DURHAM University’s popular World Heritage Site visitor attractions are to re-open to the public for the first time since March 2020, with a range of exhibitions, galleries and self-guided tours on offer.

Palace Green Library and Durham Castle will reopen on Tuesday, July 20, with the Museum of Archaeology scheduled to follow on Tuesday, July 27.

Entry to Palace Green Library will be free and the Museum of Archaeology, within the same building, will feature a new exhibition exploring the rich prehistoric and Roman archaeology of Durham.

Included will be numerous local treasures, many of which will be on display for the first time. Highlights are two Bronze Age hoards and Roman objects from the Piercebridge River Assemblage.

Durham Castle will also re-open, allowing visitors to explore the Castle and its 1,000-year history through self-guided visits. These visits allow visitors to look around the Castle at their own pace with knowledgeable guides and volunteers on hand to answer their questions.

Palace Green Library is also home to the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) Collection Gallery, which is presented in partnership with Durham County Council. The Gallery tells the story of the DLI Regiment and its presence at some of the most important events in history.

The re-opening also marks the relocation of the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre. Previously situated nearby on Owengate, the Visitor Centre now has a new home within Palace Green Library. The Centre provide visitors with an overview of the World Heritage Site, including information about what it means to be a World Heritage Site, what makes Durham significant and what there is to see and do on the peninsular.

Palace Green Library and Durham Castle have been closed to the public since the start of the first UK lockdown in March 2020. During this time, building works have been completed, staff have been carrying out improvements and working tirelessly to ensure visitors can be welcomed back into a safe environment.

Visitors will be required to pre-book an entry time for access to the Museum of Archaeology, DLI Gallery and Durham Castle self-guided visits and asked to follow any safety measures in place. Visitor numbers will be managed in line with any government requirements and with consideration of keeping a comfortable environment within the venues.

Gemma Lewis, Curator of Durham Castle and Museum of Archaeology, said: “We are really excited to be opening the new temporary exhibition, showing Roman and Prehistoric objects and tell new stories about the local history. We will also be opening the Castle again to allow visitors to explore a Castle with over 1,000 years of living history and a site where stories are still being written.”

The Palace Green Library building and World Heritage Site Visitor Centre will re-open on Tuesday, July 20 with free entry to visitors. Booking will be required for access to the Museum of Archaeology and DLI Gallery, with a maximum of six people per booking. Opening times will be Monday to Sunday, 10am to 5pm.

The Barker Research Library within Palace Green Library is also open to the public for research access to Archives and Special Collections. The Library is open Monday to Friday, 10am to 5pm, by appointment. Visit www.durham-uk.libguides.com/Libraries/barkerresearchlibrary.

Durham Castle self-guided visits will commence on Tuesday, July 20, with a maximum of six people per booking at a specified entry time between 11am and 3pm. Visiting times may vary. Admission prices are £4.50 for adults and children aged 12 years plus and free entry for children aged 11 years and under.

Bookings are open now. Visit www.durham.ac.uk/attractions.