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.

In 2017, the walled Upper Garden is open on Sundays and Thursdays 2-4pm from April – September, beginning Sunday 26th March 2017.

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



Spring newsletter

Our newsletter for spring 2017 is now available on the newsletters page.


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,…


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Coming Events

Music in the Gardens

Sunday 9th July 1 – 4pm
We are holding a Music In The Gardens fund raising event on Sunday the 9th July 1.00 to 4.00pm, (which is earlier than our previous year’s September event). This event will be similar to the very successful event held last year.

Entrance is free (donations are welcomed), there are now five groups featuring Appalachian, choral, jazz, folk, popular, blues and ceilidh music.

Some refreshments are provided from about 12.30 including hot and cold drinks and home baking with savoury and sweet options. A few chairs are provided, however please bring a rug and/or chairs if you want to. You may come and go as you please during the event. A permanent toilet is now provided at the gardens as is an electricity supply!

Please see the attached poster for more information.

For the event there is only disabled parking at the gardens. Other parking is available at the University Graham Sports Centre at Maiden Castle which is now approximately a 10 minute signposted walk away as the bridge over Old Durham beck is still closed following 2012’s heavy rain. From the centre of Durham, the gardens are a 15-20 minute signposted walk on the South bank i.e. the cricket ground side past the bandstand and Durham Amateur Rowing Club, through the trees, crossing the bridge at the Maiden Castle sports ground.

If you do park at Maiden Castle, please note that Durham University are now enforcing car parking there and YOU WILL NEED TO REGISTER YOUR CAR AT THE SPORTS CENTRE RECEPTION after arrival. (Please note that there will be some building work in progress on the site plus some work on the all-weather pitches, however we are advised that there will be parking available.)