Welcome to Old Durham Gardens

Established more than 350 years ago, Old Durham Gardens provide a charming public space for everybody to enjoy. The gardens lie less than a mile from Durham city centre, and can be reached through a number of pleasant woodland or riverside walks.

The gardens are owned by Durham County Council and have since 2010 been jointly managed with the Friends of Old Durham Gardens. The rejuvenation of these historic gardens is an ongoing project, with which you are welcome to help.


Visiting the Gardens

Opening Times

The Lower Gardens and orchards are open to the public at all times.

The walled Upper Garden are open through spring and summer; and we expect to open again in March / April 2017. However, we are happy to open the gardens out of these times for walking or tour groups.

Entry is free at all times, although as a voluntary group, donations are always welcome.


The gardens can be reached by footpath along the River Wear, or through the University Sports Fields. Following land slides in the area, please be aware that some footpaths may be closed for repair.

Access by car is restricted, as is parking at Old Durham. Bent House Lane is a single track, no-through-road with passing places, and can be entered only from the A181 Sherburn Road.

Our postcode is DH1 2RY.



Click on the map to expand.

Latest Activity



Music in the Gardens (2016)

Our Music in the Gardens event on Sunday went extremely well, the weather was excellent and over 730 people attended throughout the afternoon.  Thanks to all involved in the event. You can see more photos of the day on Facebook.


Music in the Gardens (2016)

Hello everyone, We are holding our annual Music In The Gardens fund raising event on Sunday the 11th September 1.00 to 5.00pm, which is the final Heritage Open Day this year.  This event will be similar to the very successful event held last year. Entrance is free (donations are welcomed), there are now six groups featuring Appalachian, classical, jazz, folk, popular,…


Newsletter – Spring 2016

Our Spring 2016 Newsletter is now available to download on the Newsletters page.  This contains an overview of works carried out in 2015, and details of events in 2016 including our AGM.


Read all news posts.


Coming Events

Gardening Day

Thursday 24 November
We are having a gardening day, including tidying up the borders and possibly planting up parts of the parterre in the walled garden. There are always lots of jobs to be done before we put the garden to bed for the winter.

If you are able to join us for all, or part, of the day( 9.30am – dusk) we would love to see you there. We will be providing hot and cold drinks, including a taste of some ciders made from ODG apples last year. Just to remind anyone who hasn’t been to the gardens recently, we now have a new composting toilet.

Please let us know if you plan to join us so we can plan tasks and drinks for the day.