Durham Castle, Durham

In the heart of the City, Durham Castle forms part of Durham's UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Courtyard and Keep


  • 13th century buildings (or older)
  • 14th century buildings
  • 15th century buildings
  • 16th century buildings
  • Breakfast included
  • No car parking
  • No smoking
  • Historic Property


  • Free broadband access (wifi)
  • Central heating

Food and Drinks

  • Cooked breakfast (included)
  • Bar

Nearby recreations

  • 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. 

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 9:30am 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.

Due to the nature of Durham Castle it is used as a venue for a variety of events and functions. As such, there may be some noise and minor disruption during your stay, our staff will endeavour to control this where possible.

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.

Other facilities

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 10:15, 11.15 and 12:15, and in the afternoons when there are no commercial activities (e.g. weddings), from 14:15 to 17:15.

Wifi is available in all bedrooms, please ask for a password at reception

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. 

Visitors and guests with mobility problems are advised to contact us well in advance so that we can provide the best advice and assistance.

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

The Keep Entrance to the Great Hall Tunstall Gallery Undercroft Bar Newly refurbished room in the keep View from a room in the Hall Stairs

Customer feedback

We guarantee that all our feedback is genuine and can only be submitted by people who have booked through our websites.

, March 2016: Ideal accommodation in city centre for a couple of nights. Visitors should not be put off by shared showers ect as I never saw one single person in there the whole time I was there and they were wonderfully clean. 4/5

, September 2015: To stay in a Castle is really Special. We had a room very high up the Tower, overlooking the whole Location. Breakfast was less than standard and without any service. 3/5

, September 2015: Enjoyable!! 4/5

, September 2015: 4/5

, September 2015: An interesting stay. Overall excellent for a stay in a castle. It is a stay for people who read the information given and understand how buildings used to be as you cannot tear down walls to make rooms bigger and staicases wider. All the staff were excellent and helpful from receptin to the ladies who did the breakfast which was in the Great Hall which is aweaome. 5/5

, September 2015: A huge thank you to the man who carried our heavy bags up at least 100 stairs. He's a star. 5/5

, August 2015: Fantastic place to stay - we were in the keep with fab views over Durham. The breakfast was really good and you can drive up and park in front of the cathedral. 5/5

, August 2015: an amazing plaace to stay 5/5

, August 2015: Wonderful location and very comfortable room. Just managed the 100+ steps and might try and ask again for a different room. 5/5

, August 2015: Great value for money. Delightful 5/5

, August 2015: Staying in such a historical castle is great experience, receptionists were colleague students from Durham U who were very friendly and helpful. Great value of money, will definitely come back and strongly recommend to friends. 5/5

, August 2015: A magical and exciting place to stay. The staff are very helpful. Can't fault a very special experience. It's one of those hidden gems you hope won't get too popular! It will be booked out permanently! 5/5

, August 2015: 4/5

, August 2015: Durham uni castle accommodations were great. The mattreses at Ambleside and Goldsmiths were bordering on painful, and I was beginning to worry that they were standard issue for uni rooms. Durham was so comfortable that I booked extra days. Helpful staff and security. 5/5

, August 2015: I would like to come again although I would like to be able to book a room which did not require quite so many stairs, I was in H block, with 3 lots of stairs the last with a bend which was a little tricky with a case. And the light in the vestibule (outside my room) did not come on sometimes, very tricky to lock door. 4/5

, August 2015: very friendly staff. nice to have free castle tour, parking 4/5

, August 2015: Great experience 5/5

, August 2015: 5/5

, August 2015: 5/5

, August 2015: 5/5

, August 2015: Location excellent,within the castle and very close to the cathedral. Accommodation disappointing and poor for tha amount charged. I would not book a room in the castle again. 3/5

, August 2015: lovely - bit shocked at the amount of stairs to climb, fine for us but may be a good idea to warn people if they are put in the Keep about all the stairs. 4/5

, August 2015: Fantastic. Could have done with own loo - but it was worth it to sleep in the Castle Keep. Absolutely brilliant. 5/5

, August 2015: Although the showers and lavatories were shared, they were ample in number, were almost new and spotlessly clean. It was quite difficult to close the bedroom doors without letting them slam. 4/5

, August 2015: 4/5

Mrs Victoria C, August 2015: This was the most astonishing place to spend several nights! The castle was amazing and our room with huge wooden trusses was brilliant! You have to be aware of stairs & make sure you can get your luggage up flights of stairs. It was just lovely and the porters were so friendly and shared great stories about the students and history of the castle. This was our favorite place we stayed by far! The breakfast is served i the great hall with huge portraits of the Deans of the College gracing the walls--Harry Potterish for me--making the experience even more fun. The Durham University library had a marvelous exhibit about the Magna Carta and Durham Cathedral is historically fascinating & worth the price of the tour! We were thrilled to be here! 5/5

Mrs Katherine I, July 2015: Fantastic welcome from staff, room comfortable though quite basic. 4/5

Mr Phillip T, July 2015: Nice atmosphere. Staff friendly & helpful. 4/5

Dr Rebecca W, July 2015: Lovely room and service. The breakfast was very good, but a little cold by the time I got to it at 8.30. 5/5

Ms CHIA WEN S, April 2015: It was a great experience with a good money value. Will stay at the castle again if visiting Durham. 4/5

Mr Stephen H, April 2015: Great location and value. disappointing view but I wasn't in the room much. Will definitely stay again 4/5

Mrs Audrey D, April 2015: Comfortable clean room 5/5

Mr John W, March 2015: 110/100 i adored the place, the value for money was outstanding totally seduced! In otherwords I liked it a lot! 5/5

Prof Harm V, March 2015: Wonderful, thanks! 4/5

Ms Mary C, March 2015: Very helpful staff 5/5

Miss SUE H, September 2014: It was a delight to stay in the wonderful and fascinating Durham Castle. So much more character than many hotels which are often very impersonal. Staff in the Porter's Lodge, reception and Great Hall (where breakfast was served) were all friendly and helpful. Also enjoyed the free tour round the castle which was really interesting. Room was spotlessly clean with everything you needed. It was a bit of a hike up to the room, as it was on the third floor in the keep, but I'm reasonably fit so not too much of a problem. 4/5

Mr Herbert S, September 2014: Very nice atmosphere, very clean rooms. Superb location. Thank you. 5/5

Mr Stefan C, September 2014: Excellent as always at the Castle. 4/5

Ms Katherine H, September 2014: what a fab place to stay! Will stay again if I am in Durham again! 5/5

Mrs Christine R, September 2014: Wonderful - highly recommend staying here! 5/5

Mr Bruce A, August 2014: Anyone who wants to stay in a stunning Castle and Cathedral setting will not find anywhere better than Durham for the experience of a lifetime! 5/5

Mr David T, August 2014: Exceptional views of the great cathedral, awesome breakfast, immensely satisfying 'real castle' experience. Very knowledgeable and helpful Durham castle reception. Easy to use University Rooms website, with helpful University Rooms email support (although address is hard to obtain). Cautionary tale that Durham Castle reservation support should be coordinated to point back to University Rooms when amendment and change requests involve University Rooms booking. Overall experience and value were excellent. Historic town, and exceptional views. 5/5

Mr Angel F, August 2014: It's an experience to sleep in the castle. Furthermore, it is located in the city center and just in front of the cathedral. I definitely recommend it. 5/5

Mr Jonathan K, August 2014: Superb. Everything just right. Better than I expected. Especially the parking. That was fantastic. Thanks guys. 5/5

Mrs Anne M, August 2014: Everyone was very friendly and helpful. Lots of stairs to climb but we had been warned! 4/5

Miss Joanna M, August 2014: Ignore the breakfast comment - I missed it. I thought it would be til 9.00am. I work at Christ Church Oxford in the Conference office and we use University Rooms and do B&B. I was most impressed with yours and have gone back with a couple of ideas for improvements in our rooms! Very freindly staff and staying with you added to a wonderful day - going to the wedding of close friends. Durham is a magical place, and attending the Wedding Reception at St Chads and staying in the Castle Keep overnight with coffee on the Green next to the Cathedral the following morning was the icing on the cake! 4/5

Mr David K, August 2014: I brought my grandson who couldn't believe we were staying in a real castle! The experience lived up to all expectations:- now my wife insists I bring her! 5/5

Ms Dorothy D, August 2014: We found the whole experience fantastic, brilliant location, friendly staff and especially enjoyed breakfast in the great hall. The stairs could be a challenge for some people perhaps. 5/5

Ms Linda S, July 2014: Just an outstanding experience from start to finish. The staff was very helpful and the accomodations were excellent. 5/5

Mr Derek L, July 2014: Excellent location for the Cathedral and city centre 5/5

Ms Charlene F, July 2014: Loved it..even the steps...ha ha 5/5

Dr Frances C, July 2014: Staying in the castle keep and having breakfast in the great hall was a marvellous experience, although I could have done without 106 steps up to my room. Thankfully I am a fairly fit OAP! I was disappointed not to have any internet access. I understand the reasons for the lack of WiFi but I was not offered or told about the ethernet access which is available in every room. 4/5

Ms Georgia B, July 2014: Amazing building. Not luxurious , but lovely experience to stay in a castle and great value for money. Would have been great if breakfast was served slightly earlier, as had to catch an early bus each day. Also disappointed that I was not allowed to use the laundry facilities. But would happily stay again. 4/5

Mrs Anna M, July 2014: It was just right for our purpose and we enjoyed our stay. 4/5

Mr Alan C, July 2014: Staying at the castle was a very nice experience! 5/5

Mr Richard G, July 2014: What a fantastic setting for a weekend away. 5/5

Mr Ian C, July 2014: Absolutely fantastic, still surprised at the price. 5/5

Mrs Christine B, July 2014: Direcions were not quite clear enough ( the right turn to castle up the cobbled street was not mentioned) The experience was otherwise delightful. 4/5

Ms Mary G, July 2014: The only comment I would add is that WiFi access would be useful for those of us staying there for business rather than holiday. In room J32 it would be useful to have heavier or lined curtains as when the security lights outside come on the room was very bright. Overall I enjoyed my experience of staying in the Castle and the staff I encountered were very friendly and helpful. I would definitely (and laready have) reccomend it to other people. 4/5

Mr Jonathan D, April 2014: What an amazing place to stay, what a great deal! I stayed two nights, for very little money, while visiting a friend studying at Durham University. The castle, library, and the fantastic Durham Cathedral are all on the main plateau in the center of town. We took the official castle tour, led by an extremely informative and knowledgable archeology grad student; looked in the amazing Norman Chapel, where there was an exhibit of Cairene tapestries going on; and ate (insitutional food, nothing great) in the Hogwarts-esque Great Hall. The residence hosts and the porters were very obliging about looking after my bicycle for me-much appreciated, as the room where I was staying in the keep was up more than enough stairs. (Alas, given Norman defensive architecture and the murky weather, there wasn't really a view-and that in an extremely scenic and gorgeous town.) The only thing missing is internet service, although the practical difficulties of making that happen are obvious. I was able to get online in the library next door to the castle. 5/5

Mrs Melanie H, April 2014: Lovely room 124 floors to climb, alright for me and my husband, but if you have problems with walking not achievable. Great Room, Great views 4/5

Ms Rosemary D, April 2014: Everything good quality - impressed by the Fair Trade, no Nestle and efforts at recycling. As Durham is on many levels a better map or directions would be a great help. Staff helpfully provided this when I 'phoned but easier if it was on the website. 5/5

Ms Gillian W, October 2013: A thoroughly enjoyable stay and excellent value. A comfortable room and impressive breakfast. 5/5

Ms sue G, September 2013: very high standard of welcome, hospitality and an excellent room. Only minor quibble is that the hot elements of the breakfast - porage, bacon, egg etc - were tepid and could have been warmer. Will book again when next in the area. 5/5

Mrs Janet B, September 2013: A brilliant place to stay - at the heart of the community and my room was well positioned, despite the 121 steps to access it. I am now fitter than I was at the beginning of the week! 5/5

Mrs Elizabeth J, September 2013: Having never stayed in university accommodation before we were delighted with what we found and would use it again. 5/5

Mrs Margaret B, September 2013: 5/5

Mr John D, August 2013: Friendly staff (even after they have climbed all those stairs) and nice rooms 4/5

Dr Martin O, August 2013: Extremely friendly & helpful staff. The guided tour was a great extra benefit. 126 stairs to the rooms were challenging - but worth it for the views etc. 4/5

Mrs Gill M, August 2013: All staff were extremely helpful and friendly. 4/5

Prof Julien M, August 2013: 4/5

Prof Anne M, August 2013: Staff were extremely helpful. When I mentioned that only 3 of us were checking in, having booked for 4, they immediately offered us a refund for the 4th person, which I had not even considered. All the staff greeted us with smiles and went the 'extra mile', making our stay even better. Thank you! 3/5

Ms Menke V, August 2013: The atmosphere at the Castle and the proximity to the Cathedral were much better than I expected. The room was rather monastic though. And the stairs were a challenge! 4/5

Mr stephen T, August 2013: I was very happy with my stay and will hopefully be staying again the next time I visit Durham, I will be recommending you to my family and friends. Thank you 5/5

Mrs michele S, August 2013: very interesting and pleasant experience Would not mind being a student there !!!! 5/5

Ms Larainne R, August 2013: We just loved our stay in the castle - even the 127 stairs up to our room did not put us off -a good way to work of the sumptuous breakfast. Breakfast in the great hall was like being a student at Hogwartz. The person at reception when we checked in, Charles, was fantastic. He even carried my very heavy bag up all those stairs to our room. Thanks so much for a wonderful experience we won't forget. 5/5

Mrs Maja U, August 2013: I expected somwhat anonymous and austere students lodgings and was very pleasantly surprised when everything was quite comfortable and well thought-out. 5/5

Mr Jonathan D, July 2013: What an affordable opportunity to stay in a 13th century castle. Well recommended 5/5

Mr NIGEL B, July 2013: I've just returned from my first stay at the castle and can say without hesitation that the castle will be my first choice for my next visit to Durham. The staff were very friendly and extremely helpful. 5/5

Mr Stephen R, April 2013: Exellent. I will bring the family next time. Thank you 5/5

Mr John W, April 2013: Convenient way of booking. Great stay, friendly staff & a unique building. A pleausre, thank-you. 4/5

Miss Katya M, 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! 5/5

Ms Linda B, October 2012: Fantastic value for money, enjoyed my stay! 5/5

Mrs susan G, 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! 5/5

Mr Rikin P, 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! 5/5

Mr John H, 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. 4/5

Mrs Shelagh P, 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! 5/5

Mrs Elspeth W, 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. 5/5

Mrs christine R, September 2012: a lovely overall experience, gorgeous location and view from the bedroom window 5/5

Mr Colin T, 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. 5/5

Mr Clifford C, September 2012: For me the character of staying in the castle beats a Hotel every time and the staff were friendly and helpful. 5/5

Mrs Lesley B, 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. 5/5

Mr Robin J, August 2012: A very enjoyable stay ! 5/5

Mrs Lorna O, August 2012: An enjoyable stay.... 4/5

Mrs mary N, 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!) 4/5

Mrs anne H, August 2012: had a leak in room and it was sorted straight awy.Staff fantastic 5/5

Mr Grahame D, 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. 4/5

Mrs Marion D, July 2012: More than a hotel stay - a great experience ! 5/5

Ms Emily G, July 2012: It was great! Thanks! 5/5

Miss Joanna F, 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! 4/5

Mr jeffrey G, April 2012: a very enjoyable few days in a comfortable setting, Thank you. 5/5

Dr John T, April 2012: A wonderful location,very helpful staff, a well-appointed room and excellent location, choice and presentation for breakfast. 5/5

Mr S J C, April 2012: Excellent service and facilities. 5/5

Dr Alison W, 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. 4/5

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