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“Needs to be experianced to be believed”
Review of Durham Castle

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Durham Castle
Ranked #10 of 18 Hotels in Durham
Certificate of Excellence
Stanstead Abbotts, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
134 reviews
73 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Needs to be experianced to be believed”
Reviewed 27 August 2010

When travelling to a city for the first time it is always depressing to read that the top Tripadvisor recommended hotel is the Premier Inn, you automatically assume that you are going to find some grim post industrial wasteland. But Durham isn’t like that at all, and instead of accepting bland mediocrity, you can stay in a UNESCO world heritage Norman Castle – for less than half the price! OK, the rooms are very basic – it’s a medieval Castle converted into a student hall of residence, imagine Hogwarts without the magic – but the black staircase is reputed to be haunted by a grey lady – you won’t get that in a motel! Just remember that it is a long walk to the communal bathrooms, down a traditional stone spiral staircase, so do bring your dressing gown and slippers. Alternatively, 12 of the rooms are en-suite, although these are not listed on the web booking sites, so if you want one I’d suggest phoning direct, 0191 334 4108.

I paid £28.50 per room which included an overnight parking permit, a very professional guided tour of the castle – both costing non-residents £5 each, and an excellent breakfast in the great hall. Towels and toiletries were provided and the room had a sink, mirror & electric shave point. Overall this has to be the best value place that I’ve ever stayed.

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Nicholas C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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207 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Bangkok
Level 3 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed 29 July 2010

This is ideal if you want to be in the heart of Durham and stay in the midst of the city's charm. The castle itself and the cathedral opposite are stunning. Having a drink from the (nice) bar and sitting out in the courtyard in the evening is worth it.

Pros: character; something different; quiet spot very near everything. Our daughter took to the idea of staying in a castle and being princess for the night. Parking permit provided.

Cons: still student digs, so not as great on the inside. Other comments on here are right about the breakfast: again, novel place for breakfast (like a Harry Potter set), but ruined a bit by frantic, stressed staff serving orange juice seemingly also from the 11th century!
Also, no one tells you that a payment is needed to get out of the city centre after parking here.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank JinzBkk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level 6 Contributor
106 reviews
68 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 184 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2010

This place takes your breath away - you stay in the student rooms of University College whilst the students are on their summer hols. It is a spectacular location and is amazing value. I can only endorse what has been said before on Tripadvisor - where else can you have your breakfast in a Great Hall built in 1284, and pay only £50 for two people, and get a free tour of the Castle (worth £10 alone!). It is brilliant.

  • Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank yamana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Seattle, Washington
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 March 2010

Spacious rooms, ambience, cathedral view, Shakespeare on the lawn--and the least expensive place I stayed in England!

Stayed July 2007, travelled with friends
Helpful?
2 Thank MargaretG8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Anglesey
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 October 2009

My sister & I took our elder sister away for a birthday treat & Durham didn't disappoint!
We decided to stay at Durham Castle opting for atmosphere over extra facilities.
The Birthday Girl was given a spacious en suite room below the porter's lodge while my sister & I opted for the heights of the castle keep! Our room was reached by in excess of 120 steps, did wonders for the leg muscles but worth every step.The room was basic & well used (we are talking about student accommodation after all!) but it was clean with fresh towels & bedding. There were tea & coffee making facilities & bag of complimentary toiletries. The beds were comfortable, although there was only one pillow. However being aware of this we had brought extras. There was a wash basin in the room, there was a toilet & shower accross the landing & a multi shower room in the next floor. These showers were efficient & spacious & I would suggest going the extra distance to use them. I've seen other comments about noise but on our first night the castle was full as there was a wedding on but we weren't affected at all. The breakfast in the great hall was excellent & lived up to the comments of other reviewers. The castle is an excellent base to explore the area. It's surrounded with winding cobbled streets & little alley ways & is close to the shopping centres. There are many restaurants & bars within walking distance too. All in all it was a great experience & I would go back again. I would recommend Durham Castle as a great place to stay, don't forget to take up the free tour of the castle & of course the wonderful cathederal is just accross the green. Just don't expect a TV in your room!! Can't believe some people expected that - in sudent rooms?!! On a fianal note the reception staff were helpful & courteous, in fact everyone we came accross were friendly & polite.

  • Stayed September 2009, travelled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank RattiAnglesey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
London
Level 5 Contributor
44 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 September 2009

As a ex-castleman I'm bias, but this is a special place to stay. I was a student in the college for 4 years, so I know the castle well. The normal student rooms are available out of term time and as some other reviews have said some are pretty basis (but pretty cheap to be fair and still in a Norman castle).

If you really want to see the best of the place take one of the suites, the Bishop's suite is the best room in the city and once home of the Price Bishop of Durham, effectively the King of the North of England back in the day. The rooms aren't any more expensive than a decent hotel room and certainly worth it!

  • Stayed June 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank BPKM
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 24 August 2009

We found Durham Castle via Trip Advisor and really appreciated the feedback. You get to stay in the keep of a Norman castle which was converted to student accommodation in 1832. The twin beds were modern and comfortable, the rest rather basic but fine. We had a fantastic view over the Cathedral from our window.

Breakfast in the medieval hall was lovely. A plentiful buffet with full English breakfast, we enjoyed the atmosphere.

On each of the 3 nights we stayed, there was a wedding which made it rather festive.

Two big advantages about staying here: you get free parking bang outside the Cathedral (normally £5 per day). you also get a guided tour of the Castle which is not to be missed.

If you want to push the boat out, there are more luxurious suites. They looked amazing and just right for a special occasion.

One rather big reservation - there were 110 steep stone castle steps up to our room in the keep. You need to be a bit fit, especially if you've cases to carry.

  • Stayed August 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ponsmuir
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Durham Castle

Property: Durham Castle
Address: The Castle Palace Green | University of Durham, Palace Green, Durham DH1 3RW, England
Region: United Kingdom > England > Durham > Durham
Hotel Style:
#5 Luxury Hotel in Durham
#8 Romantic Hotel in Durham
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:4 star — Durham Castle 4*
Number of rooms: 25
Also Known As:
Durham Castle Hotel Durham
Castle Hotel Durham

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