This North East city offers the best of both worlds, with historic architecture, bustling cosmopolitan living and bargain house prices
If you’re after a vibrant historic city with a tight-knit local community, then Durham could the ideal place to lay down roots.
Thanks to its compact size, getting around is a breeze, plus there are some good schools in the area, such as Durham Johnston Comprehensive School and Framwellgate Moor Primary School.
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Home to one of the UK's most historic universities, Durham does have a certain student buzz. Thanks to the younger population that reside here, there are more than enough bars and restaurants, as well as a good mix of shops for all your retail needs. It also means that rental yields are high at 11.53%, so a great place to invest in a buy-to-let.
Living in these parts also means you’re right on the doorstep of some pretty fantastic scenery too. The Durham Dales are close by, as is the coast and the North Pennines, which is an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Young families will love all the wild landscapes, not to mention the many nearby gardens, parks and adventure farms.
Prices in the area average £179,487, with a good mix of converted flats, Georgian homes, red-brick Victorian properties, bungalows and sprawling estates. Here are some of our favourite homes up for grabs right now…
Kirkfields, Sherburn Hill, £128,000
This cosy new build home has everything you could possibly need to start out. With three bedrooms, it’s ideal for young couples and families and its scenic village location offers a charming spot for family life.
On the ground floor you’ll find a modern fitted kitchen and dining room, as well as a comfortable lounge with French doors leading out to the rear garden. Meanwhile, upstairs are three bright bedrooms and a family bathroom.
Just five miles from the city centre, this is an extremely well-connected spot that enjoys the benefits of a close local community too.
On the market for £128,000 with Robinsons.
Ladysmith Terrace, Ushaw Moor, £385,000
A five-bedroom family home with far-reaching views across the countryside, this impressive detached property is not to be missed.
The substantial floor plan includes an entrance porch and hallway with a beautiful solid wood floor that leads through to a generous lounge, dining room and sitting room. There's even a pretty conservatory to soak up the sun, as well as a kitchen complete with a every chef’s dream – a walk-in larder!
There are five bedrooms and a family bathroom located on the first floor, including a generous ensuite master. The interior features characterful detailing, from gorgeous cornicing and ceiling roses to sash windows and a beautiful marble fireplace in the dining room.
Elsewhere on the substantial plot you’ll find sprawling lawned gardens and a substantial garage, as well as our favourite feature – a patio that offers the perfect vantage point to sit and enjoy the scenic pond.
On the market for £385,000 with JW Wood Estate Agent.
St Annes Court, Durham City Centre, £475,000
This luxurious three-bed apartment is arranged over two levels and enjoys a prime position in the city centre.
With a private garden boasting stunning views of Durham Castle, a private terrace and private parking within a gated courtyard, this is apartment living on another level.
Part of a beautiful Grade II*-listed building, accommodation includes two sizeable reception rooms, three bedrooms (one with an ensuite) and a family bathroom.
The dwelling's living spaces are charming, boasting an array of period details such as original fire surrounds and sash windows.
Fun fact: The building was once a convent and is thought to date all the way back to the 1600s!
On Rightmove for £475,000.
Soane House, Burn Hall, Darlington Road, £795,000
If you’re a fan of unusual accommodation with a story to tell, then you’ll love this next property on our list! Soane House is a unique detached country home set in the magnificent 20-acre estate of Burn Hall.
Designed in 1783, the highly impressive family home is arranged in a crescent shape and features a magnificent double-height central archway, which leads off to single-storey wings on either side.
Boasting plenty of countryside to enjoy and some wonderful walks, Soane House has plenty going for it and offers families a good amount of space, with five bedrooms found inside.
You couldn’t imagine a more beautiful spot for raising a family and with a little modernisation, this home could be absolutely breathtaking.
On the market for £795,000 with Sanderson Young.
Observatory House, Potters Bank, £1,960,000
In the heart of Durham stands this outstanding period property of palatial proportions. The former university building is steeped in history and was once occupied by David Bellamy, as well as a number of other famous academics.
Since it was privately bought in 2011, the property has undergone an extension and complete revamp to create an outstanding family home. The original architecture has been lovingly restored, blending seamlessly into the contemporary extension.
First impressions of the interior certainly make a statement. The wow-factor hallway features a stylish glass staircase which leads upstairs to the property's five bedrooms, three of which are served by ensuites.
Outside, immaculately presented lawned gardens extend to an acre, with mature trees providing some welcome privacy. The private driveway leads to a gravelled parking area with a detached garage.
On the market with Bradley Hall for £1,960,000.
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Featured image: travellight / Shutterstock
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