Accommodation and Location
A range of types of accommodation is available for the Early Book Society and John Gower Society Congress. Both single and double rooms are being held for conference delegates in the Radisson Blu Hotel, which is 10-15 minutes on foot from the conference venue. Single and twin rooms, some en-suite, are available in University College (the Castle) and Hatfield College, which are close to the Cathedral and about 10 minutes on foot from the conference venue. If you prefer to make your own arrangements, we would also recommend the following:
- The Marriott (across the road from the conference venue): http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/xvudm-durham-marriott-hotel-royal-county
- The Premier Inn (10 minutes on foot from the conference venue): http://www.premierinn.com/en/hotel/DURBAR/durham-city-centre
- The Travelodge (15 minutes on foot from the conference venue): https://www.travelodge.co.uk/hotels/204/Durham-hotel
Or, for something a little more individual:
- The Castle View Guest House (15 mins on foot from the conference venue): http://www.castle-view.co.uk
- The Georgian Townhouse B&B (15 mins on foot from the conference venue): http://www.thegeorgiantownhousedurham.co.uk/bedrooms
- The Kings Lodge Hotel (15-20 mins on foot from the conference venue): http://www.kingslodge.info
Please be aware that the accommodation in the Castle, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Grade 1 listed building, is not suitable for those with special accessibility requirements or limited mobility; many of the rooms are accessed by a long stone staircase and there are no elevators. Please also note that Travelodge, the Castle View Guest House and the Georgian Townhouse B&B are at the top of steep hills.
Durham City is home to several buildings of great historic interest. The Cathedral, founded in 1093, is the resting place of St Cuthbert and the Venerable Bede. It is home to the Open Treasure exhibition (with a special exhibition of Durham’s three copies of Magna Carta and Forest Charters): see https://www.durhamcathedral.co.uk/visit/what-to-visit/open-treasure. Fans of the Harry Potter series will also recognise the Cathedral Cloisters and Chapter House from the first two films. Durham Castle was built in 1072 and was for centuries the residence of the Bishop of Durham. Since 1837 it has been a Durham University college and student residence (known affectionately as ‘Castle’), in addition to being a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Both the Cathedral and Castle overlook the River Wear from the Bailey. Several other colleges (known as the Bailey colleges) occupy this area, including Hatfield College and St Cuthbert’s Society, as well as other university buildings. Elvet Riverside and Dunelm House, the conference venues, are a short walk away across the river, and up the road from these are the Bill Bryson Library, the science site and the hill colleges.
Durham is a small city, and walking is much the easiest way to get around; parking is limited and none is available near the Castle and Cathedral. Some roads in the city centre are quite steep, including those leading from the Castle and Hatfield College to the conference venue. A map of the city can be found here: http://www.thisisdurham.com/visitor-information/maps-of-durham.
How to get there
Newcastle Airport is the nearest international airport to Durham, about 40 minutes by car, or 50-60 minutes by rail. For the latter, take the Metro to Newcastle Central Station and change there for rail services to Durham – please bear in mind that the trains from Newcastle do not run after 10.30pm. Durham railway station has good access to cities across the country with major airports: rail journeys to Durham take roughly 3 hours from London Kings Cross, 2.5 hours from Manchester, 2 hours from Edinburgh and 3 hours from Glasgow. It is recommended that rail tickets be purchased in advance, as this is often cheaper. Those making multiple journeys or travelling in pairs might find it useful to look into railcard options (see https://www.railcard.co.uk/).
For those travelling by road, Durham City is 2 miles off the A1. It can be reached by leaving the A1 at junction 62 on the A690 Durham-Sunderland road and following signs to Durham City Centre. The city is 264 miles from London and 125 miles from Edinburgh. Bus services are also available between most major cities and Durham bus station, and taxi ranks are located at Newcastle Airport, Newcastle Central Station and Durham Station (on the northbound side that adjoins Platform 2). Most hotels offer parking, but do bear in mind that otherwise parking in the city centre is very limited. Prince Bishops shopping centre offers parking daily and overnight, and rates for this can be found here: http://www.princebishops.co.uk/parking. Durham City is also served by three Park and Ride sites at Belmont, Sniperley and Howlands, with a direct bus service every 10 mins to the city centre.
Taxi services from Newcastle Airport are provided by Airport Taxis (see http://www.airport-taxis.co.uk/) and Airport Express (see http://www.airport365.com/); the price is likely to be about £35, depending on the number of passengers. Some useful numbers for taxi companies in Durham are as follows (airport pickups can be booked in advance):
- Paddy’s Taxis: 0191 3866662
- Pratts Taxis: 0191 3864040
- Durham Taxis: 07961 818464
- Pollys Taxis: 07774634765
- Dunelm Taxis: 0191 3831122
- Macs Taxis: 0191 3841329