• Kayla

The Ultimate Durham University Bar Crawl

One of the best parts of attending Durham University is their unique college system. I was a member of St. Hild and St. Bede but chose not to live on campus and lived in the center of town. Although I lived off campus, I still had access to the college amenities, including the bars.

To my knowledge, Durham University has 15 bars that are only open to students. Most of the bars have signature cocktails and offer cheaper drinks than non-college bars. One of my favorite nights at Durham University was when my friend Teagan set up a college bar crawl for Elise, Kat, and me.

Since there are so many bars we planned to split the crawl into two nights. Unfortunately, the second night of our bar crawl was cancelled due to Covid-19. Even though I did not personally finish the Durham University bar crawl, I am sharing the order of bars Teagan, Elise, Kat, and I planned to go. Below is a map of the college bars!


Bar Crawl: Part 1 - Blue Points

Bar 1: College of St. Hild and St. Bede

If you want to hit every single college bar, it is smart to start St. Hild and St. Bede. This bar is a 20 minute walk away from the majority of colleges so it is best to get it out of the way. It is also better to go right when it opens (7pm) so you can walk back to town before it is pitch dark outside.

Bar 2: University College (Castle)

In my opinion, every Durham University student needs to go to the University College bar at least once before graduation. The bar is located in the basement of the Durham Castle, making it the coolest college-owned bar. Since it is only open to students, the bar is never over-crowded despite being located in a castle.

Bar 3: Hatfield College

The next stop on the ultimate Durham University College bar crawl is Hatfield college. Hatfield's bar has a laid back environment and it is filled with undergraduate students. When I was there my friends and I tried the college drink: The Hatfield Tickler. Once we finished our pink drinks we made our way to the next stop.

Bar 4: Durham Students' Union

My most visited Durham University bar was the Durham Students' Union (DSU), which is technically not a college, but is an absolute must in the bar crawl. My go-to drink at the DSU is a classic gin and tonic. I frequented the bar because it was right across the street from my apartment, sold food, and had TVs that constantly aired live Rugby games.

Bar 5: St. Chad's College

Chad's Bar is located in the middle of town, making it one of the easiest college bars to access. When I went during the bar crawl, it just started to get crowded. This bar is special to Durham University because it has two levels. The first level is a brick room with lots of plants, making it one of Durham's most Instagrammable bars. The basement level has a large tube-like map of Durham. My friend Teagan is in the photo drinking the Chad's College green specialty drink. Click here to read more about my travel adventures with Teagan!

Bar 6: St. John's College

A little down the road from St. Chad's bar is St. John's College, home to The Cellar Bar. The Cellar bar is known for its two specialty drinks: The Tripod and The Ginception. I decided not to try either of the specialty drinks and just stuck to beer at this bar!

Bar 7: St. Cutherbert's Society

Post-graduate students often come to Cuth's bar to pre-game Babylon or Players since the drinks are cheaper than the other bars in town. One of my favorite nights at Durham University was with my friends met the men's field hockey team and played casual USA vs. UK drinking games!

Bar 8: Ustinov College

After the 6th stop on the bar crawl, my friends and I called it quits and went to Jimmy's to dance. Looking back, we should have made the walk to Ustinov College, which is only open to post-graduate students. If I were to do the bar crawl again, I would finish my night at Ustinov even though it is so far out of the way. (Ustinov is Teagan's college!)


Bar Crawl: Part 2 - Purple Points

*I did not do this part of the bar crawl due to Covid-19 restrictions*

Bar 1: St. Mary's College

The most expensive pint at St. Mary's bar is £1.90, which explains the bars popularity among students. Although I never saw the bar, I went inside St. Mary's College to pick up Elise's student ID! Click here to read about my travel adventures with Elise! Photo taken from here.

Bar 2: Grey College

Despite wanting to go to every college bar, I am happy I got to skip the Grey Bar's specialty drink: a simple shot of vodka. (At least, thats what I am telling myself!)

Bar 3: Collingwood College

I can't believe I never made it to Stag's Head, the Collingwood College bar, considering a few members of my lacrosse team, including Kat, were Collingwood members! Stag's Head is so popular among students that the bar has two specialty drinks: The Black and Red and the Mellow Melon. Click here to read about my travel adventures with Kat!

Bar 4: Trevelyan College

Trev's is a unique college bar because it is completely staffed by members of Trevelyan College. One of my friends went through the Trev's bar interview process and said it was a tough position to get on campus. On top of being a bar, Trev's is a coffee shop during the day!

Bar 5: Van Mildert College

I find it so WEIRD that I never went to the Van Mildert Bar! The college is about a three minute walk from the business school, where I had seven out of eight classes. From talking to students, I learned that Van Mildert is a popular place for post-graduate students because it has a separate section for them to hang out!

Bar 6: Josephine Butler College

I am not going to lie, until Teagan suggested going on a college bar crawl, I never heard of Josephine Butler College. To my knowledge the bar doesn't have a specialty drink like the others but if your goal is to hit every single Durham University bar, you need to include Josephine Butler!

Bar 7: Stephenson College

Last but not least: Stephenson College! Similar to some other colleges, the Stephenson bar operates as a coffee shop during the day and a bar at night. Photo taken from here.


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