Music at the cathedral

Music has been a part of worship since Biblical times. It fills the cathedral here at Durham and can speak to people of all faiths and of none.

Who else sings in the Cathedral?

Our adult voluntary choir is the Cathedral Consort of Singers. They often supplement the work of the Cathedral Choir.

On Mondays and during choir holidays we regularly welcome visiting choirs from all over the world to sing services. If you would like to bring a choir to sing services, please email music@durhamcathedral.co.uk

Choristers and Choral Scholarships

We regularly recruit young singers as Choristers. We also offer Choral Scholarships for Durham University students.

Music Experience Events

Tower climb

Various times

Conquer the 325 steps and enjoy unrivalled views over the historic city of Durham and see recently-completed restoration work up close.

We may need to close the tower at short notice because of particularly bad weather or other events taking place at the cathedral.

NOTE: One full paying adult with up to five children.


Important information:

A reasonable level of fitness is required to climb the tower. Please wear reasonable footwear to climb the steps which are steep and narrow in parts.

  • The tower may not suitable for those frightened by heights or confined spaces.
  • The tower is not suitable if you have a medical condition such as a heart or respiratory disorder which may be exacerbated by climbing stairs.
  • Pregnant visitors are strongly advised not to climb the tower.
  • No smoking in or at the top of the tower.
  • Suitable footwear is advised due to the uneven nature of the stairs.
  • No food or drink may be taken up the tower.
  • Large bags, including some large handbags, are not permitted. It is advisable to have both hands free for your own safety.
  • There are no toilet facilities in the tower.
  • There is a rest point with seating half way up the tower, but there is no seating at the top.
  • Visitors must collect a lanyard prior to climbing the tower which contains important Health and Safety information and return it upon exit.
  • Durham Cathedral is not responsible for the loss of or damage to clothing or personal possessions. The Chapter of Durham reserves the right to refuse entry to the tower at any time.
More info

Cathedral tour

Various times

Discover Durham Cathedral's hidden history on a tour with one of our knowledgeable volunteer guides.

Useful things to know

  • Tours can be cancelled or times can change at short notice when there is a special service or event taking place. Check availability below.
  • Guided tours last for approximately one hour.
  • Not all areas of the cathedral are fully accessible, and our tours do go into these parts of the building.
More info

Cathedral Secret Spaces Tour

1:00pm

This unique tour makes an ideal experience for those wanting to delve deeper into history and see parts of Durham Cathedral that are rarely open to the public. Step into the cathedral’s prison cell (if you dare!) and get up close with rare books in the 350 year old Refectory Library.

This two hour tour includes:

A chance to hear about the destruction of the Chapter House, once a place where the daily business of the monastery was carried out and see the grave covers of some of Durham’s most infamous Bishops before being immersed in the darkness of a monastic prison cell.

Enter the 17th century Refectory library to see a selection of books from the cathedral’s collection on a variety of subjects including maps, volcanoes, architecture and theology.

Complete you tour with an optional afternoon tea in Priors Hall, which includes a selection of sandwiches, homemade scones, a variety of miniature cakes, Rainforest Alliance filter coffee and Fairtrade tea.

Please note that the Refectory Library and Prior's Hall are only accessible via stairs

More info