Seven alternatives to actually signing a student house in Durham

Because after all living in the Billy B is basically part of the Durham bucketlist, you tell yourself


After the recent ongoing chaos of the housing crisis, you might be wondering whether the stress of signing a house is actually worth the hassle, but not to worry, as there are plenty of creative (and at this point increasingly realistic) options.

Let’s be honest, these alternatives probably have far less mould than the average student house and on the plus side at least you aren’t going to be shelling out upwards of £180 a week for the privilege.

1. Living in the Billy B

Ahhh yes the Billy B, an absolute classic. With brand new (working, finally) water fountains and masses of plug sockets, not forgetting the Small Island Café, this is arguably one of the best locations in Durham to consider moving in to.

Especially as with over 1500 dedicated study spaces, I’m sure a few can be repurposed for student living. Basically halls but better.


Imagine brushing your teeth here

2. Sofa surfing with mates that actually did sign a house

Okay so the house is in the middle of nowhere and has dubious stains on the carpet, a leaky shower plus what looks like slugs, but you know what, it’s not tooo bad you hear yourself say. Just make sure to bring an extra couple of blankets because you can bet that your friends don’t want to put on the heating after forking out £175pppw in rent. But it does come with a good sofa so can’t complain too much.


3. Living in a garage

A garage I hear you say, well I can’t imagine why nobody has snapped that up! Got to thank JW Wood for that one. However, it does come with a lockable door, although judging from how many freshers just don’t lock their doors in college I’d say that’s hardly a massive bonus point of the property. However, as it’s not even worth breaking in to then I guess you don’t have to worry about security much.


Reply to this Durfess quickly to avoid disappointment!!

4. Camping in a field in Gilesgate Moor

As the good people of Overheard so kindly pointed out, this desirable ‘property’ (if you can call it that) has had a lot of interest, but I’m sure it can be yours for the taking. What’s not to like, scenic views, a very well ventilated property and will be great exercise for your walk to the science site, so you’ll be saving loads on that gym membership. Downsides, might need a very thick sleeping bag.


5. Living in Jimmy’s

Picture the scene, you are in Jimmies and it is 2am and just about to close. Well why not stay a bit longer you think, especially as an empty dance floor would be the perfect place to crash. Perfect, until you realise that the floor is covered in cherry woodgates and even the bouncers have given up and left. I guess at least it’s not Klute, now that would be a low point.


6. Camping on Observatory Hill

Imagine waking up every morning to a beautiful Durham sunset with the Cathedral picturesquely placed, great until you get there and it’s chucking it down with rain, you can’t see a thing and a big grey cloud is covering the view. Oh and it’s about 5 degrees colder on top of the hill than at the bottom.


Time for some arctic camping

7. Living in an Elvet Riverside lecture theatre

So as every humanities student will know, the delights Elvet Riverside has to offer are unparalleled. State of the art ventilation system you say, well I mean that is opening the window a crack apparently. Brand new lecture theatres, great, until you realise the door handle is broken and you can’t get in. Along with the brutalist style architecture it has also got a very random cleaning award, so I guess at least you won’t need to clean, aka every students worst nightmare.


Related stories recommended by this writer:

• Durham Uni has admitted housing crisis is partly caused by its acceptance of too many students

15 things that are easier to do than signing a student house in Durham

• I’m a fresher and the Durham Uni housing crisis is especially frightening for us