For many Durham students, these three things seem to be instrumental to the ‘civilised’ Durham Student Life. Yet, there are plenty of things to do in Durham without Alcohol.
It’s people of all backgrounds and cultures who chose not to take part in Durham’s student clubbing scene, and there are more people than you might think who don’t take part. The Students Union runs activities called ‘never miss a day’, these are events which don’t involve alcohol and include things such as laser tag and other entertaining events. If you are interested in the music scene, there are many student run productions and these are generally very enjoyable; although Klute does have a notorious reputation for its music.
Additionally, you could attend one of many student theatre productions, there’s a different show every week in the Assembly Rooms Theatre, plus shows in Colleges and other venues, as well as regular comedy nights – the good thing is that you can actually remember the night after enjoying it, rather than having a huge headache the next morning!
I find it quite sad, being a local, that the only experience people have of escaping the ‘Durham Bubble’ is the £5.80 train journey to the party animal Newcastle night life. There is so much more to do in the area. For the adventurous types there are places such as Infinite Air indoor trampoline centre (tiring, but by all accounts fun).
If that is not your thing then you could go sightseeing around the area, there is a whole different ambiance as soon as you get out of Durham City and plenty of walking trails and cycle paths with completely different scenery from the historic city, you don’t have to be a part of any sports club to do this.
There is a lot of sport to enjoy in and around Durham. Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough Football Clubs are not too far away, so you can watch Premier League Football. Gateshead International Stadium hosts major athletics events and the Great North Run, the world famous half marathon, takes place just up the road every September. Plenty of free local events take place, such as the Sunderland Air Show and the Tall Ships, along with a changing programme of exhibitions at the various museums in the city itself and the best thing is that you don’t have to travel too far to enjoy them.
I think the good thing about coming to Durham is that you can survive without alcohol and no one will think any less of you for it; I find people think it is quite a novelty I don’t do alcohol and still enjoy a busy social life. Even if you do go to events (or socials) with alcohol, there is certainly no obligation to drink and there are lots of options for people who don’t.