The New UK ETA for Durham and How it Impacts Travellers

Durham is a historic city in the North East of England. It is the county town of County Durham and home to Durham University, one of the UK’s leading academic institutions. As a popular tourist destination, the city has a rich heritage, with a medieval castle and cathedral.

Recently, the UK government announced the introduction of the new UK ETA system, which will affect people travelling to the UK from certain countries. Read on as we explore Durham’s history and its contemporary culture, as well as discuss everything visitors need to know about the new UK ETA for Durham.

The History of Durham

Durham’s origins

The name ‘Durham’ comes from the Old English ‘dun’, meaning ‘hillfort’, and the Old Norse ‘holme’, meaning ‘island’. Durham was founded around 995 AD by the Bishop of Lindisfarne, who built a wooden fortress to defend the site against Scottish army invasions. The Norman Conquest saw the construction of a stone castle in 1072, which was often remodelled by prince-bishops during the medieval period.

Durham Cathedral, which sits on a hill overlooking the city, was also built during this time. Durham became an important pilgrimage centre, and its popularity only increased when the remains of Saint Cuthbert were moved to the cathedral in 1104. Today, Durham is a thriving city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Early prince-bishops and the political upheaval of Durham

Situated in a strategic location and surrounded by three rivers, Durham was able to repel enemy attacks and establish a thriving community. However, throughout the 11th century, William the Conqueror faced many threats from within and outside his kingdom.

To secure loyalty from the powerful prince-bishops, he granted them more power and authority. As a result, Durham flourished as a centre of politics, religion and culture. Bishop Thomas Hatfield helped defeat David II of Scotland in 1346, solidifying Durham’s status as a major political player.

However, all this came to an end with the Reformation period, when the split between the Catholic and Protestant branches of Christianity led to a decline in the power of the bishops. The English Civil Wars in the 1640s dealt another blow to Durham, as the position of Bishop was abolished during this time.

Things to See in Durham

Durham Cathedral

Durham Cathedral was built in the 11th century and is widely considered to be a fine example of Norman architecture in England. The cathedral was built on the orders of William the Conquerer, and its construction was overseen and undertaken by Norman monks. The cathedral is built from local sandstone, and its design draws heavily from Romanesque traditions.

In 1997, parts of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone were filmed at Durham Castle, and in 2002, parts of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets were filmed here as well. Today, guided tours are available, and tickets can be purchased at Palace Green Library. Durham Cathedral currently serves as the seat of the Bishop of Durham and is a popular tourist attraction in the city.

Durham Castle

The construction of Durham Castle began in 1072 under the leadership of William the Conqueror. The castle was built to serve as a residence for the Bishops of Durham in an effort to gain control over the rebellious North of England. The castle is mostly made of local stone and is an example of Norman architecture.

Oriental Museum

The Oriental Museum in Durham is part of Durham University and houses over 23,000 artefacts. The museum is home to a wide variety of objects from different countries and cultures, including China, Japan, Korea, and South Asia. Visitors can learn about the histories and cultures of these regions through the exhibits and artefacts on display. The museum also offers a range of educational programmes and events.

Introducing the New UK ETA for Durham

The UK government announced the introduction of the new ETA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) scheme in order to tighten its border control starting from 2023/2024. The new system is designed to streamline the process of verifying the identity of foreign visitors to the country. The main responsibility of border control is to ensure that all visitors to the UK have the right to enter and remain in the country legally.

The Nationality and Borders Act 2022 provides for a number of changes to the way in which the UK checks and verifies foreign travellers. The most significant change is the introduction of this ETA scheme. Under this scheme, all visitors to the UK will be required to obtain an electronic visa before they can enter the country. The ETA will replace the current paper visa application forms, allowing for a more streamlined and efficient process.

Who should apply for the UK ETA for Durham?

The new UK ETA is required for visitors from non-visa countries who want to enter the UK for business, pleasure or transit. Examples of non-visa countries are Australia, Canada and the United States. Previously, citizens of these countries didn’t need a visa to visit the UK for business or pleasure as long as they met the other requirements for entry.

Visitors from countries that hold a British visa, such as the UK and Ireland, don’t need to apply for the UK ETA. The ETA is valid for multiple entries into the UK for a period of 180 days from the date of issuance. After this time expires, visitors will need to reapply for an ETA if they want to transit or enter the UK again. For more information on who needs to apply and how to do so, visitors can read these UK ETA requirements.

What documents do visitors need before applying for the UK ETA?

Before applying for a UK ETA, visitors will need to have a valid biometric passport. They will also need to provide an email address so that they can receive their confirmation. In addition, they will need to have a credit or debit card so that they can pay the required fee. Finally, they will need to provide personal information, such as their name and date of birth.

Once all of these documents have been gathered, visitors can then begin the UK ETA application process. The application process is relatively straightforward and should only take a few minutes to complete.

What happens after submitting the UK ETA application

After an applicant submits their UK ETA application, they should wait a few days to receive an email regarding the status of their application. The email will either confirm that the applicant has been approved for their ETA or notify them of any issues that need to be resolved. If the applicant needs to provide additional information, they will be given instructions on how to do so.

Once all of the required information has been submitted, the applicant will receive their ETA within a few days. Although it is not required, applicants should keep a copy of their ETA confirmation email in case they are asked to provide proof of their visa status when entering the UK.

How is the UK ETA verified by border control officers?

Once a visitor’s application is successful, their personal and passport details will be entered into the system for electronic data capturing. When a visitor arrives at a UK border control point, the officer will scan their passport, and the matching information will come up on their screen, confirming the visitor’s identity and other details.

The officers may also ask a visitor to provide additional information or documents to confirm their purpose of travel. If everything checks out, the officer will allow the traveller to enter the UK.

To learn more about this scheme, visit the ETA FAQ.

Visiting Durham

Durham is home to Durham Cathedral, a World Heritage Site that dates back to the 11th century. The city also has a number of other historical landmarks, including the castle, which was built in the Norman era. Visitors to Durham can enjoy exploring the city’s museums and art galleries or take a scenic walk in the botanic garden.

With its renowned architecture and fascinating past, Durham is also an ideal destination for visitors worldwide. From 2024, visitors from non-visa countries will need to apply for a UK ETA for Durham. However, this should not deter visitors from enjoying all that this wonderful city has to offer.