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    Hello, I will be coming back to England from Turkey with my girlfriend. We have a list of several locations in the UK where she can do her masters and where I will start an open uni course.

    Durham is one of the places. However, I'm not familiar at all with the area and whilst I know it is a small city near to Newcastle, I am not familiar at all with the availability of acommodation, jobs etc and which areas to avoid/focus on, so we really would like to find out about the following so we can compare it to other locations:

    1. Names of areas for acommodation to avoid (ie full of chavs, unsafe etc)
    2. Names of areas for acommodation that are safe, recommended for students
    3. What sort of acommodation in and around Durham (within 30 mins) could be obtained for 2 people for not much more than 400 pounds per month, and are these areas safe?
    4. Cost of living compared to rest of UK?
    5. Part and full time employment opportunities in any job - availability?
    6. What things are there do to during free time and weekends?
    7. Does the nearby city of Newcastle provide seminaries and other similar short courses, events and educational supplements to boost the studying of someone doing a masters degree (my girlfriend)?
    8. What is the nearest airport?
    9. What are bus services like in and around Durham?
    10. Is there a relaible train network?


    I have looked on gumtree.com for an idea of acommodation costs etc, but it seems to vary widely and I am unsure if the cheap ones I found that look okay are actually in an unsafe area ridden with chavs and the like.

    If someone can provide me with some details and recommendations regarding my above queries I would be very grateful!!

    Thanks in advance.
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    (Original post by hmmyes)
    Hello, I will be coming back to England from Turkey with my girlfriend. We have a list of several locations in the UK where she can do her masters and where I will start an open uni course.

    Durham is one of the places. However, I'm not familiar at all with the area and whilst I know it is a small city near to Newcastle, I am not familiar at all with the availability of acommodation, jobs etc and which areas to avoid/focus on, so we really would like to find out about the following so we can compare it to other locations:


    Names of areas for acommodation to avoid (ie full of chavs, unsafe etc)
    There aren't any in Durham, really. The only place I know of which you could perhaps describe this way is one of the estates in Gilesgate, and even then I don't think it's particularly unlivable - just perhaps not as nice as the other areas.

    Names of areas for acommodation that are safe, recommended for students
    Durham is not very big, so students can be found everywhere. If you have a wider search area (you mention 30 mins) then you can probably get very cheap accommodation, as most students live much closer.


    What sort of acommodation in and around Durham (within 30 mins) could be obtained for 2 people for not much more than 400 pounds per month, and are these areas safe?
    I don't know much about this area, but Gilesgate, maybe the Viaduct area, and the smaller villages nearby seem likely to have this kind of accommodation.


    Cost of living compared to rest of UK?
    I think it is very low.


    Part and full time employment opportunities in any job - availability?

    What things are there do to during free time and weekends?
    Well, what do you want to do? Durham is a small city in itself, and has all of the social things that you might expect as a result, though the nightlife is very poor compared to somewhere like Newcastle. On the other hand, Newcastle is very easy to get to, and I would be surprised if you want to do an activity not available there.


    Does the nearby city of Newcastle provide seminaries and other similar short courses, events and educational supplements to boost the studying of someone doing a masters degree (my girlfriend)?
    Probably, but I do not know any details. Depending on what you mean by 'boost the studying', there are probably such events in Durham itself.


    What is the nearest airport?
    The nearest big one is Newcastle airport, as far as I know.


    What are bus services like in and around Durham?
    I think they are reasonable. There isn't a tremendously frequent service to many surrounding places (as far as I can tell), but you wouldn't really expect one, and it's certainly sufficient for most people. Within Durham...well, you can get to places by bus if you want to, I'm not sure how to quantify it. There is a park and ride system that makes it easy to get in and out of the city centre easily if that's what you want.

    Separately, Durham is fairly small itself, so most people just walk everywhere. There is probably nothing in student life that requires using public transport (though obviously you can if you want, and doing other activities may require it).


    Is there a relaible train network?
    Yes. Durham station is on a main line to Newcastle (which is a big hub), so there are plenty of trains to everywhere.

    I have looked on gumtree.com for an idea of acommodation costs etc, but it seems to vary widely and I am unsure if the cheap ones I found that look okay are actually in an unsafe area ridden with chavs and the like.

    If someone can provide me with some details and recommendations regarding my above queries I would be very grateful!!

    Thanks in advance.
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    (Original post by hmmyes)
    Names of areas for acommodation to avoid (ie full of chavs, unsafe etc)
    Durham has a comparatively low crime rate. Although, as with all cities, it has its problems. I wouldn't say there are any particularly large areas to avoid.

    If there are any, then the Sherburn Estate (around Sherburn Road). But even this isn't as bad as it was (and its tiny with any problems it does have still quite self contained).

    I can think of one or two villages outside the city. But they are so far outside (ten to fiteen miles) that they aren't in the area you're looking at. Although these have their share of anti-social crime, they're not exactly known for their murders and drive by shootings.

    [*]Names of areas for acommodation that are safe, recommended for students
    The Viaduct (around the railway station), Gilesgate (particularly Gilesgate bank), Claypath and the Elvet area of the City centre are amongst the usual student areas. However, these are usually at the ore expensive end of the scale. What's more, they also tend to be dominated by undergraduates.

    As you appear to be mature students/postgrads then Neville's Cross, Crossgate Moor and Langley Moor are areas which will probably interest you. Langley Moor is particularly popular.

    There's also a large private housing estate in Newton Hall (was once the largest in Europe, I think). However, there isn't really much of a student community there as it is very much young family territory. It's possible out of your price range anyway - just about. But the houses are newish and modern/

    What sort of acommodation in and around Durham (within 30 mins) could be obtained for 2 people for not much more than 400 pounds per month, and are these areas safe?
    [/QUOTE]

    That can still probably get you a flat in the city centre, but you won't have much choice and space is more limited.

    It will be able to get you a two bedroom house or flat in Langley Moor or Neville's Cross.

    Cost of living compared to rest of UK?
    Average to below average. Private rent is the only thing that's particularly high and, even then, that's restricted to the large houses in the Viaduct and city centre in general. Inflated due to the rich kids :p: Keep to quieter, just as desirable areas like Neville's Cross or Langley Moor and costs are reasonable.

    Part and full time employment opportunities in any job - availability?
    Difficult one. The UK has just emerged from a bad recession, with the possiblity of a second one on the horizon. Unemployment in the UK has reached its highest level in 17 years.

    Talking specifically about Durham, then it is a small city, so that doesn't help things. For students there's usually enough work opportunities though (as additional job opportunities are offered in your college and the university in general).

    Seaching the JobCentre website, then there didn't seem to be a great scarcity of vancanies. But this can be a bit misleading as, although there's x number of vacancies, unemployment is increasing and therefore greater numbers of people are applying for the vacancies that remain.

    What things are there do to during free time and weekends?
    Durham isn't a large city, so it's not buzzing with a huge number of things to do (outside the university) but still offers more than some give it credit for.

    Within the university there's the obvious socities and sport is a big thing as well as student theatre. All colleges have bars.

    In the city itself then there isn't a great number of clubs (around five or varying quality, from utter crap to decent). There are loads of pubs and some good cafes and restaurants (especially Italian).

    Some of the pubs have some good live music, the Angel Inn for example.

    There's the Gala Theatre, with regular comedy nights, touring comedians, theatre productings and a cinema screen. Then a nearby entertainment complex with more bars and restaurants.

    You can get the bus to the MetroCentre, the largest shopping centre in the EU. It's a fair distance away (Gateshead - on Tyneside) but still possible to travel to easily enough by bus. Especially if you plan on spending the day there. It obviously has shops. Lots and lots of them. As well as a large cinema, bowling and the like. Did have Europe's largest indoor theme park but that's now been closed down (and the cinema has been relocated to that part).

    Newcastle is famous for its nightlife. It has what you'd expect most major cities to have. Although, because of how far away it is and the need to use public transport, you'll only really be able to go there on the weekends (as it's on the weekends you can use the nightbus). To go there on a weekday is possible, but you'll need to get the bus or train back, and they finish around 10:30PM. Whereas, on a Friday or Saturday night, the bus runs throughout the early hours.

    Newcastle has museums (Great North Museum, well worth a visit, Baltic Centre for contemporary art, Discovery Museum, Laing Art Gallery and many more outside the city centre). THeatres (including the Theatre Royal - gorgeous theatre in the city centre and second home to the Royal Shakespeare Compnay) and a buzzing clubbing scene. As well as pretty much everything else you'd expect.

    But, just to re-iterate, it isn't exactly "nearby". It's as far from Durham as Liverpool and Manchester are from one another. I do feel people often exaggerate how close they are (yet I never hear people refer to Bristol being a nearby city of Bath - they're far closer). So you'll need to keep most trips to Newcastle or the MetroCentre to the weekends or if you have a spare half day during the week.

    Does the nearby city of Newcastle provide seminaries and other similar short courses, events and educational supplements to boost the studying of someone doing a masters degree (my girlfriend)?
    Don't really know what you mean by "short courses"....

    As Newcastle has two universities (and Sunderland, techincally closer to Durham, has one) then, there'll be conferences and guest lectures. But you'll probably find the events in Durham sufficient. It's a research intensive university after all.

    [*]What is the nearest airport?
    There are two international airports. Durham-Tees Valley (formerly Teesside airport) is 20 miles to the south/south east. I think it's about in between Darlington and Middlesbrough, perhaps slightly closer to Darlington.

    Newcastle International is the larger international airport, located north of Newcastle, about 30 miles from Durham.

    What are bus services like in and around Durham?
    Decent, there's a park and ride service, and students can use the X1/X2 bus for free (only between Durham and Queen's Campus, Stockton).

    But, in Durham itself, it's unlikely you'll need to use the bus as it is small and, although hill, walkable to most. If you live in Langley Moor then, although it's still techincally walkable, most chose to get the bus which is frequent.

    All major places around Durham have regular services, as far as I'm aware, with a few buses an hour to the major towns and cities in the wider region (Sunderland, Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Darlington).

    If you're a regular traveller then good savings can be head with day tickets and the like.

    See bottom of post for more info.

    Is there a relaible train network?
    It's right on the East Coast mainline, one of two major rail networks in the country, so I would hope so! :p: Well, as reliable as any rail network is in the UK...

    There are regular trains to London (a few an hour) and it takes three hours. It's also easy to travel to York, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford, Cardiff, Bristol and more (though some will take longer to travel to than others, of course)

    This part of the world is where the railways were invented don't you know :holmes:

    (Original post by dring)
    I think they are reasonable. There isn't a tremendously frequent service to many surrounding places (as far as I can tell), but you wouldn't really expect one, and it's certainly sufficient for most people. Within Durham...well, you can get to places by bus if you want to, I'm not sure how to quantify it. There is a park and ride system that makes it easy to get in and out of the city centre easily if that's what you want.
    A bus every ten minutes to Darlington throughout much of the day. Every ten minutes to Sunderland. Chester-le-Street too. Every 30 - 60 minutes to the MetroCentre, a few an hour to Newcastle, Middlesbrough, Hartlepool...it's not bad. Even Whitby, during the summer at least.

    Any major settlement has at least a fairly regular bus link off the top of my head. You'll only really have a problem if you're trying to go to places in Teesdale and Weardale, especially the North Pennines Wear (like past Stanhope). But as these are very rural places then this is to be expected (and there are still some services).
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    That info is really useful - thanks so much!
    Durham is at the top of our list, and what really set my mind at rest about Durham is the smallness of it and apparant lack of unsafe areas compared to other cities.
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    is Ushaw Moor a nice place to live in? It seems to be one of the cheap areas not too far from Durham.
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    (Original post by velociraptor)
    is Ushaw Moor a nice place to live in? It seems to be one of the cheap areas not too far from Durham.
    Something I was about to ask! I think you and me seem to be in the exact same situation, mate. Need accommodation quick
 
 
 
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