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The Best Hotels in Durham

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Best Hotels in Durham

Narrow, winding cobbled streets, a large, historic castle and cathedral that sit atop a prominent and very pretty peninsula, plus oodles of contemporary culture make Durham one of the UK's must-see medieval cities. It's also an old university city and is a hub of buzz with artisan cafes, fashionable boutiques, museums, and galleries to explore and tranquil boat trips down the scenic River Wear to enjoy. Surrounded by the Durham Dales and the dramatic Durham Heritage Coast, the whole area is dotted with desirable sites to see.

Things to see

One of the Europe's finest Norman buildings, Durham Cathedral sits atop a hill surrounded by wooded slopes and overlooking the city and River Wear. Its 66 meter-high tower is a must-climb for panoramic views, and if a tour around its grand architecture feels familiar, you'll discover the cathedral was as location for Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. Together with Durham Castle, the cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site and both are essential to visit when in Durham. Durham Castle's ancient buildings are also home to some of the city's student popular making it the oldest inhabited university in the world. With a further 15 colleges, Durham University's historic campus is well worth a tour when in town and its Botanic Garden boasts alpine and winter gardens, bamboo groves, and a flower meadow which is a sea of red and blue in the summer when the poppies and cornflowers are in full bloom. Simply sit back and relax in the tranquil surroundings with only the hum of bees to hear.

Hotels in Durham

For a city with so many sights to see, hotels are in pretty short supply in Durham's medieval city center, and the majority are on the more pricey side. You can expect all the usual modern amenities however, including flat-screen televisions and WiFi, and some of the larger complexes have their own in-house restaurants and bars. There are a couple of budget chains offering deals from time to time as well as modern rooms, and in the surrounding countryside and villages you'll find guesthouses and independent hotels in Durham many housed in period buildings and offering free breakfast.

Where to stay

If you want to be in the heart of the action, a stay in the city center is ideal and you'll be able to stroll around the city's sights nice and easily on foot. That said, there's not a great deal of choice right in the center so you may find a stay on the edge of the city more suitable. There are local bus services, such as the one from Carrville to the city center which'll get you into the city in no time. If you do plan to stay outside of the city center, driving into Durham is not advised as traffic can be pretty bad, there's a congestion charge to pay, and parking can be expensive and difficult to find.

How to get to

There are a couple of airports close to Durham. Newcastle Airport is located 25 miles to the north and receives both domestic and medium-haul flights while Durham Airport is around 25 miles to the south and handles mostly charter flights. Arriving in Durham by rail means you'll be treated to some pretty stunning views of the city, and Durham Station has direct links with the likes of London, York, Newcastle, and Edinburgh. The station's just a sort stroll from the city center, and you'll find a regular bus service which runs to Durham Cathedral every 20 minutes during the day.

Durham Travel Guides & Things To Do

Read about other things to do in Durham