A full guide to life in Durham as a student | How to choose accommodation near Durham student life

External view of durham cathedral

Durham is one of the smallest cities in the United Kingdom and is a short train journey from the larger Newcastle. However, as Durham University is one of the most renowned universities in the country, the small city attracts over 20,000 students yearly, which makes choosing student accommodation vital.

The guide will summarise what student life is like when moving into Durham student accommodation, including nearby nightlife, the best things to do in Durham, and local amenities in some of the most popular student areas.

What are the best things to do in Durham?

Despite being a small city, Durham boasts an impressive array of landmarks that nowadays provides an array of things to do in the North East. In 1986, the collective area of Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their historical importance. Durham Cathedral is free to enter and is popular with students and film fans due to its frequent use as a filming location in blockbusters Avengers: Endgame and the Harry Potter series.

External view of durham cathedralAlso of interest for students are The Gala Theatre and The Assembly Rooms, which typically offer concessionary tickets.

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

Ernest Place is a half-hour walk from Durham city centre or a short bus ride. At Mansion Student, we also provide a free bus pass to tenants in our Durham student accommodation, making it easier to travel around the city.

Our Durham student accommodation also has an array of things to do on-site, including a cinema room, sky lounge, roof terrace, gym residents lounge, and a quiet study room for tenants.

Contact Mansion Student today to arrange a viewing at Ernest Place.

What is Durham nightlife like?

As the city of Durham is relatively small, most of the bars are within walking distance of one another. Based on New Elvet, the Half Moon Inn is a traditional public house in a grade I listed building. From there, take a short walk over the Elvet Bridge to the popular student bar Osbournes, which hosts various student events and live music gigs.

Students may want to consider venturing to their university campus for a drink; the University of Durham has 17 colleges, and each institution has its bar. The Durham colleges are located around the city and located near the University campuses and popular student areas in Durham.

For late nights, Klute, known as “Europe’s worst nightclub”, has become a student experience known for its cheap drinks and cheesy music.

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

If you fancy staying in, our Durham student accommodation provides various communal spaces for you, your flatmates, and friends to socialise in. This includes a glass-encompassed sky lounge and rooftop terrace; perfect during warmer months.

Ernest place durham rooftop terrace lounge areaContact Mansion Student today to book Ernest Place for the next university term.

Which Durham student area has the best local amenities?

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

Gilesgate is a large, diverse area just outside Durham city centre. Although it is slightly further away from Durham city centre, Gilesgate has a range of local facilities on its doorstep. This includes a variety of close supermarkets (Sainsbury’s Local, Tesco Extra, Lidl, and Aldi) and two retail parks within walking distance (Dragon Lane Retail Park and Durham City Retail Park).

Find out more about the most popular student areas in Durham and their amenities here.

Ernest Place, Renny’s Lane

Our Durham student accommodation is in Gilesgate, opposite the Tesco Extra and just an 8-minute walk to the Durham City Retail Park. Ernest Place also has its own amenities, including a gym, on-site cinema, resident lounge, rooftop terrace and a quiet study room.

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

Contact Mansion Student to book Ernest Place 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

Do you have to stay in student halls at Durham University?

Although first-year students tend to stay in student halls, at Durham University, this is not a requirement, and there are other accommodation options to choose from. This includes private accommodation, such as Ernest Place.

Find out more about the accommodation options available in Durham here.

Can a virtual tour be arranged for student rooms in Durham?

At Mansion Student, we provide virtual tours for all our student accommodations.

Take a tour of Ernest Place, our Durham student accommodation, here.

When is the best time to look for student accommodation?

It is recommended to start looking for accommodation as soon as possible, once you have decided on the university. For shared housing, most students tend to start looking in October for the following academic year. Whereas first years and international students primarily start looking in January. For more guidance, browse through Mansion Student’s Advice Centre here.

Contact Mansion Student today to book your Durham student accommodation.

Related content

Looking for accommodation advice?