Contrary to popular belief, I can confirm that living in Gilesgate is not that bad. Yes, students do live here and yes, we have fun too. My biggest worry when signing my house in an area that is often joked about on Durfess was the hills. Durham is a hilly place and it seems in Gilesgate you still have to continue the climb to an even higher altitude. However, there is actually a positive side to this.
If you are a Biology student like me, or you study Psychology, then you will be all too familiar with Cardiac Hill; a hill so painful that the university has kindly provided a railing for you to collapse over when you inevitably run out of oxygen. I do this hill at least once every day. I am proud to say that I can now produce speech other than “I think I’m dying” during the strenuous climb. However, it is important to note that that is a recent development and I am in second year.
I’ll be honest, because I’m slightly further out I live in a beautiful house – 6 bed house just off of Gilesgate roundabout. Every day, I have a 25-minute walk to the science site and it’s really not that bad. I excel at complaining, it’s one of my greatest talents, and I was extremely prepared to be spending every morning and evening complaining to my friends about the hills to and from the science site. In a shocking turn of events, however, I can confirm that I have only used uber twice (probably more than most I realise but I really am that lazy).
So here I am, an extremely lazy person who loves to complain, living on a hill in Gilesgate and talking about it positively. This is because, and I know this sounds like a cliché, it really does get easier. It’s leg day every day for someone who lives in Gilesgate. Who needs the gym when you’ve got your daily exercise in your walk to and from lectures? I can honestly say that I do feel better for doing the walk every day and it has helped out with Cardiac Hill. As for the length of the walk, I live in close Gilesgate and it really is no different from Claypath or some areas in the Viaduct.
Something that livers-out will greatly appreciate as well is that Aldi, Lidl and the big Tesco are just a 15-minute walk away. The cheapest food in Durham is somewhat on your doorstep. There is also a little Sainsbury’s on Gilesgate road which is extremely handy, not to mention Hild Bede college bar, which is just 5-minutes away. Houses prices tend to be lower here too. You get a lot bigger and probably more modern houses in Gilesgate.
The decision as to where to get a house is a very difficult one, especially as a fresher who is signing a house with people you have only known for about a month. I would like to stress this because I found housing last year extremely stressful when I thought the only decent place to live was the Viaduct, but Gilesgate is a nice place to live too. There is not a single bit of me that regrets signing my house. So, to all of you still looking for houses, I recommend you have a look at Gilesgate too. Just make sure to map where exactly in Gilesgate it is because trust me, there’s a reason why that beautiful house of your dreams is so cheap.