Founded in 1093 as a shrine to St Cuthbert, the cathedral is a remarkable example of Norman architecture, set in an impressive position high above the River Wear. A major new development at Durham Cathedral is Open Treasure, an exhibition that provides unparalleled access to some of Cathedral’s most spectacular spaces and to the breath-taking collections it has acquired over the centuries. Located at the heart of the most intact surviving set of medieval monastic buildings in the UK, Open Treasure takes visitors on a journey through 2,000 years of history as the remarkable story of Durham Cathedral is revealed. As well as this a full programme of concerts takes place throughout the year, and there is a St Cuthbert's Day Procession in March (phone for details).
Facilities – at a glance
Suitable for all child ages
- Suitable for children of all ages
- Parking nearby
- Facilities: Large print guides, stair climbers
- Accessible toilets
- Open all year
- Opening Times: Open all year, Mon-Sat, until 6; Sun, until 5.30. During school summer holidays open until 8. Access restricted during services and events. Open Treasure Mon-Sat 10-5 (last entry 4), Sun 12.30-5 (last entry 4)
Also in the area
About the area
Discover County Durham
County Durham reaches halfway across England, from the North Pennines in the west, to the sea in the east. Much of it is very sparsely inhabited, and is naturally beautiful; a mix of rolling hills, monumental valleys, lush farmland and unforgiving moors. It’s strong on industrial heritage as well, and remnants of the now all-but-vanished mining industry are everywhere.
The City of Durham has a magnificent Cathedral which can be traced back to the establishment of a church in the 10thcentury as the final resting place of the miraculous remains of Saint Cuthbert. The Cathedral, alongside the city’s Castle (an 11th-century structure that now houses University College), were created a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1986. The area’s mining past is fully documented at the Durham Mining Museum; an amazing resource. Bishop Auckland is the other major settlement, and for centuries was run almost as an independent state by the powerful Bishops of Durham. These days it is still a bustling town with plenty of shops, historical interest and events like the annual food festival. The coastal town of Peterlee is unusual; it was set up as a new town to house Durham miners after WW2.
Places to Stay
Restaurants and Pubs
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