Find out what life is really like at Durham University

Durham CityEventsStudent experience

Top 10 things to do in Durham!

There is more to university than just the academic side. Durham has lots on offer! These experiences are not ranked – they are just my favourite things about being here.

1. Going to a Formal

Whether it be at your own college or going to another college, formals are one of the best ways to enjoy the Durham college experience. For some colleges, such as Castle and Hatfield, formals are a traditional affair with gowns. Other colleges, such as St Aidan’s, are chances to get into fancy dress. With a meal, and sometimes a champagne reception, they are a lovely way to enjoy good food good company and get to know other staff and students.

2. Going to a Summer Ball

Summer Balls are huge events in Summer term that colleges put on and generally last for 12 hours, running right through the night. There are dances, performances, food, rides and many other things. Making it to the ‘survivors photo’ is one of the main ambitions of the attendees.

3. Visiting all the colleges in Durham

All the colleges in Durham have distinctive atmospheres and even though you will always have your own college to visit, it is interesting to go and see what all the other colleges on the Durham Campus look like. It can also be a chance to explore many different areas of Durham, right from Ustinov College down to the College of St Hild and St Bede.

Find out more about Durham colleges in Lizzie’s blog – Durham’s Colleges Explained.

4. Visiting Klute

Klute is one of the most popular night clubs in Durham – it’s importance to the Durham experience is shown by the way that post Graduation a trip to Klute with your parents is generally part of the festivities. The home of cheesy pop, the songs played in there will be the theme songs to many socials and nights out with friends during your time at Durham

5. Matriculation

This will probably be your first visit to the Cathedral. It is where you are formally welcomed into the University and for me, it is where it became real that I had got a place at Durham.

6. Freshers week

Arriving for freshers or induction week can be scary – but there are so many parts of that week in Durham that make it a great experience. You will get an amazing welcome from your college and during this week you will really learn what your college is all about and make many friendships. Your college will become your home.

You can start to plan your induction week activities by checking the induction web pages and using the personal planner.

7. Post Exams

After exams, Durham has one of the longest stretches of time that you can remain in Durham for. During this time you have a chance to enjoy Durham free from deadlines and revision. There’s so much to do – you can take part in a play, learn a language from scratch, try a sport for the first time.

8. Christmas Carol Service

This is a wonderful experience where students from across Durham come together and sing carols – it is held in the Cathedral and is quite a spectacle!

9. Go to a Boat Party

Boat parties on The Prince Bishop are another classic Durham experience – whether it be for a college event or a society party, it is definitely worth going once during your time at Durham

10. Seeing Durham in the snow

Durham in the snow is one of the most magical things – it is stunning, though a bit slippery, and being built on hills there are plenty of opportunities for going down hills on improvised sleds.

Livia Higgins

I am a Combined Honours Student in Social Sciences. In the first two years of my degree I have studied modules in Politics, Criminology, Sociology and Education. I like to try lots of different activities – since the beginning of my third year I have taken up Improvised Comedy, Classical Dancing and English Corner (an SCA project that allows international students to learn about different parts of English culture and practice their English). I aspire to have a career after University that also allows me to have new experiences and meet people from all over the world.
Sign up to our Mailing List