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Tiny but perfectly formed, this university city has much to offer visitors.
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Best known for its world class university, this is a city with loads on offer. Perched high on a hill, get a train to Durham and you’ll find a castle, a cathedral and heaps of things to do. It’s just a short distance from bigger cities like York and Newcastle, making it the perfect place for a day trip. Or you could go for a couple of days and really get to know Durham.
The main train station in the city is Durham Station.
Durham Station is just a short walk from the city centre, although like most of the city it is on a hill, so be ready for a bit of a climb.
It is possible to save money on your train to Durham. If you’re eligible, investing in a railcard saves you ⅓ of every journey - you can sometimes make back the price of a railcard in one journey! Being flexible and travelling off peak also helps, as well as checking out student deals or comparing single ticket prices. Take a look at our cheap tickets page for tips on saving money on your train to Durham.
For further information about the station in Durham, check out our station guide.
For a small city, Durham has a great selection of your high street favourites. Prince Bishops Shopping Centre is right in the heart of the city and is the perfect place to pick up your fashion fixes. There’s plenty of choice here, plus you’ll find cafés and even a swanky cocktail bar on the premises making this the perfect destination for a spot of retail therapy.
If you’re looking for something a little more unique, we recommend stopping in at Durham’s covered market. Here you’ll find everything from home goods to local produce, gifts to handmade confectionary. You can while away the hours nosing around the treasure trove of bargains on offer before climbing upstairs to enjoy a break in the café.
Durham and the surrounding areas is also a great choice if you’re thinking about picking up an antique or vintage piece. With several shops dedicated to beautiful clothing and furniture from times gone by, you’ll be sure to find something perfect for your collection.
During term time, you’ll find plenty of students working in Durham’s many cafés, making for a great atmosphere in which to kick back and read a book. Curl up in a cosy corner with an old favourite or embark on a new novel adventure. If you want to truly relax, why not sit by one of the windows and watch the world go by? Some of our favourites include The Courtyard Café located within Palace Green Library, which has a glass roof that lets in plenty of natural light. The Café on the Green offers amazing views over the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
There’s tonnes of tasty local produce on offer at many of the restaurants in Durham. Whether it’s fresh fish caught in the Durham Dales or cheese made right on the doorstep, you’ll find all kinds of delightful local delicacies. Durham is the birthplace of English mustard, so it has a long history of producing great products. One of the best places to get a flavour of what’s on offer is the Undercroft, where they serve up delicious traditional food, using locally-sourced ingredients wherever possible.
Of course, it’s not just home-grown flavours you’ll find in this diverse city. There’s also flavours from around the globe on offer. You’ll find dishes hailing from as far as India, China, Turkey and more, all served with a traditionally warm Durham welcome.
When it comes to culture there’s always something happening in Durham. Although a great deal of the concerts, theatre and arts events are confined to term time, there are still plenty on offer the rest of the year. Whether you’re looking for a student-run comedy night or a professional concert, there’s always something on.
You can’t visit Durham without seeing the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Cathedral, Castle and beautiful buildings nestled in between. We recommend purchasing tickets for one of the amazing guided tours, which will really allow you to entrench yourself in the history of the city. You can discover its ancient routes or see exactly where that Harry Potter scene was filmed.
There’s plenty of events that happen in the city throughout the year, from Durham’s famous Lumiere Festival with it’s beautiful light installations, to great food festivals. Whatever your passion, there’s sure to be an event for you in Durham.
We want to help you travel affordably, so recommend booking in advance wherever possible. You can do this via our website or Train Tickets app! To get the very best out of your train travel, check out our special offers.
If you want to explore Durham and all it has to offer, you might want to stay longer than a day! So, make sure you book a great value hotel in Durham before you arrive.
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