In the heart of the City, Durham Castle forms part of Durham's UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Grade 1 listed building shares Palace Green with Durham's iconic Norman Cathedral and is a few hundred yards from all the facilities and amenities that the City has to offer.
Due to the historic nature of the building, rooms are not wheelchair accessible. Some rooms are in the Castle Keep have over 100 steps to reach them and within Owengate (outside the Castle walls) have up to 65 steps. There are limited ground floor rooms and there are no lifts.
The historic Castle is Durham University's first and oldest College and used for student accommodation in University term times, but is available as guest accommodation during University vacations; January, Easter and throughout July, August and September.
Staying at Durham Castle is an unparalleled experience and, whilst unlike a hotel there are not some modern conveniences like TVs in your room or lifts in the buildings, it is part of a wonderful World Heritage Site. All rooms are subject to availability at the time of booking. En-suite rooms have showers, but no baths.
Please be aware that restoration work is taking place to the Norman Gallery currently. There may be scaffolding in the Courtyard and in internal parts, but all areas are accessible whilst this important work to the Grade 1 listed Castle is completed.
On occasion, breakfast will be served in the Undercroft, rather than the Great Hall, due to ongoing restoration works.
The Castle is an historic building with difficult stairs and passageways with access limited to upper floors. There are large numerous steps throughout the Castle with cobbles laid in some of the surfaces and pathways. There are low doorways throughout many with stepped up/down access.
The Castle is located on the Peninsula of Durham City. The following statement is a realistic assessment of the accessibility for guests and visitors. It would be fair at this point to state that the Castle has very limited provision for visitors with mobility issues due to the age and original design of the building. However, the Castle is committed to improving access and facilities for visitors with disabilities.
The pavements are a mix of flagstone and brick with standard kerbs. The route is relatively flat, with usual slip and trip hazards.
There is no car parking at the Castle. The front of the Castle and path are well illuminated during hours of darkness. You can find details on parking in the city on the following: https://www.durham.gov.uk/article/3486/Durham-City-car-parks - the nearest car park is Prince Bishop multi-storey.
Due to the unusual layout of the various stone staircases, multiple stairs can be found both externally and internally. The stone stairs have worn treads and uneven surfaces. Timber staircases are narrow and are slightly awkward and care is needed! There are no lifts in the Castle.
There is not an easily accessible public or staff WC. There are no additional handles or accessories for persons with mobility issues.
All the bedrooms are situated on floors above the ground floor level. Access to all bedrooms is via staircases. The staircases are old fashioned in keeping with the style of the building. They are curved in places and not all treads are similar. Handrails are in place however extra care should be given to guests with visual impairments, or other mobility problems.
There is a large garden at the rear of the building. This is accessed via brick steps from the Courtyard. Unfortunately, there is no easy access for persons with restricted mobility.