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What To Do Around Durham University When You’re Broke AF

What To Do Around Durham University When You’re Broke AF

Are you looking for fun things to do when you're broke AF at Durham University? There are plenty of things to do in Durham without breaking the bank.

Life as a Durham Student can get expensive. You’ve got to invest in a good Black Tie outfit for all those Formals, there is an avocado-shaped hole in your budget, and your weekly Paddy’s pizza habit is not a cheap one! Fear not. As your student loan dwindles and you reach past Tesco’s finest to grab Tesco’s own brand, you can still find plenty to keep you entertained when you’re broke AF at Durham University.

1. Did you know we have a Cathedral?

You can’t have missed it. Durham Cathedral, from any angle, is gorgeous. That goes for the inside as well as the outside, perhaps even more so now it has acquired a scaffolding ‘hat’. Entry is free, and there is plenty to see. If stained glass windows are your thing, crack out the popcorn. Visit the tomb of St. Oswald’s head (yup, only the head),  and take in a lap of the Cloister, following in the footsteps of Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. Finally, don’t miss the incredibly detailed Cathedral model constructed entirely from LEGO pieces. If that’s not enough history for you, pop over to the other end of Palace Green and check out Durham Castle. Entry and guided tours are free with a campus card. Alternatively, if you are one of the few students lucky enough to actually live there, just get out of bed and wander around.



2. Get outside and explore nature.

Durham might have beautiful buildings, but it also has some pretty stunning natural scenery too. The Botanical Gardens are not a bad place to start. Bring along your campus card for free access to exotic plants, themed gardens and even some friendly creepy-crawlies. Once you’ve enjoyed the main garden’s attractions, take a stroll round the neighbouring woodland. Time it right and the sea of bluebells covering the ground of Houghall Woods will take your mind off all thoughts of impending summatives!




3.  See a Movie

The cinema at Durham’s Gala Theatre offers a cheap film night for students every Monday, with tickets only £5 (with a valid student card).

For an even cheaper big screen, check out what the Bede Film Soc are showing. This term alone, films have included Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Rogue One and La La Land. Grab some snacks (or buy some there), bring along £1 (members) or £3 (non-members), sit back and enjoy the show.



4. Take in some live music.

College ‘open mic’ or ‘live lounge’ events are the perfect way to spend an evening, without necessarily spending a penny. Some of the best include ‘Trevs Unplugged’ and St. Aidan’s ‘Live Lounge’, where the quality of the acts will make you wish you stuck at those piano lessons back in primary school. Performers at previous events have included Soham De who, whilst in the second year of a Biology degree, has headlined his own show and supported artists such as Lucy Spraggan. And then of course, as an Open Mic stretches into the early hours, there’s the promise of the drunk, overly-ambitious, last-minute volunteer, who will always have the crowd, if not pitch, on their side.

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5. Check out some random society events.

Last term I paid £3 to attend a belly dancing evening organised by Durham’s Arabic Society. They had ordered in a ton of amazing food from Lebaneat, we watched the Belly Dancing society perform, and then we got to embarrass ourselves trying out some of the moves. Turns out it is a lot harder than you would think, with my attempt at elegant hand movements being compared to the gestures of an angry traffic marshall. University is all about new experiences, so next time you spot a poster for the Thai society’s food evening, or the yoga society’s free taster session, why not take the plunge? Still not convinced? A lot of these events provide generous amounts of snacks!


What are your favorite things to do when you’re broke AF at Durham University? Comment below!
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