Which areas in Durham have the best local amenities? | Choosing accommodation in Durham

City straddler street durham

The Guardian has consistently ranked Durham as one of the best universities in the United Kingdom, placing it 6th with a score of 87/100 for 2023. This score is based on certain criteria, including student satisfaction with the course and teaching, and career prospects after completing the course.

Choosing Durham student accommodation may depend on a number of factors, such as the areas close to Durham’s nightlife and the distance between the accommodation and the university campus. Students should also consider the local amenities in the different areas of Durham to find the most suitable for their specific needs.

This guide will look at the most popular student areas in Durham, including Gilesgate, to compare the amenities in Durham.

What local amenities does Claypath have?

Just a quick walk from Durham city centre, Claypath is the area between The Sands and the A690 main road. It is the main road into Gilesgate and is close to various local facilities; making it a popular area for Durham students to live.

  • Durham University: 17-minute walk.

  • Durham Train Station: 11-minute walk.

  • New College Durham: 35-minute walk.

However, it is important to bear in mind that Durham University has 17 colleges that are scattered across Durham city centre. So, it might be a longer or shorter walk to your specific department.


In Claypath, the closest supermarket is a Tesco Express that is around the corner from Millennium Square, and another Express in Durham city centre that is just a 3-minute walk.

For community amenities, Durham Market Place is also a 3-minute walk and is home to 40 local independent businesses. Durham Market Place has been open for over 170 years, and is open every Saturday from 9 am to 4 pm.

City straddler street durhamOther places of interest

Claypath also leads onto Millennium Square, which hosts a variety of restaurants, bars, Durham Clayport Library and the Gala Theatre. In the Walkergate shopping centre, there is a Wetherspoons, Slug & Lettuce and Nando’s; all of which are popular with students.

If you are interested in finding the most popular food and drink places, find out more information on the best things to do in Durham here.

Are there any amenities in Neville’s Cross?

Neville’s Cross is a historical landmark just outside Durham city centre, marking the place where pilgrims from the west could first see Durham Cathedral. It is also the site of the Battle of Neville’s Cross in 1346 and is now a popular residential area.

  • Durham University: 19-minute walk.

  • Durham Train Station: 20-minute walk.

  • New College Durham: 34-minute walk.

Neville’s Cross is close to Ustinov College, which is Durham’s only exclusively postgraduate college.


This part of Durham is highly built up and is perfect for students that do not want to live near lively pubs or nightclubs. The closest supermarket, a Tesco Express, is in Durham city centre and is an 18-minute walk. There is also a Tesco Superstore that is a 21-minute walk down Neville’s Cross Bank and a Lidl for a more cost-effective shop.

To find out more information about the different areas of Durham that are popular with students, click here.

Where are the local amenities in The Viaduct?

Named after Durham Viaducts, which elevate the city’s railway line, The Viaduct area is vastly popular with students due to its lively neighbourhood. Various student accommodation options are located alongside the arched railway.

Arched bridge near durham cathedral

  • Durham University: 21-minute walk.

  • Durham Train Station: 5-minute walk.

  • New College Durham: 30-minute walk.

The Viaduct is a large residential area at the back of Durham Train Station and is one of the closest to New College Durham out of the student areas. It is highly popular due to its proximity to Durham’s nightlife.

Find out more about the best pubs, bars, and nightclubs in Durham here.


There is a Tesco Express that is a 4-minute walk from The Viaduct and a 6-minute walk from The Riverwalk, which is a shopping centre. In The Riverwalk, there are popular low-cost shops such as Savers and Poundland, an Odeon Luxe, and popular eateries including TGI Fridays and Turtle Bay.

Other places of interest

Located in The Viaduct area, there is Wharton Park, which is ideal for students wanting some fresh air and relaxation time away from their studies. Wharton Park includes a Heritage Centre, Café and Amphitheatre that provides live music such as brass bands.

Are there amenities in Gilesgate?

Gilesgate is a large diverse area located just outside of Durham city centre. Although it is slightly further away from Durham city centre, Gilesgate has a range of local facilities on its doorstep.

  • Durham University: 26-minute walk.

  • Durham Train Station: 24-minute walk.

  • New College Durham: 18-minute bus.

At Mansion Student, we provide a free buss pass to our tenants in our Durham student accommodation, making it easier to travel around the city.

Find out more about our student offers here.


There are a number of supermarkets all within easy reach:

  • Sainsbury’s Local: 2-minute walk.

  • Tesco Extra: 14-minute walk.

  • Lidl: 17-minute walk.

  • Aldi: 16-minute walk.


In Gilesgate, there are two retail parks located close together; Dragon Lane Retail Park and Durham City Retail Park. These shopping centres both have a range of bargain shops, supermarkets and homeware places like Curry’s and The Range.

Ernest Place, Renny’s Lane

Mansion Student provides student accommodation in some of the UK’s biggest and most popular cities, including Newcastle, Leeds and Nottingham.

Ernest place durham rooftop terrace lounge areaOur Durham student accommodation is based near Gilesgate at Ernest Place, Renny’s Lane, and is close to the local facilities. This includes being across the road from a Tesco Extra and an 8-minute walk to Durham City Retail Park, which has popular shops such as Dunelm, Argos, and B&M Home Store.

Ernest Place student accommodation also has its own amenities that may be of interest to students, including a gym, on-site cinema, resident lounge, roof top terrace and a quiet study room.

To arrange a viewing or to book our Durham student accommodation, contact us today.

How Mansion Student can help

Since 2007, Mansion Student has acquired, developed and maintained modern student accommodations throughout some of the most popular student cities in the United Kingdom. We prioritise your welfare during your stay, and will help you through every stage of the booking and tenancy period. Browse through our different student accommodation locations below:

If you are interested in staying at any of our student accommodations, arrange a viewing here to ensure you are completely happy with the property before booking.

Browse through our student offers here.

Contact Mansion Student today for more information about booking accommodation, or call us at 0800 652 7844

Frequently asked questions

What airports are near County Durham?

Although County Durham is close to a few airfields, including ones based at Peterlee and Fishburn, the closest international airports are Teesside International Airport (a 48-minute drive) and Newcastle International Airport (a 44-minute drive).

Where are the best places to discover the arts and culture of Durham?

County Durham boasts an array of cultural institutions scattered throughout the northeast. In Durham city centre, Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral are at the centre of the county’s history and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1986.

Find out more about the best things to do in Durham here.

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