The city of Durham is as easy on the eye as it is steeped in history. For visitors approaching the university town by train, the ancient cathedral reveals itself in the distance, elevated above the terraced streets that used to house the area’s mining families.
Despite being considered one of the north east’s most picturesque places to live, property prices in the city are regularly below the national average.
Whether you’re looking to relocate or interested in letting a property to the city’s established student community, you won’t do much better than the quaint city on the River Wear.
Wander the cobbled streets of the Bailey, home to some of the city’s world renowned university’s colleges, before venturing onto the pristine College Green to take in the breathtaking Durham Cathedral.
The religious structure, built in 1093, is a monument to England’s ancient past and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It’s also used by the university for student graduations and is the focal point of the compact city.
If you can handle the stairs, take the 325 steps to the top of the cathedral’s tower for some of the most spectacular views in County Durham. And if almost a thousand years of history isn’t reason enough to visit Durham Cathedral, perhaps learning that it was where some of the most iconic Harry Potter scenes were shot, will be enough to tempt you to pay it a visit.
Across the Green is Durham Castle, home to the prestigious University College, which is chock full of students during term time. As it’s part of the university’s campus, it can only be visited with a tour guide, but it is well worth it.
The castle, which was once a lavish palace, was built in 1072 and was the former seat of the Bishop of Durham.
Beyond the city’s stunning historic appeal, there’s plenty of cosy pubs and restaurants to peruse. Pop into the tiny Victoria on Hallgarth Street before walking the short distance down the hill to the Court Inn or Dun Cow and then onto the Swan and Three Cygnets.
If gin bars are more your thing, why not try the Tin of Sardines? Be warned, it really is pokey in there, with a capacity of only seven.
The small city is well stocked with great places to eat, including the fine dining spot, The Cellar Door, which can be found on the winding Saddler Street.
You’d be forgiven for thinking, given the history, culture and beauty of the city, that Durham would be a pricey place to call home. It’s not.
The average house price in England, according to the Office for National Statistics, is £304,000.
In Durham, you can find two-bedroom properties in the centre of the city for as little as £115,000.
The city was once one of England’s mining hubs and its terraced houses, that were the bedrock of the mining community, are full of character and can be picked up for a snip of what buyers pay in other areas of the country.