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Durham Car Parks – Where to Park in Durham for Free and How to Pay

Durham is a relatively small city, which has its advantages and disadvantages when it comes to parking. In this guide, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about Durham car parks, including the best spots, prices, free parking in Durham City and where to avoid.

Most sites are just a short walk from the city centre, but each comes with varying costs and accessibility issues. It’s also going to vary on when you plan to visit. Weekends, especially Saturday, are much busier than through the week, peaking in the summer months.

Use the guide to see how to navigate car parking in Durham City, where to park for free and how to pay.

Durham Car Parks Map

I’ve created a Durham car parks map to give you an overview of what’s available and where. This should give you a bird’s eye view of where to park in the general area that you’re coming from.

Cheapest Parking Options in Durham 

Parking in Durham is relatively cheap compared to most major cities. There’s an abundance of Durham car parks and on-street parking in the city, so you can always get a spot. Prices do range though and the closer you get to the City Centre, the more expensive it becomes.

In this section, I’ve included a breakdown of the cheapest parking options in the city based on a one, four, six and 24-hour timeframe. Some sites have a minimum buy of two hours, so I’ve included the minimum you need to spend to cover that time.

Car Park1 Hour Price2 Hour Price4 Hour Price6 Hour Price24 Hour Price
Walkergate Car Park£2.00£2.00£3.10£5.20£9.50
Riverwalk Car Park£1.80£1.80£3.00£5.50£10.00
Durham Train Station£2.00£6.25£6.25£6.25£15.00
NCP Sidegate Car Park£0.95p£1.45£4.45£4.45£4.95
Sidegate Car Park£1.60£1.60£3.20£4.80£19.20
Prince Bishop£2.10£2.10£3.30£6.20£11.50
Durham University Hospital£3.00£3.00£6.00£6.00£6.00
The Sands£1.60£1.60£3.20£4.80£19.20
Wharton Park£1£2N/AN/AN/A

The cheapest car park in Durham is the NCP Side Gate Car Park. This is right next door to the Durham County Council Sidegate car park and not to be confused. The downside is that there are only 19 spaces, so you need to get there early to get a spot.

For those looking to stay for up to two hours, the NCP Sidegate will be your best bet again. If you can’t get in, the main Sidegate car park over the road, along with The Sands Car Park, is your cheapest.

You want to use the Riverwalk Car Park for up to four hours, and for six hours, you should use the NCP Sidegate Car Park. For up to 24 hours, the NCP Sidegate Car Park comes out on top again, but it’s a bit isolated and has no security. I’d be more inclined to pay extra and use the Riverwalk or Walkergate car parks.

Where to Park in Durham City Centre

For a small city, there are many options on where to park in Durham City Centre. Spaces are split between dedicated car parks, multi-storey car parks and on-street parking.

If you want to park on-street, from 6 pm, all day Sunday and bank holidays, parking is free in Durham City. This is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to park. However, many of these spaces are on residential streets, and some are permit-only. The council do an excellent job of highlighting when and if you can park there, so keep an eye out for those.

The multi-storey is the best option for most as there are always plenty of spaces and they are affordable. The main locations include Prince Bishops, The Riverwalk, The Sands, and Walkergate. These do get busy on weekends, but there are signs on the approach to the city which will give live info about availability located on the A690 (East) near Gilesgate and A690 (West) at Milburngate roundabout.

Walkergate Car Park Durham 

Walkergate car park Durham (formerly Freemans Quay car park) is about as central as it gets. It’s right under the Gala and has 500 spaces in total. This will provide a good base if you want to be anywhere near the city centre.

There are 500 spaces total, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen it full, even at weekends. Its location is right next to Freeman’s Quay, which hosts a gym and swimming pool and is next door to the Premier Inn, making it ideal for those staying there.

Access to the Walkergate car park Durham from the West is via the A690, taking the third exit at the Gilesgate roundabout and heading down Claypath. Take a right at the traffic lights and follow the road towards Freeman’s Quay.

For those travelling from the East, go over New Framwellgate Bridge and take the slip road before the traffic lights. Take a left up Claypath bank, then a left at the traffic lights and head toward Freeman’s Quay.

The car park uses ANPR to photograph your number plate as you arrive. No need to take a ticket, park up and enter your number plate when you want to leave in one of the machines. This will tell you how much you owe, and you can pay via card, contactless or cash. After paying, you have 10 minutes before you need to leave.

Walkergate car park Durham is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Prices start from £2 for up to two hours. A night tariff of £1.50 is applied for entrance after 6pm and exit before 6am, which is excellent value. CCTV is in operation throughout the car park and is ideal for accessing the best restaurants in Durham.

Address30 Freeman’s Pl, Durham DH1 1SW
Opening Times24/7
Price0- 2 hours – £2.00
2-4 hours – £3.10
4-6 hours – £5.20
6-24 hours – £9.50
Night tariff (6pm-6am) – £1.50
Total Spaces500
Disabled SpacesYes
Toilet Facilities/Baby Changing No
Walk to Market Place (Centre) Less than 1 minute
Payment OptionsCard/Contactless/Cash
Height Restrictions2.10m
EV ChargingYes 

Riverwalk Car Park Durham 

The Riverwalk Car Park Durham (formerly The Gates Shopping Centre Car Park) is another centrally located multi-storey. There are two sites to this set-up. Riverwalk Car Park 1 and 2. They are within 100m of each other, but the 2nd car park is tied to the Odeon Cinema, so if you’re going to catch a film, then this is the best place to park.

Between the two sites are 735 spaces. Car Park 1 has 470 spaces, with the Odeon Luxe Car Park (2) having 265 spaces. Both sites are good for parking and almost always have spaces, but I will add that the exit to Car Park 1 is very narrow, so if you’ve got a wide vehicle or are worried about kerbing your wheels, I’d suggest trying Car Park 2.

Both car parks are accessible via the Millburngate roundabout on the A690. If you’re travelling from the West, take a right at the traffic lights; from the East, take a left. Then, about 50m down the bank and turn left. Car Park 1 is directly on your right, and Car Park 2 is about 100m down the road.

Opening times vary for each site. Riverwalk Car Park 1 is open from 7 am to 6 pm, and Riverwalk Car Park 2 is open 24 hours. Pricing is the same for both, starting from £1.80 for up to two hours. Late night/overnight parking from 5 pm to 7 am is just £1.50, two hours longer than you get at Walkergate for the same price.

Address3 Millburngate, Durham DH1 4SL
Opening TimesCar Park 1 – 7am to 6pm
Car Park 2 – 24 hours
Price0- 2 hours – £1.80
2-4 hours – £3.00
4-5 hours – £4.50
6-24 hours – £10
Night tariff Car Park 2 Only (5pm-7am) – £1.50
Total Spaces735 combined
Disabled SpacesYes
Toilet Facilities/Baby Changing Yes
Walk to Market Place (Centre) 3 minutes
Payment OptionsCard/Contactless/Cash
Height Restrictions1.80m
EV Charging Yes

Durham Train Station Car Park

Durham train station car park has both short-stay and long-stay options. The location is northwest of the city centre and about a 10-minute walk to the marketplace.

There are better options if you want access to the city for a day out or to pop into the shops. However, if you’re using it as a base to take the train, it makes sense to use the Durham train station car park.

Access to the short-stay car park is via the south, where you head north on North Road and then up the station approach. You can access the long-stay car park this way, but if you’re coming from the North down the A691 (Framwellgate Peth), you can turn off at the junction before the bridge and access from this way.

There are 358 spaces in total, with the majority of those being long-stay options found on the North side of the tracks. Both car parks are open 24 hours. Flat rates for the long-stay start from £6.25, which includes access after 9:30 am and exit before 4:30 am the following day. 24-hour rates are £15, weekly parking is £60 and yearly passes are £1,650. Weekend rates are £6.25, and this is all day Saturday or Sunday, which ends at 4:30 am.

At the short stay car park in Durham train station, you get 20 minutes for free, then it’s £2 per hour after that. Machines in the short stay are card/contactless only, but you can also pay cash in the long stay.

AddressStation Approach, Durham DH1 4RB
Opening TimesLong Stay – 24 hours
Short stay – 24 hours
PriceLong Stay
Flat rate (in after 9:30 am out before 4:30 am) – £6.25
Flat rate (in 4:30 am – 9:30 am out by 4:30am) – £15.00
Week – £60.00
Quarter – £575.00
Year – £1,650.00
Short Stay
20 minutes free
1 hour – £2.00
Total Spaces358 combined
Disabled SpacesYes
Toilet Facilities/Baby Changing Yes
Walk to Market Place (Centre) 10 minutes
Payment OptionsCard/Contactless/Cash
Height RestrictionsNone
EV ChargingYes

Sidegate Car Park Durham

Sidegate car park Durham is tucked away on the River Wear. It’s accessible via the Millburngate roundabout, heading toward North Road and turning off at the bottom of the bank toward Framwellgate Waterside. You drive past both the Riverwalk car parks, and it is a great alternative if these are full.

The car park is open 24 hours and is priced at £1.60 for the first two hours, then 80p for each hour after that. You can pay by card, cash, contactless or PayByPhone. The latter is a great option if you’re not sure how long you want to stay and can buy additional time without having to head back to the car.

It’s worth noting that you only need to pay between 8 am and 10 pm. Any parking outside these hours is free. There are multiple disabled spaces, no height restrictions, electric charging points, and just a 10-minute walk to the marketplace.

As Durham car parks go, this is one of the better ones for avoiding the hustle and bustle of the city centre.

Address15 Sidegate, Durham DH1 5SY
Opening Times24 hours
Price2 hours – £1.60
80p for each additional hour. Charges only apply between 8 am and 10 pm.
Total Spaces107
Disabled SpacesYes
Toilet Facilities/Baby Changing No
Walk to Market Place (Centre) 10 minutes
Payment OptionsCard/Contactless/Cash/PayByPhone
Height RestrictionsNone
EV ChargingYes

Durham Uni Car Park

Frustratingly, Durham University doesn’t have a dedicated car park that can be used by the public to visit or use to enter the city. They state on their website that they encourage students not to bring cars and to use public transport where necessary. Those who do use cars have to apply for parking permits.

This makes it hard to park in a Durham Uni car park, but not impossible. The workaround is the park and ride, located at Howlands Farm and run by Durham County Council. The site is a great way to park and enter the city centre for as little as £2 per person.

The car park is open from 7 am to 7 pm. After 7 pm, it will close and lock any cars still in there until the morning. You may be fined for this as well. Sites are closed on bank holidays, and the last bus back is at 6:37 pm.

If you didn’t need to use the bus service, then you could buy and ticket and go about your day. You’d get 12 hours’ worth of parking for just £2, which is a bargain. Given that you’ve paid for it, you may as well take the bus into the centre, but for context, you’re about a 30-minute walk from the marketplace. On a nice day, it’s a lovely walk down the bank, but well worth getting the bus back up as it’s a challenging trek and all uphill.

AddressDurham DH1 3TQ
Opening Times7 am to 7 pm
Price7am to 7pm – £2 per person (Parking is technically free, but you need to pay to use the bus)  
Total Spaces400
Disabled SpacesYes
Toilet Facilities/Baby Changing No
Walk to Market Place (Centre) 30 minutes
Payment OptionsCard/Contactless/Cash
Height RestrictionsNone
EV ChargingYes

Durham University Hospital Car Park 

The Durham University Hospital car park is notoriously busy, and it can be challenging to get a spot. This is exacerbated during visitor hours, as you would expect.

The main hospital car park entrance is via Southfield Way (A691), turning left at the roundabout to access one of two car parks. Both are barrier-operated; you must take a ticket as you enter and pay through the machines outside the hospital.

Parking charges start from £3 for two hours, increasing to £4 for up to three hours and £60 for up to 24 hours. Exemptions are in place for blue badge holders and frequent visitors, who will not be charged for parking at the hospital. Frustratingly, only cash is accepted to pay for your ticket, so come prepared.

There are four EV charging ports, which are 7 kW and priced at £0.24 per kW. An alternative entry point is via the B6532 to the Northeast of the hospital, where you can access a pickup/drop-off point and get 20 minutes for free.

However, there is a smaller Durham University Hospital car park for you. As you enter the South (main) entrance, instead of taking a left at the roundabout to head toward the car parks, turn right and on your right-hand side is the Southfield Way car park. This car park charges just £1 for an hour, £1.90 for two hours and just £3.50 for 24 hours.

It’s a much smaller car park than the hospital, but it is right next door, and if you can get a spot, it will save you some money. You can pay via cash or phone using Tap2Park (Location ID 1064).

AddressNorth Rd, Durham DH1 5TW
Opening Times24 hours
Price2 hours – £3.00
3 hours – £4.00
24 hours – £6.00
Total Spaces320
Disabled SpacesYes
Toilet Facilities/Baby Changing Yes
Walk to Market Place (Centre) 30 minutes
Payment OptionsCash only
Height RestrictionsNone
EV ChargingYes (7 kW at £0.24 per kW)

Prince Bishop Car Park Durham

Prince Bishop car park is about as central as it gets. Access is via the New Elvet roundabout, but because of its central location, it’s also one of the business Durham car parks. Peak times are weekends between 10 am and 2 pm. You’ll likely get a spot, but getting in may take a little longer.

An ANPR system is enabled at Prince Bishop car park Durham. You drive up to the barrier, it photographs your number plate, and you pay when you leave. It’s all incredibly efficient.

The car park is open from 6 am to midnight when it will close. Prices start from £2.10 for up to two hours and peak at £11.50 for six or more hours. Night owl tariffs come into play at 6 pm, where it’s £1.50 for any duration up to midnight. You can pay with cash, card, contactless or via the TRUST parking app.

There are 400 spaces in total, with 22 accessible parking bays on Level 1 and six Pod-Point electric bays. These are free to charge for two hours, then £5.00 per hour after that. Your parking charges will still apply on top of this, and you will pay for any power used on the pods separately. Given that this is a multi-story Durham car park, there is a height limit of 2.03m.

AddressCity, Durham DH1 3UL
Opening Times6 am to midnight
Price2 hours – £2.10
2-4 hours – £3.30
6 hours – £6.20
Max – £11.50
Overnight (6 pm to midnight out between 6 am and 8 am) – £1.50
Total Spaces400
Disabled SpacesYes (22)
Toilet Facilities/Baby Changing Yes
Walk to Market Place (Centre) 1 minutes
Payment OptionsCash, Card, Contactless, TRUST app
Height Restrictions2.03m
EV ChargingYes – Free for two hours then £5/hour thereafter  

The Sands Car Park

The Sands car park is one of the newest Durham Car Parks and can be found at Freeman’s Place, not far from the Walkergate Car Park. It can hold up to 277 cars, although it’s worth noting that the top section may close in bad weather.

It’s open 24/7 and is priced at £1.60 for the first two hours, then 80p every hour after that, making it one of the cheapest car parks in Durham. The site is off Claypath, easily accessible from the Gilesgate roundabout or the slip road over the New Framwellgate Bridge.

Free parking is available between 10 pm and 8 am for those wanting to leave their car overnight. It also has disabled spaces and electric car charging ports within. A height restriction of 2.10m is also in place. Payments can be made using cash, card, and contactless, and it has recently won a Safer Parking Award.

Address78 Freeman’s Pl, Durham DH1 1SG
Opening Times24 hours
Price2 hours – £1.60
80p per hour after that
Free between 10 pm and 8 am
Total Spaces277
Disabled SpacesYes
Toilet Facilities/Baby Changing No
Walk to Market Place (Centre) 8 minutes
Payment OptionsCash, Card, Contactless
Height Restrictions2.10m
EV ChargingYes

Durham Marketplace Car Park

There’s not a dedicated Durham marketplace car park, but there are locations that are more accessible than others if you want to centre your stay around visiting Durham marketplace and the best bars in Durham. I’ve included my top five picks for Durham marketplace car parking below, and each is within a five-minute walk:

  • Prince Bishop Car Park
  • Walkergate Car Park
  • The Riverwalk Car Park
  • The Sands
  • On-street parking:
    • New Elvet
    • Old Elvet
    • Claypath

Maiden Castle Sports Centre Car Park

Durham University Campus Car Parks

Parking on Durham University grounds has been notoriously difficult for several years now. The university is keen to limit the number of cars that use the city and instead encourage public transport to be more environmentally friendly.

The main campuses are permit-only; if you’re a student or staff member, you must apply for a permit before using them. Students, you may find the following application criteria table useful:

DisabilityStudent is in possession of a blue badge.Blue Badge.
AcademicAcademic commitments that require travel to placements not easily accessible by public transport.Statement from Supervisor.
SocialStudents with childcare responsibilities for children under the age of 12.Evidence by social care letter. Evidence by letter from school.
Students who have caring responsibilities (for spouses/ relatives).
EnrichmentStudents who live in College and represent the University in high performance sport and/or the performing arts and require a vehicle to pursue these activities off campus or to transport specific equipment/instruments on campusConfirmation from Student Enrichment Directorate.
Geographical (Livers-out)A total door-to-door journey time, based on a direct journey between home and University address, of more than 75 minutes, when using public transport (bus).  Home postcode via student record.

There are a couple of workarounds for those who are visiting, which include three sites that are technically on campus but not directly linked to the University. These include:

  • Botanic Gardens
  • Oriental Museum
  • Maiden Castle

Each offers parking options outside of university permits. However, parking on each is limited, so you need to get there early, especially if you’re visiting at a peak time, such as fresher’s week or open days.

The best place for Durham Uni parking is to use the park and ride at Howlands. This is located to the South of the campus and can be accessed for just £2 per person per day. The car park will close at 7 pm, so don’t be late getting back to your car.

Wharton Park Parking Durham

Wharton Park parking options are limited, with just 25 to choose from. The park can be accessed by car between 9 am and 4:30 pm. Please note that the gates will close and be locked at 4:30 pm, so don’t leave it until the last minute to get your car.

It costs 50p per half hour to park, and you have a maximum stay of three hours. It’s cash only as well; no change is given, and there are no change machines. However, you can get change from the coffee shop on-site if you plan what you need.

You’ll get a spot most weekdays, but at weekends, it can get very busy and fill up quickly. If this is the case, you’ve got a couple of options. Either park in the train station short stay or use on-street parking. These include:

  • North Road, just down from the Cartologist (former Garden House pub)
  • Framwellgate Peth, runs adjacent to the dual carriageway about 100m up from the turning for Wharton Park.
Address10 Princes St, Durham DH1 4FJ
Opening Times9:00 am – 4:30 pm
PricePer 30 minutes – 50p
Max stay – three hours  
Total Spaces25
Disabled SpacesNo
Toilet Facilities/Baby Changing Yes (from 10 am)
Walk to Market Place (Centre) 15 minutes
Payment OptionsCash only
Height RestrictionsNone
EV ChargingYes

Car Parking in Durham City 

Car parking in Durham City is, overall, excellent. One of the best things about the city is that it never gets overly busy, even on weekends. There are exceptions to this, of course, such as the Miner’s Gala and Lumiere.

The best thing about car parking in Durham City is that it’s very affordable. Most places are under £1 per hour, and the longer you stay, the cheaper it gets. There are thousands of spots within a 10-minute walk to the centre (Marketplace), and you’ve multiple council and street parking, free after certain times.

Parking Near Durham Cathedral 

So, you want to head to Durham Cathedral and wonder where to park? Well, I’ll start by saying that you can’t park close to the cathedral, so you need to be willing to take a short walk up the bank. However, it’s worth it as it’s a fantastic place.

You’ve several options to choose from. If you want the fastest route for parking near Durham Cathedral, I’d recommend on-street parking on New Elvet, Church Street or Hallgarth Street.

All three options will give you quick access to Kingsgate Bridge, where you walk across, head up the street and are right at the Cathedral. Parking is limited, and peak times will mean it’s tough to get a spot, but they are all free after 6 pm, so it’s worth trying.

If you’re looking for Durham car parks with guaranteed spots, then any of Prince Bishop Car Park, Riverwalk Car Park and Walkergate Car Park will set you about a 10-minute walk from Durham Cathedral.

Free Parking in Durham City

There’s quite a lot of free parking in Durham City, but you need to know where to look to get the best spots. First off, all council-owned car parks (unless otherwise stated) are free after 2 pm. This includes:

  • The Sands Multi-Storey
  • Providence Row
  • Sidegate

Sites that this does not apply to include:

  • Durham City Car Park and Ride
  • Hardwick Park
  • Wharton Park
  • Riverside Park
  • Any car parks not owned by Durham County Council

In April 2023, Durham County Council removed the free parking for on-street parking after 2 pm and instead changed this to after 6 pm. Unless otherwise stated, any pay and display for on-street parking is free after 6 pm.

Some privately owned car parks also offer free parking after certain times. These include:

  • Durham Train Station Short Stay – Free 20 minutes

Given that the city is relatively small, multiple residential streets are within walking distance of the city centre. There are also free parking zones in Durham at the rugby and cricket clubs, which are free on match days.

Free streets that you can park on at any time and are within a 20-minute walk from the City Centre include:

  • The Sidings – DH1 1HS
  • West View Lane – DH1 1HZ
  • Magdalene Street – DH1 1LG
  • Heaviside Place – DH1 1JH
  • Green Lane – DH1 1JD
  • McNally Place – DH1 1JE
  • Archery Rise – DH1 4QA
  • Kirkwood Drive – DH1 4FF
  • Faraday Court – DH1 4FG
  • Dickens Wynd – DH1 3QY
  • St Georges Way – DH1 3WE
  • Richardby Crescent – DH1 3TY
  • Low Road – DH1 2LY

I will keep this section on free parking in Durham City regularly updated.

Free Parking Near Durham University 

Free parking near Durham University is almost nonexistent. All the campuses are permit-holder only, which means it’s not only hard to park for free but even for pay and display options.

If you genuinely want to avoid paying at all costs, I recommend parking in one of the estates to the West of the campus. These include the new houses at Mount Oswald and the old Cock of the North roundabout. You’ll have a 10-minute walk to the university from there; don’t block people’s drive and park considerably as these are people’s homes.

A final option would be the Duke of Wellington pub at the top of Potters Bank. They have room for about 50 cars, and it’s rarely full. Again, you’re about a 10-15 minute walk to campus, and it is a good option for free parking near Durham University.

Durham Parking Charges 

The table below will outline the Durham parking charges for locations across the city. I’ve not included on-street parking for this, as the hourly can vary depending on when and where you park. These are the best Durham car parks in the city, and each is well within walking distance of what I would consider the “centre” (Marketplace).

Car ParkPriceOpening Times
Walkergate Car Park0- 2 hours – £2.00
2-4 hours – £3.10
4-6 hours – £5.20
6-24 hours – £9.50
Night tariff (6pm-6am) – £1.50
24 hours
Riverwalk Car Park0- 2 hours – £1.80
2-4 hours – £3.00
4-5 hours – £4.50
6-24 hours – £10
Night tariff Car Park 2 Only (5pm-7am) – £1.50
Car Park 1 – 7am to 6pm Car Park 2 – 24 hours
Durham Train StationLong Stay
Flat rate (in after 9:30 am out before 4:30 am) – £6.25
Flat rate (in 4:30 am – 9:30 am out by 4:30am) – £15.00
Week – £60.00
Quarter – £575.00
Year – £1,650.00
Short Stay
20 minutes free
1 hour – £2.00  
24 hours
Sidegate Car Park2 hours – £1.60
80p for each additional hour
Charges only apply between 8 am and 10 pm.
24 hours
Durham University (Howlands Park and Ride)7am to 7pm – £2 per person (Parking is technically free, but you need to pay to use the bus)  7 am – 7 pm
Prince Bishop2 hours – £2.10
2-4 hours – £3.30
6 hours – £6.20
Max – £11.50
Overnight (6 pm to midnight out between 6 am and 8 am) – £1.50
6 am – Midnight
Durham University Hospital2 hours – £3.00
3 hours – £4.00
24 hours – £6.00
24 hours
The Sands2 hours – £1.60
80p per hour thereafter
Free between 10 pm and 8 am  
24 hours
Wharton ParkPer 30 minutes – 50p
Max stay – three hours  
9 am – 4:30 pm

Durham Long Stay Car Parks 

There are several options you can use for Durham long stay car parks. Long stay can have different meanings, but for the sake of this section, I’m going to assume anything over 24 hours is a long stay.

The Durham car park that promotes long-stay parking is at the train station. You’ve got a 24-hour pass, which will cost you £15, or you can pay £60 for the week. If you stay for the full seven days, then at £60, this will be your best option.

However, if you’re looking to stay any period less than this, I recommend using one of the 24-hour car parks in the city that will provide better value. For example, Walkergate car park is priced at £9.50 for  24 hours. If you were staying for three days, this would be £28.50, and you only pay for the time you use, instead of the train station long stay where you must pay for the full week regardless.  

There are the best Durham long-stay car parks and prices per 24 hours:

  • Walkergate Car Park – £9.50/24 hours
  • Riverwalk Car Park – £10/24 hours
  • Prince Bishop Car Park – £11.50/24 hours
  • Durham University Hospital Car Park – £6/24 hours*

* I’ve included the Durham University Hospital Car Park, priced at £6 per 24 hours, as the best value Durham car parks. But I must stress, please only use this car park if you’re using the hospital or visiting someone there. There are more than enough alternatives, and the hospital car park should only be reserved for patients and visitors.

Durham Park and Ride Locations 

Durham has four park and ride locations in the city, and they are one of the best ways to navigate the traffic on busier days. Locations include:

  • Belmont Park and Ride
  • Howlands Farm Park and Ride
  • Sniperley Park and Ride

Belmont Park and Ride Durham

For those entering Durham from the A1 (Junction 62), Belmont Park and Ride will be the best choice, located on the A690. It’s open from 7 am to 7 pm, Monday to Saturday, and the buses run every 15 minutes between Belmont and the Sniperley Park and Ride.

Stops on the bus include:

  • Millburngate Bridge
  • Wharton Park
  • County Hall
  • University Hospital

Parking at the site is free, but bus tickets are priced at £2 per person and free for those under 16. Those with a bus pass can use the bus for free after 9:30 am.

Belmont Park and Ride Route Map

Howland’s Farm Park and Ride

Howland’s Farm Park and Ride Durham is open from 7 am to 7 pm. This site is located next to the University campus off the A167/A177 roundabout and is the most centrally located of the three sites.

Stops on the bus include:

  • Church Street
  • New Elvet
  • Millburngate Bridge

Pricing is £2 per person to use the bus, but the car park is free. It does state that you can only use the car park if you use the park and ride service.

Howland’s Farm Park and Ride Route Map

Sniperley Park and Ride Durham

Sniperley Park and Ride is best for those coming from the North and is just off the A167/A691 roundabout. The service is open from 7 am to 7 pm and, like the other locations, is priced at £2 per person to use the bus but is free to park.

Stops on the bus include:

  • University Hospital
  • County Hall
  • Wharton Park
  • Leazes Road Underpass (Stand B)

All three sites have CCTV and are manned. You can leave contact details for your car at the location, and they will inform you if there are any issues. All sites have earned the Park Mark Award for Safer Parking.

Sniperley Park and Ride Durham Route Map

Electric Car Charging in Durham

Electric car charging in Durham is now more accessible than ever. The County Council have been proactive in recent years to increase the number of ports around the city, both on-street and within Durham car parks.

Most charging stations are 22kWh at a rate of 55p per kWh. There are some rapid chargers in Belmont and Neville’s Cross priced at 69p per kWh.

You get to use the chargers for one hour to charge your car, then will be charged at 5p per minute (£3 per hour) for any time over this.

In terms of Durham car parks that have access to EV charges, these include:

  • Howlands Park and Ride (4 x 7kWh chargers)
  • Sniperley Park and Ride ( 4 x 7kWh chargers)
  • Belmont Park and Ride (1 x 50kWh charger, 2 x 22kWh chargers)
  • Prince Bishop Car Park (6 x 7kWh chargers)
  • The Sands Multi-Storey (14 x 7kWh chargers)
  • Sidegate Car Park (4 x 22kWh chargers)
  • Wharton Park (2 x 22kWh chargers)
  • University Hospital North Durham (15 x 7kWh chargers)
  • Durham Train Station
  • Sidegate Car Park


Where can I find car parks in Durham?

Durham has multiple car parks all over the city. The main ones are The Sands, Sidegate, Prince Bishops, The Riverwalk and Walkergate. The city also boasts a lot of on-street parking. All Durham County Council parking is free after 2 pm.

How much does parking cost in Durham?

Parking in Durham starts from as little as £0.95p per hour. Most larger car parks work in two-hour intervals, starting from £1.60 for two hours. You can park in several spots for up to 24 hours for as little as £4.95.

Are there any free parking options in Durham?

Yes, Durham has a lot of free parking options. All car parks run by Durham CC are free from 2 pm Monday to Saturday and Sunday. The Sands, Providence Row and Sidegate are the most notable. On-street parking is free after 6 pm.

Can I park overnight in Durham car parks?

Yes, multiple sites will allow you to park your car overnight. Fees start from as little as £4.95 for a 24-hour stay at the NCP Sidegate Car Park. Multi-story options include Walkergate, Riverwalk and Prince Bishops.

Are Durham car parks safe?

Yes, all of the car parks in Durham are monitored by CCTV. Most of them have been awarded Safe Mark for car parking. Throughout the city, crime is very low in Durham.

Is there disabled parking available in Durham?

Yes, there are lots of disabled access spaces in Durham. All major car parks have disabled spaces and access to get in and out of the car park. There are also dedicated disabled bays on-street as well. All disabled parking for blue badge holders is free in Durham.

Can I pre-book parking in Durham?

Only private car parks will allow you to pre-book parking in Durham. However, due to the sheer volume of spaces available, there is no need for the vast majority of people.

Are there electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Durham car parks?

Most of the sites now have electric charging stations. Some of the sites, such as Prince Bishop, include the cost of parking at the charging stations. The Sands multi-storey has the most charging stations, with 14 available.

What are the park and ride options in Durham?

There are three park and ride locations in Durham. These are at Sniperley, Belmont and Howlands. Each car park is open from 7 am to 7 pm and is charged £2 per person to use the bus. There is no charge for the parking.

Are there any time restrictions for parking in Durham car parks?

Yes, most car parks will have time restrictions, given the time you pay for. However, it’s possible to park for as long as you like, but you must cover the costs. Most sites start from two hours as a minimum and work up from there.

Where to park for Durham Cinema?

Durham cinema has a car park attached, the Odeon Luxe Car Park 2, also known as The Riverwalk Car Park. Here you can park within a 2-minute walk of the cinema starting at £1.80 for up to 2 hours.