Blogs > A snapshot of UK Cities

A snapshot of... Durham

  • November 09, 2020

Durham is a city located in the North East of England, south of Newcastle Upon Tyne. It has a population of roughly 525,836 and is well known for its historic cathedral and castle, making it a beautiful city to relocate to, particularly if you have an interest in history.

The County Durham and Darlington NHS Trust are one of the largest integrated care providers in England, with their 7,000 staff serving a population of around 650,000 people. The Trust has 8 individual practice sites, with the two main Hospitals being 'Darlington Memorial Hospital' and the 'University Hospital of North Durham'.

Facts About Durham

  • Durham Cathedral is the final resting place of two of the most prominent religious figures in Britain’s history, St Cuthbert and St Bede.
  • Neil Fingleton, the world’s tallest man, was born in Durham. He was 7 ft. 7 inches.
  • Durham Cathedral is over 1,000 years old!
  • The name “Durham” derives from “dun”, the Old English world for hill, and “holme” an Old Norse word meaning “island”.
  • English Mustard was created in Durham in the early 1900s by a woman named Mrs. Clements.
  • Durham castle was originally built in the 11th century and is the only castle in the UK that has never been breached.
  • Durham Miners’ Gala is the largest socialist trade union event in the world and was first held in 1871.
  • The Durham Regatta, a rowing event, is the second oldest Regatta in Britain and has been held every year on the River Wear since 1834.

Cost of Living in Durham


One-Bedroom Apartment in the City Centre


One-Bedroom Outside of the City Centre


Three-Bedroom Apartment in the City Centre


Three-Bedroom Apartment Outside of the City Centre



1ltr Petrol


One-Way Public Transport Ticket


Monthly Public Transport Ticket


1km Taxi Journey



Meal out in a local Pub for Two


Meal out for two in a mid-range restaurant with three courses


Cinema Tickets for Two People


One Month of Gym Membership


Beer 0.5ltr Bottle


Coke/Pepsi 0.33ltr Bottle




Time it Takes to travel to other Cities from Durham by Train

Newcastle: 15 Minutes

Leeds: 1 Hour 14 Minutes

Edinburgh: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

London: 3 Hours 12 Minutes

Birmingham: 2 Hours 38 Minutes

Manchester: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

Liverpool: 3 Hours 18 Minutes

Bristol: 4 Hours 22 Minutes

Cardiff: 4 Hours 56 Minutes

Education in Durham

There are 237 primary schools, 54 secondary schools and 32 sixth forms and colleges in Durham. The majority of schools have an Ofsted rating of ‘Good’, with some also having a rating of ‘Outstanding’. Durham University has been ranked the 78th highest performing university in England.

Things to do in Durham

Durham Cathedral

The cathedral is one of Durham’s most famous landmarks, and also one of the oldest, it is thought that construction on it began as long ago as 1093! The cathedral itself is surrounded by a picturesque town and river, making it a beautiful site to visit. A number of events are held here throughout the year, from concerts and choir services to exhibitions, afternoon tea and craft events. As well as these events, you can also admire the architecture and collection of artifacts housed within the cathedral itself in the Open Treasure exhibit. Tours of the cathedral are held throughout the year if you wish to learn more about the building’s history. Entry is free, but there is a recommended donation of £3 per person. There is a fee if you wish to explore the Open Treasure exhibit, £7.50 for adults and £2.50 for children between the ages of 5 and 18.

Read more about Durham Cathedral here.

Adventure Valley

Adventure Valley is a family adventure park, hosting over fifty attractions, both indoor and outdoor, making it an excellent family day out during the summer and winter. The indoor activities include soft play for children, a small theatre with ‘mini beast’ shows, and even an undercover farm yard where you can groom rabbits and ponies. The outdoor activities consist of things like zip-lining, go-karting and interacting with more outdoor animals, they even have a donkey named Nibbles who loves attention! If you get peckish, they have an indoor and outdoor café, as well as picnic tables where you can relax and enjoy a snack. The entry prices vary slightly depending on when you buy them and whether you purchase them on the gate or online. It is worth noting that adult and child tickets are always the same price, and children under one have free entry. An off-peak ticket costs £7.95 online and £8.95 on the gate, a weekend ticket not within the school holiday period costs £9.95 online and £10.95 on the gate, and a ticket for any day during a school holiday period costs £10.95 online and £11.95 on the gate.

Read more about Adventure Valley here.

Durham Castle Museum

The castle is home to both the museum as well as part of Durham University. The Museum houses a collection of fine art, architecture, arms, and armour that you may explore at your leisure, or on a scheduled tour. They sometimes also hold events, such as Christmas festivals. Due to the historical nature of the castle, while there are toilets, there are unfortunately no café or gift shop facilities on site, but it is possible to find both of these nearby. You can find a gift shop in the World Heritage Site Visitor Centre at the entrance to Palace Green and in the Palace Green Library. The nearest café is also at Palace Green Library and it’s called “Café on the Green”. Entry to the castle for adults is £5 and for children over five is £4, infants get free entry. They also offer a £15 family ticket for two adults and three children.

Read more about Durham Castle Museum here.

Beamish Wild

The perfect day out for anyone looking for an adrenaline rush, Beamish Wild is an adventure course that takes place amongst the scenic treetops of an ancient woodland. The two hour long course involves zip-wires, rope bridges, swinging tires and more. For those who prefer to keep their feet firmly on the ground, they also hold archery sessions that last an hour, and are available for both adults and children eight years and older, tickets for the archery sessions are £13.  If you’re exhausted after your adventure, there is an onsite bar and restaurant where you can relax and enjoy a well-earned bite to eat. Tickets for the adventure course are £27 for adults and £22 for children, there is a minimum age restriction of ten for children.

Read more about Beamish Wild here.

Botanic Garden

One of the most popular attractions in Durham, the gardens are part of Durham University, and can be found on the outskirts of the city. Nature lovers will love the variety of plant life from all over the world, including collections from Japan, China, South Africa, Chile, New Zealand and North America. They also boast a woodland garden, alpine garden and bamboo grove. For those less interested in greenery, they also hold family events, activities, exhibitions and arts and crafts throughout the year. If you need a warm drink after exploring the park on a chilly day, there is a café and a gift shop you can visit to warm up. It should be noted that dogs are not allowed within the Botanic Garden unless they are assistance dogs. Tickets for adults cost £4.50, and £1.75 for children, these are valid for three days from the purchase date and also grant you access to the nearby Oriental Museum. If you intend to visit the Botanic Garden on a regular basis, it is worth purchasing a season ticket as it is valid for a year and does not cost much if you will be a regular visitor. Season tickets are £15 for adults and £6.00 for children. You can also buy a family season ticket costing £40 for two adults and two children.

You can read more about the Botanic Garden here.

Gala Theatre

The Gala can be found on the banks of the River Wear, and is both a theatre and a cinema, where you can enjoy a cultured evening of theatrics, or fun afternoon watching the latest movies with a bag of popcorn. If you want to make a day of it, there’s also an onsite café where you can dine on meals and snacks, depending on your mood.

You can read more about the Gala Theatre here.

Relocating to Durham

If you’re an international doctor looking to relocate to Durham, or another location in the UK, please email your CV to [email protected] and we can support you in securing an NHS post and on your journey to relocate to the UK.

Are you a member of our Facebook group? When you join IMG Advisor, you will join a community of doctors all looking to relocate to the UK and join the NHS. We post a series of vlogs and blogs into the group every single day. We will also always be on hand to answer all your relocation queries.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel! We have over 45 videos on everything you need to know about relocating to the UK and joining the NHS!

Listen to BDI Resourcing on the go with IMG Advisor the Podcast. You can find us on Apple podcast, Spotify, Stitcher and Buzzsprout. We have a number of episodes with tips and advice on relocating to the UK and the routes you can take to achieve this.

References 2020. County Durham And Darlington - About The Trust. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 November 2020].

Hallgarth The Manor House, Durham. (2020). 10 fascinating facts about Durham Cathedral | Hallgarth The Manor House, Durham. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2019].

eazi-clean. (2020). 6 interesting facts about County Durham - Eazi Cleans new home. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2019]. (2019). [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2019].

This is Durham. (2019). Attractions in Durham | Things to see & do. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2019]. (2019). Botanic Garden : Opening hours and admission charges - Durham University. [online] Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2019].

Chronicle, E. (2019). Ten interesting facts about Durham. [online] nechronicle. Available at: [Accessed 3 Dec. 2019]. (2020). County Durham · Population. [online] Available at: (2020). Durham Castle Museum : What's Here - Durham University. [online] Available at: 


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