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Why rent a car in Durham?

Durham is one of England’s most picturesque cities, a quaint and cobbled town dominated by its grand cathedral and castle. But while it may have a lot of history, Durham isn’t stuck in the past – the town’s university ensures a regular supply of students who bring their own music, art and culture to play.

Book a hire car in Durham and you can explore this beautiful old city at your own pace, before branching out to explore the stunning landscapes of the northern Pennines. Or, head to nearby cities like Middlesbrough, Leeds or Manchester and see the best that northern England has to offer.

How to get to and around Durham?

Durham is served by nearby Newcastle Airport. Pick up your hire car here and you’ll be in Durham within about 45 minutes, in good traffic. Just follow the A69 and A68.

What brands are available?

When you book a rental car in Durham you’ll be free to choose from plenty of different providers. Popular brands include Avis, Budget and Hertz – make sure to book ahead so you can pick up your car and be on your way in minutes.

You can’t visit Durham without making a trip to the cathedral and castle, so tick those off your list first. Both are almost a thousand years old, and were built not long after the Norman invasion of Britain, which makes them some of the oldest examples of still-functioning architecture in the country. Harry Potter fans might recognise a few areas of the cathedral from the silver screen – it was used for both the interior and exterior of Hogwarts in the first two films.

Must-sees within an easy drive of Durham

You can’t visit Durham without making a trip to the cathedral and castle, so tick those off your list first. Both are almost a thousand years old, and were built not long after the Norman invasion of Britain, which makes them some of the oldest examples of still-functioning architecture in the country. Harry Potter fans might recognise a few areas of the cathedral from the silver screen – it was used for both the interior and exterior of Hogwarts in the first two films.

Kids will love Adventure Valley, about 15 minutes north of the city by hire car. It’s an action-packed place, with six different playzones to explore, an on-site petting zoo, adventure golf and pony rides all to enjoy. Book online before to minimise queuing.

Not far west of Durham you’ll find the northern Pennines, a mountainous area that’s full of opportunities for hiking and mountain biking. Hamsterley Forest, about 40 minutes west of the city on the A690, is just on the edge of the area, and a pleasant place to spend an afternoon. Visit in autumn to see it at its beautiful best.

If you’re craving a little cosmopolitan comfort, Manchester (two and a half hours), Leeds (two hours mins) and Newcastle (40 minutes) are all within easy reach. The latter is Durham’s nearest neighbour, and a thoroughly modern university town that boasts the northeast’s best clubbing. It’s also home to the Great North Museum, which features exhibits on Egyptian history, space travel and everything in between.

Tips and tricks for driving in Durham

Driving in Durham is no different to the rest of the UK. Drive on the left, and keep to local speed limits. Motorways are normally 70mph, but be aware that main roads may slow to 40mph or 30mph in rural areas.

Ready to plan your Durham city break?

Inspired to visit Durham and England for yourself? Get started with this Durham city guide, and use the Expedia search tool to hunt out the best deals on flight and hotels, and to research all the best attractions.

Remember that Expedia car hire comes with no hidden fees. The price you see is the price you pay!



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