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These are the best places in Durham to hide from your ex this Valentine’s Day

Why do mountains always win at hide and seek? They always peak….


There are a few things that I wouldn’t even wish on my worst enemy; one of them being to break up from a Durham relationship. Having awkwardly avoided eye-contact and endured the “side-eye” gazes at pubs, that excruciating feeling in my stomach and that overall sensation of self-regret is the last thing I would wish on anyone. Yet perhaps the worst I’ve heard about a Durham break-up is someone being told that they couldn’t date purely because one party knows the ex’s friendship group. Nevertheless, whether it’s anger or awkwardness, the Tab has got you covered with the best places to hide from your ex this Valentine’s Day.

1. Café Cenno, Market Hall

Three years at Durham has made me addicted to its various coffee shops. Everyone’s heard of the big names such as Flat White, Chapters or Leonard’s; but perhaps you haven’t heard of Café Cenno. Hidden away within the confines of market hall, this place offers an opportunity to temporarily escape the Durham Bubble. If that doesn’t convince you, perhaps I should say that I’ve never seen any other Durham student there whilst I’ve been there, meaning that you won’t need to worry about bumping into your ex whilst on a date. Perhaps the crowning jewel of this establishment is that they offer an all-day breakfast from £5 upwards. That should be more than enough to convince you.

2. The alley opposite Hatfield

Now imagine you’re walking down the Bailey, and suddenly in the distance you see your ex walking towards you. You can either a) look quickly and glance away awkwardly; b) stare them down and make them as uncomfortable as possible; or c) dash away as quickly as possible. For those who choose option (c), we’ve got you covered. Just opposite Hatfield there’s a little alley where you could potentially dip in to hide from that pesky ex. Personally, I think it looks a little dodgy, but having heard a few people mention the alley, perhaps it’s only right to include it here.

3. The balcony outside Katie O’Brien’s

Katie O’Brien’s has recently made a bid as the place to go on Friday nights. It seems to attract anyone at the university looking to escape the silly fresh whilst also avoiding the Friday night Jimmy’s queue and has disrupted the clubbing scene in doing so. Yet, in its appeal to a particular demographic (namely the third years) the risk of running into an ex there is, unfortunately, extremely high. To solve this problem for you, perhaps it would be best to go around the corner into the balcony area. It is so hidden in fact, I’ve even heard that some people would even relieve themselves there…

4. Hild Bede, and any college past Collingwood on the Hill

Katie O’Brien’s has recently made a bid as the place to go on Friday nights. It seems to attract anyone at the university looking to escape the silly fresh whilst also avoiding the Friday night Jimmy’s queue and has disrupted the clubbing scene in doing so. Yet, in its appeal to a particular demographic (namely the third years) the risk of running into an ex there is, unfortunately, extremely high. To solve this problem for you, perhaps it would be best to go around the corner into the balcony area. It is so hidden in fact, I’ve even heard that some people would even relieve themselves there…

4. Hild Bede, and any college past Collingwood on the Hill

Well, this one had to be said didn’t it. Anyone who happens to be in any of these colleges, how did you even manage to get back from a night out? No danger of seeing the ex anywhere nearby.

5. Your house

This one seems super obvious, but you’d be surprised what some people would do to not leave the house. Having been guilty myself of sleeping until 4pm, I can relate to those seasonal depressing Durham winters. Add in a begrudging ex, perhaps one could see the appeal of staying in and speaking to the sentient mould in your bathroom.

6. SU stairs going to the riverside

I mean just look at the picture. Who would ever walk down those stairs to the riverside. I don’t even know how to get there myself. While some may doubt the hiding capabilities as it’s clearly exposed; personally, I see an opportunity to really show your ex how much you don’t want to see them by just walking down those steps unprovoked.

Related stories recommended by this author:

What to do for Valentine’s day (Durham edition)

How to spend Valentine’s day solo in Durham