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TOP 5: Durham Study Spaces

Have you been cursed with a tiny desk and fold-up garden chair in your student bedroom? Unfortunately, many of us have. If you’re looking for somewhere less painful to whittle away those study hours, check out these suggestions

Bill Bryson 

The Billy B is the obvious go-to. It has all the books you would ever need, 24/7 opening hours and a cafe. However, the intense competition for seats and anxiety in the air often puts people off. If this is you, opt for study room instead. You have to book that a few days in advance but they’re definitely worth the forward planning. There is no one chewing, sniffing or fidgeting to distract you and you don’t have to get up at an ungodly hour to race for a seat. 

Palace Green 

This library can be quite illusive and intimidating if you have never been before but it’s really nothing to worry about. Simply walk confidently into Palace Green museum, continue through the gift shop and turn right at the café to get to the Baker Research Library. The space usually fills up pretty quick but, if you get there in time, this isn’t too bad as all the seats are nice. The only downside to this study space is that a strict no drinking policy is implemented; no drinks are allowed on your desk and if you wish to have a drink you must go outside. 

College Libraries 

Each college library is completely different and some are much better than others. They can be a great study option but if yours, like mine (Cuth’s), is unfortunately underwhelming why not head to Leazes Road library? Hild Bede shares its college library with the School of Education and, as a result, it is really quite spacious and impressive. Their are loads of little side rooms, classrooms and computer rooms so you are pretty much always guaranteed a seat. Remember to check the opening times before you go as they vary on the weekends!


If you like a little background noise then you’re in luck because Durham boasts a whole host of little cafes well suited to studying. You could test out Esquires or The Library Bar for a long study session or smaller cafes like Cafédral or Treats for a quick burst. Obviously, this is the most expensive study option as you have to pay to sit there. However, it is often worth it for the change of scenery and many cafes actually offer a student discount that makes it a little bit more budget friendly. 


These are my most frequented study spaces. However, you could check out the Cathedral Library, the SU study rooms or your department. You could even make the most of the glorious Durham sun we appear to be having and take your notes down to the river bank. 




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