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Why the Viaduct is the Most Popular Student Area in Durham
By Student Cribs | July 13, 2023 | Reading Time: 8 minutes
The Viaduct area of Durham is one of the most popular for students looking to find the perfect house when they choose to live out. The Viaduct is named after the railway viaduct that stretches across the streets just past North Road, although generally all the houses in the immediate area past Framwellgate Bridge will be listed as in ‘The Viaduct’.
Here are nine reasons why the Viaduct is the best place for students to live:
Live close to your friends
One of the biggest benefits of living in the Viaduct comes not from the area itself, but from the people you’ll find there. With some of the best houses in Durham, just a short walk from the city centre, you’ll find plenty of other students there too. This makes the Viaduct area pretty much the most vibrant in the city, with the potential for lots of fun to be had.
The Viaduct is one of the only places in Durham where you can live with all of your friends close by, even in the same street. Elsewhere, such as in the Whinney Hill area, the chances of being able to rent a whole street with your pals is slim to none. So enjoy being close to some of your favourite people in the world. It’ll make for some great parties and, more importantly, a great year!
Meet new people
Living in the Viaduct will let you live close to most of your friends but it will also give you the opportunity to make some great new ones too. Student housing in Durham is integrated with normal residential housing, so you can often find full time residents living right next to stressed out finalists and party loving second years. The Viaduct is a little bit different in that, as one of the most popular locations for student digs, your neighbours are pretty likely to be students.
It’s a little like living in college, but without all of the rules and ordered living that comes with that.
There’s the chance to make plenty of new people on your street. You’ll see much more of friends of friends too, when there isn’t the trek up to Hild Bede or Aidans to prevent them from meeting up. It all makes for a great atmosphere.
While it’s probably not your first thought when you choose where to live next year, the takeaway options in the Viaduct are great. Gilesgate may have Papa Johns but the Viaduct has Dominos and a wide range of other options too. If you fancy a change, Deliveroo will deliver your favourite meals from city centre restaurants too. You can sit back and have a relaxing night in, or enjoy the local nightlife…
City centre favourites such as Klute are great but can be a bit cringey while Studio on North Road offer nights out that are both fun and cheap. The most popular student night is Wednesday, meaning that you can easily get bored on a weekend. That doesn’t have to be the case. Saturday might be locals night in the city centre, but at Studio there is ‘Studio Saturday’, a club night dedicated to students. Entry is just two quid and the latest nights have featured pizza giveaways. What’s not to like?
The Viaduct boasts the best transport links in Durham. The city itself is so small that you’ll probably never step on a bus during your time here, unless you choose to visit Stockton. If you want a day out of Durham though, you’re perfectly situated to head out of the city and enjoy what the North East has to offer.
Travel by bus to Seaham or Redcar and enjoy a day on the beach, on one of the rare occasions it gets warm enough to take off your coat. Or enjoy an exhilarating night out in Newcastle, voted the tenth best city for nightlife by users of TripAdvisor.
For those who don’t mind a long train journey, you could even visit Scotland. Edinburgh is close enough to visit on a day trip, with a journey of less than two hours each way. Make the most of living close to Durham’s train and bus stations and see what the area has to offer.
Convenient location for uni
Making sure that the place you’re going to live in has something to offer for entertainment is crucial, but so is ensuring that you can easily get to lectures. The Viaduct offers the best of both worlds.
You can make it back to Elvet Riverside in about twenty minutes, while being able to pop down to Loft for a night out is quick and easy too. No long, awkward taxi drives home for you.
Greater access to supermarkets and shops
There is a great selection of shops to buy groceries from on North Road. The street has small supermarkets, like Tesco Express and Sainsbury’s Local and also a large Iceland for picking up frozen food and party treats.
Even better, once you cross Framwellgate Bridge you hit some of the most interesting shops in Durham. There’s Ding Dong Vintage, a vintage shop that features an eclectic jumble of items from bygone eras. From decades old nurses’ costumes to garish flamenco dresses, there will always be something that catches your eye. A perhaps surprising choice as one of the highlights of the area is the Scope charity shop on North Road. Raising money for a great cause, it also boasts amazingly cheap books (currently just 25p). If you ever run out of reading material there’s no reason not to head there and find something new to enjoy.
Step out of the bubble
Living in during first year, you might rarely have seen those who didn’t share your college allegiance or course choice. When you move out, choosing an area of Durham to spend a year in, it’s great to move away from the city centre and science site area. See Durham as the locals do, and have a great time too. The Viaduct may be one of the most studenty areas but living there will give you the chance to see Durham as it really is too.
Bigger, better houses
The houses in some areas of Durham are quite cramped and mightn’t be in the best state of repair. One of the best perks about living in the Viaduct is that, further away from the city centre high prices, you can get a much better place for your money. You’ll also have much more choice about the number of people you live with. Houses elsewhere tend to be four to six bedroom houses, whereas in the Viaduct you’ll find houses that can accommodate groups of ten or more. The area offers the chance to live with all of your friends, and have a blast!
Thinking about where to live next year?
Check out our Durham student houses before they’re all gone.