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Durham Cathedral lit up at night

Compare the best Durham hotels

Durham is small yet perfectly formed and not too far from the coast. Book hotels in Durham and stay in a town full of architecture, history and natural beauty for an experience in comfort and impeccable service.

Why go?

Whether you're looking for budget Durham hotels or the city's best five-star rooms, we can help you create your dream break...

It's one of the oldest university towns in the country, has a cathedral with architecture that outshines many in its class and holds celebrations throughout the year.

The Unesco World Heritage site of Durham cathedral is third only in religious significance to Canterbury and York but excels them in architectural splendour. It's been called the finest example of Norman architecture in Europe and there's no doubting its imposing beauty and incredible interior.

With Durham Cathedral visible from just about every part of the Durham, there's a constant reminder of the importance of this northern city.  Another treasure that Durham holds dear is Durham Castle. It was built as a motte-and-bailey fort in 1072 and was the home of the Prince Bishops of Durham.

Walking through Durham is a pleasure as, not only do you have the great buildings to view on your journey, there's the River Wear, with its gurgling sounds to soothe you, winding streets, ancient Market Place and pedestrianised shopping areas. If beautiful gardens are more to your taste, Crook Hall and Gardens is a 14th-century manor house surrounded by very English gardens and featuring exotic plants from all over the world.

Taking a trip down the river is a delight you wouldn't want to miss. You can either enjoy it from a river cruiser or get closer to the action by hiring a rowing boat and whisking the family away down the flowing waters.

There are many other cultural delights to be found in and around Durham, and you'll be spoiled for choice when it comes to hotels. Find your ideal hotel now using TravelSupermarket's search tool to compare prices on Durham accommodation.

Where to stay?

It's easy to find cheap hotels in Durham with TravelSupermarket. Read on to find out where to stay before you compare hotel prices...

The hotels in the city offer a home-from-home feel. Getting a view of the cathedral from your hotel window adds to the splendour of this place as you'll really feel you're part of the city.

The River Wear winds through Durham and cuts the city up into distinct areas. The cathedral and the castle sit in the middle of it all, surrounded by the loop of the river. There are a number of good hotels close to these main attractions, with central offerings from chain brands such as Marriott, Premier Inn and Radisson Blu, as well as a number of independently run hotels.

B&Bs are mostly found to the west of the city centre, in leafy residential areas. It's only a 15-minute walk into the city centre, however, or a five-minute drive.

Hotels are in great abundance in Durham but, due to the student population, it's best to book some time in advance. This is especially so if you're staying in Durham in June, when graduation week occurs.

What to see?

The Unesco-listed castle and cathedral are obvious attractions in Durham. Find out more about them and discover the area's other highlights...

Top five attractions

Durham Castle
The magical setting of this ancient castle - perched above the river bend on a tree-clad hill - adds to the allure of the place. The castle is part of the university and visitors are granted access only during guided tours, so be sure to book.

Durham Cathedral
This cathedral is as majestic as they come. Perhaps the finest Norman building in all England, the cathedral is a must-see on any Durham trip. Harry Potter fans will recognise parts of the building from the early films in the series, as it doubled for Hogwarts.

Crook Hall and Gardens
The city centre's bustling streets give way to this peaceful and historic home and its beautiful gardens. Built in the 13th-century, Crook Hall offers visitors a perfect slice of England - be sure to take afternoon tea in the courtyard.

Beamish - The Living Museum of the North
This fascinating open-air museum tells tales from days gone by, when life down the pit or on the farm were the norm for most locals. Buildings have been brought to this village from across the north-east and the result is impressive and entertaining. It's a 20-minute drive from Durham.

Adventure Valley
Just a 15-minute drive from the city is one of the region's biggest family parks. It features play areas, shows, go-karts, animals and plenty of indoors and outdoors fun for all ages.

What's on?

The annual calendar in Durham is packed to the rafters with fun events for the whole family...

Events

Durham Regatta;
June: This annual rowing race dates back even further than the Henley Regatta and Durham is rightly proud of the sporting event. Races run all day long on both weekend race days, while the riverbanks teem with food stalls and family activities. 

The Durham Streets Summer Festival; August: The August bank holiday weekend is a great time to be in Durham, when street performers add a little pizazz and bundles of entertainment to the city centre. Look out for acrobats, sword swallowers and comedians, and expect the unexpected!

Durham Christmas Festival; December: The festive season makes Durham even more enchanting, though this Yuletide special lasts only for the weekend. See reindeers, hear carols at the cathedral and shop for Christmas gifts at the market on Palace Green.