Based in County Durham, Durham is a picturesque city in north-eastern England with a thriving student population and a large number of historical buildings and landmarks dotted around the city. Scenic throughout, the city is complemented by a stunning rural backdrop, making Durham a beautiful location for any vacation. Due to its inclusion in the phenomenally popular Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson, Durham has been a hot spot for lovers of British cities for two decades, boosting the economy and raising the profile of the city internationally.
The smaller the car, the better it would be for getting around Durham. Due to the narrowness of the roads, a large car would be incredibly difficult to navigate while a small car will also aid with parking.
Driving in Durham
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Due to the medieval structure of the city, many of the roads are narrow and twisting, making navigation a daunting prospect for those used to wide and straight roads. Many are also made of cobbled stone.
There is a congestion charge for travelling within the city, making it the first of its kind in the UK after London, while parking can also be very expensive, particularly within the city centre itself.
The traffic in the city centre can be particularly heavy during rush hour and road travel within the times of 7.30-9am and 4-6.30pm should be avoided whenever possible.
Highlights & Hotspots
Tours throughout Durham Castle are hosted by the current students learning within their walls, offering a unique insight into the historical building. The tour includes The Keep, the oldest student accommodation in the world, which dates back to 1073.
Likewise, lovers of Norman history should head for Durham Cathedral, a striking and imposing design standing at 66 metres for its tallest tower. The tower is open for visitors who can enjoy the incomparable views of the city below.
Pleasure boats can be rented throughout the warmer periods between Easter and autumn, offering stunning views throughout the city and the surrounding area. There is no greater means by which to enjoy the many sights the city has to offer.
The Botanical Gardens are set amongst the surrounding woodlands of the city and are maintained by the university. A diverse and stunning collection, you’re likely to see more than just plant life as the garden is a hot spot for various birds and other insect life during the warmer months.
Based approximately 25 miles to the south of Durham, Durham Tees Valley Airport is served by the vast majority of domestic airlines in the UK, with numerous flights connecting across Europe.
The city is easily accessible from the airport, but traffic can build at times, meaning travel time should be taken into account when planning a journey.