The Cathedral is such a big building that people often forget that it is, first and foremost a church! Our tour explains what all the different “bits” of the Cathedral are for. Get the answers to questions such as “What’s that big table up at the top end?” and help your children to develop an awareness of the sacraments.

You may even turn one of them into a bishop for a few minutes! The tour is complemented by a brief hands-on session in The Education Centre. This will focus on 2 of the sacraments: baptism and communion. Children will be able to role-play a baptism and set up an altar table as it would be for communion in the Cathedral. Lasts approximately 1½ hours.

Bede’s Bones

The year is 1104 and a great scandal is about to break in Durham Priory. Some bones have been discovered and they shouldn’t be there!

Prior Turgot invites your class to travel back in time and turn into investigative monks to help him solve the mystery. You will encounter 4 suspects, (in the form of cartoon images, artefacts and character statements), who will challenge you to solve clues and learn guilty secrets. Working in groups the children will need to consider and record the information they gain from each suspect. The children will be encouraged to pose questions about the suspects and discuss their findings.

At the end of the activity you will take away 4 top secret envelopes (one for each suspect) containing one confession and three denials. Back at school you will need to hold a Chapter Meeting where your class will debate their findings and decide who the culprit is. Only then can you open your envelope! You will also need to decide an appropriate punishment for the guilty suspect, based on punishments from the Rule of St. Benedict.

If you are looking for different approaches to Literacy and Thinking Skills then this is the ideal activity. The children will use role-play and hands-on activities to question, discuss, record, present and debate ideas and develop their skills of persuasive argument. You will also receive a pack of material suitable for pre and post visit Literacy work based on the activity and the Venerable Bede.

Lasts approximately 1¾ hours. Supports work in Literacy, History and Thinking Skills



Embark on a “pilgrimage” in the Cathedral. Each child will create a pilgrim badge and receive a pilgrim bag which they will fill with information during their pilgrimage.

Find out why people made pilgrimages to Durham in the past and why they still come today. Explore some of the things people do whilst on pilgrimage and have some time for some quiet reflection. Lasts approximately 1½ hours. Supports work in RE for AT1 and AT2.

For prices and to book contact education@durhamcathedral.co.uk


Historic Durham- durham through 1000 years

As part of the new National Curriculum this guided tour allows students to study why Durham is here and how the site has developed in the last 1000 years.

They will have the opportunity to examine maps, photographs, and the Cathedral building itself for clues. They will complete a workbook which can be taken back to school and extension activities are available for teachers to use back in the classroom.

The session lasts approximately 1½ hours and does involve part of the tour being outside.


Creative Cathedral Crate

The Cathedral is a fantastic resource for art.

Borrow one of our crates and explore the many windows, sculptures and carvings. The crate contains everything you need to get creative in the Cathedral and you can choose from one of our customised crates such as Amazing Angels, Stunning Stained Glass, Northern Saints or Gruesome Grotesques – or mix a bit of everything in and we’ll tailor a crate especially for you.

There are pencils, paper and a host of other resources in each crate and you can borrow some of our giant drawing boards too. All we ask is that you return everything at the end of your session - except for the children’s work of course!

The crates are suitable for teacher-led time in the Cathedral and can be used to supplement a tour/workshop session. Can be hired for up to 2 hours.



This self-guided tour allows your students to discover and ‘read’ the architecture of Durham Cathedral. You will be provided with a special set of pupil workbooks and teachers’ notes to help students see and understand the three main architectural styles used in the building of this great building.

Teacher-led trail, lasts approximately 40 minutes. Can be used as a stand-alone activity or in addition to a tour/workshop.


Northern Saints

Who are the Northern Saints and how did their lives shape the region?
Explore the lives of St. Aidan, St. Cuthbert, The Venerable Bede, St Oswald and St. Hild through an interactive journey round the Cathedral. Collect symbols for each saint, visit the shrines of Cuthbert and Bede and hear the stories of the lives of the Northern Saints. During the tour we will ponder such questions as ‘What is a saint’, and ‘What is pilgrimage’.

The tour ends in our ‘Cuthbert’s Island’ room with a time of reflection on our journey with the Northern Saints.

Lasts approximately 1¾ hours. Supports work in RE and History.

For more information contact education@durhamcathedral.co.uk