Lancaster: Student City Guide
Starting university is a daunting time in every budding student’s life. So many questions and discoveries to be made!
Lancaster provides the perfect university home from home, small enough to feel safe while maintaining a lively atmosphere so you’ll never feel trapped in the Lancaster bubble, as it’s fondly referred to by students.
This Student City Guide seeks to provide curious freshers and current students alike with helpful facts and information about your university city.
When it comes to Lancaster, this historic city full of – you guessed it – history is the perfect environment to make your own mark! You will no doubt find yourself stumbling upon hidden gems throughout your university experience, whether it’s your first or last week in Lancaster, and you’ll never cease to discover new places to love.
So without further ado make sure you take in this guide in order to make sure that you're getting the best out of your student city and life at university!
(Note: Figures quoted are correct as of September 2013).
Examples of what students can expect to pay in Lancaster:
Pint of Lager: £2.25 +
Double vodka & mixer: £3 +
Average Rent: £85 per week
Single bus ticket to uni: £1.65 +
Lancaster is full to the brim with deals, offers and bargain booze!
If the Italian Meal Deals in Sainsbury’s don’t take your fancy after a day of lectures and seminars then the variety of high street shops and cafes will tickle the pennies right out of your purse, so much so you’ll be avoiding checking your bank balance even after fresher’s week.
However, Lancastrian transport, food, drink and entertainment are so much cheaper than in any of the other big cities in the UK.
Universities and Colleges
- The University of Lancaster – 01772 892400
- 8 colleges in total (Bowland, Cartmel, County, Furness, Fylde, Grizedale, Pendle and Lonsdale)
Lancaster provides the perfect balance between a campus and a city student lifestyle and each college within that system provides a unique vibe for its members. Some colleges brand themselves as the ultimate party college or the sporty college, or the college with the best bar.
Through the more intimate college systems you are given the opportunity to meet people within your college before branching out to make friends throughout the entire student population.
Stay Connected in Lancaster!
The bus service to and from campus into town provides a great link between the two hubs of Lancaster. A return bus ticket will cost you around £2.40.
The Stagecoach X1 bus runs every 20 minutes directly to the train station and the Sainsbury’s bus runs every week too, so doing your weekly shop couldn’t be easier.
The train station in Lancaster is small and efficient with a great Costa Coffee between platforms 3 and 4 to set you up with a caffeine boost for your journey home.
Virgin and Trans Pennine Express both operate regular services out of Lancaster, providing direct links across the country. A return from Lancaster to Manchester Piccadilly is £16.30 with a rail card.
More advice in our guide on cheaper train tickets.
The beauty of having a countryside campus within a cityscape is the freedom to choose to walk or cycle between the two.
There are plenty of secure places to leave bicycles on campus and in town, and cycling is most definitely encouraged. Lancaster offers many walks and a favourite of mine has to be along the canal past Chancellors Wharf.
Best Student Nightclubs
Lancaster's student nightlife does not have as much on offer as the other major cities in England but what it lacks in quantity it more than makes up for in quality.
Here's a few of the top student haunts!
The Sugar House
There’s only one club in Lancaster worthy of the title ‘best student night club’ and that honour falls upon The Sugar House. The holy grail of Lancaster night life, where memories are made and swiftly forgotten, Sugar is there to entertain you every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday nights, each night providing a different theme.
- Wednesday – your mid-week dose of Sugar in the form of Jinxed, an Urban Vs Indie night, where rock and hip-hop duel it out for your attention across the two rooms.
- Friday – Old’s Cool delights you with a retro mix of 70s, 80s and 90s classics versus Commercial House and Drum n Bass. The resident DJs never fail to get the whole room bouncing and this is just the warm up to the main event on Saturday night!
- Saturday – Sweet As, DJ Cawky pumps up the volume on RnB and Urban hits mixed with in your face House Classics. Sweet As truly is the cherry on top of The Sugar House’s three nights and no one ever wants to miss it.
Each night sees a variety of tempting drinks and entry offers; don’t forget your Purple Card, and the recent renovation to include swanky purple booths has really improved the place. The Sugar Bus runs to and from campus on the hour so everyone can enjoy a sugar rush even on a week night!
If that doesn't satisfy your urge to party, party, then pay a visit to the likes:
- Revolution Lancaster
- The Friary
- & Dalton Rooms
Buy advanced tickets for most of these clubs from our Fatsoma ticket rep page.
Eating out in Lancaster is great. You can’t argue with barbecue chicken, cheese and bacon, chips, tomato and peas costing just £2.49 at Yates’s.
Many of the pubs offer two-for-£6 on pub grub, and Revolution have fantastic offers for every day of the week on food and drink, including the unbeatable 50% off food on Mondays.
GO Burrito, McDonalds and KFC are always willing to provide a quick fix for a rumbling tummy. Bella Italia also offer discounts with your Lancaster Purple Card.
New cafes are always opening alongside a number of Costa Coffees and Starbucks, so your taste buds will never be dissatisfied and you won’t ever go hungry.
Make sure to pay a visit to Yummy Cupcake Company for the lushest cupcakes in Lancaster – you’ll be sure to go back and they also make for great little pick-me-ups for friends when deadlines are drawing near.
The university campus has a cinema, comedy nights and pool and darts clubs, and ultimate Frisbee has become quite a craze.
Societies make up a large part of entertainment on campus and every Wednesday afternoon is dedicated to sports, meaning the whole student population is off timetable and therefore able to take part in sports and society activities.
A less energetic but no less competitive activity which is extremely popular are the Sunday night quizzes held at the colleges. Great fun, inexpensive and what better way to wind down the weekend?
Seasonal attractions play a big part of the student social scene and every year, Winter and Summer balls take place. Firework displays are held both on and off campus and this event draws students from all colleges to come together, not just to watch the sparkling displays but to experience the infamous pancakes from ‘The Pancake Man’.
Christmas sees campuses transform into a winter wonderland, adorned with fairy lights and a couple of cute reindeer. You can’t help but feel the Christmas cheer; the cold north winds will also have you reaching for a warm mince pie or two!
Moving away from entertainment directly on campus, Lancaster is home to a beautiful butterfly house, The Ashton Memorial in Williamson Park, and also has great links to Blackpool if you feel like a seaside jaunt.
Health and Fitness
You will have no problem keeping fit in Lancaster as huge investment has been made into the health and fitness programmes offered at the university and last year the multi-million pound sports centre opened on campus.
Featuring an Olympic sized swimming pool, climbing walls, mega gym and running a variety of classes including Zumba and Spinning, the new sports centre is perfect for fitness fanatics and those who would like to take up something new.
Lancaster University accommodation is fantastic and that’s a fact proven by the campus halls having just earned the title of ‘best university halls’ in the National Student Survey for the fourth consecutive year.
At Lancaster you will be spoilt for choice and all the colleges offer a variety of accommodation, varying from a standard room with a wash basin starting at £78.75 per week, to superior en-suite accommodation at £122.70 per week.
The accommodation Lancaster has to offer really has a home from home feel; cosy yet spacious, each room is capable of offering you a space to make you own.
International students also agree that Lancaster accommodation exceeds expectations with 90% satisfaction rates.
Catered accommodation is also offered at Lancaster University which include breakfast and evening meal from £116.97 per week.
When choosing a student house in Lancaster make sure you check out our guide to viewing a student house first.
Also, if you are looking for a flatshare with other people nearby then take a look at Easy Roommate.
Are you at Lancaster? Do you have any other tips to add to this guide?