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  • Availability is mainly in the vacation periods (Christmas, Easter, Summer), when students clear their rooms
  • Rooms typically become available two to three months in advance, so please revisit the website within that period if nothing is available now
  • Alternatively visit www.durhambedbreakfasts.co.uk for hundreds more accommodation and travel ideas

 

Bed and breakfast accommodation in Durham University colleges

Not just for students - anyone can book!

  • Staying in Durham college accommodation is an exciting backstage pass to the city. These centrally-located bed and breakfast (B&B) rooms are a cost effective alternative to staying in a cheap Durham hotel
  • By providing the college with revenue you will be contributing to the upkeep of the buildings, whether they are historic (Durham Castle) or more modern (Durham Business School)
  • Trace the footsteps of Will Carling, Bill Bryson, Andrew Strauss, or even James Bond (Roger Moore and George Lazenby) who have all passed through Durham's colleges
  • Eat in the college hall, wander through the college's gardens or take a tour of Durham's UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Durham Visitor information

Durham is an attractive and historic city, well-known for its spectacular Norman Cathedral and Castle, which over-look the city.

Durham is compact yet offers a wide range of facilities. Shops and restaurants co-exist happily with the Victorian Market. Much of Durham’s shopping area is closed to traffic, making for a more relaxed atmosphere. Take time to sit in the cobbled Market Place and enjoy some of the street entertainment, particularly during July and August. The monthly Farmers’ Market is a welcome new addition to the events calendar. Here you will find fresh local specialities to take back home. In the spring and summer, stunning floral displays adorn the City for which Durham regularly wins prizes.

Dozens of regional attractions are easily reached from Durham, making it an ideal touring base. The largest open-air museum in England is to be found at Beamish where you can see life as it was at the beginning of the last century. Fine art treasures can be seen at the John and Josephine Bowes Museum, a French-style chateau in Barnard Castle.

It should be understood that colleges are designed primarily for students: not for children or adults expecting a high level of luxury. However, with this in mind, the colleges do meet a level of comfort that we expect most visitors to be happy with, and we will welcome any feedback where this is not the case.

Dates of Durham's academic vacations

Rooms are mainly available during the academic vacations.

Easter: mid-March to late-April
Summer: late-June to mid-October
Christmas: mid-December to mid-January

Getting to Durham

Durham is 264 miles from London, 187 miles from Birmingham, 125 miles from Edinburgh and 67 miles from York.

Durham city centre is only two miles from the A1(M). Leave the motorway at Junction 62 on the A690 Durham - Sunderland road and follow signs to Durham City Centre.

There are several express coach services daily from most major cities. Durham is well served by both regional express services and the local bus network. From the city bus station - a short walk from the railway station - a bus service runs every 15 minutes past the Colleges on South Road.

By Rail

60 InterCity trains from most major centres in the country call at Durham daily including 14 trains from London. The National Express high speed service takes under 3 hours from London King's Cross on the main East Coast line. First Transpennine Express offers frequent links to Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds, while Cross Country links Durham directly with Scotland, the Midlands, and the South West.

Durham is just over 3 hours from Birmingham, 2½ hours from Manchester, 1½ hours from Edinburgh and 45 minutes from York.

By Air

Durham is 30 minutes' drive from Newcastle Airport and about 40 minutes from Durham Tees Valley. Durham is linked to Newcastle Airport by rail and metro. Travellers into Durham Tees Valley can take advantage of the free Sky Express bus service that links the airport to Darlington railway station, with regular connections to Durham.

History of Durham

Durham: the City

Archaeological evidence suggests a history of settlement in the area since roughly 2000 BC. The present city can clearly be traced back to 995 AD, when a group of monks from Lindisfarne chose the strategic high peninsula as a place to settle with the body of Saint Cuthbert (which had previously lain in Chester-le-Street), founding a church there.

The name "Durham" comes from the Old English "dun", meaning hill, and the Old Norse "holme", which translates to island. Some attribute the city's name to the legend of the Dun Cow and the milkmaid who in legend guided the monks of Lindisfarne carrying the body of Saint Cuthbert to the site of the present city in 995 AD. The Cathedral Church of Christ, Blessed Mary the Virgin and St Cuthbert of Durham, commonly referred to as Durham Cathedral, is the seat of the Anglican Bishop of Durham. The Bishopric dates from 1080, with the present cathedral being founded in AD 1093. The cathedral is regarded as one of the finest examples of Norman architecture and has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with nearby Durham Castle, which faces it across Palace Green.

The castle was originally built in the 11th century as a projection of the Norman king's power in the north of England, as the population of England in the north remained "wild and fickle" following the disruption of the Norman Conquest in 1066. It is an excellent example of the early motte and bailey castles favoured by the Normans. 

Durham: the University

The University of Durham was founded in 1832 and granted a Royal Charter in 1837. It was one of the first new universities to open in England for more than 600 years, and is claimed to be England's third oldest after Oxford and Cambridge, although other higher education institutions also make this claim.

Famous alumni include: former England rugby captains Will Carling and Phil de Glanville along with Vice-captain Will Greenwood. Olympic gold-medal triple jumper Jonathan Edwards graduated in 1987. Noted writers include Edward Bradley, author of The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green, Minette Walters author of The Sculptress and The Scold's Bridle and Graham Hancock, author of The Sign and the Seal.
 

Reviews For Durham

34%
51%
13%
3%
0%
Average Score

4.3

Based On 726 Reviews
Room
4.0
Value
4.3
Service
4.4
Food
4.4
Overall
4.3

For the incredible price it was basic but clean, comfy and quiet and directly behind the wonderful cathedral. Breakfast was opened early (normally 8 but at 6am especially for the GNR for continental breakfast... delicious pancakes and lots of choice) but would liked to have known that before heading up as I took extra with me. If I take part next year I will be returning.

(Review Of Hatfield College, Durham)

A great stay in the Keep. It was very quiet and peaceful despite a wedding being on the same night we stayed. The rooms were very clean with towels provided. The porters were very helpful with parking. Breakfast was plentiful and fresh. Having a tour of the castle for free is a nice added bonus. A great stay overall!

(Review Of Durham Castle, Durham)

Excellent location. Clean and comfortable room, friendly service and very good choice at breakfast. Room was extremely hot, heating on full and unable to adjust

(Review Of Hatfield College, Durham)

Notice emphasis on Green Environment in the College. Paper cups in paper wrapping rather than plastic drinking cups in plastic wrapping would be more sympathetic to this emphasis. Excellent stay, thank you!

(Review Of Durham Castle, Durham)

Very helpful and cheerful staff in Porter's Lodge. Quickly sorted out a non-working bedside light and a faulty lavatory cistern. Room was very clean. Breakfast was excellent.

(Review Of Durham Castle, Durham)

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.

(Review Of Durham Castle, Durham)

Free breakfast, free tour, free parking, free congestion charge - such fantastic value! And the whole experience of staying in a Castle is amazing. Can't praise it enough - the people, the ambience, the Student Bar - all great.

(Review Of Durham Castle, Durham)

The clean ensuite room had a comfortable bed, hot shower and good wi-fi. A substantial breakfast was served in the nearby dining hall. Some construction, albeit in its final stages, made the room a bit noisy from 0730.

(Review Of Hatfield College, Durham)

I got such a kick out of staying at the Castle Keep, and was even delighted to climb the 87 stairs to my room because, hey, it's all part of the experience. Durham University does such a nice job of running this B&B: the rooms and bathrooms are clean, the breakfasts good and varied, and the staff friendly and helpful. Thank-you!

(Review Of Durham Castle, Durham)
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