At Durham University there's so much to get involved in at college and university level, but you'll find the wider North East region is full of exciting things to do and beautiful places to explore such as the Newcastle/Gateshead Quayside, pictured right.
One of the first things you'll notice is just how much there is to see and do here, and that you don't have to travel far from Durham City to experience all that the region has to offer.
Here is just a flavour of some of what you'll find...
Shopping and leisure
For those who love a bit of retail therapy, Gateshead (near Newcastle) is home to the MetroCentre. With hundreds of stores, it is one of the largest shopping and leisure centres in Europe, housing an IMAX cinema and 3D screen.
For boutique heaven head for the Georgian town of Yarm, near Stockton, where you'll also find a range of top restaurants and pubs.
Music and the Arts
When it comes to music the North East region caters for a wide range of musical genres From R&B to folk, and from jazz to pop, it won't take long to find something to suit your musical tastes. The region is a hotbed for up and coming musical talent as well as hosting regular gigs by established UK and international stars in everything from small, intimate settings to larger venues such as the O2 Academy and Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle holding thousands of revellers.
When it's time to relax away from your studies, the region's theatres, such as Newcastle's Theatre Royal pictured left, host a wide range of events. From Shakespeare productions to cutting-edge comedy from the UK's leading performers, across the region you're sure to find something that appeals.
Out and about
There are numerous castles, walks, cycle routes and beaches all within easy reach of Durham City. For the more adventurous, the vibrant cities of Leeds and York are less than two hours away by train. The open spaces of Northumberland and the North York Moors provide ideal locations for exploring further, and the seaside beaches from Sunderland to South Shields are also within easy reach.
Or why not try something a bit more unusual... Go back in time and visit Beamish Museum, cycle the coast-to-coast route with friends or try skiing in Sunderland, even in the summer!
Passion for sport runs through the region, with football, rugby, basketball, cricket and ice-hockey teams all playing regularly. At international level, Durham County Cricket Club hosts England matches, and Gateshead International stadium hosts world-class athletics.
The region is also home to the annual Great North Run, a great event to take part in and fundraise for charity or simply go along and cheer on the runners!
If your family are with you during your time at Durham University, whatever the weather there is so much to do.
Right across the region, award-winning attractions run exciting programmes of family events for all ages throughout the year. From teddy bears' picnics and art classes for toddlers to freemusic festivals for all ages and sporting events such as the Junior and Mini North Runs, you'll be sure to have a great day out.