Despite its many cobbled streets and old buildings, the ancient city of Durham has good accessibility. Thanks to the work of many organisations, from the council all the way through to shop and attraction owners, there is help with accessibility and mobility.
We regularly check the accessibility of various venues across Durham city. We've picked out some of them below and have provided information on access, facilities and contact details.
We've also highlighted some of the services you might need, from the best ways to get around the city, doctors surgeries, and accessible toilets.
To help you find the information you need, we've created a map with all the major locations and amenities marked: you can show and hide the different layers to pick out the information you need. We've also created a list below, with extra information and contact details.
The easiest access to Durham Cathedral is via the accessible cathedral bus, which runs from the railway station, bus station and coach parking to Palace Green, every 20 minutes. More information can be found on the council's cathedral bus page.
There is limited blue badge access to North Bailey, but access to the peninsula is controlled and fees are normally payable.
There is ramp access within the cathedral; however, the Shrine of St Cuthbert, Chapel of Nine Altars, Gregory Chapel, Durham Light Infantry Chapel, and the North West Tower are only accessible via stairs.
Accessible toilets are available near the Cathedral Shop and Undercroft Restaurant (which have disabled lift access) and half-way round the Open Treasure exhibition.
The information desks at the West End of the Cathedral and in Open Treasure are both fitted with induction loops.
Guide dogs, hearing dogs and support dogs are welcome in the Cathedral including the Open Treasure exhibition.
Phone: 0191 386 4266
Durham Castle is a working building, and is home to some of the university's students. Visitor access is only through the guided tours.
Wheelchair access is very limited, and steps and stairways are awkward.
Phone: 0191 334 4099
The Oriental Museum is committed to being as accessible as possible.
The entrance to the museum is via a very shallow ramp from the museum carpark. A wheelchair is also available for loan in the museum. There are two dedicated parking places for those with disabilities adjacent to the museum entrance. There is no kerb between the parking area and the museum entrance.
There is a unisex accessible toilet on the ground floor.
You can find more on their accessibility statement.
Phone: 0191 3354 5691
World Heritage Site Visitors Centre
Located on Owengate which leads to Palace Green, the World Heritage Site Visitors Centre is accessible; however, Owengate is steep and narrow. An alternative is the cathedral bus service (see above under Durham Cathedral).
Phone: 0191 334 3805
Palace Green Library
There is an accessible toilet with RADAR key entry located near the reception area on the ground floor of Palace Green Library.
Palace Green Library has been adapted wherever possible for wheelchair access. There is a platform lift from the main entrance to reception. From the reception area, visitors can access galleries on the ground floor, accessible toilets, the shop and search room.
There is a second platform lift for access to the DLI Collection Gallery and the Wolfson Gallery on the first floor.
Access to Bishop Cosin's Library is only via several short staircases. Visitors have to descend 11 stairs down, followed by two climbs of four or five stairs to reach the library.
Phone: 0191 334 2932
The leisure centre at Freemans Quay has the only Changing Places toilet in the city. A second will be installed at the new Durham Bus Station on North Road once work is completed in 2022.
Phone: 0300 026 8488
Durham Town Hall
A lift provides access to all public areas in the town hall.
Phone: 0191 301 8223
University Botanic Gardens
The Durham University Botanic Gardens have a wheelchair and motorised scooter for the use of visitors.
There is also an accessible cafe in the visitors centre.
Phone 0191 334 2887
Durham Gala Theatre and Cinema
Durham Gala Theatre, Cinema and cafe are fully accessible. There are facilities for people with hearing difficulties, as well as accessible toilets.
Phone: 0191 332 4041
Durham Post Office
Durham city's main Post Office is now located in the basement of WHSmith in the Market Place.
It has non-assisted wheelchair access and pushchair access. Guide dogs are welcome and there is an induction loop available.
There are at-counter aids such as low payment counters.
Full accessibility information is on their dedicated page.
Clayport Library opposite the Gala Theatre in Millennium Place is Durham's city library. It is fully accessible and also has accessible toilets.
Claypath Medical Centre
Claypath Medical Centre has access ramps and double doors, and there is disabled parking available.
Phone: 0191 374 6888
Shopping and leisure
Durham Indoor Market
Containing a wide variety of shops and food outlets, Durham Indoor Market has accessibility ramps from the Market Place (although access is on a gradient), as well as lift access from Back Silver Street to any level. There is also an accessible drop-off point and parking close by.
The market contains accessible toilets adjacent to the lift on the main floor of the Market Hall. This is accessed with a RADAR key or by contacting staff
Guide dogs are welcome.
Phone: 0191 384 6153
Durham bus station
Located on North Road, Durham bus station provides access to the rest of County Durham and the North East. Work - lasting from winter 2020 to autumn 2022 - will see the old bus station demolished and new one built in its place.
Durham railway station
The railways station provides step free access between platforms via a subway with lift access. There is also a ramp For train access.
There are also two RNIB 'Maps for All', one inside the portico as you approach the Travel Centre, and the second on the northbound side to the left of the waiting room entrance doors.
There are also accessible ticket machines and an accessible booking office counter. There is staff help available Monday to Saturday 24 hours a day and Sunday 7am to 11.59pm.
There are toilets on both platforms, accessible via a RADAR key available from the Customer Information Points on both platforms.
There are also wheelchairs available, and an induction loop.
The following taxi companies advertise wheelchair accessible vehicles. They are all based in the city.
1st Class Private Hire: 07793 146 137
Belmont Taxis: 07884 307 489
Colours Taxis: 01913712727
DH7 Taxis: 01913739333
DMG Private Hire: 0191 3840807
Freedom Private Hire: 0191 378 9963/07923 807 518
Jamy's Taxis: 07796 865 268
JD's Private Hire: 0191 378 2555
Jovial Private Hire: 07716 661 662
Park Taxis: 0191 300 1072/07801 186 220
PB Taxi Private Hire: 0191373 3144
Pratt's Taxis: 0191 386 4040
Richardson Private Hire: 0191 373 9980