What does where you live say about you?

IZZY WATSON tells location how it is.

The first accommodation-related decision one must make upon arrival at Durham is all about colleges. Students can be split into three rough groups on this issue: the ‘bailey or nothing’ lot, the ones that apply to Collingwood, and the ones that don’t really give a toss and usually end up in Trevs. Regardless, the college you end up in has already defined your friends, activities and personality, right from the very first Monday of term. And then second-year comes…

The Viaduct

The Viaduct is where most fresh faces flock to first when looking for a domicile out of college, largely because it is the closest thing to college you will find as a liver-out. Safe to say, you’re not a big fan of change. Dwellers under the train tracks are the sheep of Durham, part of the general mass, the sort that carried on NekNominate for just a bit too long. You’ve probably made a new mate on the walk to lectures, and are able to spot at least one walk of shame most mornings. Props to you, you’re a sociable bunch, with numerous options for pres most nights and a not-too-horrific walk to both hill and bailey, but your independence is limited.


For lovers of all types of cuisine, Claypath offers every delicacy possible for the short walk home from Loveshack. You most likely came from a Bailey college and have lectures at Elvet, or you just never have reason to go up the hill: for all you know, it may take 3 years to walk there. In your housing choice, you were looking for a way to escape the annoying RAHs, who have thankfully congregated in the Viaduct. With a granny flat for three at £50 a week and a Woksupp two doors down, you think you’re sorted.


You guys had a bloody nightmare. Couldn’t find the right housemates? Found the right housemates but couldn’t agree on a house? Just left it a bit late? Now you’re stuck in the desolate wilderness that is Gilesgate, so far out of town that it’s apparently possible to collapse from exhaustion and dehydration if you attempt to walk. You’ve had no option but to succumb to a love of Abra-Kebab-Ra take aways and big Tesco, and swap a social life, the opportunity to talk to anyone not from Gilesgate and the ability to get to and from Bill Bry in a day for considerably more money in your pocket. But where are you going to spend it?

Whinney Hill

Probably finalists or from Jo Butler so don’t really have much of a Durham life anyway. The library/Maiden Castle is your second home, and you live with fellow devotees who, like you, talk of nothing but your ‘diss’ (shortening it doesn’t make it sound cooler) or the DU sport you waste most of your time playing.


You socialites can afford to pay a bit more rent-wise (thanks, Mummy and Daddy) and make the most of it, holding the best pres and thinking its fine to pop to Tesco in your pjs. Elvet and shops within two minutes’ walk says you’re lazy, and you probably do an arts degree, meaning you never have to leave a mile radius of your abode. However, in your defence, your flat above Jimmy A’s or Topshop is probably the closest thing you will get to life after uni in Durham, interspersed with locals, ‘real people’, either working or living. You must be either big partiers or else require little sleep, so the constant din of the Cathedral bells and rowdy socials doesn’t bother you too much.

In College

Let’s just get one thing straight. Unless you’re living in the most Harry Potter-like turret of the castle as a third year, living in college post-first year is a rogue choice. Yes, you get meals included. Yes, you can fully integrate with the freshers and roll out of bed to attend any and all college societies. But know that you will still have to take the rap from your peers who found a house elsewhere. If you’re big enough to take that, go for it, providing it’s not Jo Bo, in which case: why?!