7 Things To Do In Freshers’ Week. Without Alcohol

There’s much more to university than alcohol, so if you’re in need of a sober moment or just don’t like alcohol, Durham Uni Students has compiled a list of things you could do in Durham.

Number One: Explore The Historical Side Of Durham

There is a lot more to Durham and its surrounding areas than the university; Durham Cathedral is an incredibly beautiful example of this – and it’s very hard to miss! As a fresher, you’ll be taken to the cathedral during fresher week for matriculation (a sort of official welcome to the university), so don’t worry about making the trek yourself, unless you’re very eager.

Oh, and for future reference, it is apparently considered unlucky to climb the cathedral’s tower before graduating – you have been warned!

Number Two: Go To Newcastle

Clearly, Durham is a wonderful city and place to learn, but it is a small city, so if you feel like a bit more of an adventure, you could get a train to Newcastle; it only takes about 15 minutes and costs about £5 for a return (cheaper with a Young Persons’ Railcard). Being larger than Durham, Newcastle is ideal for a shopping trip to spend your ‘hard-earned’ student loan, a night out at the theatre or cinema (although there is a cinema in Durham).

Number Three: Take Tea In Vennel’s

Vennel’s Tea Shop is a fantastic place to have tea and a scone: situated down a quiet alley near the marketplace, you could almost miss it. The tea shop is a favourite haunt of students new and old in Durham, so you may want to experience its delights for yourself sooner rather than later.

Number Four: Walk Along The River

Durham, by the river. © Durham Uni Students 2006 - 2007.
A walk along the river is particularly pleasant (even if the weather is a bit grey) and there are times when you won’t be able to believe you’re in a city. Prebends Bridge, near the bailey colleges affords good views of the cathedral, but beware of walking around there alone at night.

Number Five: Have One Last Meal With Your Parents

Allowing your parents to take you to a restaurant for lunch may sound like a poor idea when you’re trying to make new friends and your parents are cramping your style, but you’ll be the smug one when everyone else is having to pick over the college ‘cuisine’ and you couldn’t eat another thing.

The best thing about this idea? They’ll usually pay, since they’ll be glad to spend that extra hour or two with you before you part for the next 10 weeks!

Number Six: Parambulate In The Botanical Gardens

Situated near Collingwood College and Butler College, the University’s Botanical Gardens are a haven of tranquility and calm, and great for a break from the hussle of your college.

Number Seven: Join In

Join in with the fresher week activities laid on by your college’s fresher committee – not all of them involve alcohol – some colleges have events such as a head masseur and bouncy castles to welcome you. Even if everyone else if drinking, doesn’t mean you have to.