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Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
71 posts
61 reviews
9 helpful votes
Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

Hi, we are planning a tour of the North early this summer, and I noted that there's a Tesco about midway between the Durham rail station and Durham Castle/Cathedral...which is ideal for us picking up some lunch items when we arrive by rail mid-morning... but are we permitted to bring it into those edifices IF we keep it bagged and unopened? I couldn't find the answer to this on their sites so perhaps someone here knows...

Also we _could_ consume it outside, but not if rainy, so if they allow eating one's own food in their cafe then so much the better.

17 replies to this topic
London, United...
Level Contributor
35,518 posts
94 reviews
106 helpful votes
1. Re: Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

If there's a cafe there, why not use it for food? It'll probably help keep these ancient buildings going.

London, United...
Level Contributor
4,273 posts
56 reviews
29 helpful votes
2. Re: Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

It’s unlikely the cafe would allow you to eat your own food. That isn’t how cafes work.

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
15,108 posts
119 reviews
66 helpful votes
3. Re: Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

The Cathedrals terms and conditions are not clear "Eating and drinking are prohibited within Durham Cathedral, except in designated refreshment areas. Bottled water is permitted." You could interpret that either way.

I would contact the Cathedral direct and ask.

Newcastle upon...
Level Contributor
702 posts
50 reviews
22 helpful votes
4. Re: Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

Fine to bring it in to the cathedral in your bag, unopened. Just don't try and eat it in the café. Durham cathedral still doesn't charge an entry fee, so deserves any money you give them to go towards the running costs of the place. Trying to eat a Tesco meal deal in such a place probably crosses the line into being offensive, to be honest. Good job you're checking first.

Cornwall, United...
Level Contributor
6,656 posts
5. Re: Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

Do you take your own food to eat in a cafe or restaurant where you live?

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
Level Contributor
39,361 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
6. Re: Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

You could go down by the river to eat.

East Sussex, United...
Level Contributor
7,653 posts
16 reviews
5 helpful votes
7. Re: Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

Eating your own food in a cafe is really not acceptable in my opinion.

Scotland, United...
Level Contributor
2,356 posts
8. Re: Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

There is a picnic area in the garden.

United Kingdom
Destination Expert
for Cornwall
Level Contributor
30,120 posts
334 reviews
187 helpful votes
9. Re: Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

A Canadian colleague of mine was stunned to be told he couldn’t eat his own lunch in a museum cafe in Geneva so maybe it’s acceptable in some parts of Canada. The server stood over him while he repacked his sandwich then told him he must order food and drink from her. All very embarrassing even though I wasn’t the “guilty party”.

Ottawa, Canada
Level Contributor
71 posts
61 reviews
9 helpful votes
10. Re: Can you bring food into Durham Cathedral or Castle?

OK, well I think it's clear that I'd better lean to the side of caution and a resounding "NO".

Having done a few random Google searches out of sheer curiosity the answers were mixed, but mostly towards the side of "No" as well. (although apparently the British Museum allows it!)

So, you just never know.

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