Budget hotels in Durham
A medieval city steeped in history, Durham oozes old world charm with an ancient castle and grand cathedral looming large over the city and River Wear, and ancient streets which wind around the compact center. As it's a university city, you can expect plenty of buzz and contemporary culture added to the mix with artisan cafes, designer boutiques, museums, and galleries galore. The surrounding sites are more than worth a mention too with the lush green rolling Durham Dales and scenic Durham Heritage Coast mere moments away.
Things to see
Stood atop a forest-flanked hill, the UNESCO-listed Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral both make for imposing sights. Dating back to 1072, the large castle with its towering turrets is one of the University of Durham's colleges and to this day still houses students. The equally impressive cathedral is one of Europe's most magnificent examples of a Norman building (it was featured in the Harry Potter films) and a climb up its 66-meter tower offers unbeatable views across the whole county. For a slice of tranquility, the University Botanic Gardens are awash with vibrant splashes of color, from the red roses which fill the winter garden to the lush greenery of its alpine beds. Bees can be heard buzzing all around, but that's about all the noise you can expect from this peaceful park.
Hotels in Durham
There's not a great deal of choice when it comes to finding cheap hotels in Durham, with most of the city's rather limited accommodation coming with a heftyish price tag. The city's few budget chain hotels are the best option if you want to be close to the center of town but don't want to pay through the nose, and you can expect modern rooms with flat-screen televisions and tea and coffee making facilities. B&Bs and cheaper guesthouses offer a more home away from home feel, with many occupying elegant period buildings and also coming with the added bonus of a free cooked breakfast.
Where to stay
The center is a good place to stay if you want to be within a stone's throw of the city's castle, cathedral and many cafes and restaurants, and navigating your way around on foot is nice and easy. That said, if you're looking for really cheap Durham hotels, you may find heading to the surrounding villages will ensure your money goes further. Cheap local bus services are pretty reliable so you won't have to rely on costly cabs to get into the city, too.
How to get to
Newcastle Airport's 25 miles north of the city and is the closest. biggest airport to Durham with flights arriving from within the UK as well as from abroad. Durham Airport is the same distance away, this time to the south, and mainly receives charter flights. Durham Station has direct rail services to the likes of Newcastle, Edinburgh. York and London, and if you are arriving by train have your camera at the ready as you near the city because the approaching views are pretty spectacular. From the station, the Cathedral Bus services departs every 20 minutes or so during the day and will have you outside the World Heritage site in less than half an hour.