Castle remains a living building, evolving to modern day life while retaining its power to impress as part of the iconic Durham skyline.
Due to the residential nature of the building entrance is by guided tour only. Our knowledgeable and friendly tour guides will take you through the Gatehouse and into heart of the historic building. Here you will experience history and tales from 1000 years of living history. Tours last approx. 45-50 minutes.
Visitors wishing to take part in a guided tour of Durham Castle need to purchase tickets at Palace Green Library and then meet your tour guide outside of Durham Castle. The historic nature and layout of the Castle means that the majority of the building is inaccessible to wheelchair users. The tour route involves many steps and staircases, some of which are uneven.