Durham University Loop

This short walk around the university showcases the best the campus has to offer. It is suitable for a lunchtime walk for staff and students, and for a longer walk taking in the Botanical Gardens and Oriental Museum. The walk is accessible, but be ready for a steep climb through the Botanical Gardens.

Technical sheet
No. 13690459
A Durham walk posted on 21/08/21 by sarahhcfe. Update : 13/12/21
Calculated time Calculated time: 0h50[?]
Distance Distance : 2.55km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 34m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 34m
Highest point Highest point : 102m
Lowest point Lowest point : 63m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : Yes
Walking Walking
Location Location : Durham
Starting point Starting point : N 54.767168° / W 1.575637°
Download : -


(D/A) From the concourse in front of the Teaching and Learning Centre (facing up South Road) follow the signs for St Mary's College round to the right, go up the steps (or ramp) until you reach the concourse in front of the main college building.

Continue along the main avenue flanked by trees to Elvet Hill Road.
Turn left and follow the footpath around Trevelyan College. The Oriental Museum will be on your right.
Continue on Elvet Hill Road to the junction with South Road. Turn right to Howlands Park and Ride.

(1) When you reach Howlands Park and Ride you will see an entrance to your left Durham Botanical Gardens (there is a charge for this). University staff and students should swipe their ID cards will need to press the intercom to gain access.

Make your way uphill through the gardens to the main entrance of the Botanical Gardens. When you exit the front entrance bear right and walk to Hollingside Lane then turn left onto this lane.

Walk a short distance down Hollingside Lane crossing the entrance to the car park on your right and then turning right onto a footpath signposted Mountjoy Centre next to Fountains Hall.

(2) Follow this path which runs between a pond on your left and the Maths and Computing Building on your right.
When you reach the road junction, this leads up to a car park on your right, bear left in front of the Mountjoy Centre, there is landscaping and benches here.
Turn left at the access road and walk along the footpath. Alternatively, keep right and walk down the footpath next to the main access road past the car parks (which is a gentler gradient) turning left at the bottom of the hill after the small building called The Lodge.

Turn left, down the very steep footpath down High Wood, until you reach the main footpath through the university buildings, the Calman Building will be on your left (this is round).

(3) Turn left here. Those of you who walked down the main road will now reach the Calman Centre too.
Continue on the path through the university buildings bearing left after the Calman Building until you reach South Road.
Use the pedestrian crossing to return to the concourse in front of the teaching and learning centre. (D/A)

Waypoints :
D/A : km 0 - alt. 68m - Durham University Teaching and Learning Centre
1 : km 0.96 - alt. 83m - Howlands Park and Ride/Botanical Gardens Entrance
2 : km 1.55 - alt. 101m - Fountains Hall
3 : km 2.22 - alt. 64m - Calman Building
D/A : km 2.55 - alt. 68m - Durham University Teaching and Learning Centre

Useful Information

  • Transport: By bus alight at the New Inn bus stop (this is now called Whitechurch). From here, cross the traffic lights to the Teaching and Learning Centre, the big square building behind Bow School. If you are arriving by car you can park on Quarryheads Lane in front of Bow School (charges apply). Alternatively you can park in Howlands Park and Ride car park and start/finish the walk there as it is circular. There is also parking at the front of the Botanical Gardens along Hollinside Lane so you can also park there. Further parking is available at the Oriental Museum if you are visiting that too.
  • Facilities: Cafe and toilets are available at the Oriental Museum, Botanical Gardens and Whitechurch.
  • Accessibility: The route is on tarmac pavement but has some very steep inclines.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

  • Oriental Museum (open daily, but only from 12pm at weekends)
  • Check for herons and other birds at the pond at Van Mildert College.
  • Botanic Gardens
  • The steep path through High Wood is carpeted with Blue Bells in late spring, the main access road down through the university is adorned with daffodils. Look out here for rabbits, squirrels and deer, all of which I have seen in the staff car park behind the Engineering Building.
  • The Palatine Building on Stockton Road has a good collection of art, the ground floor of this building does have public access if you wish to see the art.

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