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Durham University News


Come and enjoy our visitor attractions

(17 March 2017)

DURHAM University is inviting more people to enjoy its range of community and educational events, based out of its acclaimed visitor attractions.

The University’s visitor attractions, which include Palace Green Library, the Botanic Garden, the Oriental Museum and Durham Castle Museum, are already enjoyed by nearly 290,000 people a year, with activities ranging from major exhibitions showcasing its latest research such as Magna Carta: The Changing Face of Revolt to children’s craft sessions.

But the University’s cultural team are keen to welcome even more visitors.

Palace Green Library

As well as staging flagship exhibitions, Palace Green Library, at the heart of the World Heritage Site, hosts regular activities such as the Little Bookworms club for the under 5s and a Book Club for adults. It is also home to the Living on the Hills gallery, which tells the story of Durham.

Earlier this month, the Library opened its newest gallery. Courage, Comrades and Community was developed in conversation with local communities and delivered in partnership with Durham County Council and the Trustees of the DLI and celebrates the stories of the Durham Light Infantry.

Botanic Garden

To the south of Durham City, the Botanic Garden – 24 acres of gardens and woodlands – is open to the public all year round, with family season tickets available. There are regular tours, talks and trails, as well as opportunities for schools visits.

On Saturday 18 March, silversmith Les Howe and his wife Vivienne, an artist and card designer, will demonstrate their skills in the Garden.

Oriental Museum

The Oriental Museum is the only museum in the North of England devoted entirely to the art and archaeology of Northern Africa and Asia. This includes ancient Egyptian mummies, Chinese porcelain created for the imperial court, Japanese woodblock prints and manga.

The collections feature in CBeebies’ Teacup Travels and visitors can take a gallery trail to discover the real artefacts that inspired each episode. As well as a varied programme of temporary exhibitions, the Museum hosts the Little Dragons club for the under 5s and popular family activities such as the annual Holi Festival celebrations, where guests throw colourful power over one another.

Durham Castle

Tours, talks and events allow visitors to go behind the scenes at Durham Castle and glimpse how its past residents and current students live. On Saturday 18 March, there is a free Spring day, hosted by Castle students, with an egg hunt, craft activities and family-friendly tours. 

Out in the community, the Learning Team works with over 21,000 school children each year, reaching over 90% of primary schools in County Durham. They use real objects and manuscripts from University collections to teach history, science, literacy and numeracy sessions and much more, supported by online resources and downloadable worksheets for teachers to use in the classroom.

Something for everyone

Keith Bartlett, Durham University’s Director of Culture, said: “The University’s cultural offer includes something for everyone, and the extra visitors we bring to the North-East generate nearly £8 million for the region’s economy.

“But we are keen to welcome even more families and schools and would encourage everyone to come and explore and enjoy what we have on offer.”

For more information on Durham University’s visitor attractions, visit

For more information on Durham University’s contribution to the North-East, visit 

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