Tell me the best bits (bad aswell) about Durham

(14 Posts)
durhambound Wed 05-Oct-11 20:02:48

Thinking of relocating to the area. Would love a detached property preferably in a small village/town not too far from Durham. Where would you reccommend. What is Crook like?

Also looking for a prep school for ds aged 5. I notice there are a couple in Durham. Any knowledge of them.

TIA smile

DrSeuss Wed 05-Oct-11 21:42:44

Durham is just so beautiful. I'd suggest Shincliffe/High Shincliffe. downside is the traffic in the city itself and property prices. There are some excellent state primaries and a very well thought of state secondary, Durham Johnston.

durhambound Thu 06-Oct-11 09:55:30

bump grin

Indith Thu 06-Oct-11 13:59:15

Hello smile

I er <<tries to be polite>> don't think Crook is quite what you are looking for.

Where are you from?

Around here, being mining country, a lot of the villages are pretty dire, as you'd expect when the entire economy was pulled out from under them. You need to take a good look around, listen to the accents (to see how many "outsiders" there are or is it is still a local village where anyone not born and bred for at least 5 generations is an alien), take a walk past schools at pick up time and so on. Some old pit villages are lovely though, I live in a little one about 6 miles from Durham, PM me if you want to know the exact location, which has a great mix of people and is very friendly and open to people who move in. We've been here 2 years now and I honestly have no idea where I would move to other than here if I won the lottery. The village has a great community with yoga, zumba, dance for kids, cinema, social nights, quiz nights, toddler group and loads more going on at teh village hall. There is a little hamlet near us which also has a great community and is of a slightly more artistic nature with art groups, nature groups and so on. Our village has no shop but is only a mile away (easy walk down a cycle path, very safe for kids to race around with no road danger) form a bigger village with primary schools, shops including butcher, baker, hardware store, post office and Co-op, Dr and NHS dentist.

I don't know much about the private schools. There are a lot of really fantastic state schools around here. I did meet someone the other day sending her dd to Bow school. She had been very unsure about putting her into the private sector but was convinced after looking round the school as it was so nice.

Anyway, out this way is lovely or as Dr Seuss said Shincliffe is nice, it is quite nice and leafy there with decent properties. Problem with the pit villages is that it is all terraced. Lovely houses mind with great room sizes but not much variation and a lack of gardens for the most part. Typical areas that get suggested within suburb sort of distance are Nevilles Cross, Newton Hall (supposed to be a good area but houses are all boxy and the same, I really didn't like it when we looked around there) or Langley Moor though as I said, those are more suburb than small town/village. Lanchester could be worth a look too, nice market town, more agricultural than mining.

Traffic is a pain in the arse. The Normans just didn't build enough roads for cars when they stuck that ruddy great castle by the river. Coming in from Broompark direction you don't really hit traffic until you come to the Stonebridge roundabout but then it is very slow into the centre. Coming form Bearpark way then you get tail backs pretty much right from the A167 to Bearpark and teh A167 itself is jam packed. Gilesgate side of Durham is a nightmare, you are actually better off going back to teh A1 and down into Durham rather than going down Gilesgate itself (not that I think you would end up living that way, not the sort of area you seem to be after at all!). Shincliffe way is pretty bad too because you pretty mcuh have to negotiate the city centre. When coming in for teh other side of Durham a lot of the traffic will be splitting off down the A167 towards the A1 but form Shincliffe way everything is trying to get into the Centre. Durham does have park and ride though and it has a fantastic network of cycle paths along disused railway so it could be a lovely cycle commute in rather than sticking ot the car. Plus, all cities have traffic jams at rush hour. The difference is that in bigger ones they are even longer and you probably have a longer journey home. Here, the last little bit might be a pain int he bum but then you pop out onto a lovely road past fields with hardly and cars in sight.

stickylittlefingers Fri 07-Oct-11 14:44:13

Hello! Indith's done a great job there (and the village where she lives is as nice as it sounds - I run out that way quite often and it's lovely down by the river).

I live in Durham, and have to say I love it. I've lived in cities in the South of England and it's a totally different experience, so I wouldn't necessarily discount the idea of living in the city, especially if you want to send DC to schools in Durham itself anyway.

I don't especially notice the traffic problem for getting into Durham because once you're in it, you can get all over the place without going onto roads at all. I went on a 6 mile run today and crossed 2 roads! If you look on the map, you'll see there's a lot of wooded area to the south and west (where I live). Once in Durham city centre it's pedestrianised (and the castle and cathedral are stunning, it's such a privilege to be able to see a sight like that when just out shopping!)

On to practicalities, I'm on the west side of Durham and in walking distance of Durham School, Choristers and Durham High School for Girls. I've friends who have sent their DC to the two latter schools and speak very highly of both. Our DDs go to the state primary, which is very good. Where we live there is a high preponderance of academics' and doctors' children, and well (without wanting to sound too snobby, which I do, but there we are) it does mean that the local state schools have lots of very academic and driven children, a lot of multi-linguality and multi-culturality going on, and it makes for a very good growing up experience.

The railway link to Newcastle is very good (there are some excellent private schools in Newcastle, too. I used to be a solicitor in N, so knew quite a lot of people who sent their DC to RGS, Central High and Church, and they're all quite different but again, very recommended by those individuals).

I would definitely recommend coming to have a look around. You can easily tell from the house prices what the area might be like. Some of the pit villages are very depressed, so you really want to pick your village carefully! If you wanted proper country (i.e away from village life) there are some stunning properties about, though I wonder how often any of them come onto the market.

Come up to visit, eat cake with us and we'll give you the low down!! I think it's a great place to live though - the quality of life up here is SOOO much better than in the SE, imo.

durhambound Fri 07-Oct-11 15:14:02

You guys are brilliant. Thanks for all your info. We haven't even got our house on the market but they sell pretty quickly in the area of dorset that we live. And when we do decide will definitely join you all for cake!

Indith Sat 08-Oct-11 10:17:31

Yes yes to slf's comment about house prices, our village prices are very affordable and low compared with Durham or the rest of the country but they are a good 20K higher like for like than the "main" village with the schools and shops that is far more deprived.

Tralee Mon 14-Nov-11 18:37:52

Hi everyone, hope you don't mind me reviving this thread but I am in much the same position as durhambound - soon to move from Berkshire as DH now working in Gateshead. We've looked at several houses and like a couple particularly, but now getting wobbly about the locations. Our sons have just flown so no need to worry about schools, and we are fairly far out here at home - I need the car to see friends, go to choir, shop - but really don't want to find we've bought a house that might be difficult to sell later because of its location. (I don't anticipate selling, just aware that one never knows!) I would hate anyone to be offended, so rather than post any places that perhaps ought to be avoided, could you PM me? I'd be really grateful!

lollystix Fri 25-Nov-11 23:44:32

I grew up on Durham in the city centre (if you could call it that as it's not a major city)- nevilles cross and then north end. Went to Durham Johnston comp which had (and still has) an excellent rep- at the time it was much better than the private schools except perhaps RGS (boys) in Newcastle. Framwellgate moor comp is supposed to be really good too now I hear. St leonards is also good if you're catholic.

I think where you live depends on your budget to be honest. 3 bed 30's semi in north end (one of the best areas in town) is about £250k nowadays.

What's great about town is that everything is walkable. Have to say I couldn't go back to live there but as a kid it was a great place to grow up as it's just the right size.

Jidshurl Sat 26-Nov-11 16:01:57

Hi everyone, I too am about to move to the area, DH has new job based in Jarrow, fell in love with Durham when we visited, would love to eat cake with you all, just hope my age isn't a barrier, no young children, two boys in Uni. but I have just finished working as a Midwife and would love to still be involved with Mums and babies/young children. Initially renting near Chester le Street, but looking aound Durham.

PotteringAlong Sat 26-Nov-11 16:06:55

Come to the north east! I live in Chester-le-street and, although I'm not from here originally, I wouldn't move anywhere else now.

jadeyty Fri 11-Apr-14 18:19:45

Hello, please help! I'm looking at buying in Durham and near the A1 would be great as I have to commute down to Teesside.

There are new build developments in Bowburn and Coxhoe? Please tell me if these are places I should avoid??? Also what is carrville/belmont like?

My max spend is 180K but I dont want to live in a bad area. I dont know Durham at all...please help!!

bibibubbles2 Sat 16-Aug-14 14:50:21

I don't know if this thread is still active, but my partner and I are due to move up to Durham before Christmas and would love to know more. Indith, I don't suppose you'd be happy to disclose the name of your village to me?

We've a toddler and number 2 on the way- jobs at the university and looking for a friendly village with amenities/ activities. Any help greatly appreciated!

PotteringAlong Mon 20-Oct-14 12:14:20

I still stand by my Chester-le-street comment!

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