My Durham top 10

Sam Worthington

Extravagant balls  

Durham is synonymous with spectacular college and society balls. Typically, your college hosts two balls a year: one in Winter and one in Summer, which are always a great opportunity to have good food, great music and fun with your friends. Carnival rides, live bands and street food vendors add a touch of magic to these unforgettable events. Likewise, individual societies hold balls too! 

Exploring the North East 

Venture beyond the college walls to explore the North East’s beauty. From the bustling metropolis of Newcastle to the serene shores of Seaham, the region has some of the UK’s very best sights. Dive into the local history by exploring the plethora of museums that dot the landscape too! 


Every Durham college has its own sporting clubs and societies, like ultimate frisbee and musical theatre, but there are also a vast array of university-wide societies. These are typically the more weird and wonderful, like Quidditch Society and Hummus Society but, if there is one you want to create yourself, then go for it! 


For those who relish donning their finest attire and savoring a good meal without the hassle of cooking, college formals are for you! Revel in the camaraderie, entertainment and peculiar rituals that each college formal promises. 

Grabbing food  

Durham is blessed with amazing independent cafes and restaurants to go and grab food from. There are the archetypical British cafés but also gorgeous Lebanese, Thai and Indian restaurants just to name a few. These also provide a great opportunity for part-time student work! 

College activities 

The Junior Common Room (JCR) looks after your college life – particularly in first year when you typically ‘live in’. They organise your Freshers Week, social events and trips out of Durham. I know that my college organised a trip to York which was greatly subsidised by the college. 


With local initiatives and university societies, they are a wealth of opportunities to volunteer and make a difference to the community. So far, I have done a few beach cleans at Seaham with an eco society which was great fun and had a real feel good factor. 


If Durham has one thing, it is great walks! The iconic view of the cathedral along the river, especially from Prebends Bridge, is a sight to behold. You will often mind students taking their matriculation pictures here too! 

The Cathedral 

Step into history with a visit to Durham Cathedral, one of England’s oldest and grandest. Beyond its architectural magnificence, it is also exciting because it was the location for several scenes in the Harry Potter movies! 

Academic community  

Academic rigour is plentiful at Durham which provides a fantastic opportunity to meet passionate and likeminded students who enjoy debating the darker pages of Hulme or challenging the political orthodoxy! Whatever your area of interest, there will always be a student or academic ready to discuss that with you.  

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Sam Worthington

Hi – I’m Sam. I read Philosophy, Politics and Economics (PPE) at John Snow College, but I am currently embarking on my Industrial Placement in Birmingham with HSBC UK in the Agricultural Business Banking sector. Outside studying and working, I really enjoy community work and getting involved with local politics. 

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