In my research and visits to different universities, I created fact files and notes about the different courses, universities and places themselves. Durham being a collegiate university means there is a lot more to consider, as choosing the right college can greatly determine your first year. So below, I created a college guide (from an outsider perspective) alongside student opinions from online (not sure of the accuracy!) to help me decide if this is the university for me.
A bit about Durham…
Durham is located in the Northeast of England, south of Newcastle upon Tyne but only a short 13-minute train journey away. The River Wear loops around the Romanesque Durham Cathedral and Norman Durham castle. It has a small population of 65,000 approx and the university enrolls 18,000 students approx; making the student population dominant in and around the city. It is built on hills but has several shops, cafes and restaurants which are all located within a small town centre area.
Hatfield: number 3
- Hatfield is right in the middle of the Bailey surrounded by other colleges.
- Not too far from the main campus & close to town centre.
- Has a reputation of ‘posh southerners’ but remains popular.
- Nice outer buildings and close to river for scenic walks or morning runs!
- Shared bathrooms but nice rooms
St Chads: number 6
- Posh college with frontage right onto the street.
- Cool bar, conservatory with a good atmosphere.
- Its location favours the humanity student
- Parallel with cathedral means you’ll hear the cathedral bells all the time!
St John’s: number 10
- Posh, holy & small.
- Right onto the street, old-style buildings.
- Intimate bar but alright people?
St Cuthbert’s Society: number 7
- Rather non-descript building and exterior
- Cosy bar and sitting area
- Near a very pretty bridge and river Wear
- It offers self-catered flats at Parsons Field
University (Castle): number 13
- Posh Southerners! And Infamous formals.
- By the cathedral and main quad area – looks appealing but half get shoved in a red brick building outside the castle – mixed reviews.
St Mary’s: number 11
- Well-kept with garden out front, clean buildings
- Close to campus and town without being in it
- Bad Bar and possibly social activity
Grey: number 2
- Closest to campus
- Sits in the middle of the hill close to the Bill Bryson Library and New Inn.
- Not as bleak as it sounds … good views
Collingwood: number 1
- Second largest college
- Right up the hill!
- More undergrads than any other.
- Spacious bar and canteen area.
Van Mildert: number 14
- Weird layout of buildings with a pond/ ‘lake’ at the back
- Large, sporty college with a big bar
- Near other hill colleges
Trevelyan: number 12
- Ugly hexagonal buildings
- Confusing layout and overall grey feeling.
- Right next to Mildert, Aidans and Mary’s but awkwardly long distance from town
St Aidan’s: number 5
Long way up! Up the hill and 84 steps to a grey building!
Good view from top and large corridors
Way up the hill:
Josephine Butler: number 4
- Well-kept buildings and nice flats/dorms
- Only self-catered college
- 20/30 min walk to town!!
- Big bar and nice cafe
- Friendly people
Stephenson: number 8
- near JB – being re-located.
- But good rooms with en-suites, spacious kitchen.
John Snow: number 16
- Location for 2019/20 to be determined
- Mixed reviews
- Currently far from campus closer to shops.
- Weird buildings
Near the river:
St Hilde and St Bede: number 9
- Close to town but disconnected from other colleges.
- In a pretty setting by the river however.
- Big buildings but small accommodation.
- Good facilities