Durham Castle may be overshadowed by its more revered neighbour, the Cathedral Bill Bryson described as “the best on planet earth,” but both are part of a UNESCO World Heritage site and the castle is fascinating in its own right. Not just a historic attraction, the castle is a working college for students at Durham University. Students live in its wood panelled dorm rooms and act as tour guides for visitors. The tours take in several great sights, including the creaking black staircase and original medieval kitchen – and reveal quirky academic traditions like “sporting the oak” - but best of all is the Norman Chapel deep in its bowels. Its historic use as a chapel was only recently discovered by an archaeology post graduate at the University and over the years it has doubled as a bike shed, billiards and table tennis room for students.
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