Five things to do in Durham to feel like the main character of a Hallmark Christmas movie

‘Tis the season to walk around town listening to Christmas movie soundtracks and daydream you’re the protagonist in a cheesy romcom

As Michaelmas term winds to a close, your friends all get cuffed, and your summatives get turned in one way or another, it’s finally time to re-enact some of your favourite Christmas classics. Perhaps, by indulging in all the Christmas spirit Durham has to offer “you’ll find that love, actually, is all around”.

1. For Love Actually go to the Durham Market Christmas Festival (2-4th December, 09:00-17:00, Market Square)

If you want to feel the festive merging of 9 different storylines come together Love Actually’-style, come down to the bustling Christmas markets where 200+ independent traders sell their wares. Among some endearingly ugly charity Christmas jumpers (one of these is pictured below) and an abundance of tweed items, you’ll find something that rocks your world harder than Bill Mack’s cover of ‘Love Is All Around’.

Alternatively, you can put ‘Love Actually’s Hugh Grant’s carolling skills to shame in the Carols for All event in the Cathedral. If carolling doesn’t tickle your fancy, the Craft & Gift Marquee on the Palace Green (entry fee of £4) might present the perfect opportunity to make your very own placards professing your undying love to Keira Knightley…

Credits to Universal/courtesy Everett Collection

2. For Edward Scissorhands go to the Rosa Mystica choir concert (5th December, 20:00, Castle Great Hall)

If you want to experience something akin to the eerie, nostalgic feeling of Danny Elfman’s ‘Edward Scissorhands’ soundtrack, but in a 13th-century setting where kings, clergy and noblemen once dined, the Rosa Mystica choir concert may be just for you!

Presenting a host of choral works exploring the different facets of the Virgin Mary and her metaphorical representation as a Rose, these otherworldly vocals will transport your mind from Edward’s dark Gothic mansion to the blissful first snow he creates carving his ice sculpture of Kim.

Credit to 20th Century Studios

Visit to buy your £10 ticket and see more info, or simply buy it at the door!

3. For Carol go to the last Osbourne’s Monday of the term (5th December)

If you want lesbian drama that ends in a night of passion rivalling Rooney Mara and Cate Blanchett’s in ‘Carol’, why not queue up for a club night at Ozzy’s? A long-term gay staple of the Durham nightlife, Ozzy’s has all the glamour (thanks to local drag queens Tess Tickle and Emma Roid) and homo-erotic tension of ‘Carol’, without any of the divorce settlement and homophobia plot points!

4.For Bridget Jones’ Diary attend a college Christmas formal or Winter Ball  

If you’re looking for a night of cheesy fun like Bridget’s parents’ New Year’s party that could potentially end in a romantic fistfight between two hotties over your affection, RSVP-ing to a college formal or ball might be the right thing to do!

The gorgeous, historical setting of a Christmas formal or Winter Ball may evoke some of ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’s Austenian source material– except you have free reign to, in Mark Darcy’s words describing Bridget Jones, “smoke[s] like a chimney” and “drink[s] like a fish”.

Most Winter Balls are traditionally black tie but I’m sure a stray Playboy Bunny costume will slip under the radar…

5. For The Holiday swap house with another student for the weekend

Tired of spending ten weeks in little old Durham? In a romantic rut around Christmas time?

Though this may be a mad idea, a ticket to Newcastle only costs around a fiver and could be the ticket to meeting your own Jude Law or Kate Winslet from ‘The Holiday’. If Newcastle is too far to travel, there’s nothing an Overheard at Durham Uni post can’t fix, including organising a Gilesgate – Neville’s Cross house swap in the name of love!

Credit to 2006 Columbia Industries, Inc. and GH One LLC.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

 10 holiday destinations that are cheaper to get to than a train ticket from Durham to London

• The 10 horrible hook-ups you’ll have at Durham Uni

• The absolute best places to go for brunch in Durham