Sign Up
Newsletter Signup
Free Fodor's Newsletter

Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.

Passport: Your weekly travel wrap-up
Today's Departure: Your daily dose of travel inspiration

The Northeast Sights

Durham Castle

  • Palace Green Map It
  • Durham
  • Castle/Palace/Chateau

Fodor's Review

Facing the cathedral across Palace Green, Durham's stately, manorlike castle commands a strategic position above the River Wear. For almost 800 years the castle was the home of the enormously powerful prince-bishops; from here they ruled large tracts of the countryside and acted as the main line of defense against Scottish raiders from the north. Henry VIII was the first to curtail the bishops' autonomy, although it wasn't until the 19th century that they finally had their powers annulled. The castle was given over to University College, part of the University of Durham (founded 1832), the oldest in England after Oxford and Cambridge. You can visit the castle only on a 45-minute guided tour. Times can vary, especially on summer afternoons, when the building can be hired out for private events, so it's best to call ahead. During university vacation time, the castle also offers bed-and-breakfast accommodations in the state rooms for around £195 per night; call or check the website for details.

Sight Information


Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RW, England

Map It



Sight Details:

  • £5
  • Early Oct.–late June, tours daily 2, 3, and 4; late June–early Oct., tours daily 10, 11, 12, 2, 3, and 4


Map View

Map of

What's Nearby

  • Restaurants
  • Sights
  • Hotels

See all sights in The Northeast

Add Your Own Review

When did you go?

Minimum 200 character count

How many stars would you give?




Don't Miss



No Thanks

Love To Travel?

Get FREE e-mail communications from Fodor's Travel, covering must-see travel destinations, expert trip planning advice, and travel inspiration to fuel your passion.

How we use your email

Thank You

Now sit back, relax, and check your inbox to start planning your next travel adventure.

Please tell us more about the type of travel you're interested in. Check all that apply.