Student City Guide: Get To Know Newcastle, Manchester & Leeds

If you’re starting university soon, get excited: you’re about to move to a totally different city (or get to know another side of your home town), meet a bunch of cool new people and have a LOT of fun! To help you settle in wherever you’re going, we’re introducing a new weekly series which will cover all the major uni towns in every corner of the UK, from Newcastle to Exeter. So, whilst you soon-to-be freshers have been dwelling over which IKEA decor to buy for your uni halls or how many kitchen utensils and Tupperware boxes you need to pack, we’ve been rounding up the need-to-know student hotspots. This week, we’re looking North! So, if you’re headed to Newcastle, Manchester or Leeds, have a read and impress your new flatmates with the best recommendations…


Cafe: 1901 Caffe Bistro


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Located in the heart of Jesmond, 1901 Caffe Bistro is a firm student favourite for studying on weekdays and brunching on weekends. From the outside it looks like an old church, but inside it’s a warm haven filled with comfy sofas, good coffee and locally sourced food.

Bar: 97 & Social


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Osborne Road is a guaranteed good time – ask any Newcastle student! 97 & Social sits at one end of this much-loved street of bars, cafes and shops and is the perfect place to catch up with the girls over a cocktail.

Activity: Tynemouth Long Sands Beach


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Only a short drive or metro away from Newcastle city centre, Tynemouth Long Sands Beach is the perfect day out if you fancy a relaxing break from the endless fresher events. Play beach games on the sand, tuck into some fish and chips and, if you’re feeling brave, go for a dip…


Cafe: Hyde Park Book Club


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Hyde Park Book Club is a chilled out spot nestled in the heart of the student area in Leeds. In warmer months, tables and chairs spill out into the street and, when it gets really hot, they’ve even been known to set up a paddling pool for people to dip their feet in! Plus, the cafe collaborates with Leeds Student Radio to host relaxed afternoon events.

Bar: Headrow House


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Once a textiles mill, now one of the best beer halls in Leeds with multiple event spaces and two rooftop terraces! There’s street food to taste and over 60 different beers to try (not all at once!). Definitely don’t miss the pub quiz on Sunday evenings!

Activity: The Climbing Lab


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If you feel like doing something a little more active, head over to the Climbing Lab in Kirkstall. There are lots of regular events worth getting involved in including Leeds Girls Can Climb Friendly on Mondays, student discount deals on Wednesdays and Pizza Fridays (you get free pizza when you climb!).


Cafe: Ziferblat


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Now this is a new one – at Ziferblat, they charge 8p per minute per person for the space but after that, everything is FREE! Simply sign in when you arrive then help yourself to unlimited tea, coffee, soft drinks, breakfast, toasties, brownies (the list goes on…) and, of course, WiFi! That’s what you call a good deal.

Bar: Hatch


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As well as being a cool spot to share a drink with friends, Hatch also triples up as a place to shop and eat. Discover over 30 independent businesses, specialising in everything from up-cycled vintage clothing to Greek mezze dishes, and we’d recommend taking a look at their varied event schedule too!

Activity: Dogbowl


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Looking (significantly) slicker than your average old-school bowling alley, Dogbowl boasts five bowling lanes, an American diner and a bar for all your bespoke cocktail desires. This student haunt is the perfect place to bond with your new flatmates.