Living in Durham, England:
Tips for Moving and Visiting

five local experts
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If you've been wondering what it's like to live in or visit Durham, the Crowdsourced Explorer community can help. We asked five people living in Durham what someone who is considering moving to or visiting there should know. Here are their pros and cons, tips, and advice:

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5 comments on “Durham”

Durham is a large and old city in the north east of England. It is steeped in culture stretching back 1,000s of years with king Arthur and his round table, coal mining and the industrialisation of the UK ahe heart of its history. In present day, Durham is known for being a university; known as the ‘Oxford of the Northern England.

Durham is a beautiful and historic city, featuring many landmarks which appeal to tourists and locals. One can visit the castle, now owned by Durham University, or the cathedral, which is 100s of years old. However, Durham is a relatively small town, and it does not have the busy city atmosphere of bigger, more populous areas. This makes the city less interesting to shoppers, but also creates a pleasant balance between metropolitan areas and more relaxed countryside living.

Durham city is famously characterised by its picturesque, Harry-Potter-set cathedral, its beautiful architecture and its ‘from another era’ vibe. However, in Durham’s case the definition of ‘city’ has been seemingly contracted to apply to an astoundingly average-sized town centre, with the renowned cathedral being the only thing which determines Durham’s city status. Into these unexceptionally sized streets, two worlds are crammed. The first consists of the students, who bustle frustratedly due to their constant tardiness, and the second is comprised of the locals, who during term holidays are rewarded with spacious pavements and room for languid shopping trips, unimpeded by frantic students. Anyone visiting Durham during term time must be prepared for the interaction of these two worlds within such a minute city.

Durham is a popular tourist destination, boasting a UNESCO world heritage site; comprising Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral. Durham Cathedral was built in 1093 as a shrine to St Cuthbert. Durham Cathedral’s iconic cloisters were recently used to represent the corridors of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the Harry Potter film franchise.

Durham is a vibrant old mining city filled with old, picturesque houses. The castle stands proudly on the hill, overlooking the city. You can hear the brazen sound of the cathedral bells ringing in your ear as you pace the cobbled streets. At nighttime the city becomes full of student life with the sounds of drinking and partying coating the air.

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See other cities and towns in County Durham.

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