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DULib Wellbeing: Take a break

Take a break

Research shows that taking a break can be very beneficial for you and your work or studies. Long breaks, short breaks, lunch breaks, tea breaks - all can have a positive impact on wellbeing and productivity and can help to boost your performance. We've put together some activity ideas below to help you take a break and switch off from your work.

You can also visit our keeping active pages for details of walking routes in and around Durham.

If you're currently in Durham, we have a number of museums and attractions that you can visit and explore.

Palace Green Library 

Originally the University Library, Palace Green Library is now the ideal place for you to start your exploration of the World Heritage Site and some of our museums and galleries.

Our Museum of Archaeology tells Durham’s story from pre-history through to the Romans, and our World Heritage Site exhibition explores how the city has changed over the years and the work we do to protect the Site’s buildings and collections.

Durham Castle 

Visit Durham Castle to marvel at our collections, see our exhibitions and learn about the history of the castle. Durham Castle is open for guided tours throughout the year with free entry to Durham University campus card holders - please visit our website for available dates and booking details.

Oriental Museum 

The only museum in the North of England devoted entirely to the art and archaeology of the great cultures of Northern Africa and Asia - you can visit us for free and explore the museum's galleries and exhibitions.

Botanic Gardens 

Explore the many different natural areas, with new plant-life and hidden artworks around every corner. Use your campus card to gain free entry and discover plants and trees from around the world.

We've collated some ideas for taking a break from the comfort of your own home:

Explore from Home – enjoy Durham University's museums and collections online. Access our online exhibitions, learning materials, events and festivals, all from your own home! 

University Library and Collections virtual jigsaws – with puzzles featuring our buildings and objects from our collections, take a break and have a go at one of our jigsaws! You can make it as easy or difficult as you like – simply choose the number of pieces from the ‘Play As’ option in the top right-hand corner. 

Durham Online Escape Room - take on the Quest of the Rose Coins and track down six coins that are hidden across the county.

BBC Arts - bringing arts and culture into your home. 

ULC Book Club - join our very own book club where you can read and discuss a range of pre-chosen titles in a safe and friendly environment. Currently, the club runs online via Zoom on the last Tuesday of every month from 5pm-6pm. For all enquiries or to sign up, simply email

UNESCO World Heritage Site - situated on the Durham Peninsula, visit the Durham World Heritage Site website to find out more about the history of the site and the buildings on it, many of which may be familiar. 

Nature’s Audio - a “citizen science” platform intended to collate, validate and curate acoustic data that can inform us about the distribution, ecology and behaviour of sound-producing organisms, with an initial emphasis on songbirds. Nature’s Audio has been created by scientists in the Conservation Ecology Group (CEG) at Durham University’s Department of Biosciences.  

Online crossword puzzles and online sudoku - The Guardian offers various free daily puzzles (many others are also available) - you could also look for online quizzes and trivia.

Audio books - did you know that listening to books is good for you? This BBC radio 4 segment explains why: BBC Radio 4 - Radio 4 in Four - Why listening to books is good for you

Arts and Crafts - many arts or craft activities can help with wellbeing – knitting, crochet, drawing, painting, origami, colouring and many more! There are various free resources available online, including the University's 'virtual crafting retreats' – simply search the activity you’re interested in and see what you can find...