The River Wear is host to a number of regattas and head races throughout the year. These include:
the Novice Cup, Wear Long Distance Sculls and Senate Cup in November and December; Durham Small Boats Head in February; Durham City Regatta in May; Durham Regatta and Admiral's Regatta in June; and Durham Primary Regatta in September.
Rowan Atkinson comedian and actor born in Consett, County Durham in 1955.
Matt Baker, (born in 1977), British TV presenter for the BBC. shows include Blue Peter, the one show and Countryfile.
Pat Barker, (born in Thornaby on Tees in 1943), novelist ('Regeneration' trilogy), now resident in Durham.
Barnabe Barnes, (baptised 1571, died 1609), Elizabethan poet. Died in Durham.
Tony Blair, (born 1953) former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Attended the Chorister School 19611966.
Count Joseph Boruwlaski (17391837), dwarf, spent last years of his life in Durham.
Rev. Edward Bradley (18271889). Studied at Durham University and took his nom de plume "Cuthbert Bede" from the names of two its colleges.
Richard Caddel (19492003), poet. Lived in Durham from the 1970s and was co-director of the Basil Bunting poetry centre at Durham University library from 1988.
George Camsell (19021966), international footballer, born in Framwellgate Moor.
Paul Collingwood (born 1976), international cricketer. Born in Shotley Bridge, now resident in Durham.
Sir Kingsley Dunham (19102001), Professor of Geology and later Professor Emeritus at the University of Durham, director of the British Geological Survey from 196775.
John Bacchus Dykes (18231876), hymnologist, clergyman in Durham from 1849 to his death.
John Meade Falkner (18581932), arms manufacturer and novelist. Lived in Durham from 1902, and became Honorary Reader in Paleography at the University of Durham, and Honorary Librarian to the Dean and Chapter Library of Durham Cathedral.
James Fenton (born 1949), journalist and poet. Attended the Chorister School 19571962.
Max Ferguson (born 1924), Canadian broadcaster, born in Durham.
John Garth (17211810), composer. Lived in Durham for much of his life.
Godric of Finchale (c. 10651170), popular medieval saint, briefly served as doorkeeper at St Giles Hospital in Durham before becoming a hermit.
Andy Gomarsall (born 1974), International rugby union player. Born in Durham.
John Gully (17831863), prize fighter, racehorse owner and politician. Resident in Durham at time of his death.
Warren Hawke (born 1970), professional footballer
Ian Hay, novelist (taught at Durham School)
Lorna Hill, children's writer
Trevor Horn, record producer and member of the Buggles and Art Of Noise, born in Durham 1949.
Steph Houghton, (born 1988), professional women's footballer, currently playing for Manchester City W.F.C.
Steve Howard, professional footballer
Violet Hunt, novelist
Cyril Edwin Mitchinson Joad, philosopher and radio broadcaster
Stephen Kemble of the famous British acting family, the Kemble family lived, worked and is buried in Durham.
Lawrence of Durham (died 1154), poet
Sir John Grant McKenzie Laws, Lord Justice Laws, judge (attended the Chorister School)
Paddy McAloon, musician, born in Durham in 1957
Thomas Morton, playwright.
Pauline Murray (born 1958), lead-singer with punk-band Penetration and solo artist during the 1980s
Stuart Parnaby, former Middlesbrough player now playing for Hartlepool
Anna Maria Porter, novelist
Jane Porter, novelist
Michael Ramsey, 100th Archbishop of Canterbury (a former Bishop of Durham)
Reginald of Durham (died c. 1190), hagiographer
Gordon Scurfield, biologist and author
Christopher Smart, poet
Joseph Spence, literary memoirist
Anne Stevenson, poet
Mary Stewart (novelist and poet), born in Sunderland, graduated from Durham University and was a lecturer there in English Literature (author of 20 novels, including The Moonspinners, Madam Will You Talk, and the Merlin trilogy)
Robert Surtees, historian and antiquarian
Symeon of Durham (died after 1129), historian
Sir Peter Vardy, businessman (attended the Chorister School)
Sir Hugh Walpole, novelist
Walter of Durham (died c. 1305), 13th century painter and carpenter to Henry III and Edward I
Sir Arnold Wolfendale, Astronomer Royal
James Wood, literary critic