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“Must get tickets early”
Review of Durham Castle

Durham Castle
Book In Advance
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US$333.54*
and up
Durham - The Cathedral and Old City
Ranked #11 of 60 things to do in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: Uncover 1000 years of history in this undefeated castle built in the Norman period as an imposing fortress, Durham Castle’s story is entwined with that of the Prince-Bishops of Durham, whose semi-regal status made them some of the most powerful and wealthy men in the country. 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, as the home of University College, the founding college of Durham University. Today Durham Castle is a Grade I Listed Building, a Museum and remains a living building, evolving to modern day life while retaining its power to impress as part of the iconic Durham skyline. The unique nature of the building means that, entrance to the public is by guided tours only. However, this allows a personal experience that brings history to life. The following tour times are a general guide as it is sometimes necessary to cancel tours at short notice due to University or commercial activities. During term-time: every afternoon at 1.15pm, 2.15pm, 3.15pm and 4.15pm.During university vacations: daily 10.15Am, 11.15Am, 12.15am, 1.15pm, 2.15pm, 3.15pm and 4pm. Please check the tour times with Palace Green Library or the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre to avoid disappointment.
Reviewed 7 June 2017 via mobile

We visited the cathedral then walked over to the castle and found you have to buy a tour ticket and they were sold out for several hours so we didn't get to go inside. Very disappointed. Be sure to plan better than us!!

Thank Shelly T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham C, Manager at Durham Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2017

Thank-you for your review. As Durham Castle is a working College of Durham University, it is a student home, which means that for most of the year visitors can only enter via guided tour. We do have number limits on these tours for conservation reasons and to ensure that groups aren't too big, and so unfortunately they do sometimes sell out. However, tickets can be reserved in advance up to seven days in advance of your tour by calling Palace Green Library on 0191 3342932.

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"guided tour"
in 160 reviews
"student accommodation"
in 50 reviews
"university students"
in 30 reviews
"student guide"
in 14 reviews
"dining hall"
in 13 reviews
"halls of residence"
in 11 reviews
"knowledgeable guide"
in 11 reviews
"great guide"
in 11 reviews
"excellent tour"
in 10 reviews
"main hall"
in 13 reviews
"interesting facts"
in 12 reviews
"prince bishops"
in 23 reviews
"interesting visit"
in 16 reviews
"well worth a visit"
in 60 reviews
"open to the public"
in 11 reviews
"world heritage"
in 11 reviews
"harry potter"
in 19 reviews
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222 - 226 of 1,093 reviews

Reviewed 6 June 2017 via mobile

You can only visit the castle with a tour guide and then you only see a tiny bit of it - most is used by the students. I think the tour should be advertised to reflect this. We were a bit disappointed.

1  Thank Helen K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Durham C, Manager at Durham Castle, responded to this reviewResponded 14 June 2017

Thank-you for your review of Durham Castle. Typically, visitors to the castle are shown all public areas, visitors normally see the Courtyard, Norman Chapel, Tunstall Chapel, Tunstall Gallery, Black Staircase and the Great Hall-which takes up nearly 25% of the Castle. We are sad that you were disappointed by your visit, and hope that you understand that because this is a living, working building and a home, we unfortunately can not take visitors into bedroom areas.

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Reviewed 6 June 2017 via mobile

The castle visit was made even more enjoyable by the guide who was informative, entertaining and funny. We had a brief canter through periods of English history as background to those characters in history who were responsible for the different parts of the castle building. The one hour visit flew by which meant to me that I was very interested in what I saw. Recommended.

Thank Robert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 June 2017

Because the castle is mostly student accommodation the only way to look around is on a guided tour which lasts about 45 minutes. This includes a history of the building and its owners from the very well informed guide. I assume we got to see the most important rooms - a limited number - but it's difficult to judge this as the majority of the castle is dedicated to the students. Worth a visit.

Thank Alan B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 June 2017

Although the majority of the castle is taken up by student bedrooms, the area covered in the tour is well worth seeing for the ticket price of £5. You need to book in advance to guarantee the time you want, but I booked earlier that day when I arrived in Durham.

Guide was very knowledgeable and answered questions cheerfully, pointing out little details we might otherwise have missed. The Great Hall is particularly impressive - the students are very privileged to live in this historic place.

Thank Julie C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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