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Special Arrangements and Accessibility

Purple tabard reading

Graduands are given the opportunity to advise of any special requirements for themselves and guests when registering for the ceremony. Graduands and guests can also contact the Ceremonies Unit directly to discuss any special arrangements or accessibility issues that may affect either themselves or their guests while attending Congregation so we can provide advice or support as appropriate.

Please note there is no public parking on Palace Green (the area between the Castle and the Cathedral) and Durham city centre will be busy on Congregation days. Graduands and their guests are advised to use the various car parks situated around Durham, including Durham's Park and Ride service, and metered on-street parking which is available all over the city. Graduands and guests with mobility issues can be dropped off at the bottom of Owengate (the road that leads to Palace Green) by car or taxi. 

Information for students with additional requirements

  • On arrival, graduands should collect robes from the Pemberton Building and register their attendance. Due to limited capacity, only graduands are allowed access to the robing area. Graduands will be handed a number card at the registration desk. It is important that this card is kept safe, as it will be required when Graduands enter the Cathedral Cloisters.
  • Either guests or graduands need to collect tickets from the dining hall at Hatfield College on North Bailey, a few minutes walk from the Cathedral. Signage will be available to help direct guests and graduands.
  • Graduands gather in the Cathedral Cloisters and are lined up in order. Graduands then enter the Cathedral. During the ceremony graduands walk up 2 steps onto the stage to shake hands with the Presiding Officer before returning to their seats.
  • If you have any concerns with this process or may require assistance, contact the Ceremonies Unit.

Information for guests with additional requirements

Congregation guests enter the Cathedral from approximately 45 minutes prior to the ceremony from the Congregation Information Point on Palace Green to the Galilee Chapel entrance before being guided into the main body of the Cathedral. Guests may have to wait to enter the Cathedral and maybe standing outside for a period of time.

Guests using wheelchairs will be escorted into the Cathedral and are requested to report to the Congregation Information Point, with a companion if they wish, 45 minutes before the ceremony.

Guests with mobility issues will be escorted into the Cathedral to take a seat in the Galilee Chapel and should report to the Congregation Information Point, with a companion if they wish, 1 hour and 10 minutes before the ceremony.

Please note, companions must also have a ticket to enter the Cathedral.

Additional Information

  • Visitors to Durham are able to hire wheelchairs and electric scooters from Durham Shopmobility. Do contact them in good time as stock may be limited and is subject to availability.
  • Induction loop facilities are available throughout the seating areas in the Cathedral and those who require it should use the 'T' position on their hearing aid.
  • TV screens and speakers are installed throughout the Cathedral to support the enjoyment of the ceremony.