Durham Castle
Durham Castle
4.5
About
Experience over 1000 years of living history on a Durham Castle Tour. Built as an imposing fortress by the Normans, Durham Castle's story is entwined with that of the Prince-Bishops of Durham, whose semi-regal status made them some of the country's most powerful and wealthy men. Discover a castle that gradually turned into a lavish palace, which was affected by major historical events from the Reformation to the English Civil War. It was transformed in the Victorian period into a place of learning. Today Durham Castle is part of the World Heritage Site, but it is also home to University College, the founding college of Durham University with over 300 students living in or around the Castle, making it unique as it remains a living and working castle. We hope you enjoy your visit.
Duration: < 1 hour
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  • Paul T
    Ridgewell, United Kingdom72 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting historical building
    We visited on a rather wet day, but most of the tour is inside. The guide was a young lady who knew her facts and gave the opportunity to ask questions at each section of the tour. You only see a few areas of the castle as it is used for student accommodation for the university. Well worth a visit if you are in Durham and all for a small entrance fee
    Good afternoon and many thanks for taking the time to review us. We are so glad you enjoyed your tour, and that you found the experience enjoyable. We Looking forward to seeing you again in the future,
    Written August 7, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written July 23, 2023
  • Sally22
    United Kingdom271 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best tour guide ever.
    Best tour guide I’ve ever had. Booked in at library. Only £5. Tour started on time and lasted 50 mins. She was excellent. Can’t remember her name. Criminology student. Stunning building.
    Hello and thank you very much for reviewing your visit to Durham Castle. We are really pleased to hear you enjoyed your guided tour and we made sure to let Laura know about your great feedback! Thank you,
    Written September 18, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled solo
    Written August 7, 2023
  • angelawA6201UJ
    353 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great castle tour
    My friend and I went on an organised castle tour whilst visiting Durham for the weekend. Our tour guide (Laura) was friendly, funny and very knowledgeable. The tour was just under an hour and very good value for money. We learnt so much in a short space of time and we’re given regular opportunities and time to take photos. I would like to personally thank Laura for making a dreary and rainy Saturday afternoon much more enjoyable.
    Hello and thank you very much for reviewing your visit to Durham Castle. We are really pleased to hear you enjoyed your guided tour and we made sure to let Laura know about your great feedback! Thank you,
    Written September 18, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written August 10, 2023
  • Felixstowe2016
    Felixstowe, United Kingdom6,364 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Gem
    Another excellent place if your in Durham a real palace although some areas are difficult for wheelchair users. Self guided or guided tours are available and the entrance price is sensible. Norman castle in the city of Durham, England, which has been occupied since 1837 by University College, Durham after its previous role as the residence of the Bishops of Durham. Designated since 1986 as a cultural World Heritage Site in England
    Many thanks for taking the time to review Durham Castle and for giving such an informative answer! We are really glad you enjoyed the visit - we are trying our best to improve our accessibility challenges so that everyone can enjoy this beautiful building to its full potential. Best wishes,
    Written October 17, 2023
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written October 9, 2023
  • helzie8
    United Kingdom251 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Interesting and great value
    Well worth a visit and right next to the cathedral. we went on a guided tour as the students were there which I think actually made it better. What a place for the lucky uni students to eat lunch! Our guide Jack was excellent, really interesting facts and tales put over in a way that a non history buff like myself could follow. Tickets were only £5 so it’s fantastic value, and the tour lasted about 40 minutes, so perfect amount of time. As a side note we picked up our tour lanyards from the library next door and they have loads of info, guides etc if you are looking for things to see and do in this lovely city-really helpful staff!
    Thank you very much for taking the time to review us and for giving us feedback on your tour of Durham Castle. We are really pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit and we are glad you found visiting the library and its collections so interesting as well. Looking forward to seeing you again soon,
    Written January 10, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written December 7, 2023
  • Gina Sparkles
    Lisbon, Portugal145 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Magic of a Working Castle
    Highly recommend. It always helps having an expert with you. Nuggets of information or inferences from people who live the place makes the tour wonderfully informative. Laura, was great, from the flying staircase, chapel and great hall. The cathedral and castle are must see tours.
    Thank you very much for taking the time to review us and for giving us feedback on your tour of Durham Castle. We are really pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit and we'll make sure to let the guide know you enjoyed their tour! Looking forward to seeing you again soon,
    Written January 10, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited December 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written December 18, 2023
  • Ritu H
    7 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good place to visit
    We went on the tour, costing £5 and free to durham uni students. It was really informative and the castle itself has many stories. The medieval church was amazing and held much history. It was really interesting.
    Thank you very much for taking the time to review us and for giving us feedback on your tour of Durham Castle. We are really pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit! Looking forward to seeing you again soon,
    Written March 14, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written February 24, 2024
  • HILARY C
    15 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very informative and great value.
    Directly opposite Durham Cathedral. The courses are run by students (I think), and our guide, Joseph Jack, was very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable. The castle is now part of Durham university/halls of residence and the tour lasts approximately 45 minutes. Your guide takes you through the grounds of the castle, up to the chapel, and then through to the Hogwarts style dining area, telling about the history of the place. My review doesn't make it sound very interesting, but it is. And it's only £5.00.
    Thank you very much for taking the time to review us and for giving us feedback on your tour of Durham Castle. We are really pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit and we'll make sure to let Joseph know know you enjoyed their tour! Looking forward to seeing you again soon,
    Written March 14, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited February 2024
    Travelled with friends
    Written March 2, 2024
  • Kimberly
    Kingwood, Texas20 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Very cool 👍
    I went to this castle with my family. I visited this castle on the 5th of March. I was shocked to find out that half of the castle is lived in by students who go to the Durham university. So you have to buy tickets to be taken on the tour. Our tour guide was lovely. However it is bit of shame feeling rushed through the castle and I felt we couldn’t see much of the castle. However what we did get to see, was pretty awesome!
    Thank you very much for reviewing your experience at Durham Castle! The Castle as you say is lived in by the students so areas are not accessible due to its nature as a college/private accommodation - we aim to open to the public everything we can. I am really glad you had a good time in Durham and looking forward to seeing you again!
    Written March 14, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written March 6, 2024
  • stephen f
    Sunderland, United Kingdom105 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Value for money
    Have to book your tour on line and at ,£5 per person worth every penny. You have to collect lanyard from library next to castle entrance. You can only do castle tour with a guide due to it being used by students from the University for day to day use plus accommodation. Our guide had amazing knowledge of the place and made the tour very interesting indeed . Tour lasts about 1hr and I can't recommend enough . Great value for money deffo recommend it.
    Thank you very much for taking the time to review us and for giving us such great feedback on your tour of Durham Castle. We are really pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit. Looking forward to seeing you again soon,
    Written May 8, 2024
    This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written April 25, 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles1,369 reviews
Excellent
744
Very good
431
Average
118
Poor
39
Terrible
37

Bev W
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
Absolutely amazing place and so much to do that we have to go back. There is so much history in cathedral alone and for a donation of £5 it is well worth it .
Written June 10, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Steve Buckley
London, UK8,856 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Family
My wife and myself are currently holidaying in County Durham staying at the lovely Walworth Castle (Review to follow) and today visited another one in Durham!

It is not difficult to find (ie opposite Durham Cathedral) but - as the Castle is now the home to 180 University of Durham (whom own the Castle) - can only be visited by going on one of the 4 daily organised Tours - tickets for which can be purchased (£4.50 for Seniors) at the nearby Booking Office.

The Tour itself was well presented by another Durham University Student but - with so many of her fellow students fortunate enough to reside there - I found the range of attractions rather limited (ie the Dungeon has now become a Social Club). Even so, it’s still worth visiting but don’t do so with raised expectations!
Written May 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Good afternoon, thank you very much for your review of Durham Castle, it's great to hear that you had an enjoyable time during your visit. I am just going to correct a couple of things in your review for the benefit of readers :) We don't necessarily run only four tours during the day, this depends on the time of the year and whether it is university term time or not - visitors can find more details about scheduled tours by calling Palace Green Library on 01913342932. Also, Durham Castle doesn't have a dungeon - what you are referring to is the Undercroft, a space traditionally used as a storage area for provisions for centuries, and turned into the college student bar with the castle becoming part of Durham University in later years. Many thanks again and best wishes,
Written May 24, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

miriam1964
Shetland Islands, UK4 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2024 • Couples
Pre booked our tour online and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit. Great to see it being used by students. It was easy to find and looks beautiful from across the river
Written May 20, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Many thanks for you review of Durham Castle! We are really happy to hear you enjoyed your visit and the fact the castle is a living, breathing building with its college community. Best wishes,
Written May 24, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

alanhM6529LR
Newbridge,Midlothian6 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
A very good tour and informative, wonderful to see the castle being used for the university students,would recommend a visit
Written April 28, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for your review of Durham Castle! Most visitors really do appreciate the building being used and experiencing its living heritage, very glad you enjoyed your visit. Best wishes,
Written May 8, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

stephen f
Sunderland, UK105 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Have to book your tour on line and at ,£5 per person worth every penny. You have to collect lanyard from library next to castle entrance. You can only do castle tour with a guide due to it being used by students from the University for day to day use plus accommodation.
Our guide had amazing knowledge of the place and made the tour very interesting indeed . Tour lasts about 1hr and I can't recommend enough .
Great value for money deffo recommend it.
Written April 26, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for taking the time to review us and for giving us such great feedback on your tour of Durham Castle. We are really pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit. Looking forward to seeing you again soon,
Written May 8, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Susan s
Lytham St Anne's, UK53 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Friends
An opportunity to look around the castle. The guide was very knowledgeable and answered all our questions. A chance to see the inspiration behind Hogwarts great hall
Written April 15, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello and thank you very much for reviewing your visit to Durham Castle. We are pleased you enjoyed the view of the building and look forward to welcoming you to a guided tour inside soon. Best wishes,
Written May 8, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jessica Helen G
7 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
We were taken around by the lovely Sophie who did a fantastic job of pointing out all the really interesting little nooks, crannies and fascinations of the castle and explaining all the ways where history and modern usage comes together in this beautiful building
Written April 6, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for taking the time to review us and for giving us feedback on your tour of Durham Castle. We are really pleased to hear you enjoyed your visit! Looking forward to seeing you again soon,
Written May 8, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Christine O
30 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Couples
Because students live in the castle, booking a tour with a guide is the only option if you want to see and learn about the castle. Our guide was very knowledgeable and made the tour extremely interesting.
Written April 3, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for you lovely feedback about your tour at Durham Castle. We are really glad you enjoyed the tour and look forward to welcoming you again soon. Best wishes,
Written May 8, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Geoff L
Durham, UK4 contributions
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Friends
I attended Durham Castle with a friend who was visiting Durham for the first time. The students were not in residence, and we walked in to the main courtyard of the castle and looked through the locked doors at the impressive dining area.
We were approached by a female employee who, I can safely say, was one of the most officious and rude people I have encountered in a very long time! We had inadvertently passed a sign at the open entrance, directing people to the porter's office. This employee spoke to us both in an incredibly arrogant, obnoxious and accusatory manner which made us both feel extremely angry and hugely unwelcome. Despite our apologies, she continued to speak to us as though we were trespassing on her own personal fiefdom!
We fully appreciate that security is important, but to greet two middle-aged professional people like this, was totally unnecessary, inappropriate and offensive.
If this is the level of greeting to be expected at such an iconic site (I am a resident of the city, by the way), then I would urge people to avoid Durham Castle like the plague, and, instead, visit the cathedral where the staff are warm, hospitable and polite.
This employee is a disgrace and should be nowhere near visitors (and life-long residents) to our great city. APPALLING!
Written March 29, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Dear Geoff, many thanks for taking the time to write this review. I am really sorry to hear what has happened. The Castle is a college of Durham University, which means our business as Museum (for which this page is set) and the college coexist in the same building - the staff you refer to does not belong to us Castle Tours as it would have likely been a porter on duty in the college reception. I will make sure this review is sent to the college office for staff to review - in the meantime I can only regret the poor rating left to us as a museum venue. I hope next time you will join a castle tour and have the chance to experience this beautiful building with an enjoyable visit. Best wishes,
Written April 3, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Kimberly
Kingwood, TX20 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
I went to this castle with my family. I visited this castle on the 5th of March. I was shocked to find out that half of the castle is lived in by students who go to the Durham university. So you have to buy tickets to be taken on the tour. Our tour guide was lovely. However it is bit of shame feeling rushed through the castle and I felt we couldn’t see much of the castle. However what we did get to see, was pretty awesome!
Written March 6, 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Thank you very much for reviewing your experience at Durham Castle! The Castle as you say is lived in by the students so areas are not accessible due to its nature as a college/private accommodation - we aim to open to the public everything we can. I am really glad you had a good time in Durham and looking forward to seeing you again!
Written March 14, 2024
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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