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Durham Castle > Newcastle? Why Durham Students Don’t Make The Most Out Of Newcastle

When asked about Durham’s notoriously lacklustre nightlife, most students here will justify their choice of uni by defiantly (and a tad apologetically) exclaiming: ‘but Newcastle is only 15 minutes away on the train!’. This is always said in full awareness that their time spent in Durham so far, and their plans for entertaining themselves there in the future, have absolutely nothing to do with proximity to the ‘toon’. I can count the amount of times I’ve been out in Newcastle during my two years studying at Durham on one hand – or, more specifically, one finger. Because it’s once.

Whilst not everyone is as pitifully lazy as me, and many Durham students with a bit of sense recognise the merits of escaping the ‘Durham bubble’ from time to time, there seems to be a recurring theme that at the start of every term we all collectively claim this term we’ll go out in Newcastle more, only to find ourselves, two weeks into term, hugging the Klute bouncers like old friends on the way in, as they ask after that guy you were getting with on the d-floor on Tuesday.

We may convince ourselves that General Gyro’s and guest appearances from the washed-up cast of MIC at Loft somehow make up for our serious aversion to boarding the train (or more importantly spending valuable drink money on taxi fares home), but realistically, it’s all just to make ourselves feel better about the unfortunate truth. Durham just can’t compete with Newcastle’s nightlife. Our coping mechanism is what can only be described as some kind of mass FOMO-induced delirium. Instead of giving ourselves a taste of what we’re missing, we just ignore the fact a small haven of better music, better shops, and better clubs are just ¾ of a marathon away (not that I’m suggesting these things are worth running to). That said, our commitment to making up for this depressing fact in Durham can be described as nothing less than heroic. Whoever said quality over quantity clearly hadn’t experienced the self-destructive buzz of seeing just how many nights out in a row your body can hack. 

When the club is just a 5 (to 25, shout-out to the Butlerites) minute walk from your door, and everything shuts at 2am anyway, you really have no excuse to miss out. We go hard and we go hard often.  Beyond the nightlife, what Durham lacks in Primark and McDonalds, it makes up for in a gorgeous river, its cobbled streets and most importantly, the opportunity to pretend to be a wizard up to twice a week, depending on your choice of college.

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