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Durham Cathedral

Described by author Bill Bryson as "the best cathedral on planet Earth", Durham Cathedral occupies a site of worship dating back 900 years. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is a place of deep spiritual, architectural and historical significance.

Situated on a rocky promontory on a bend in the River Wear, the cathedral was for centuries the seat of the powerful Prince Bishops of Durham who performed the important role of keeping the Scots at bay.

Begun in 1093 and completed nearly 40 years later, the cathedral is the archetypal example of the Anglo-Norman Romanesque style and is one of the great buildings of its age in Europe. Over 400 feet in length, the nave has a rib-vaulted ceiling older than any other in Europe. The interior boasts St Cuthbert's 7th-century tomb, the original Monks' Dormitory and a library of priceless medieval illuminated gospels.

An audio-visual exhibition brings the history of the impressive edifice to life. If you're feeling fit you can also climb the 352 steps to the top of the tower. The famous Durham Cathedral choir performs at Evensong daily (except Monday). Try to time your visit to catch them if you can.

Durham Cathedral as viewed from the river. Courtesy of Durham Tourist Office

Durham Cathedral Information


When: Daily

Where: Durham

Cost: Free, but donations are greatly appreciated

Opening Hours: For worship Mon-Sat 7.30am & 9.30am; Sun 7.45am & 12.30pm; Cathedral closes Mon-Sat 6pm; Sun 5.30pm

Address: The College, Durham, DH1 3EH

Hotels near Durham Cathedral


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