The Best Places to People Watch in Durham

Let’s face it, everyone loves people watching. Whether it’s just to pass the time, to take your mind off that essay you really should be finishing or to simply to watch people hoping for something amusing – everyone does it. We’ve turned it into an art.

Chances are if you’re already an avid people watcher then you’ve already got your own specially selected spots where you can settle down and watch the world go by. However, if you are a part-timer yet to find the perfect spot then here are some suggestions to help turn you into a pro:

1) Library

The library is an ideal place to people watch. What better way to procrastinate from your studies than to observe the guy dosed up on Red Bull who has been there for hours, or the girl who clearly couldn’t care less about what the article she is reading says but is more concerned with flirting with the guy she’s sat next to? Perfect for everyone!

All the open space means a prime people watching location

2) Durham’s Restaurants

Personally I’d highly recommend restaurants as a people watching location, particularly Zen or Fat Buddha. Though they may be expensive, watching someone try to impress by using chopsticks when they clearly can’t is priceless – especially when they’re trying to pick up that piece of chicken for the sixth time. Otherwise keep a look out for people wearing white at Italian restaurants, the large quantities of tomato sauce can spell a recipe for primetime entertainment!

Should have stuck with a fork

3) Chapters

With its massive front windows Chapter’s makes a great people watching space. However, be warned, it is also very easy to be caught people watching here as everyone knows that’s exactly why people are there. A good people watcher sees but isn’t seen, so Chapter’s is a place best left to the experienced people watcher.

Professionals in action

4) Bus Station

There is no better place to observe the locals of Durham than the bus station. A close second being the takeaways on Claypath on a Saturday night.

This site provides so many different types of people you never know what’s coming. You might just see some little old ladies on their way home after doing a bit of grocery shopping or, more likely some casual drug dealing outside the entrance. Either way pick up a top from JD sports buy a gravy and chips and no-one will give you a second look.

Fascinating but best not to get too close

5) Caffe Nero

Similar to Chapter’s, a prime location in the centre of town good for its large window facing the street – keep your wits about you, it’s all about subtlety here.

He knows what we’re talking about

6) Tesco

The obligatory shopping trip is a great chance to be a bit nosey and peek in other people’s shopping baskets. Judge that person for getting all those packets of biscuits or recoil in shame from the person’s basket that is so full of healthy things that you feel you may as well give up and head to McDonalds.

7) Maiden Castle

Maiden Castle is great for checking out the other sporty types, or envying at their sporting prowess if you are an inferior athlete. Also a great place to hope for something to go wrong. Everyone loves to see the footballer sky the ball miles over the bar or rugby player be taken out by a crunching tackle.

Women’s Rugby – a sure favourite, their matches are always surrounded by a suspicious number of distracted ‘training’ college teams.