Wait a minute, is Gilesgate becoming the new Viaduct?

Sorry to everyone who’s just signed on Hawthorn for £200pppw, but the Viaduct has had its day

By now it’s pretty clear that Durham is in the middle of a housing crisis, which has meant many students haven’t got their first choice of housing *cough cough* the Viaduct.

Traditionally the designated second year party zone, we’re sorry to inform you, the Viaduct is actually a midden – rats and mould anyone?

It’s always been completely overpriced, even before this year, and to be honest, if you’ve ever lived in Gilesgate, or literally anywhere else in Durham, you’ve generally had the better deal.

Yes, for years Gilesgate has had a bit of a dramatised reputation, but with a huge increase of students signing there this year, you’ll never be far away from someone you know.

The houses are bigger, less mouldy and some even have proper gardens – and we reckon it might just be the new Viaduct.

Firstly, it really isn’t that much farther away than the Viaduct

Gilesgate virgins would have you believe that if you are in Gilesgate, you may as well be living halfway to Newcastle. There is a misguided persistence that the Viaduct is Durham’s inner circle, whilst Gilesgate is the Outer Hebrides. This is ridiculous given that two nights ago I literally walked from Gilesgate to Palace Green in under twenty minutes.

Thanks to some detective work via the help of Google Maps, Hawthorn Terrace (the main road of the Viaduct that has more competition to get in to than Durham itself) takes ten minutes to Elvet Riverside and 21 minutes to the Billy B.

However, Gilesgate Road only takes an extra two minutes to get to Elvet Riverside and only an extra four minutes to get to the Science Site. Not bad going, even if the Gilesgate haters would shudder to admit it.

You won’t have a pet mouse in Gilesgate

By the very nature of it’s name, the Viaduct can be seen as being the centre of things – those things also being an influx of mould, damp, slugs and of course furry friends. Not looking too good now, is it?

However, as much people like to slate it, Gilesgate is much less likely come across these issues, with the houses on average being nicer, bigger and cheaper. Looks like you’ll have to get a pet goldfish to make up for the lack of creepy crawlies.

Houses there are a lot cheaper

When you are a student on a tight budget, the exorbitant cost of housing is enough to put anyone off.

Gilesgate is almost certainly kinder on your wallet, graciously leaving enough of your student loan for that extortionate last minute ticket on Overheard.

Here we compared two five bedroom houses, one from the Viaduct and one from Gilesgate. With a whopping £71 a week difference, it’s obvious that Gilesgate wins hands down.



For some unintelligible reason, the Viaduct is party central, but can really you have a party in a house that is basically falling apart? Do you really want the house to incur structural damage two minutes after turning on the speaker? The houses already quake enough every time train goes by, which is very fucking often btw.

While living two streets away from your first year corridor mates that you only actually see once a week might be great in theory, the reality is when summative season comes around, the Viaduct will be hell. At least in Gilesgate you’ll get a good night’s sleep.

Literally everyone is living in Gilesgate next year

My friends are my next-door neighbours next year and we’re living on the same street as another group of my friends, and around the corner from my friend’s boyfriend. We didn’t even plan this.

You’ll never be far away from someone you know, and your social life just by walking down the road will likely be busier than rush hour Church Street.

Two words: Big Tesco

What more could you want in life than Big Tesco on your doorstep? Pity the fools who signed in Durham City Centre who have to get the bus, or worse, resign to shopping at the extortionate and nightmarish Marketplace Tesco.

If Tesco isn’t enough, there’s also Sainsbury’s, Aldi, Lidl, Iceland, Dominoes, KFC and of course, McDonald’s, all within a few minutes walk of each other. There’s also an aquatic centre if you fancy buying that pet goldfish.

What’s more, you’ll be near Lebaneat Express, which does 50 per cent off wraps for walk-ins. Surely even Viaduct purists will be converted at that.

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