When I tell people I used to live on ‘North Campus’, (also known as City Campus) it’s funny how few people know that a ‘North Campus’ even exists! Unless you’re an engineer or fashion student, you may never even visit it during your time in Manchester. Located in the centre of town by Piccadilly Station, North Campus is home to beautiful red brick lecture halls, libraries, and unbeknown to many, two small halls. Last year I was lucky enough to live in one of these halls- Wright Robinson.
When applying for accommodation North Campus really appealed to me but I could hardly find out any info about what it was like living there. I think I found about 3 outdated pictures online and a random YouTube video tour of the halls (which might as well have been filmed on a potato), and that was about it. I decided to take the risk anyway and applied to live there. Looking back, I can honestly say I made the best decision! Although North Campus won’t be for everyone, there are SO many perks to living there. So, for any perspectives wondering where to live next year, here’s why I think you should look into life in the city:
(My view from Halls overlooking North Campus- Not a bad view!)
Hands down the best part of living here is being so close to town. Only a 5 minute walk from Arndale and 10 to the Northern Quarter, there are an abundance of great shops, cafes and restaurants right on your doorstep! Often as a student in Manchester you can find yourself never leaving Oxford Road, but I had the opposite problem… There was too much to see! Whether it was walking to the Northern Quarter to grab coffee, or finding a new place to eat, I got to know and navigate the city and found some pretty unique spots. My favourite find was Piccadilly Village. With the Manchester canals running through it, it provided a great running route all the way to the Etihad stadium!
Out of the Student Bubble
As a student, the vast majority of people you see and interact with on a daily basis are 19-24 year olds. Again, the nice thing about living in town is seeing the other side of Manchester- The old and the young, the proper Northerners, and those you would never bump into at Uni. Living in town provided a great escape from the bubble University can sometimes become.
But isn’t North Campus too far away?!
North Campus does sometimes feel like it’s own small University. You have your own library and study spaces available, plus the people I met on North last year I still live with now. Having said this, getting to main campus is so easy- There’s a free bus! The 147 is the secret hack all North students know and love- you simply show your student ID and you can travel free anytime on weekdays between Main and North Campus. It cuts travel time to 10 minutes. Not bad huh? You’ll also find a lot of your fellow Fallowfield friends will make their way over to your side of town to go clubbing at Fifth and Factory (which are both only a two minute walk from your halls), or to head into town for the night. As someone who doesn’t like partying until the earlier hours of the morning, having halls right by the clubs meant I still enjoyed going out and see my friends, but could leave whenever I wanted and be in my room within 5 minutes!
All of this has just come from my own personal experience, so I can’t say whether it will be the same for you, but hopefully it has given you more of an insight into North Campus Life! I thoroughly enjoyed my year there and although I love living in a house now, there’s a lot that I miss. Being in the heart of the city was such a fantastic experience and if that’s something you’d like to try out, why not consider North Campus? 🙂
More about North Campus here.
(North Halls by night, picture by @Alicefranklinxxx)