The cinema is rubbish! Years ago, Durham had Robin's Cinema (where Walkabout used to be) and it was cheap and dirty but had a good selection of films and you could usually convince them to give you popcorn and sweets for free. Many of my afternoons skipping school were spent watching the new releases at Robin's. The Gala cinema is a joke and one of the good examples of how Durham is progressively making itself even less attractive as a city. They just can't do anything right. There is however a good cinema at Sunderland as well as Newcastle and the Metro (although I go to the one in Sunderland the most).
Also, I have lived in Durham all my life. I was actually really looking forward to leaving for university somewhere else but a few reasons held me back, in addition to the fact that I did actually like the university most out of all those I visited.
As a student, you do experience a different Durham to that of a resident. However, it is undeniably dull and there is definitely emphasis on making your own fun. Walks by the river are all well and good but it pisses down with rain all year, the nightlife is woeful, there are no good shops, no real cinema. I know people will say "..but it's historic and pretty!". So is York and that is a far more interesting place to be and that's not at the expense of it's historic features.
Growing up, Durham was still dull but there was alot to do - the old swimming baths, the old cinema, the amazing Ice Rink and going to watch the Durham Wasps. And I hate to say it but Durham was a better night out before the Millenium Place turned up with it's awful Loveshack and it's hideous Lloyds.
The Gates Shopping centre is shockingly bad. Just putting it out there =)
They spend loads of money rebranding the old Milburngate (same building, different name) to The Gates but they didn't bother putting any thing there. There used to be a supermarket in there which was fairly decent but they moved it to accommodate the unsuccessful Waitrose. I don't see the point of it existing when the only decent thing in there is the pound shop and the milkshake/smoothie shop. They may as well smash it to bits (along with the rest of North Road) and put something decent there.
haha this forum is a complete joke... so much c**p flying around...! i spent a couple of weeks there visiting mates last term and lots of what has been written above is completely untrue.
it has an extremely high student density leading to a real buzz about the place - nights out are student dominated with some clubs (klute) only letting students in creating a real 'everyone knows everyone' feel. the collegiate system really adds to this with college bar crawls (1.30 pints) standard prelash. from what i saw there are loads of pubs but some seemed to be a bit 'local' dominated. the clubs are obviously not on the leeds/ibiza scale but there was no shortage of choice with each place having at least one 'big night' a week.
there seems to be a lot of inverse snobbery on this site surrounding unis like bristol/durham/St A's .... obviously if you can't hack 'rahs' or public school people, then they're probably not the place for you.
I don't chose a uni based solely on it's shopping/ cinema.
Well, that's called different Universities being better for different people. Someone who needs to be in the middle of a city and not in the 'student bubble' shouldn't go to a small city or a campus university.
Personally I'm big on going out and social life, yet I'm not worried about it for when I go to Durham. I think it'll be fine.
The point about going to Newcastle Uni is a little redundant, it's not a top ten university.
Of course it will be fine. I'm not saying it's horrific, I am just saying - in response to the original question posed - that yes, Durham is dull.