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 will be open 2-4pm on Thursdays and and 2-4pm Sundays between Thursday 24th March and the end of September. 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



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.



Our AGM is coming up soon on 21st April, 6.30 – 8.30pm. It will be held in County Hall, Committee Room 1B. After a short meeting, there will be a presentation and display on progress in the gardens and an opportunity to chat informally with the trustees. All welcome.


Updated website

We’re currently updating our website, and so we’re really sorry if some things aren’t yet finished or working.


Read all news posts.


Coming Events

Heritage Open Days 2016

The gardens will be open on Saturday 10 & Sunday 11 September 2016. Time to be announced.

Music in the Gardens – 11 September 2016, 1 – 4pm

Time to be announced. This is our major annual event and several music groups have already signed up. Drinks and refreshments will be served in the marquee.