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The Student Guide to York

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by Katie Thompson (subscribe)
University of York Graduate, aspiring to be a journalist with dreams of one day publishing my own novel. Blog: twotwothompson.wordpress.com/ Published work can be seen at www.theyorker.co.uk and www.yorkvision.co.uk
Published August 16th 2012
The essential Freshers guide to York
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Adjusting to student life can be a very daunting experience. Tempting though it is to blow your first student loan in Freshers' Week, here's a round-up of the best value for money pubs, clubs and tourist attractions to help you make the most of your time here without breaking the bank.

Paint the town red

My personal favourite spots include The Lowther for some budget-friendly bevvies. Start your night here as you mean to go on with treble vodka Irn Bru/Vimtos for £2.80 or £3.70 after ten o'clock - just make sure you drink them slowly to keep your composure as they're served in pint glasses. Word of warning though - be careful when visiting these parts during the rainy months; The Lowther's riverside location can make it very susceptible to flooding...

Once suitably merry, I like to take a stroll along the Ouse Bridge towards what I consider to be the best (cheesiest) bar in York - none other than the glorious Reflex, an 80s themed bar which boasts York's only revolving dance floor, a dance pole and a bucking bronco five out of seven nights a week, coupled with the best tunes from the 80s and 90s. Groove to Wham while sipping a £1.50 alcopop and marvel at the Knightrider-esque décor - just be sure to visit on Wednesdays or Sundays for the best drinks deals.

You won't have been in York five minutes before hearing those two ominous little words: 'The Willow'. This is because, quite simply, The Willow is the place to be if you want to finish your night in Fresher-friendly style. Located up the stairs to a Chinese Restaurant on Coney Street, the school disco-esque setting might frighten clubbers on their first visit, but after a while all will succumb to The Willow's charms, made so by the tiny (yet remarkably fast-serving) bar, the oh-so-cheesy tunes and, best of all, the free prawn crackers.

Of course, I've recommended only a few of the drinking establishments York has to offer - there is a plethora of pubs and clubs to enjoy. For example, the more cultured among us may enjoy the cocktail-themed bars Bora Bora and Dusk. One thing's for sure though - York might appear to be all Roman walls and museums to the untrained eye, but you certainly won't be stuck for ideas to have a cracking night out here.

Be a culture vulture

Embracing the historical side of York doesn't necessarily mean plummeting into your overdraft. There's plenty on offer without even having to open your wallet. First and foremost, the obvious - those who enjoy the outdoors can take a stroll around the city walls absolutely free, whilst taking in a bit of culture with the signposts at regular intervals, giving visitors a piece of free information about York's history.

If you're a York resident, you can sign up for a York Card at any local library for £2, which gives you free entry into the Castle Museum, the Yorkshire Museum and York's Cathedral, the Minster. The York Card also entitles you to half price City Sightseeing bus tours.

Other free sights include the National Railway Museum, which is a surprisingly fun day out and is so huge you may need to go back the following day just to take it all in.

If you're more of a fan of natural beauty, however, there are plenty of open spaces to walk round and enjoy the sights, from ambling around the Museum Gardens to a stroll along the River Ouse or the gorgeous Rowntree Park.

It sounds a lot to take in for a relatively small city, and that's just the free stuff! Relax - you've got three years…
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Website: www.yusu.org
Where: York University
Your Comment
Nice guide! I think i'd like to be a student in York
by Jay Johnson (score: 2|963) 379 days ago
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