The full Durham bar crawl is possible
You have to like timings
The whole college bar crawl is on the top of everyone’s Durham bucket list, but only a brave few ever achieve the feat.
It’s almost the stuff of myth to visit all 16 bars, drink in each one, survive and then manage to detail exactly how it was possible. But we sacrificed our livers to find exactly the best method of college bar crawling.
To get around all 16 colleges, serious planning is invaluable. If you hit up Stockton, 17:00 is the absolute latest start time. For the tame 14-college-crawl a more acceptable 20:00 is possible.
You must start in Stockton, to avoid spending two hours on a bus in the middle of the night. It’s the main stumbling block of college bar crawls. Hop on the X12 (for free) to the mythical land of QC. Home to John Snow, Stephenson and regret.
The bus to John Snow takes 52 minutes but finding the college will take another 20 minutes. John Snow is a traumatic experience all round: the bar is closed on Fridays. The replacement tinnies from their campus Sainsbury’s Local is acceptable.
Stevo is an all-together impressive bar. It’s easier to find for starters and it’s actually open on a Friday. The college drink, The Steamo, is drinkable and the bar serves pizza. Don’t be deceived though, the X12 is dodgy with timings so you don’t want to be too delayed with Chicago Town pizza.
St Hild & St Bede
A potential bar crawl breaker or maker. The trek all the way out to H&B means the Vernon Arms is left neglected. Worth the walk, they however, don’t serve any college drinks.
Book a taxi in advance from H&B to Ustinov, you can attempt to blend in wth these super adult adults. Durham’s only post-grad college has a surprisingly good bar, with an even better college drink: The Crapple.
Walk quick sticks over the Teletubby house and hit up JoBo’s snooker room. The college is home to the oddly zeitgeisty college drink: The Suffragette which is well worth it.
5 colleges done. Falling behind by now you should probably run to Collingwood because it helps shatter the image that JoBo is literally miles away from civilisation.
Bigger and all together better The Stag’s Head is a diamond in very rough surroundings.
Grey college has a working man’s club vibe. Full of topless men and a little down the hill from C’Wood, Grey is home to weird ‘Absinthe’ and slushies. Honestly.
Land of ducks and mid-way through your crawl it should only be half-nine in the evening. You want to make it to the Bailey so the Skittle drink (avoid the Duckling one) should be downed without a discussion on the feather sculpture’s artistic merits.
Trevs was empty. They are super happy to see customers, seriously you’ll have a great time being the centre of their attention. Shame about their college drink.
Aidan’s has the best contraception in all Durham: the steps. Overcoming these hurdles is easy as long as you make sure it’s not formal night. We unfortunately didn’t check this and are unable to give you a guide.
In the time honoured tradition of minimising time spent in Mary’s sex dungeon bar, you should do the Mary’s Challenge – not swallowing until Cuth’s. Good girls might find delayed swallowing hard.
St Cuthbert’s Society
Cuth’s is big, with a bigger garden. It also plays News 24 on the big screen and was empty when we went. Their college drink is sweet but acceptable.
Chad’s comes with a handy already-made bar map. A speedy exit onto the Durham Northern Line will bring you safely out of their and into Hatfield.
Rocking up at the college everyone loves to hate. The airport Wetherspoon’s vibe is acceptable, but please be warned that the college should be done quickly. You don’t want people thinking you go there!
Castle is the end of all college bar crawls, tradition demands it. The elation you might feel in making it to the 16th college (with time to spare if you play your cards as well as we did) is expected. However their door security could be your worst hurdle of the night.
A strict Castle-only, peasants-no, policy is enforced and could push you to Klute sooner than you ever hoped. As much as it pains us to say it, The Undie is a destination in and of itself.
So there you have it. All 16 colleges ticked off the list in on evening, proving it is possible to even go to Stockton and also possible to go to Trevs and still have friends.