When it comes to buying a property, nothing matters more than location, location, location – and Durham ticks every possible box. As you might expect, the past greets you at every turn. Few sights are more awe-inspiring or magnificent than that of the Cathedral, which casts a benevolent gaze over the city’s quaint cobbled streets – and over 52 Old Elvet. The Castle is one of the finest in the north of England, the city’s ancient university consistently ranks among the world’s best ... for these and many more reasons besides, Durham is utterly unique and particularly special place to live.
However, it’s real charm lies not solely in its past, but in the way in which it blends so seamlessly with the present. For, while its streets are ancient, the shops, bars and restaurants which line them are most certainly modern. Here you will find everything from big name high street brands to quirky independent retailers and small, family owned restaurants with great reputations for fine, locally sourced produce.
Like many university cities, Durham really comes to life during the academic year, when students from around the globe gather here to obtain a world-class further education. Although Durham was one of England’s leading centres of medieval scholarship, it only became a university in its own right in 1832 – making it the third oldest university in England. A member of the prestigious Russell Group of universities, it is the joint 78th best university in the world according to the QS World University Rankings® 2018.
Built around 310 years ago in the mid-1700s, 52 Old Elvet is, quite simply, a Georgian gem. Originally a family home, this three-storey, Grade II-listed townhouse shot to prominence in 1890 when it was bought by the Durham County Club from an Anthony Wilkinson Esq. for the sum of £4000. This exclusive gentlemen’s club was formed by 18 leading businessmen, MPs and aristocrats, including the Earl of Durham and the Marquis of Londonderry. And, over the following 126 years, 52 Old Elvet welcomed many more illustrious visitors, including royalty and as legend has it, HM the Queen who attended an event here as a guest of the club.
Old Elvet – which can trace its origins to medieval times - is undoubtedly one of the finest addresses in Durham. A broad, peaceful street on the bank of the river, it is just a five-minute walk across Elvet bridge to the historic city centre, where shops and cafés line cobbled lanes in the shadow of the famous cathedral. Close, too, is the Prince Bishops shopping centre, while across the river is Walkergate – a purpose built complex of bars and restaurants which is also home to the Gala Theatre and Cinema.