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Because of its age, nearly a thousand years old, not all parts of Durham Cathedral are accessible to all visitors.

Getting to the Cathedral

Public transport

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 offers a ‘hop-on, hop-off’ service between the bus station, railway station, the city centre and here every 20 minutes from Monday to Saturday (not on a Sunday).

For further information try the Traveline website or call 0871 200 2223. You may also find the Durham County Council's Cathedral Bus page useful.

Disabled parking

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 try to accommodate people with disabilities.

Congestion charge

If you do access the City Centre peninsula by car you will need to pay the Durham County Council daily congestion charge to use the roads between 10am - 4pm. 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.

Please visit the Durham County Council congestion charge web page for more information.

Accessibility within the Cathedral

Accessibility within the Cathedral Church

There are ramps set up around the Cathedral Church. However the following are only accessible via stairs:

  • The Shrine of St Cuthbert - via stairs
  • Chapel of Nine Altars - via stairs
  • Gregory Chapel - via stairs
  • Durham Light Infantry Chapel - via stairs
  • North West Tower - via stairs

Access to the Cathedral Shop, Undercroft Restaurant and toilets is by an enclosed platform lift or steps. A level route is also available, although this requires leaving the Cloister and following a route outside the main building.

If you need any help or directions, please ask one of our stewards or staff.

Accessible toilet facilities

Accessible toilets are available near the Cathedral Shop and Undercroft Restaurant and half-way round the Open Treasure exhibition.

 

Visitors with a hearing impairment

The information desks at the West End of the Cathedral and in Open Treasure are both fitted with induction loops.

Assistance dogs

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and support dogs are welcome in the Cathedral including our Open Treasure exhibition.

 

Accessibility within Open Treasure

Accessing the exhibition spaces

The entrance to Open Treasure is via stairs from the Cloister up to the Monks’ Dormitory. There is an enclosed platform lift to access the first floor and the starting point for the exhibition.

The two main galleries are not at ground floor level so there is no level access route into Open Treasure. The lift and exhibition spaces are unable to accommodate motorised scooters.

The lift is 1.4m deep, and 1.1m wide, with a door width of 90cm.

After the Collections Gallery, there is another enclosed platform lift to take visitors back down to ground floor level.

There are benches throughout the Open Treasure exhibition experience for visitors who wish to stop and rest.

Assistance dogs

Guide dogs, hearing dogs and support dogs are welcome in Open Treasure.

Visitors with a visual impairment

The majority of the Open Treasure exhibition is text based. However gallery attendants and volunteer stewards can explain and give information about exhibits.

There are some tactile exhibits within the exhibition, as well as scents and music.

Descriptive and touch tours will soon be available. Dates will be announced in advance and booking will be essential.

A large print version of the text is available.

Visitors with a hearing impairment

There is currently no audio guide to Open Treasure.

The information desks in Open Treasure are fitted with induction loops.

British Sign Language tours will soon be available. Dates will be announced in advance and booking will be essential. Please take a look at What's On.

Accessible toilets

There is one accessible toilet within Open Treasure. The main Cathedral toilet block near the Shop and Restaurant also has accessible toilets.

Need more advice?

If you have specific needs and would like some advice before your visit, please email enquiries@durhamcathedral.co.uk

Download this advice as Word document

Here is a downloadable and printable copy of our accessibility information (Word document)