Study in Durham, England
Durham is a unique place that manages to maintain a contemporary, student-centered atmosphere within a city that has long been, and continues to be, historically relevant. This is greatly due in part to its prestigious university, England’s third oldest after Oxford and Cambridge. The institution’s unceasing esteem and importance to the city links Durham’s past and present, representing both the city’s roots and its future.
With steep and densely wooded riverbanks, Durham’s pictorial and quite hilly terrain even appears in its name, which is a combination of the Old English “dun,” meaning “hill,” and Old Norse’s “holme,” for “island.” Both aesthetically pleasing and forward thinking, the city won the Britain in Bloom award in 2005 for not only a stunning display of local flora but for the way in which the community responsibly manages its local environment as a whole.
The spectacular Durham Castle, built in the eleventh century, has been in continuous use for over 900 years, and boasts a singular reputation within the UK of never having once suffered a breach. Durham Cathedral, also founded in the eleventh century, is considered a superior example of Norman architecture. A small area of grass, Palace Green, is flanked by these two monuments, and together they comprise a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The center of Durham, locally called “The Bailey” or “The Peninsula,” sits on a peninsula that has been carved over time by the River Wear, now owned and occupied almost exclusively by the cathedral and the university. In fact, a good percentage of the inner city area is inhabited by students in shared houses who find themselves in an ideal spot to take advantage of Durham’s various indoor and outdoor market places, as well as the city’s main commercial and shopping areas. Students also have access to the Durham rail system’s East Coast Main Line, which links London and Edinburgh, as well as not one but two airports, neither more than 25 miles away.