Bailey College Bar Crawl, Durham University

A bailey colleges bar crawl is a great way to see the other colleges of Durham University, and even if you don’t drink, the social aspect of a group of friends touring the various bars of Durham colleges is not to be missed!

Don’t forget to take your campus card, which you may need to gain access to certain bars (most usually Cuth’s and University (Castle) College).

Most college bars will open at either 19:00 or 19:30 (although some, such as University College bar, open briefly at lunchtime), so a starting time of around then is advised.

St Cuthbert’s Bar

A very popular bar situated on the edge of the bailey, St Cuth’s bar is often uncomfortably full, even earlier in the night. In warmer weather, the beer garden is open, which contains patio heaters for those slightly cooler nights in Durham.

St Cuthbert’s Knowledge

Cuth’s motto, gratia gratiam parit, is translated as ‘friendship begets friendship’.

St John’s Bar

Situated in the base of the building, St John’s bar is reasonably popular with bar crawls too, but its size and limited ceiling heights (in places) make it prone to very long queues at the bar (is so small only 2 – 3 bar persons can work behind it at the same time, and even then with difficulty!) and stiffling heat and sweat. The next stop is a little more spacious – 24’s bar, the Durham Union Society (DUS) bar – but only just. If you’re looking for the toilet, it’s back up the stairs, towards where you entered the college.

St John’s Knowledge

St John’s college is only one of two ‘recognised colleges’ of the University of Durham (the other is St Chad’s), meaning it is financially more independent of the university.

24’s – Durham Union Society Bar

24’s, at 24 North Bailey in Durham, is the Durham Union Society’s bar and office, with both members and non-members allowed entry. Incredibly popular with bar crawls, 24’s can be very quiet one moment and full of rugby players dressed in tutus the next, making it the ideal stop if you’re in the party mood.

24’s Knowledge

24’s was previously the home of St Aidan’s College.

St Chad’s Bar

St Chad’s bar is incredibly spacious, with a bar both upstairs, serving those in the covered courtyard, and downstairs, in the lair-like basement bar decorated in comic art.

St Chad’s Knowledge

St Chad’s is one of Durham’s smallest colleges, with about 320 students as members.

Hatfield College Bar

Hatfield bar, located in the building to the left (under the arch) as you pass through the college’s gates, is a spacious, if somewhat souless college bar, nonetheless popular as a stop off for students on the way into the centre of Durham or students on bar crawls.

Hatfield College Knowledge

Hatfield College was Durham University’s first college, originally named Bishop Hatfield’s Hall.

University College Bar

Situated in the base of the building, The Undercroft, as University College’s is affectionately known, is incredibly popular with bars, with the undercroft under the castle buldings creating an exclusive atmosphere – you’ll certainly be ‘privileged’ to get a drink some nights, with bar staff being overwhelmed by the sheer number of people queueing for drinks!

Be sure to take your campus card for this bar – it is notorious for taking it on entry as a deposit against any damage or trophying you undertake! There is a chance you won’t get in – especially on Friday nights when the bar is likely to be full to capacity – so you can always head to Jimmy Allen’s or Klute if you’re desperate…

University College Knowledge

University College is the only World Heritage Site inhabited by students in the World.


That’s it; every bailey college bar visited in one swift visit. Once you’ve recovered, you may want to try the Durham hill colleges bar crawl, or even risk the full college bar crawl.

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