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Top 21 Things To Do In Durham For Adults

Looking for some things to do in Durham for adults? Whether you’re into cozy pubs, cultural gems, or stunning outdoor adventures, our guide has got you covered. Here are the top 21 adult-friendly activities in Durham that promise to spice up your visit. Let’s dive in!

Top 21 Durham Activities For Adults

Best Things To Do For Adults In Durham

1. Visit Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral

Nestled in the heart of Durham, this UNESCO World Heritage Site isn’t just an architectural wonder—it’s a living history lesson. With origins dating back to 1093, Durham Cathedral stands as a testament to Norman craftsmanship and spirituality. If you’re into impressive architecture and a spot of cultural immersion, this place ticks all the boxes.

Activities and Features

  • Climb the Tower: Scale 325 steps to the top of the cathedral tower for breathtaking views over historic Durham city.
  • Explore the Open Treasure: Dive into the cathedral’s history with a visit to the Open Treasure exhibition, showcasing a rolling programme of relics and artifacts.
  • Attend a Service: Experience the spiritual heart of the cathedral with daily services and prayers. Check the schedule to join in.
  • Guided Tours: For an in-depth exploration, join one of the many guided tours available throughout the week, detailing the cathedral’s storied past and architectural details.
  • Peace Doves Installation: Participate in creating messages of hope and peace on paper doves, part of an artistic installation featuring over 15,000 doves displayed in the nave.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open daily. Main visiting hours are 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM but can vary based on services and events.

Cost of Entry: Entry to the cathedral is free, but donations are encouraged. Some special exhibits and the tower may have an admission fee.

Location: Located in the city of Durham, UK, at The College, Durham DH1 3EH.

Parking Options: Several city parking areas are available nearby; the closest is the Prince Bishops Shopping Centre car park.

Accessibility: The cathedral is accessible, with ramps and lifts available for different sections, including the Open Treasure exhibit.

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

2. Explore Durham Castle

Durham Castle

Durham Castle: A Slice of History with a Modern Twist Right in the heart of Durham, this 11th-century Norman castle isn’t just a relic of the past—it’s a buzzing living, breathing part of Durham University. If you’re keen on stepping into a piece of England’s rich history while catching a glimpse of student life, Durham Castle offers just that mix. It’s spectacular design making it one of the top days out in Durham for adults at any time of the year.

Activities and Features

  • Guided Tours: Essential for visiting, these tours are led by knowledgeable students who bring the castle’s thousand-year history to life.
  • Norman Chapel: One of the oldest parts of the castle, offering a glimpse into Norman religious architecture.
  • Museum Collections: Includes over 250 artworks and extensive historical collections from the last 500 years.
  • Architectural Marvel: Explore the transition from a Norman fortress to a bishop’s palatial dwelling.
  • Events: The castle hosts a variety of academic and public events throughout the year.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open daily for guided tours, which are necessary to visit the interiors.

Cost of Entry: Varies depending on the tour type, with typical tickets around £5 for adults.

Location: Palace Green, Durham, DH1 3RW, amidst other World Heritage Sites.

Parking: No on-site parking, but several public parking options available within walking distance.

Accessibility: Efforts have been made to make much of the castle accessible, though some areas may be limited due to historic architecture.

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

3. Relax at Ramside Hall Spa

Ramside Hall Spa

Nestled just outside the hustle and bustle of Durham city, Ramside Hall Spa offers a luxurious escape for those looking to unwind and rejuvenate. With its extensive range of facilities tailored for relaxation and wellness, this spa is not just about pampering but providing a holistic experience that soothes both body and mind. A trip to Ramside Hall Spa is one of the most relaxing Durham activities for adults on our list.

Activities and Features

  • Thermal Suite: Enjoy five unique pools, including a 25-metre swimming pool, hydrotherapy and vitality pools, and an infinity pool with a view.
  • Fitness Suite: A state-of-the-art gym equipped with the latest cardio and strength machines, including Speedflex HIIT systems.
  • Luxurious Treatments: Choose from over 14 treatment rooms offering massages, facials, and the signature Mud Rasul Ritual.
  • Dining at Fusion: Indulge in healthy yet delicious meals with an oriental twist at the spa’s own Fusion restaurant, perfect for a post-spa refuel.
  • Golfing: Combine your spa day with a round of golf at one of the two 18-hole championship golf courses on-site.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open seven days a week, from early morning to late evening.

Cost of Entry: Spa day packages start from approximately £85 per person, varying by treatment choice and day of the week.

Location: Ramside Hall Spa, Carrville, Durham, DH1 1TD.

Parking Options: Ample free parking available on-site for all visitors.

Booking Advice: Advance booking is highly recommended, especially for weekend visits, to ensure availability.

For more info and bookings please visit: Ramside Hall Spa

4. Cocktails at the Champagne Bar

Champagne Bar

Nestled in the bustling Walkergate complex near the Gala Theatre, the Ebony Champagne Bar in Durham stands as the epitome of sophistication and style. Ideal for those looking to unwind in luxury, this venue offers an extensive cocktail menu crafted to perfection by skilled mixologists. Whether you’re toasting a special occasion or just seeking a plush spot for a night out, the Ebony Champagne Bar delivers with flair. It is certainly one of the best things to do in Durham for adults seeking a a quiet drink with friends or family, or for a special occasion.

Check out our guide to Bars in Durham – Best Places to Drink in Durham 2024 for more iconic venues in the city.

Activities and Features

  • Extensive Cocktail Menu: Over 40 inventive cocktails crafted with premium spirits and fresh ingredients.
  • Champagne Selection: A refined selection of both non-vintage and vintage champagnes for the connoisseur.
  • Luxurious Setting: Enjoy your drinks in a glamorous environment with contemporary decor.
  • Perfect for Groups: Ideal for celebrations, gatherings, or corporate events.
  • Outdoor Seating: A stylish terrace area to enjoy your cocktails under the stars during warmer months.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Tuesday to Thursday from 11am – 11pm, Friday to Saturday from 11am – 12am, and Sunday from 12pm – 8pm.

Cost of Entry: No entry fee, drinks priced individually.

Location: 8 Walkergate, Durham, DH1 1SQ.

Parking Options: Available at the nearby Walkergate car park.

Reservations: Recommended for weekends and special events, bookable via phone or online.

For more info and bookings please visit: Ebony Champagne Bar

5. Treat yourself to a meal at Faru


Situated in the vibrant heart of Durham, Faru offers a refined dining experience that blends local tradition with culinary innovation. This fine dining establishment is known for its commitment to quality and a meticulously crafted tasting menu that draws food enthusiasts from near and far. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or simply treating yourself to an exquisite meal, Faru provides a memorable gastronomic journey through its flavour-led menu using seasonal produce.

Check out our full Far Review to find out more.

Activities and Features

  • Tasting Menus: Choose between a 5-course and a 10-course tasting menu, each designed to showcase the best of local and seasonal British ingredients.
  • Open Kitchen: Watch the culinary magic unfold before your eyes in Faru’s open kitchen.
  • Wine Pairing: Enhance your meal with a curated selection of wine pairings, carefully chosen to complement each dish.
  • Seasonal Ingredients: Experience the freshest flavours with ingredients sourced to reflect the season.
  • Elegant Atmosphere: Dine in a sophisticated setting that matches the quality of the menu.

Practical Information

Opening Hours: Dinner from Wednesday to Saturday, 18:30 – 20:30; Lunch on Saturdays, 12:00 – 13:30.

Location: 29 Silver Street, Durham, England, DH1 3RD.

Reservations: Required, bookable through the Faru website.

Dietary Accommodations: Unable to cater to vegan diets or free from alliums, sulphites, or eggs. Other dietary requirements must be stated in advance.

Parking: No on-site parking; public parking available nearby.

For more info and bookings please visit: Faru

6. Attend a Show at the Gala Theatre

Gala Theatre

Nestled in the heart of Durham at Millennium Place, the Gala Theatre offers a vibrant hub for culture vultures. Whether you’re in for the drama of live theatre or the charm of indie films, this place has it all under one modern, accessible roof. Why not enjoy one of the more esoteric and exciting things to do in Durham for adults at Millennium Place?

Activities and Features

  • Diverse Programming: Enjoy everything from captivating plays and musicals to the latest blockbuster films and indie cinema gems.
  • Live Performances: The theatre stages a variety of performances including comedy nights, operas, and dance shows.
  • Cinema Screenings: Features a mix of mainstream and art-house films, updated weekly.
  • Café and Bar: Grab a drink or a snack before the show or during intermissions at the on-site café and bar.
  • Special Events: Hosts a range of events including literary talks, community workshops, and live screenings of major cultural events.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Generally open from 10AM till late on show days. Non-show day hours can vary.

Ticket Prices: Prices vary depending on the event, typically ranging from £10 to £30.

Location: Gala Theatre, Millennium Place, Durham, DH1 1WA.

Parking: Nearby parking available at Walkergate and Prince Bishops Shopping Centre.

Accessibility: Fully accessible venue with options for hearing-impaired and visually-impaired patrons.

For more info and bookings please visit: Gala Theatre

7. Discover the Durham University Botanic Garden

Durham University Botanic Garden

Tucked away on the southern outskirts of Durham city, Durham University Botanic Garden is a lush 10-hectare wonderland that caters to botany enthusiasts, families, and anyone looking to enjoy a peaceful day out. With a diverse range of plants from around the globe, as well as engaging sculptures and themed gardens, it’s a place where nature and art beautifully collide.

Activities and Features

  • Themed Gardens: Explore a variety of gardens including the alpine garden, bamboo grove, and winter garden.
  • Glasshouses: Discover a world of exotic plants ranging from tropical rainforests to arid deserts.
  • Art Installations: Encounter intriguing sculptures scattered throughout the garden, enhancing both the landscape and the visitor experience.
  • Educational Programs: Participate in workshops and guided tours that offer insights into plant science and conservation.
  • Seasonal Events: Enjoy annual events like the art exhibitions, plant fairs, and interactive family days.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open daily, 10 AM to 5 PM during summer months and shorter hours during winter.

Admission Fees: Adults £4.50, Concessions £3.00, Children (5-16 years) £1.50, Under 5s free.

Location: Hollingside Lane, South Road, Durham, DH1 3TN.

Parking: Free parking available on-site.

Accessibility: Most paths are wheelchair accessible, and there are several accessible toilets throughout the garden.

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

8. Taste Local Delights on a Food Tour

Food Tour

Ready to taste your way through Durham? The Durham Food Tour offers a vibrant exploration of the city’s thriving culinary scene. From quaint cafes to high-end eateries, this walking tour stitches together a tapestry of flavors that define the local food culture, making it a must-do for foodies and curious travellers alike.

Activities and Features

  • Diverse Dining Stops: Experience everything from street food to dishes from Michelin Guide recommended restaurants.
  • Expert Guides: Learn from knowledgeable local guides who share insights into Durham’s food history and current trends.
  • Sample Local Delicacies: Try regional specialties and seasonal favorites that showcase the best of what Durham has to offer.
  • Interactive Learning: Gain cooking tips and culinary secrets from the chefs and artisans themselves.

Social Interaction: Enjoy the company of fellow food lovers in a fun, casual group setting.

Practical Information

Tour Duration: Approximately 3-4 hours, covering several unique food spots.

Pricing: Tours start at £30 per person, varying by the tour type and food offerings.

Meeting Point: Tours typically start from central Durham locations, easily accessible by public transport.

Schedule: Available weekly with both weekday and weekend options; private tours can be arranged.

Booking: Advance booking is required to ensure a spot on the tour.

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

9. Join a Historical Walking Tour

Walking Tour

Strap on your walking shoes and discover the historical and cultural tapestry of Durham with its array of guided walking tours. One of the more leisurely Durham activities for adults, you can explore the ancient city streets to find an array of culinary delights and much more besides. The tours offer an intimate look at the rich heritage and vibrant life of Durham. Perfect for history buffs, foodies, and everyone in between, these walking tours are your gateway to uncovering the hidden gems and celebrated landmarks of this historic city.

Activities and Features

  • Historical Insights: Learn about Durham’s storied past from knowledgeable guides who bring the city’s history to life.
  • Culinary Tours: Sample local cuisine and learn about Durham’s food scene on specialized foodie tours.
  • Scenic Routes: Enjoy the natural beauty of Durham’s landscapes as you walk through picturesque trails and cityscapes.
  • Photography Opportunities: Capture stunning views of iconic landmarks like Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle.
  • Themed Adventures: Choose from various themes including ghost tours, literary trails, and architectural walks.

Practical Information

Tour Duration: Most tours last between 1 to 3 hours, perfect for a morning or afternoon adventure.

Meeting Points: Tours typically start from central locations such as Durham Market Place or the Gala Theatre.

Cost: Prices vary; typically around £10 per adult with concessions available for children, students, and seniors.

Booking: Advance booking is recommended, especially for specialist tours and during peak tourist seasons.

Accessibility: Most tours are wheelchair accessible, but it’s best to check in advance if specific assistance is needed.

For more info and bookings please visit: This is Durham – Walking Tours

10. Play Golf at the Caddy Shack Durham

Caddy Shack Durham

Located in the vibrant city of Durham, Caddy Shack offers an innovative indoor golfing experience that stands out in the North East. Perfect for golf enthusiasts and beginners alike, this venue combines the challenge of iconic courses with the comfort of an indoor setting. Whether you’re looking to improve your game or simply have a fun day out with friends, Caddy Shack provides an engaging environment complete with a range of golfing activities and social opportunities. For golf fans, this is certainly top of the list of things to do in Durham for adults, but it is also accessible and fun for non-golfers too.

Activities and Features

  • State-of-the-Art Golf Simulators: Experience playing on famous courses like Augusta with high-tech simulators.
  • Variety of Golfing Options: Choose from playing a full 18-hole round, practising on the driving range, or booking a quick hour of play.
  • Social and Fun: Enjoy games and beers alongside your golfing, making it a great spot for group outings.
  • Flexible Booking: Options for different types of visits, from quick plays to lengthy sessions.
  • Special Offers: Check their website for deals on rounds and other promotions.

Practical Information

Opening Hours: Varies, with options to book as early as 11 AM and as late as 8 PM.

Cost of Entry: Prices start from £15 for an hour on the range to around £27 for a specialty round.

Location: Conveniently situated within Durham city, easy to access and close to other local attractions.

Parking: Available nearby, with several options within walking distance.

Booking: Advance booking recommended, especially for weekends or special rounds, available through their website.

For more info and bookings please visit: Caddy Shack Durham

11. Grab a pint in The Victoria

The Victoria Inn

Tucked away just a stone’s throw from Durham’s historic heart, The Victoria Inn offers a quintessential English pub atmosphere, perfect for those looking to unwind in a setting that feels like a step back in time. Known for its warm welcome, open coal fires, and award-winning ales, this family-run Victorian Inn is an ideal spot for tourists and locals alike who are seeking a traditional pub experience.

Activities and Features

  • Hand-Pulled Ales: Enjoy a variety of locally brewed, award-winning real ales.
  • Historic Ambiance: Relish the old-world charm with no modern distractions like music or pool tables.
  • Close Proximity to Attractions: Located within a 5-minute walk from Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle.
  • Quality Accommodation: Six high-quality en-suite rooms equipped with modern amenities.
  • Friendly Atmosphere: Experience genuine hospitality that has garnered local awards.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open daily, but check the website or call ahead for specific hours as they may vary.

Location: 86 Hallgarth Street, Durham, DH1 3AS.

Contact Info: Call 0191 386 5269 or email via the website for bookings or inquiries.

Parking: Free parking available with accommodation.

Booking: It’s best to book directly for the best rates and to secure a room, especially around graduation dates which are highly sought after.

For more info and bookings please visit: The Victoria Inn

12. Kayak on the River Wear

River Wear Kayaking

If you’re looking for a place where scenic beauty meets tranquil leisure, then River Wear in Durham is your go-to destination. Winding through historic Durham, this river offers not just a picturesque backdrop but a playground for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike. From peaceful walks to engaging water sports, the River Wear provides an ideal setting for a perfect day out.

Activities and Features

  • Walking and Cycling: Enjoy miles of lush riverside trails perfect for walking, jogging, or cycling.
  • Boating and Rowing: Take to the water with rowing boats available for hire, offering a unique perspective of the city.
  • Fishing: Anglers can look forward to catching salmon and trout, especially during the fishing season.
  • Wildlife Watching: Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of birds and otters that call the River Wear home.
  • Picnicking: Numerous grassy spots ideal for a family picnic or simply to relax and watch the world go by.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Accessible throughout the year, with boat hire and other activities subject to seasonal availability.

Cost of Entry: Free access to river paths; activities such as boating may incur a rental fee.

Location: The River Wear flows through the heart of Durham, encircling the historic city center.

Parking Options: Several public parking areas available close to the river, including near the Durham Cathedral. Check out our guide to Durham Car Parks – Where to Park in Durham for Free and Where to Pay.

Accessibility: The main paths are well-maintained, suitable for wheelchairs and strollers.

For more info and bookings please visit: Wear Rivers Trust

13. Rock Climbing at Durham Climbing Centre

Durham Climbing Centre

Located just outside the bustling center of Durham in Meadowfield, Durham Climbing Centre stands out as the premier destination for bouldering enthusiasts and those looking to try climbing for the first time. With a focus on both fun and fitness, this facility offers a supportive and friendly environment that’s perfect for everyone from young beginners to seasoned climbers looking to challenge themselves on new routes.

Activities and Features

  • Wide Range of Routes: Suitable for all levels, from beginners to advanced climbers.
  • Free Coaching Nights: Take advantage of expert guidance to improve your technique.
  • Competitive Events: Participate in climbing competitions to test your skills against others.
  • Children’s Programs: ‘Rock Stars’ clubs that teach climbing skills in a fun and engaging way.
  • Community Feel: A strong sense of community and a welcoming atmosphere for new climbers.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open daily, with hours extending in the evenings for more climbing time.

Cost of Entry: Varies by activity, with discounts available for members and multipass options.

Location: St John’s Road, Meadowfield Industrial Estate, Durham, DH7 8TZ.

Parking: Ample free parking available on site, making access easy.

Booking: Recommended to book your climbing session or course in advance online.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham Climbing Centre

14. Get a Coffee at Flat White Kitchen

Flat White Kitchen

Situated in a stunning 17th-century townhouse right in the heart of Durham, Flat White Kitchen is not just a cafe but a destination. Renowned for serving up some of the best coffee and most talked-about brunches in the North East, this place combines historic charm with a buzzing, contemporary vibe. Whether you’re dropping in for a quick coffee or settling in for a hearty brunch, Flat White Kitchen promises quality and cosiness in every corner.

Activities and Features

  • Exceptional Coffee: Known for its expertly brewed coffee, with beans sourced from top roasters.
  • Brunch Favorites: Offers a menu filled with brunch delights, from avocado toast to indulgent pancakes.
  • Stylish Interiors: Enjoy your meal in a beautifully renovated space that blends old-world charm with modern chic.
  • Perfect for Photos: The picturesque setting makes it an Instagrammer’s paradise.
  • Local and Seasonal: Focuses on using local and seasonal produce, supporting nearby suppliers.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open Monday to Sunday, 9 AM to 4 PM, making it perfect for both early birds and late risers.

Location: 40 Saddler Street, Durham, England, DH1 3NU.

Parking: No on-site parking, but several public parking options are available nearby.

Seating: The shop can get busy, especially on weekends, so arriving early or waiting for a table may be necessary.

Reservations: Not typically required, but visit during off-peak hours for the best experience.

For more info and bookings please visit: Flat White Kitchen

15. Watch Cricket at the Riverside Cricket Ground

Riverside Cricket Ground

Situated in Chester-le-Street, just outside Durham, Riverside Cricket Ground, also known as Emirates Riverside, is not just a cricket venue but a landmark. Known for its stunning setting with Lumley Castle towering in the backdrop, it offers one of the most picturesque cricket-watching experiences in the UK. Since its opening in 1995, it has become a hub for both county and international cricket, including memorable Ashes matches. If you are a cricket fan, then a trip to Riverside has to be near the top of the list for things to do in Durham for adults.

Activities and Features

  • International and County Cricket: Hosts a variety of cricket matches, including Test matches, one-day internationals, and T20s.
  • Historic Venue: Features Lumley Castle as a dramatic backdrop, enhancing the experience with its historic charm.
  • Spectator Comfort: Equipped with excellent facilities to ensure a comfortable viewing experience for all attendees.
  • Community Engagement: Offers events and programmes that engage the local community and cricket fans alike.
  • Accessibility: Well-designed for accessibility, making it easy for everyone to enjoy their visit.

Practical Information

Location: Emirates Riverside, Chester-le-Street, County Durham, DH3 3QR.

Opening Times: Varies depending on match schedules and events. Check the official website for up-to-date information.

Cost of Entry: Ticket prices vary based on the match and seating area. Advanced booking is recommended.

Parking: Ample parking available at the ground, with specific areas designated for match days.

Public Transport: Accessible by local bus services from surrounding areas and a short walk from Chester-le-Street train station.

For more info and bookings please visit: Durham County Cricket Club – Emirates Riverside

16. Escape Rooms Durham

Escape Rooms Durham

Nestled in the historic heart of Durham, Escape Rooms Durham offers an exhilarating challenge for puzzle lovers and thrill-seekers alike. Whether you’re planning a fun family outing, a team-building session, or just a unique way to spend an afternoon with friends, these escape rooms promise an unforgettable experience and one of the more cerebral Durham activities for adults.

Check out some more quirky things around the city with our guide to 19 Unusual Things to do in Durham City.

Activities and Features

  • Variety of Themes: Choose from a range of themed rooms, each with its own unique puzzles and storylines.
  • Challenge Levels: Tailored for different skill levels, ensuring a rewarding experience whether you’re a newbie or an escape room veteran.
  • Team Building: Ideal for corporate groups looking to boost teamwork and problem-solving skills in a fun, interactive setting.
  • Family Friendly: Offers puzzles that are engaging for both adults and older children, making it a great family activity.
  • Immersive Experience: High-quality settings and compelling narratives that pull you right into the story.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open daily from 10 AM to 10 PM.

Cost of Entry: Prices start at around £20 per person, varying by room and group size.

Location: Conveniently located in downtown Durham, easily accessible by public transport and close to major attractions.

Parking Options: Nearby parking available at several public car parks within walking distance.

Booking: Advance booking is highly recommended, especially on weekends and holidays.

For more info and bookings please visit: Escape Rooms Durham

17. Bowling at Lane7

Lane7 Bowling

Located right in the heart of Durham, Lane7 offers more than just bowling; it’s a full-on entertainment venue where cool vibes and fun games collide. Whether you’re planning a night out with friends, a date, or even a family outing, Lane7 has something for everyone with its trendy atmosphere and variety of activities. A trip to Lane7 is certainly one of the most fun things to do in Durham for adults.

Activities and Features

  • Bowling: Modern, well-maintained lanes equipped with all the tech to keep track of your strikes and spares.
  • Additional Games: Beyond bowling, try your hand at darts, shuffleboard, or battle it out in the cricket batting cages.
  • Drinks on Point: Enjoy a well-stocked bar offering a range of beers, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • No Food, No Problem: Although there’s a lack of food options on-site, the area is surrounded by local eateries perfect for grabbing a bite before or after your game.
  • Vibrant Atmosphere: Ideal for both lively nights out and casual play, with music and décor that keep the energy high.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open from early afternoon to late evening, but check the website for specific times as they can vary.

Cost of Entry: Prices for bowling start at about £8 per person, with variations depending on peak times and other activities.

Location: Nestled in the city centre, making it easily accessible by public transport or on foot.

Parking Options: No on-site parking, but several public parking facilities are nearby.

Booking: Advance booking is recommended, especially during peak hours and weekends, to ensure your spot.

For more info and bookings please visit: Lane7 Durham

18. Prince Bishop River Cruise

Prince Bishop River Cruise

Step aboard the Prince Bishop River Cruiser for a leisurely journey through Durham’s picturesque waterscapes. Perfect for those looking to soak in the city’s rich history from a unique vantage point, this cruise offers uninterrupted views of iconic landmarks like Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle, all while you glide along the tranquil River Wear.

Activities and Features

  • Historic Views: Enjoy unrivaled views of Durham’s historic architecture, including the world-famous cathedral and castle.
  • Live Commentary: Benefit from live commentary that delves into the history and importance of the sights you pass.
  • Comfortable Seating: Relax in comfortable seating arrangements perfect for viewing the city’s stunning skyline.
  • Refreshments Available: Purchase drinks and snacks on board to enhance your cruising experience.
  • Special Themed Cruises: Look out for evening and themed cruises for a different take on the city lights and festivities.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Cruises run daily with varied timings across seasons; check in advance for specific departure times.

Cost of Entry: Adult tickets from £10, children under 12 from £5, and under 5s travel free. Family and senior discounts available.

Location: Departs from The Boathouse, Elvet Bridge, Durham City.

Parking Options: No on-site parking; nearest public parking is available within a short walking distance.

Booking: Advance booking is recommended, especially during peak times and for special cruises.

For more info and bookings please visit: Prince Bishop River Cruiser

19. The Holy GrAle

The Holy GrAle

Tucked away on Crossgate, The Holy GrAle in Durham is a modern craft beer bar that marries a traditional pub atmosphere with a diverse and ever-changing beer selection. Established by the former landlord of Ye Old Elm Tree, this venue has quickly become a firm local favorite amongst the different adult activities in Durham. The Holy GrAle is known for its warm, open-plan layout and the occasional live music sessions in its unique vaulted basement. It’s the perfect spot for beer aficionados and casual drinkers alike who are looking for quality drinks in a cosy setting.

Activities and Features

  • Craft Beer and Ales: Offers several keg taps and two handpulls with an ever-changing lineup of beers.
  • Bottled Beer Selection: Large fridges full of a diverse range of bottled and canned beers from around the world.
  • Live Music Events: The vaulted basement hosts occasional live music, adding to the lively atmosphere.
  • Cosy Ambiance: Enjoy your drinks in a friendly, open-plan space with a rustic feel.
  • Community Gatherings: A popular spot for community events and a great place to meet locals and other visitors.

Practical Information

Opening Hours: Open from 3:00 PM to 11:30 PM on weekdays, and from 12:00 PM to 11:30 PM on weekends.

Location: 57 Crossgate, Durham, DH1 4PR.

Contact: You can reach them at (0191) 386 3851 for more details or to check event schedules.

Parking: Limited street parking available; public car parks nearby.

Accessibility: Main areas are accessible, but some parts like the basement might have limited access.

For more info and bookings, visit their official WhatPub listing.

20. Swimming at Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre

Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre

Located in the heart of Durham, Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre offers a top-notch swimming experience perfect for families, fitness enthusiasts, and casual swimmers alike. With state-of-the-art facilities and a variety of aquatic programs, this centre caters to all ages and abilities, ensuring a splash of fun and fitness for everyone.

Activities and Features

  • 25-Meter Main Pool: Ideal for lap swimming and aqua fitness classes, catering to all fitness levels.
  • Teaching Pool: Perfect for children and beginners, with lessons available to help new swimmers gain confidence in the water.
  • Aqua Classes: From aqua aerobics to specialized sessions for seniors, the centre offers a range of water-based fitness options.
  • Learn to Swim Programs: Comprehensive swim programs for babies, kids, and adults, promoting water safety and swimming skills.
  • Disabled Access: Fully equipped with facilities including a pool hoist, ensuring accessibility for all visitors.

Practical Information

Opening Times: Open daily. Check the website for specific times as they vary by day and activity.

Cost of Entry: Various pricing options available, with single swim sessions starting from around £4.50 for adults and £2.50 for children.

Location: Freeman’s Quay, Walkergate, Durham, County Durham, DH1 1SW.

Parking: Available nearby; the centre does not have its own dedicated parking, but several public car parks are close by.

Booking: Recommended for classes and swim sessions, especially during peak times.

For more info and bookings please visit: Freeman’s Quay Leisure Centre

21. Kitt’s Pool Room and Bar

Kitts Pool Room and Bar

Tucked above CeX in Durham’s lively Riverwalk Development, Kitt’s Pool Room and Bar brings a slice of American flair to this historic English city. This novel venue combines the best of both worlds with its mix of English and American pool tables set in a space filled with American sports memorabilia. Whether you’re a serious pool player or just looking for a fun night out, Kitt’s offers an inviting atmosphere with a distinct American vibe.

Activities and Features

  • Variety of Pool Tables: Enjoy both English and American-style pool tables.
  • Sports Memorabilia: Decorated with authentic American sports items, adding to the vibrant atmosphere.
  • Themed Food and Drinks: Indulge in a menu that features American-inspired food and beverages.
  • Live Events: Hosts occasional live music and events, adding to the entertainment options.
  • Central Location: Situated in the heart of Durham, making it easily accessible for both locals and visitors.

Practical Information

Opening Hours: Open daily from 12 PM to 11 PM, perfect for afternoon games or evening hangouts.

Location: Unit 38b, Riverwalk, Durham, DH1 4SL, UK.

Cost of Entry: Free entry; pay per game with reasonable table rates.

Parking: Available within the Riverwalk Development or nearby city parking.

Contact Info: For bookings and more information, you can reach them at (0191) 386 3851.

For more info and bookings please visit: Kitt’s Pool Room and Bar


Is Durham a party town?

Durham offers a vibrant nightlife with a range of pubs, clubs, and bars, especially near the university area, making it a lively place for students and visitors alike. It’s not a “party town” like larger cities, but it has plenty of options for a fun night out.

What are Durham’s top fine dining restaurants?

Durham’s fine dining scene includes acclaimed restaurants like Faru, The Cellar Door, and Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, which offer a variety of high-end culinary experiences.

Where can I go on a night out in Durham?

For a night out, consider visiting popular spots like Kitt’s Pool Room and Bar, The Holy GrAle, Ebony Champagne Bar, Caddy Shack or Lane7, which are well-known for their lively atmospheres!

Where’s best for cocktails in Durham?

The Ebony Champagne Bar is renowned for its extensive drinks selection and cocktail offerings, making it a top choice for cocktail enthusiasts in Durham.

Where’s best for beer in Durham?

The Victoria Inn and The Holy GrAle are excellent choices for sampling local and regional beers, offering a cozy, traditional pub experience.

Does this list of things to do in Durham for adults include any activities suitable for children?

Yes, many of the activities we’ve listed as suitable for adults in Durham are perfect for children too. Such as Lane7, Durham Cathedral, Swimming at Freemans Quay and many more. Check out our list of activities to do in Durham for families with kids for more options!