& Gardens

During World War Two, survivors of Dunkirk were brought here to heal, regaining strength in peaceful surroundings.

You can’t miss the rose beds
and rhododendrons.

Acres of formal gardens
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Acres of park and farm land
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Expect the unexpected

You’ll encounter playful surprises among our woodland trails and wide-open spaces.

Keep eyes peeled for inspirational art, cool wildlife carvings, vibrant floral gardens, fun family-friendly activities and live theatre, music and dance events.

We hold regular outdoor events for families, grown-ups and teeny tiny folks.

The original Georgian style house, camouflaging its priestly purpose

Experience the outdoors at Ushaw​

Thirty acres of beautiful park, gardens and woodland – just four miles from historic Durham City.

Whether you’re pushing a buggy, holding hands or exercising a furry friend, Ushaw’s park and gardens are a delightful place to unwind and leave your worries behind. 

You’ll find space to roam and recharge.

This is Ushaw, an outdoor experience so good, it’s beyond belief.

  • Accessible
  • Formal gardens
  • Woodland walks
  • 3-mile circular walking route (closed for maintenance)
  • The Bounds: grass events and play space with children’s toys
  • Woodland Play Park for under 6s
  • Quadrangle of Georgian historic house
  • Dog-friendly
  • Regular programme of outdoor events & exhibitions

Ushaw-in good times

Visit Us

Open Hours

House, Chapels & Gardens
daily, 10am–4pm

Ushaw Cafe
daily, 10am–3:30pm


Ushaw Historic House, Chapels & Gardens
near Durham City


Our affordable passes can be just for you or for the whole family!

A close up of our beautiful pink roses
A close up of our beautiful pink roses

The History of Ushaw's Park and Gardens

Our gardens tell Ushaw’s story perfectly. Once a community of faith, reinvented into one of Durham’s best visitor attractions, open for all since 2014.

When Ushaw’s school for priests closed, its gardens fell wild and overgrown.

After lying abandoned and unloved, volunteer gardeners and friends of Ushaw set about saving them.

Now fully restored, visitors love perching on our benches with a good book, sharing stories over coffee and soaking up fresh air and freedom.

400 red roses and clematis were planted in 2016 in memory of Ushaw students that fought and died in World War One.

During World War Two, survivors of Dunkirk were brought here to heal and convalesce, regaining strength in peaceful surroundings.

Now, there are beautiful borders and vivid, vibrant rhododendrons which sparkle in Summer.

Old photographs show these magnificent plants as tiny shrubs as far back as 1865.

The original Georgian style house, camouflaging its priestly purpose
Shrubs planted
Red roses memorial

Book a Guided Tour

The main House and associated buildings are accessible to all. They are a permanent home for our exhibitions, art and world renowned library. Ushaw is one of Britain’s best places to see Gothic Revival, Georgian and Victorian architecture.

You can take a guided tour or wander freely through corridors, chapels and cloisters experiencing unbroken peace and tranquillity. 

Good Selfies

Our gardens bloom bright and provide a stunning selfie spot in front of the main house, St Cuthbert’s Chapel and our Library.

Wander a little further, past unusual trees like our Holm Oak, Monkey Puzzle, Weeping Ash, Sweet Chestnut and Purple Beech.

You’ll see the outline of an old lake, dredged for clay to make bricks used to build our historic house.

Dotted around are animal carvings, the work of acclaimed carver Tommy Craggs, using wood from a sweet chestnut uprooted during Storm Desmond.

Wander in the Wolf Wood

Some historians believe Ushaw comes from the Anglo-Saxon term “Ulfs Shaw” meaning Wolf’s Wood.

For the energetic, you can enjoy a 3-mile circular route around the estate, starting at the main house and taking in the old hilltop with wide-open views of Durham’s countryside.

Everywhere you’ll find clues to our enchanting past. The Beech trees at the bottom of drive were planted in 1800 to shield against the wind and keep building works secret from nosy neighbours. On the eastern drive, the holes of a forgotten golf course now lie under fields and pasture.

(The 3 mile route is currently closed for maintenance)