Things to do in Durham | Entertainment

Be it Ben Stokes biffing sixes at Durham’s cricket ground, watching the latest film releases and globe-trotting theatrical productions or smiling as your golf ball soars into the distance, there’s plenty to keep you happy in Durham.


While nearby Newcastle and Sunderland might have richer musical history, Durham still has plenty to shout about.

We’re not entirely sure how this venue came to be, but we’d like to think it involved lots of pub time. How else do you explain a venue as esoteric as The Old Cinema Launderette, where you can wash your smalls, get your tux dry-cleaned and you work your way through the cocktail list, all while catching some live music? Housed in the former Rex Cinema, this wonderfully quirky venue boasts the best live music programme in the city, regularly featuring names on the cusp of stardom.

Old Cinema Launderette

Factor in strong and free Wi-Fi, excellent coffee and cakes and a fully operational range of laundry services, this is one gig venue you won’t forget in a hurry.


Led by the state-of-the-art Gala Theatre, by Millenium Square, Durham is a thriving hub of cinema, plays and drama, boasting sell-out comedy gigs from household names, touring productions, pantomimes, family events and more. Factor in two other intimate drama venues and you have a well-rounded theatrical city which you can check out in detail on our dedicated page to Durham theatres.

Gala Theatre

Video guide to Durham entertainment


A city rich with sporting history – none more so than the Division 2 cricket club that also hosts England international matches – Durham embraces the great outdoors and has a number of excellent golf clubs and courses on its doorstep.

Founded in 1882, Durham County Cricket Club is the most northerly of the English county teams, playing its home games at the Riverside Cricket Ground in Chester-le-Street. The ground underwent a massive redevelopment in the 90s, turning it into a 12,000-capacity venue capable of hosting international matches.

Riverside Cricket Ground

Home to world famous cricket names like Sir Ian Botham, England coach Paul Collingwood and current England all-rounder Ben Stokes, Durham won its first silverware in 2007 since turning professional in 1992. Also home to their Twenty20 team, the Durham Jets, the team have suffered in recent years and in 2016, were relegated from Division One and given a 48 point penalty for financial irregularities. The season runs from April to September each year.

Overlooking the nearby Durham Cricket Ground, Chester-le-Street Golf Club is a course fit for a king – King George VI actually, who was a regular on the course until he took to the throne in 1936. With 18 holes available and affordable green fees, the course is not only excellent value but, thanks to its location overlooking the River Wear and the hills and fells beyond, has stunning north east scenery. The Clubhouse offers a full range of eating and drinking options, as well as a snooker room, TV sport room, locker room, showers and the club’s golf shop selling everything from putters to balls (which you might well need on the 455 yard par 4 15th hole, the most difficult hole on the course).

Boasting not one but two courses, Ramside Golf Course offers a range of golf to suit most abilities. Green fees for 18 holes are reasonable, with upgrades including tea/coffee, bacon rolls and a driving range warm-up session available for a few pounds extra. The Cathedral Course is the latest addition to its facilities, offering stunning views across Durham and even as far as The Angel of the North on a clear day. The course is also home to a spa with a wide range of high-quality facials, massages, body scrubs and wraps. There are no fewer than six restaurants, cafés and bars on-site, including the AA award-winning Rib Room, Asian fusion restaurant Fusion and The Clubhouse – or the 19th hole, to most golfers – where you can check out your scores, relive your birdies and take advantage of an impressive drinks menu.

Rounding out the swingers selection is Durham City Golf Course, a 20-minute drive from our Durham East hotel. One of the oldest clubs in the UK, dating back to 1887, it was originally a six-hole course that you played three times, but is now a full-sized 18-hole course that welcomes golfers of all abilities. Set in tree-lined parkland overlooking the River Browney, the course opens all year round. The Clubhouse includes a restaurant, bar, club shop and a full range of locker room facilities.

Looking for a hotel in Durham?

Choose from any one of our three main Durham hotels plus our nearby hotels at Newton Aycliffe and Newcastle (Washington) as an ideal base for exploring the fabulous medieval treasures of Durham, an ancient university city that boasts a vibrant cultural scene.