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HMP DURHAM Visiting Information

Old Elvet,
County Durham,

Local public transport information is given below under Additional Information.

You can also access our page on General Public Transport Information for links to Rail, Buses etc.

For information about getting help with the cost of visiting (Assisted Prison Visits Scheme) we have prepared a factsheet with all the information you need. If you need a PDF reader, you can download adobe pdf reader for free.

View the HMP DURHAM Regime Info page.

Get Route Planning Directions

City/Postcode of departure
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SATNAV users can download POI files (Point of Interest) pre-loaded with all prison locations for TomTom and Garmin.

Online Library documents for HMP DURHAM

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Navigate this page: Visiting Information | Visitors' Centre | Visit Room | Visit Times | Visiting frequency | Official Visits | Local Information | Additional Information & Travel


Booking Procedure

On-line booking now available

Booking Phone No.

0191 332 3417

Booking Opening Time

Mon-Fri: 09:00-12:00 & 13:30-16:00

Minimum Booking Notice

24 Hours

Min Age Unaccompanied


Search Procedure

Rub down, metal detectors, passive drugs dogs

Visitors 1st Visit ID

Photo ID - Passport, Driving Licence etc or 2 non-photo

Subsequent Visit ID

ID required for every visit

Visitor Adult Age

16 - Adult ID required

Child Visitor ID

Not required

Disabled Facilities

Full access, disabled parking and toilets plus dedicated seating area


Use local car parks.

Hand In Money on Visit


Hand In Other Items

First 24 hours only

Book next visit on Visit


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Opening Times

Mon-Wed: 12:00-16:00 & Thu-Sun: 08:30-16:00


Hot & cold drinks, snacks & sandwiches


Disabled access and baby changing facilities

Disabled Facilities

Full access including toilets

Child Facilities


Refundable Locker Deposit


The Visitors' Centre which is a painted building on the right hand side as you approach the prison coming from the city centre is run by NEPACS. It is clearly signed - please go there when you arrive.

NOTE: The car park is not for visitor's use.


Direct Tel: 0191 332 3676


Booking on-line
You can now book visits to this prison on-line without a Visiting Order (VO).
You will need the prisoner’s full name, date of birth, prison number and prison.
Provide three alternative visit slots and you will get a confirmation email within three days.
It is still be possible to book visits by phoning the booking line but the new system should do much to overcome the frustration and waiting on the phone for hours that is currently experienced although if you are looking to book at short notice it may still be better to telephone where possible.
For more information, or to book a visit, go to:


Click Here to download Prison Service Instruction on visit booking services.


Arriving at Durham

Please arrive at approximately 09:00 for morning visits, last admission is 10:45 and at approx 13:00 for afternoon visits, last admission is 15:00.

Ensure know your VO number and have approved ID.

Booking-in will start 30 minutes before commencement of visits.

Click Here to download Prison Service Instruction on Acceptable Identification for visitors.


Moving to Visits

Visitors are called out and directed from the Visitors' Centre to the main prison and then escorted to the Visit Room.

Only cash and locker key may be taken in to visits.



All visitors to Durham are liable to be searched including children and babies. Searching is much like at a domestic airport with rub down and metal detectors and, also, passive drugs dogs.

The drugs dogs are trained not to bark or jump up and just walk past or around visitors. If you have a young child who is frightened of dogs please inform staff.

Searching is normally done by staff of the same gender although men can be searched by female staff unless they object.

Children and babies, if searched, will be searched with parents or escort present by female staff.

Religious headwear may be searched. If this is done it will be in private by staff of the same gender and you will be given ample time to replace it.

Adult visitors are photographed for the prison biometric system.



Children of all ages are welcome to visit Durham. There are unsupervised facilities for them in the Visitors' Centre and facilities supervised by NEPACS staff in the Visit Room. Parents remain responsible for their children at all times and they must not be allowed to move around unsupervised.

Children are subject to searching but this will be done in your presence by female staff.

Prams and Pushchairs must be left at the Visitors' Centre. There are baby changing facilities but you may not take spare nappies into the Visit Room: You may take a clear feeding bottle.

Should you wish to breast feed this is permitted in the main Visit Room and a screened area can be provided if required. Check with staff before feeding.

Click Here to download: KIDS VIP "Children Visiting Prison Good Practice" (2005 – updated 2011).


Disabled Visitors

Visitors with disabilities have full access to visits at Durham including adapted toilets.

Wheelchairs are permitted in the Visit Room.

It is a good idea to inform the prison, when booking, if any visitors have disabilities or special needs.


Visits Room

The Visit Room has three visitor seats per visitor and visitors can purchase a range of  refreshments and snacks for which they can take up to £15 in coins into the Visit Room.

You are allowed to embrace at the beginning and end of the visit but clothing and behaviour must not be considered indecent.


After the Visit

An announcement is made to explain that the visiting period has ceased & that visitors should exit the room and make their way back to the Visitors Centre. Prisoners must remain seated whilst visitors leave.


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Fixed seating 3 visitors plus the prisoner


Hot & cold drinks and snacks


Disabled access and baby changing facilities

Child Facilities

Supervised play area

Cash Allowed In Room

Max £10 in £1 coins

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13:45-15:45 & 17:15-19:00


13:45-15:45 & 17:15-19:00






09:30-11:30 & 13:45-15:45


09:30-11:30 & 13:45-15:45

Mon evenings - adults only

Friday evenings - families only with children

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Remand Basic

2 visits per week of 1 hour

Remand Standard

2 visits per week of 2 hours

Remand Enhanced

2 visits per week of 2 hours

Convicted Basic

2 visits per month of 1 hour

Convicted Standard

2 visits per month of 2 hours

Convicted Enhanced

3 visits per month of 2 hours

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Booking Number

0191 332 3480

Hand Items To prisoner


Receive Items From Prisoner


Report to the main reception on arrival. If you need to bring equipment with you on your visit, please advise the booking clerk when booking.


Official Visit Times

Mon: 09:30-11:45 & 14:00-15:45

Tue: 09:30-11:45 & 14:00-15:45

Wed: 09:30-11:45 & 14:00-15:45

Thu: 09:30-11:45 & 14:00-15:45

Fri: 09:30-11:45 & 14:00-15:45


PVL - Prison Video Link

Direct dial: 0191 332 3590

Main switchboard: 0191 332 3400 dial 0 and ask for 3590


Acceptable Identification
Click Here to download Prison Service Instruction on Acceptable Identification for visitors.

Good Practice Guide
Click Here to download NOMS ‘Legal Visits – Good Practice Guide’

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077 33 74 76 99

City Taxis
31 Coronation Avenue, Durham DH1 1NJ
0191 384 5113

Direct Taxis
Renny’s Lane, Durham DH1 2RW
0191 386 2002

7 Stockley Court, Ushaw Moor, Durham DH7 7NS
07941 729541


Georgian Town House
10 Crossgate, Durham DH1 4PS
0191 386 8070

Castle View Guest House
4 Crossgate, Durham DH1 4PS
0191 386 8852

Chestnut Villa B & B
Stonebridge Gardens, Stonebridge, Durham DH1 3RY
0191 383 1449

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15-20 minute walk to the prison. After leaving the station turn right and walk down North Road towards the Market Place, passing Burger King, crossing Framwellgate Bridge and passing Marks & Spencer. Stay on the right hand side and go around the corner to Saddler Street. Cross the road and take the first left. From here you will see the Royal County Hotel and a set of traffic lights. Cross the road at the lights and continue along until you see the Visitors' Centre on the right hand side. Report there if you are visiting a prisoner. If you need to visit the establishment then continue up the road on the right hand side and report to the main entrance.

Click here for bus and coach information


20-25 minute walk to the prison. Walk down the hill from Durham station and cross the footbridge and continue down the road passing Argos on the left hand side, from there you will see the Bus Station and follow the directions above. A Taxi from the train station will cost around £5.

Facilities at Durahm Station: Waiting room, refreshments, toilets and pay phone. The station is partially step free - level both sides, no interchange (subway/steps) - Difficult route around station for 200 yards. Ticket Office and Car Park are step free. No ramp or subway access between platforms 1&2.

Click Here for National Rail Enquiries


Walking from the Station

From the Train Station, walk down the hill and turn left. Go straight across the roundabout in front of you, into ‘North Road’, which leads into the City Centre.
The Bus station is situated on the right hand side.

• (Turn right as you leave the Bus Station in North Road.) Head towards the City Centre.

• Where this main road forks, follow the slip road to the right (near Burger King) into the City Centre. This leads into ‘Silver Street’, a pedestrian area.

• Head across Framwellgate Bridge and up a slight hill into the Market Place. Turn right at the Market Place, into ‘Saddler Street’ (next to NatWest).
• Follow this road for a short distance and turn left where the pedestrian walkway leads down a hill (there are some steps at the top of this hill). You will go across Elvet Bridge and there are some traffic lights at the bottom of this hill.

• Head straight across the road into ‘Old Elvet’. The Royal County Hotel is situated on the left hand side. Follow this road for approx. 1/4 mile.

The prison is located on the right, just after the road bends slightly.



From A1m follow A690 into Durham City Centre. At the roundabout take the City Centre road and turn left at the next roundabout. At the traffic lights turn left into Old Elvet, the Royal County Hotel will be on the left hand side. Follow the road until you see the visitors centre on the right hand side and report to either the visitors centre or the main entrance.

There is a very limited amount of parking space surrounding the prison at a cost of 30p per half hour. There is a Multi-storey car park situated at the Prince Bishops Shopping Centre.


The prison produce a sheet 'How to get to HMP Durham'
Click here to download a copy


Download SatNav POI file for all UK prisons

Prison main telephone numbers.
These numbers are not for booking visits but may be useful in emergencies or if you have problems booking a visit or enroute.
Tel: 0191 332 3400
Fax: 0191 332 3401


Information about visits has been kindly supplied by the prison with additional information from the Ministry of Justice and, where applicable, from the organisation who runs the Visitors’ Centre.

Information is given in good faith but is subject to change. It is a good idea to check visiting and travel arrangements before organising your visit.

If you find any information has changed or have any comments or suggestions that may assist other visitors please let us know.

Updated: August 2014

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Information supplied by InsideTime - the national newspaper for prisoners, and a wholly owned subsidiary of The New Bridge Foundation, a charity founded in 1956. Charity Reg No:1103511.

Inside Time Limited provide the details of taxi companies and accommodation without recommendation. These are merely businesses within easy distance. Visitors are strongly advised to contact the business well in advance to check availability and pricing.


Inside Time Latest Issue

Issue : December 2014

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December 2014 Headlines
> Treat Prisoners as Human Beings, Not Criminals
> What are prisons for
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> Tell us why you did it?... You must be joking I didnít do it
> Care Act - what does it mean for prisoners
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> Month by Month - December 2014
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> Is it all in the mind
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> Learning in prison
> Take your first Steps to Success in 2015
> Spotlight Police and Crime Commissioners
> From over the wall
> Over-tariff IPPs: an appeal for your stories
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> Adjudication - donít let those days count against you
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