A cathedral city with royal connections, a gruesome history, and the Lake District nearby, Lancaster’s arts scene might surprise you.

Lancaster has a rather historical aura. The architecture is nice and picturesque, people are kind, and the stores are varied. It is very close to the sea, and there are plenty of areas where you can stroll. Not to forget, it’s one hour from Manchester, and pretty close to The Lake District as well. The weather is typical for Northern England, but I’ve enjoyed many sunny days on campus. (Lancaster University student)

What Lancaster's famous for...

The Hanging Town

Seventeenth century Lancaster was a hotbed of witch trials. So many executions took place here over the years, that it picked up this macabre moniker. 

Lancaster nightlife, according to students

The Sugarhouse is the main place that Lancaster University students go for nights out. It is student-run, making it a safe environment. There are also other pubs and bars which are popular, including Daltons. (Second year student, Lancaster University)

Lancaster Castle

A grade 1 listed building with a thousand years of brutal history, the medieval castle was a working prison until 2011. The Crown Court still operates here.

Lancaster nightlife, according to students

If clubbing isn't your scene, there are plenty of pubs, most of which do a quiz which is super popular among students, like The Student Room or The Pendle Witch. There are some lovely bars for fancier drinks, like Tipple or The Crypt, for a more special occasion. (Third year student, Lancaster University)

The Way of the Roses

Uncover some of north England’s most breathtaking spots on this 170-mile cycling route. Start at nearby Morecambe Bay, and head east until you reach Bridlington.

Student life in Lancaster

Local gems, tips, and things to do, as recommended by students.
Low on cash
Williamson Park is my go-to. There are lots of walks, a little cafe, and a mini wildlife park (£3 entry) which has meerkats, a butterfly farm, and rabbits – it is a lovely day out. (Third year student, Lancaster University)
Treat yourself
Tipple cocktail bar is a fantastic date night idea: board games, classy environment, affordable, and table tennis table. (Third year student, Lancaster University)
Friday night out
Most of the student population is at The Sugarhouse or Daltons. Ye Olde John O'Gaunt in town is a great spot with live music every weekend night, while The Crafty Scholar often shows sport on huge screens. (Third year student, Lancaster University)
Sunday chilling
Atkinson's is a small coffee chain with three cafes in Lancaster: the Music Room, the Hall and the Castle Cafe. All are great and relaxing spots to do work, meet with friends, or just enjoy a specialty coffee or tea. (Third year student, Lancaster University)
When family visit
[It would be] lovely to go to the Lake District or nearby beaches with family, if they come up with their car. They would also love a walk around the castle to see some of Lancaster's culture. (Lancaster University student)
Feeling cultural
There are lots of vintage markets and poetry evenings held in the Storey building, many free or cheap to enter. (Second year student, Lancaster University)
Catch up with mates
The Water Witch has to be my favourite pub. It’s cute and cosy, but still a great atmosphere for a catch up – plus [it's] easy to get into town, or back to campus after. (Second year student, Lancaster University)
Grab a bite
GoBurrito for loaded fries and burrito meals for a reasonable price, and is open for end of the night food on weekends. The Whaletail Cafe is a great vegetarian restaurant for amazing full English breakfasts. (Third year student, Lancaster University)

Lancaster in pictures

Lancaster Castle

The view of the Lancaster Castle courtyard, from inside the Atkinson's Castle Cafe. This is a peaceful and modern cafe with a beautiful view over the newly renovated interior of the castle, a great place to study on weekends, or a social space for catch-ups with friends and family days out. (Anna Gniwotta, third year student at Lancaster University)

Living in Lancaster, according to students

Bowerham – this area tends to have bigger houses than the town centre. It is in-between uni and town, so easy to get to both. There are regular buses in both directions, although these can get pretty full in the mornings and at the end of the day. It is up a hill, so it can be a pain to walk back! On the whole, it's a nice area though. I'm planning to live there next year too. (Second year student, Lancaster University)

The Woodland Trail on campus

The Woodland Trail on campus. For me, it's a great place to unwind and get away from work for a little while. (Holly, Lancaster University student)

Living in Lancaster, according to students

City centre – it’s a really central location with good access to the train station, bus stop, and local shops. It’s handy to live further into the central town, because the bus starts there and you’re more likely to get a seat (the bus can fill up quickly if you live further out). It’s still very quiet despite being in the centre of town. Great location for nights out as the nightclubs are all pretty much in the centre of town too, so you can walk home rather than getting a taxi. (Third year student, Lancaster University)

Lancaster Museum

Lancaster Museum, a place where I spent many weekends. A really relaxing place to visit to get away from the stress of uni life. (Atlas Patrick, Lancaster University student)

Lancaster skyline

View of Lancaster from the Castle Gateway. It shows the beautiful history and architecture that Lancaster has. (Lauren Snooks, third year student at Lancaster University)

Living in Lancaster

Housing, travel, and budgeting tips.

Where you'll find students
  • City centre
  • Bowerham
  • Moorgate
Local transport
  • Weekly ticket: £16.50
  • Stagecoach Bay 7 Day Megarider ticket
  • Bus

Student money tips

There is a large market every Wednesday and Saturday on Market Square, Market Street, and Cheapside, with fresh groceries and hot food, usually including vegan, vegetarian, and halal options. There is also the oriental supermarket on Common Garden Street, where you can get spices and pantry staples for cheap prices. (Second year student, Lancaster University)

The cost of living as a student soon adds up, us our budget calculator to find out roughly how much you'll need each month.

​Discover more savings on student life in Lancaster with UCAS student discounts. Find the latest deals, from fashion brands and eating fresh, to big discounts on tech and travel.