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19 Unusual Things To Do In Durham City

Heading to Durham and looking for something a bit different? You’re in luck! Our carefully curated list of unusual things to do in Durham is packed with cool and quirky activities that promise to make your visit to this historic UK city unforgettable.

Top 19 Cool Activities In Durham: Quick Nav

Explore the Most Unusual Things to Do in Durham City

1. Durham Obelisk

Durham Obelisk

Looking for a bit of mystery tucked away in Durham? The Durham Obelisk might just be your spot. Originally built in 1850, this 90-foot-tall sandstone tower was meant for cosmic studies. Now, it stands as an intriguing relic surrounded by green, peeking out to those curious enough to find it.

Activities and Features

  • Historical Exploration: Dive into the past of Durham University’s astronomical pursuits.
  • Photography: Snap unique photos of the obelisk peering through the greenery.
  • Scenic Views: Enjoy glimpses from nearby vantage points, especially enchanting in winter.
  • Local Lore: Uncover the story of its construction meant to aid locals during a recession.
  • Relaxed Walks: Traverse the surrounding woodlands for a serene outing.

Practical Information

Accessibility: Visible from Wharton Park, near the railway station.

Cost of Entry: Free, as it’s visible from public areas.

Best Viewing Spots: Wharton Park, or from Durham Cathedral for a distanced view.

Parking: Available at Wharton Park or along Framwellgate Peth.

Visibility: Best seen during summer through the leaves or in winter when the trees are bare.

Unfortunately, there is no official website dedicated to the Durham Obelisk, it’s just a simple case of walking up there whenever you choose and enjoying the views on offer.

2. Palace Green Library

Palace Green Library

If you’re trawling through Durham and have a thirst for history, then swing by the Palace Green Library. Nestled between the majestic Durham Cathedral and the ancient Castle, this isn’t just any old library; it’s a treasure trove of rare books and manuscripts dating back to the 17th century, all housed within a striking historical building.

Activities and Features

  • Historical Exhibits: Dive into Durham’s past with permanent and temporary exhibitions that showcase the rich history of the region.
  • Rare Collections: Get up close with some of the earliest printed books and significant manuscripts.
  • Guided Tours: Opt for a guided tour to get expert insights into the library’s history and collections.
  • Research Opportunities: Scholars and students can access a wealth of resources for academic research.
  • Photography: Though restricted in some areas, there are plenty of spots to snap photos of the historic architecture.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open to the public from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday to Saturday.

Cost of Entry: Entry to the main library exhibits is free, but some special exhibitions may charge a fee.

Location: Palace Green, Durham, nestled between Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle.

Parking: No on-site parking, but several public parking options are available within walking distance. Check out the best places to park in Duham for the Palace Green Library access.

Accessibility: Fully accessible to wheelchair users and those with mobility issues.

For more info and bookings please visit: Palace Green Library Official Site

3. Sanctuary Knocker

Sanctuary Knocker

Swinging by Durham? Don’t miss the iconic Sanctuary Knocker at Durham Cathedral, a stunning piece of medieval history right at your fingertips. This isn’t just any old door knocker; it’s a symbol of sanctuary that offered accused criminals a temporary haven back in the days.

Activities and Features

  • View the Replica: Check out the imposing brass lion’s head knocker on the cathedral’s north door.
  • Learn Medieval History: Discover the role this knocker played in providing 37 days of sanctuary to those in need.
  • Explore the Original: The original knocker is housed inside the cathedral, adding an exclusive touch to your visit.
  • Photography: Capture this unique historical artifact and its intricate details—perfect for history buffs and photo enthusiasts alike.
  • Guided Tours: Join a cathedral tour to hear more about the knocker and other historical treasures.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Durham Cathedral is open from 7:30 AM to 6:00 PM daily.

Cost of Entry: Entry to the cathedral is free; donations are welcomed. Charges may apply for specific exhibitions or tours.

Location: The Sanctuary Knocker is located on the North Door of Durham Cathedral, Durham City.

Parking: No on-site parking; nearest public parking is available at Prince Bishops or Walkergate.

Accessibility: The cathedral and its exhibitions, including the Sanctuary Knocker, are accessible to visitors with mobility limitations.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham Cathedral Official Site.

4. The Count’s House

The Count's House

Tucked away on a serene bend of the River Wear just a stone’s throw from Prebends Bridge, The Count’s House is definitely one of the most unusual things to do in Durham. Built in the 1820s, this quaint Grecian-style folly is a nod to Durham’s rich historical tapestry and offers a unique backdrop for a leisurely riverside escape – it’s a hidden gem and best of all it’s a free attraction.

Activities and Features

  • Historical Exploration: Marvel at the architecture inspired by ancient Greece right in the heart of Durham.
  • Riverside Picnics: Grab a blanket and enjoy a picnic with picturesque views of the River Wear.
  • Photography: A perfect spot for capturing stunning shots of the unique building against the lush riverside.
  • Local Lore: Learn about “Count” Joseph Boruwlaski, the celebrated Polish dwarf for whom the house is named.
  • Relaxing Walks: Follow the riverside path for a relaxing stroll through Durham’s scenic spots.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open all year round, accessible any time of day.

Cost of Entry: Free to visit, no entry fee required.

Location: Nestled on the banks of the River Wear near Prebends Bridge, Durham.

Parking: No dedicated parking; city center parking available within walking distance.

Accessibility: Easily accessible by foot from Durham city center.

You can walk to the Count’s House whenever you like – it’s open all year round and forms a nice stop off point for the river path from Milburngate Bridge to New Elvert Bridge.

5. Old Durham Gardens

Old Durham Gardens

Just a hop, skip, and a jump from Durham city center, Old Durham Gardens offers a peaceful slice of history that’s easy to miss if you’re not in the know. Nestled in a charming spot that’s been drawing visitors since the 17th century, these gardens are a quaint retreat where you can enjoy a bit of tranquility away from the bustle of the city streets.

Families take note: if you’re looking for cool activities in Durham with the added benefit of tiring out the kids then a walk here from the city centre and a look around the gardens is a great option on a sunny day.

Activities and Features

  • Historical Stroll: Wander through gardens that have been restored to their former glory, where every path has a story.
  • Picnic Spots: Pack a lunch and enjoy it on the lawns or under the shade of ancient trees.
  • Photography Opportunities: Don’t forget your camera—these gardens are a dream for photographers with their mix of natural beauty and historical structures.
  • Seasonal Events: Keep an eye out for various community-led events throughout the year, which add to the charm of the gardens.
  • Wildlife Watching: Bird enthusiasts and nature lovers will appreciate the variety of local wildlife that calls these gardens home.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Lower gardens and orchards open all year round, Upper Walled Garden and Gazebo open from 2pm to 4pm on Thursdays and Sundays, April to September.

Cost of Entry: Free, though donations are welcomed to help maintain the gardens.

Location: Less than a mile from Durham city center, accessible via pleasant woodland or riverside walks.

Parking: Limited on-site parking; it’s best to walk or cycle here if you can.

Accessibility: Most of the gardens are accessible, but some areas might be challenging for those with mobility issues due to natural garden paths.

For more info and bookings please visit: Old Durham Gardens Official Website.

6. Finchale Priory

Finchale Priory

Looking for a tranquil escape with a dash of history? Finchale Priory is your go-to spot just four miles from the heart of Durham. Nestled along the River Wear, this 13th-century Benedictine priory offers not just a slice of medieval history but a picturesque retreat where you can unwind in peace and quiet.

Activities and Features

  • Historical Exploration: Roam the ruins of the priory and soak up the architectural grandeur of centuries past.
  • Riverside Relaxation: Enjoy a leisurely picnic or simply relax by the scenic River Wear.
  • Photography Haven: Capture the stunning views and the ancient ruins — perfect for both amateur and professional photographers.
  • Dog-Friendly Walks: Bring your furry friend along for a stroll through the expansive, pet-friendly grounds.
  • Local Café: Stop by the nearby café for some reasonably priced refreshments after your tour.

Practical Information

Opening Times: April to October, 10 AM to 5 PM; October to March, 10 AM to 4 PM.

Cost of Entry: Free entry, though donations are welcome to aid conservation efforts.

Location: Finchale Avenue, Framwellgate Moor, Durham, DH1 5SH.

Parking: Charged parking available on-site; not managed by English Heritage.

Accessibility: Some parts are uneven and can get muddy, and there are ongoing conservation works that might restrict access to certain areas.

For more info and bookings please visit: Finchale Priory on English Heritage.

7. Durham Ghost Walks

Durham Ghost Walks

Ready for a spooky stroll? Durham Ghost Walks is where history meets mystery, offering a peek into Durham’s eerie past through engaging and entertaining guided tours. Perfect for both hardcore ghost hunters and curious newcomers, these tours promise to give you a chilling glimpse into the spectral side of this historic city.

Activities and Features

  • Engaging Ghost Stories: Dive into Durham’s ghostly history with stories that are as enthralling as they are chilling.
  • Historical Insights: Learn about the dark past of Durham through tales that blend historical facts with local legends.
  • Interactive Experience: Participate in an interactive tour with ghost hunting equipment and maybe catch some paranormal activity.
  • Multiple Routes: Choose from different themed walks like the Ghost Hunter, Horrid History, or Pubs & Prisons to suit your scare preference.
  • Family-Friendly Fun: Enjoy a tour that’s spooky enough to thrill without giving the little ones nightmares.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Free walks at 7:00 PM on the first Sunday of each month; other tours by appointment.

Cost of Entry: Varied prices depending on the chosen tour; contact for details.

Meeting Point: Usually meet at Durham Market Place under the Horse Statue between 18:45 and 19:00.

Parking: Find parking in the city center as specific parking information is not provided for the meeting point.

Bookings: Advance booking recommended to secure your spot on the ghostly tour.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham Ghost Walks Official Website.

8. Durham Riverside Walk

Durham Riverside Walk

Craving a scenic stroll that promises both relaxation and a touch of culture? The Durham Riverside Walk offers just that. This 3-mile circular path skirts the serene River Wear and affords stunning views of Durham Cathedral and Castle. Ideal for a leisurely afternoon, you’ll find this route both refreshing and invigorating, without needing to venture far from the city’s historic heart.

Activities and Features

  • Stunning Scenery: Enjoy picturesque views of Durham’s historical landmarks from various vantage points along the river.
  • Wildlife Watching: Keep your eyes peeled for local bird species and the occasional playful otter along the riverbanks.
  • Photography Opportunities: Don’t forget your camera—this walk offers some of the best snapshots of Durham’s architectural beauty.
  • Accessible Route: Perfect for families, pets, and walkers of all fitness levels, thanks to its flat and well-maintained paths.
  • Cultural Landmarks: Pass by significant sites including the ancient Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Accessible throughout the year, daylight hours recommended for best experience.

Cost of Entry: Free access, making it an affordable outing for all.

Location: Starts and ends at Green Lane, Durham, Co Durham, DH1 3UW.

Parking: Available off-site; city center parking options are within easy walking distance.

Accessibility: The walk is suitable for wheelchairs and strollers, offering a smooth path for everyone to enjoy.

For more info, please visit the official site: Durham Riverside Walk

9. Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden

Nestled on the southern outskirts of historic Durham city, Durham University Botanic Garden is a verdant escape spread over 25 acres of mature woodlands. This botanical haven is not just about beautiful flora; it’s an educational journey through various ecosystems, offering a relaxing day out for everyone from keen botanists to families looking for a fun and instructive afternoon.

It’s one of the most unique Durham activities on our list and is a great spot during better weather to tire out the kids while you sit and have a coffee in the fresh air.

Activities and Features

  • Exotic Plant Displays: Wander through glasshouses that showcase everything from tropical rainforests to arid deserts.
  • Art Installations: Discover intriguing sculptures dotted along the pathways, blending art with nature.
  • Themed Gardens: Explore a range of themed gardens, including medicinal and woodland gardens, each offering unique plant species and educational insights.
  • Seasonal Events: Enjoy a variety of seasonal events, from children’s educational programs to art exhibitions.
  • Wildlife Watching: Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including numerous bird species that thrive in this serene environment.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open year-round, with seasonal variations; typically from 10 AM to 5 PM during summer months.

Cost of Entry: Reasonable entry fees apply; concessions available for students, seniors, and children.

Location: South Road, Durham, DH1 3TN.

Parking: Available on-site for a small fee.

Accessibility: The garden paths are well-maintained, making most areas accessible to wheelchairs and strollers.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham University Botanic Garden Official Website.

10. The Old Fulling Mill

The Old Fulling Mill

Tucked away beside the tranquil River Wear, The Old Fulling Mill in Durham is steeped in history and charm. Originally serving as a fulling mill since the Middle Ages, this unique building has transformed over the centuries, from a bustling mill to a quiet museum showcasing local archaeological finds. It’s a perfect spot for history buffs and those looking to soak up some local culture in a picturesque setting.

Activities and Features

  • Historical Exploration: Delve into the rich history of a building that dates back to the Middle Ages.
  • Architectural Appreciation: Marvel at the transformation and preservation of this historic structure.
  • Riverside Setting: Enjoy the serene views along the banks of the River Wear.
  • Photography Opportunity: Capture the beauty of the mill against the backdrop of Durham’s lush landscapes.
  • Educational Visits: Learn about the mill’s historical significance and its role in the local textile industry.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Not open to the public but can be admired from the outside all year round.

Cost of Entry: n/a

Location: The Banks, Durham, located close to Durham Cathedral.

Parking: Limited nearby; city center parking is recommended.

Accessibility: Accessibility is limited due to steps down from the bridge to the riverside path.

The Old Fulling Mill is just a short walk along the pathway from Milburngate Bridge and isn’t open to visitors but can be admired from the outside whenever you like.

11. Lumiere


Every two years, Durham transforms into a fantastical wonderland of light and creativity with Lumiere, the UK’s largest light art festival. This dazzling event paints the city in vibrant colors with over 40 spectacular installations from globally renowned artists like Ai Weiwei and Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Whether you’re a local or a traveler, Lumiere promises a magical experience that lights up not just the city, but also the faces of tens of thousands of visitors.

Activities and Features

  • Artistic Installations: Marvel at cutting-edge light installations by international artists spread across Durham city.
  • Interactive Experiences: Engage with installations that respond to your movements and actions, creating a truly interactive experience.
  • Night-time Spectacle: Enjoy the unique ambiance that only comes from exploring art after dark, transforming the familiar streets of Durham.
  • Family-Friendly Events: With activities and installations suitable for all ages, it’s a perfect outing for families.
  • Extended Reach: In 2023, the festival expanded beyond Durham, bringing light art to other parts of County Durham, including Bishop Auckland.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Typically held in November, from around 4:30 PM to 11:00 PM over four days.

Cost of Entry: Free, making it accessible to everyone.

Location: Across Durham City Centre and other locations in County Durham.

Parking: Available in city center car parks; however, visitors are encouraged to use public transport due to high demand.

Accessibility: Efforts are made to ensure accessibility across all installations, with specific viewing areas and routes designed for accessibility needs.

For more info and bookings please visit: Lumiere Official Website.

12. Durham Food Tour

Durham Food Tour

Dive into Durham’s delicious dining scene with a guided food tour that’s all about flavor and fun. Whether you’re a seasoned foodie or just looking for a new way to explore the city, Durham Food Tour offers an insightful peek into local eateries, from hidden gems to high-profile haunts. This tour isn’t just a meal; it’s a culinary adventure through Durham’s vibrant food landscape, all served up with a side of city history.

Activities and Features

  • Sample Local Delights: Taste a variety of dishes from some of Durham’s best-loved restaurants and up-and-coming spots.
  • Meet the Makers: Interact with local chefs and restaurateurs who share their passion and insights into the culinary world.
  • Learn Durham’s History: Get to know the historical context of the places you visit, enriching your dining experience.
  • Flexible Tour Options: Choose from different tour types, including private tours, group outings, and themed culinary journeys.
  • Support Local: Every bite supports local businesses, promoting Durham’s vibrant community of independent eateries.

Practical Information

Tour Times: Check availability online; tours typically start in the early afternoon.

Cost of Entry: Prices start around £30 per person, varying by tour type and group size.

Meeting Point: Tours start at designated spots in Durham city center, details provided upon booking.

Parking: City center parking available; public transport is recommended due to the walking nature of the tour.

Booking Required: Advance booking is essential to secure your spot.

For more info and bookings please visit: Triple A Food Tours

13. Durham Pub and History Tour

Durham Pub and History Tour

Ready to mix a dash of history with a pint of local ale? Durham Pub and History Tour combines the best of both worlds, offering a spirited stroll through Durham’s historic spine, coupled with visits to its most beloved pubs. It’s not just a walk; it’s a journey back in time, punctuated with stops at traditional pubs where the stories continue over a glass of cask ale.

Activities and Features

  • Historical Landmarks: Visit key historical sites including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle.
  • Pub Stops: Enjoy visits to four distinct pubs, each with its own character and selection of real ales.
  • Local Tales: Hear stories of conquest, tragedy, and miracles that have shaped Durham.
  • Guided Experience: Led by a knowledgeable local guide who brings the history of Durham to life.
  • Social Interaction: Perfect for meeting new people or enjoying a unique date night.

Practical Information

Duration: Approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes, covering a mile of historic terrain.

Cost: £28 per person, which includes four half pints of beer.

Meeting Point: ‘The Man on the Horse Statue’, Durham Market Place, DH1 3NJ.

Group Size: Limited to 10 people for a more intimate experience.

Accessibility: Note the route includes cobbled streets and some uneven paths; not wheelchair accessible.

For more info and bookings please visit: Walkabout Durham.

14. Durham Falconry Ltd

Durham Falconry Ltd

Looking for a truly unique outdoor adventure? Durham Falconry Ltd offers a hands-on experience with majestic birds of prey that’s as educational as it is exhilarating. Nestled in the picturesque setting of over 450 acres of Northeast England’s farm and woodland, this family-run business provides a rare chance to get up close with hawks, falcons, owls, and even eagles. Whether you’re a bird enthusiast or looking for a unique family outing, Durham Falconry delivers an unforgettable experience.

Activities and Features

  • Bird Handling and Flying: Learn to handle and fly a variety of birds of prey under the guidance of expert falconers.
  • Educational Talks: Gain insights into the conservation, habits, and habitats of these magnificent creatures.
  • Group and Individual Experiences: Available for both individuals and groups, making it perfect for school trips, family outings, or corporate events.
  • Photography Opportunities: Capture stunning photos of the birds in flight against the backdrop of the beautiful Durham countryside.
  • Gift Vouchers Available: Perfect for giving the gift of a unique experience to friends or family.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Experiences are available by booking only. Check the website for available dates and times.

Cost of Entry: Prices vary by experience, starting from £39 for a hawk walk to £199 for a full day experience.

Location: The experiences take place across various locations in the Northeast, primarily based in Durham.

Parking: Available on-site at the main location.

Booking: All experiences must be booked in advance, easily done through their website.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham Falconry Ltd Official Website

15. Escape Rooms Durham

Escape Rooms Durham

Locked in with only an hour to escape, Escape Rooms Durham offers a brain-buzzing adventure right in the heart of Durham’s medieval market city. This is where clues meet history, and teamwork is your best friend. If you’re up for a challenge that tests your wit and nerve, gather your sharpest friends or family for an escape experience that combines the thrill of ‘The Crystal Maze’ with the mystery of ‘Cluedo’.

Activities and Features

  • Variety of Themes: Each room offers a unique theme, ensuring a fresh and immersive experience every visit.
  • Puzzle Solving: Engage in a wide range of puzzles and challenges that will test your problem-solving skills.
  • Team Building: Perfect for corporate groups, friends, or families looking to bond and collaborate under pressure.
  • Interactive Adventure: Experience interactive storytelling where your choices and actions determine your path.
  • Photo Opportunity: Celebrate your escape with a team photo, a fun way to remember your experience.

Practical Information

Opening Hours: Open daily; check the website for available booking times.

Cost of Entry: Prices vary depending on group size and peak times, typically starting around £20 per person.

Location: Located centrally in Durham, easy to access from major transport links.

Parking: Nearby city center parking available, with several options within walking distance.

Booking: Advanced booking is recommended, easily done through their online platform.

For more info and bookings please visit: Escape Rooms Durham Official Website.

16. Supreme Adventure Sports Durham

Supreme Adventure Sports Durham

If you’re itching for an adrenaline rush and a taste of adventure, look no further than Supreme Adventure Sports in Durham. Nestled in the heart of the beautiful countryside, this place is a playground for the thrill-seeker. Whether you’re looking to conquer the rugged terrain on an ATV or learn the ropes of off-road driving, Supreme Adventure Sports offers an array of experiences that cater to all levels of adventurers.

Activities and Features

  • ATV and Quad Bike Adventures: Tackle diverse terrains on powerful ATVs and quad bikes.
  • 4×4 Off-Road Training: Master the art of off-road driving with expert-guided courses.
  • Vehicle Mounted Winch Training: Learn to operate winches safely and effectively for any situation.
  • Trailer Towing Courses: Gain the skills to tow trailers safely in off-road conditions.
  • Tailored Group Sessions: Perfect for team-building, customized sessions are available to suit group needs.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open year-round; specific timings and availability for courses can be found on the booking page.

Cost of Entry: Prices vary depending on the course or activity; typically starts from around £100 for basic courses.

Location: Activities are held across various locations in County Durham, with details provided upon booking.

Parking: Ample parking available at training sites.

Booking: Advance booking is essential and can be done directly through their website.

For more info and bookings please visit: Supreme Adventure Sports Official Website.

17. The Durham Fly Fishing Company

The Durham Fly Fishing Company

Fancy casting a line in some of Durham’s most scenic waters? Well if it’s weird Durham activities you’re after then The Durham Fly Fishing Company offers premier guided fly fishing experiences that cater to both novices and seasoned anglers. Led by the seasoned fly fisher, Stuart Wardle, this company promises not just a fishing trip but a comprehensive tutorial in the art of fly fishing, set against the picturesque backdrop of the County Durham countryside.

Activities and Features

  • Guided Fly Fishing: Expert guided sessions across various tranquil locations, perfect for both learning and refining fly fishing techniques.
  • Tailored Lessons: Personalized instruction suited to all skill levels, from beginners to advanced fly fishers.
  • Equipment Provided: Top-notch fly fishing gear and tackle are provided, ensuring a quality experience without the hassle of bringing your own.
  • Diverse Fishing Locations: Fish in rivers and lakes known for their beauty and abundance of fish.
  • Conservation Focused: Emphasis on sustainable fishing practices and river conservation education.

Practical Information

Availability: Sessions are available throughout the year but require advance booking to ensure a personalized experience.

Cost of Sessions: Prices vary depending on the type and duration of the experience, starting from basic lessons to full-day adventures.

Meeting Points: Specific locations are provided upon booking, tailored to the chosen fishing experience.

What to Bring: Weather-appropriate clothing is recommended; all fishing equipment is supplied.

Booking Process: Easily book through their website or by phone for group or individual sessions.

For more info and bookings please visit: The Durham Fly Fishing Company Official Website.

18. Browns Rowing Boats

Browns Rowing Boats

Drift through the heart of Durham on a traditional hand-built rowing boat from Browns Rowing Boats. Stationed along the idyllic River Wear, this local gem has been offering charming boating experiences since the 1900s. Whether it’s a family day out or a quiet afternoon with your significant other, Browns provides a quintessential Durham outing, giving you a unique view of the city’s historic architecture and lush riversides.

Activities and Features

  • Row Along the River Wear: Experience the tranquility of Durham from the river, surrounded by stunning views of the cityscape.
  • Traditional Hand-Built Boats: Enjoy the charm and quality of meticulously maintained, traditional rowing boats.
  • Wildlife Watching: Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including the chance to see herons in their natural habitat.
  • Family-Friendly Fun: Suitable for all ages, with life jackets available for both adults and children.
  • Dog-Friendly: Feel free to bring your four-legged friends along for the ride!

Practical Information

Seasonal Operation: Open from mid-March to late September, weather permitting.

Opening Hours: 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM, with the last boat going out at 5:00 PM.

Pricing: Adults £10, Children £5 (under 5s free), Family Saver Ticket £25.

Location: Situated on the Boathouse, Elvet Bridge, Durham City.

Contact: No need to book in advance for small groups, just show up and enjoy. For private parties or special requests, call ahead.

For more info and bookings please visit: Browns Rowing Boats Official Website.

19. Durham Brewery

Durham Brewery

If it’s cool activities in Durham you’re after then the Durham Brewery is a great shout. It stands as the region’s oldest brewery, boasting a reputation for crafting award-winning beers since 1994. Whether you’re a stout fanatic or an IPA enthusiast, stepping into Durham Brewery offers a taste of top-tier brews honed to perfection over decades. It’s not just about drinking beer; it’s about appreciating the craft and history that pour into every glass.

Activities and Features

  • Brewery Tours: Dive deep into the brewing process with a guided tour, available by booking.
  • Tasting Sessions: Sample a wide range of their signature and seasonal beers.
  • Limited Edition Brews: Get exclusive access to experimental and barrel-aged beers.
  • Beer Shop: Take your favorite beers home or grab some unique brewery merchandise.
  • Event Hosting: The brewery space is available for private events and gatherings.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Check the website for the most current hours and tour timings.

Cost: Tours are priced at around £10 per person, including tastings.

Location: Unit 6a, Bowburn North Industrial Estate, Bowburn, Durham, DH6 5PF.

Parking: Ample free parking available on-site.

Bookings: Advance booking for tours is required, which can be done via their website or phone.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham Brewery Official Website


What are the best unusual things to do in Durham?

There are a range of quirky things to do in Durham such as a walk to the Durham Obelisk, taking a leisurely row with Browns Rowing Boats on the River Wear, or discovering the vibrant local art at the Durham Art Gallery.

How do I spend my day in Durham?

Start with a visit to Durham Cathedral, followed by a stroll around Durham University’s Botanic Garden. Enjoy lunch at a local cafe, then spend the afternoon at the Durham Museum and Heritage Centre or on a guided river cruise.

Is Durham worth visiting for a day?

Absolutely! The city is rich in history and culture, with stunning architecture, charming streets, and a variety of attractions that can easily fill a day or more.

Does Durham have a market day?

Yes, Durham hosts a traditional market in the Market Place, typically bustling on weekends, offering local produce, crafts, and other goods.

Is Durham a walkable city?

Yes, Durham is highly walkable, with most major attractions like Durham Cathedral, Durham Castle, and the city center within easy walking distance of each other.

Is Durham a fun city?

Durham is a lively city with a blend of historical sites, modern shops, lively bars, and green spaces, making it fun for visitors of all ages and interests.

Can you park in Durham for free?

Free parking in Durham is limited. However, there are several pay-and-display car parks and some streets with free parking slots during specific times or on weekends.