Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral, World Heritage Site, County Durham
Durham Cathedral - © Vik Walker

Durham Cathedral is considered among the finest Norman buildings in the UK and Europe. The cathedral forms part of the World Heritage Site (WHS) that also includes Durham Castle located close by. The site was added to the UNESCO WHS list in 1986 and is considered among the finest examples of Norman architecture in the UK & Europe. The cathedral is significant historically, culturally and religiously, attracting many visitors to Durham from around the world each year.

Overview


Durham Cathedral is located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes Durham Castle located a short distance from the cathedral. The cathedral is an active Anglican Christian Church and contains the historic shrine of St Cuthbert, is the seat of the Bishop of Durham, as well as being a centre for prayer and pilgrimage in England's North East Region. The cathedral is seen as a fine example of Norman architecture. Construction started in 1093 taking around 40 years to complete. The building is significant given that it has retained the Norman design and craftsmanship over the years and has the distinction of being one of the few buildings to maintain the original design during its long history.

The Cathedral stands on a peninsula of land and looks across at Palace Green, the nave, transepts and quire are Norman in design whilst the 13th century Chapel of the Nine Altars is built in Gothic style. The western towers are from the 12th and 13th centuries, with the great central tower dating back from the 15th century also Gothic in style.

Visitors can buy a full guide to the cathedral outlining the history in more detail along with a guide to the interior of the impressive building. There is also a Audio Visual Display that tells visitors the story behind St Cuthbert and Durham. The Building the Church Exhibition highlights the range of skills and various crafts that were used by those building the Cathedral. At the Treasures of St Cuthbert exhibition there are a range of important historical artefacts that are associated with both Cuthbert and the Cathedral. Among the items on display are Cuthbert’s cross and coffin, the story gives visitors more information on the cathedral and the local community through the passage of time.

The cathedral attracts a range of visitors from those wishing to undertake prayer and pilgrimage to those wishing to see and experience the history and culture in evidence here to those wishing to see the WHS and one of the best examples of Norman architecture in the UK.


How To Get There


By Car:

The closest main road is the A1(M), from here drive until the exit signposted as A690 Durham and continue to follow the road until the second major roundabout, here take the second turn on to Leazes Road, then turn left at Walkergate and then left at Back Silver Street. For those with Satellite Navigation systems the postcode is DH1 3EH.

By Bus:

The Cathedral bus No. 40A & 40B operate with a frequency of approx every 20 minutes and link the Cathedral along with the Castle to the Market Place, Coach Park and the Railway Station.

By Train:

The closest train station to the cathedral is Durham Station. From the station visitors should take the Cathedral bus that links the rail station to Durham Castle & Cathedral. Bus frequency is approx every 20 minutes.


Contact Details


Address:

The Chapter Office
The College
Durham
DH1 3EH

Telephone: +44 (0)191 386 426

Fax: +44 (0)191 386 4267

email: enquiries@durhamcathedral.co.uk

Website: Durham Cathedral


Facilities and Information


Opening Times:

The Cathedral is open for varying times around the year usually from approx 09.45 to 18.00 with extended opening from late July until late August to 20.00

The Tower offers great views for several miles around:

Open 10.00am to 15/16.00 Monday to Saturday (last entry at 14.40)

Is closed on Sundays and during services and events.

The Treasures of St Cuthbert contain a display of the shrine of Cuthbert of Lindisfarne with other items recalling the story associated here.

Monday to Saturday
Open 10.00am to 16.00 Monday to Saturday

Sunday
Open 14.00 to 16.15/30 Sundays

The Undercroft Restaurant offers visitors with a range of food that include soup, scones, cakes, salads, sandwiches & hot meals.

Open 10.00am to 16.30 Daily except on Good Friday, Christmas Day & Boxing Day.

It is recommended visitors check all opening and closing times and specific days visits are open when booking to get the latest information & avoid disappointment, as changes can occur.


Further Information:

The Cathedral:

There is no charge to enter the cathedral. Visiting other parts of the cathedral does have a charge these include:

The Tower:

Ticket prices start from approx £1.50 for Children, approx £3 for Adults & £8 for a Family Ticket.

The Treasures of St Cuthbert:

Ticket prices start from approx £0.70 pence for Children, approx £2.50 for Adults & £6 for a Family Ticket.


Map



View Larger Map

For Local Search and Directions see: Durham Cathedral Map


Tips & Other Considerations


There may be some variations on the opening hours depending on the time of year, services and other events. Visitors are advised to double check before going to ensure the Cathedral is open and avoid disappointment.

When travelling always remain alert and aware of your belongings at all times especially your wallet/purse and valuables and ensure they are hidden away from public view (particularly at tourist attractions & places with crowds). If you have a bag try to use a shoulder bag with a good quality, strong strap, that is put across your shoulder not on your shoulder making it more difficult for anyone to take your bag.

If you are travelling by car to the Cathedral ensure you are well prepared with maps and Sat Nav to aid your journey, particularly if you are not familiar with the local area and roads. Use the Route Planner for door to door directions for car journeys and public transport.

If you are looking for car parking near the cathedral or in the city of Durham, ensure you fully understand the parking rules & charges for car parks and street parking. The rules & regulations can be complex & confusing if you are not sure it is wise not to park there.

If you are travelling by public transport, it is useful to check for service updates prior to beginning your journey for any delays, disruption or cancellations to services that may impact on your journey. Ensure you have the service timetables for the trains, trams, buses and coaches. Remember when the last services are and ensure you make it to the train/bus/coach stops well in time to avoid missing the service.


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