The Anglo-Saxon Community of St Cuthbert chose a site atop a hill known at the time as Dun Holm.

The image of Durham Cathedral high above a meander in the River Wear is recognised throughout the world.  The Cathedral was built to meet the needs of monks and where possible parts of the site have been made fully accessible. We are aware that some visitors may need advice to make the most of their visit. If you do have specific needs and would like advice ahead of a visit please contact us in advance. As our plans for Open Treasure progress there will be improved physical access around the Cathedral site, in particular in the Claustral buildings.

The Cathedral is situated at the top of a steep hill. Durham City Shopmobility provides battery-operated scooters and a minibus service - contact 0191 386 8556 to find out more. Durham Cathedral Bus, under contract to Durham County Council, offers a ‘hop-on, hop-off’ service between the bus station, railway station and city centre every 20 minutes. For further information call traveline on 0871 200 2223 or

There is no general public parking close to the Cathedral. We have very limited parking behind the Cathedral which may be available to single vehicles displaying a disabled badge. We are unable to reserve the disabled parking and the space is available on a first come, first serve basis. On arrival, please contact the duty porter who will endeavour to accommodate people with disabilities.

Please note, if you do access the Cathedral peninsula by car you will need to pay the Durham County Council daily congestion charge of £2.00, payable when using the road between 10.00am and 4.00pm. All vehicles that enter or exit the clearly defined zone during its hours of operation must pay the charge unless they qualify for an exemption.

The charge must be paid before 6.00pm on the day the road is used. Payment can be made at the counter or by telephone. If you don't pay the charge by 6.00pm on the day the road is used, this will result in a £50.00 penalty charge notice becoming payable by the registered keeper of the vehicle.

Please visit the Durham County Council website for more information.

Access to the Cathedral is mostly via ramps. Access to the Cathedral Shop, Undercroft Restaurant and Toilets is by steps and a lift. There is a level route as well, that requires leaving the Cloister and following a route outside the main building.

Within the Cathedral Church, the Chapel of Nine Altars, the Gregory Chapel and the Shrine of St Cuthbert have no ramps. We do have a stairclimber which can enable manual wheelchair users to visit these areas under the guidance of a Cathedral employee. Please contact us in advance if you wish to use the Stairclimber, so we can arrange for a trained person to be available.

We have a touch centre close to the Information Desk at the West End of the Cathedral. A steward will be able to set it up and instruct on its use.

Click here to view a comprehensive access guide to Durham Cathedral.