Skip to main content

We’re reopening our popular World Heritage Site visitor attractions to the public for the first time since March 2020, with a range of exhibitions, galleries, and self-guided tours on offer.

You’ll be able to enjoy Palace Green Library for free, including a new exhibition at the Museum of Archaeology exploring the rich prehistoric and Roman archaeology of Durham.

Durham Castle will also reopen, allowing visitors to explore the Castle and its 1,000-year history through self-guided visits.

So much to see

The Museum of Archaeology exhibition will feature local treasures, many of which will be on display for the first time. Highlights are two Bronze Age hoards and Roman objects from the Piercebridge River Assemblage, which includes the typical archaeology objects such as coins and jewellery along with the rare and beautiful such as a razor handle featuring socks and sandals to brooches in the shape of horses or turtles.

Palace Green Library is also home to the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) Collection Gallery, which is presented in partnership with Durham County Council.

The reopening also marks the relocation of the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre. Previously situated nearby on Owengate, the Visitor Centre now has a new home within Palace Green Library.

Self-guided visits to Durham Castle allow you to look around the Castle at your own pace with knowledgeable guides and volunteers on hand to answer any questions.  

Ready to reopen

Palace Green Library and Durham Castle have been closed to the public since the start of the first UK lockdown in March 2020. During this time, building works have been completed, staff have been carrying out improvements and working tirelessly to ensure visitors can be welcomed back into a safe environment.

Visitors will be required to pre-book an entry time for access to the Museum of Archaeology, DLI Gallery and Durham Castle self-guided visits and asked to follow any safety measures in place. Visitor numbers will be managed in line with any government requirements and with consideration of keeping a comfortable environment within the venues.

The fun facts

The Palace Green Library building and World Heritage Site Visitor Centre will reopen on Tuesday 20 July with free entry to visitors. Booking will be required for access to the Museum of Archaeology and DLI Gallery within the building and will reopen on Tuesday 27 July.

The Barker Research Library within Palace Green Library is also open to the public for research access to Archives and Special Collections. This library is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm, with entry by appointment only. For more details, visit the website.

Durham Castle self-guided visits will commence on Tuesday 20 July, with a maximum of six people per booking at a specified entry time.

Find out more