Preston For Students: The Bellvue Students Guide

Preston for Students - A Guide

March 3, 2016 - bellvue-admin - Preston

With a student population of 30,000, Preston is certainly geared toward its big student population with plenty going on to keep you occupied when you’re not in lectures.

Home to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN), Preston is quickly establishing itself as a top student city, and you’ll be sure to feel straight at home in no time at all. 

Offering some of the very best student accommodation in Preston, we thought we’d put together our very own guide on the city, outlining the very best nightlife, restaurants, shopping, museums and sport.


One in five people in Preston are students, so it’s no surprise it has a great and varied nightlife culture.

The main clubs to try out are Cameo, Evoque and MACs for the best of new and mainstream music.

If you fancy something a bit different, The Warehouse was one the North West’s biggest punk venues back in the late 70s and also played host to gigs from the likes of Joy Division and The Stone Roses. Nowadays it is home to nights covering rock and emo, indie and retro pop.

If you don’t fancy a full-on club night, there are also a number of lovely little cocktail bars such as Lofty’s and Kuckoo, or even the Pasha shisha lounge.

Worried about making that student loan stretch as far as possible? Fortunately, Preston is on the cheaper side as far as nights out go, as the bars and clubs compete for your custom with various drinks deals and offers.

If you’re into live music, 53 Degrees at the Student Union is probably your best bet, although other local pubs such as The Continental and The Ferret also host gigs on a regular basis by both local and touring bands.


While we know that students don’t always have the budget to be eating out, if you do decide to treat yourself, you’ll find a host of independent restaurants as well as all the regular high street names.

If you fancy something a bit different than your standard ‘cheeky Nando’s,’ the best thing to do is go and explore some of Preston’s side streets for yourself.

Among our favourites are The Olive Press (head down on a Monday for 50% off), and for those with a bigger appetite, The Chinese Buffet on Friargate.

Of course, if you’d rather stay in with a takeaway, the city is home to a vast range of takeaways covering every style imaginable. 

Preston is also home to great coffee houses, ideal for a quick study break with your mates, or even to take your laptop and catch up with some work.

The Mystery Tea House is a must for any tea lovers, or try out the likes of Fanaki’s for a more continental feel.


The two main shopping centres in Preston are St George’s and Fishergate, both of which are home to all of the big brands such as Primark, River Island, and the biggest Debenhams in Lancashire!

The city is also home to a number of smaller independent boutiques around Winckley Square and also holds the famous Outdoor Market in the Flag Market area on a Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.


If you fancy taking in a bit of culture, Preston is home to the iconic Harris Museum and Art Gallery.

This Grade I listed building is the home of the city’s arts scene, and has a regular programme of exhibitions and events.

If you’re new to the area and want to find out a little bit of history, check out The Museum of Lancashire for an in-depth history of the county.


Preston is home to one of the most historic football clubs in the world, Preston North End, who dominated the English game back in the late 19th century.

Nowadays PNE play their trade in the second tier of football at their home stadium of Deepdale is only 20 minutes or so from the city centre, and 16 to 21 year olds can pick up tickets for as little as £10.

UCLAN is renowned for its sporting facilities in the form of the Sir Tom Finney Sports Centre, with excellent gym facilities. Best of all, membership is free to all students!

Further Afield

If you fancy getting out of Preston for the day and exploring a little bit further afield, Preston is only a 15-minute train journey from the historic city of Lancaster, or 30 minutes from Oxenholme which is the gateway to the stunning English Lake District.

The likes of Manchester and Liverpool are also within easy travelling distance whether by rail or by car, and both offer a nice alternative night out, or why not head down for a day by the sea at Blackpool and check out the famous Pleasure Beach!


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