A Guide to Lancaster City Centre
Hey there Freshers!
Obviously, moving out of home and into university is huge, no matter where you’re from, but moving to a new city, and for some of you, a whole new country, is bound to be slightly daunting. To help, we’ve created the ‘Guide to Lancaster’, with all the important information on what and where you can find all you need in the city centre. Brace yourselves, folks, this is going to be a long one!
There are various buses which can be used to get to the city centre. The main bus stop on campus is the underpass, but there are others located all over campus. See below:
Recently the Lancaster routes have been changing, but any 2, 3 or 4 bus (usually the U2, U3 or 4) will take you to the city centre, though the2 and 4 buses will take about 15-20 minutes while the 3 should only take 10. The easiest stop to get off at in town is Common Garden Street (which is just off the high street) or the bus shelter.
- 848848 Radio Taxis: 01524 848848
- 32090 Taxis: 01524 32090
- Coastal Taxis: 01524 60000
- A1 Taxis: 01524 35666
32090 Taxis are based at 9 Church Street, around the corner from Mcdonalds and a few minutes from the Sugarhouse.
Lancaster’s Railway Station is on Meeting House Lane, with available bus travel to the university.
Lancaster’s main supermarket is Sainsbury’s, located on Cable Street in the northern part of the city. It’s easy to find, as it’s 30 seconds from the bus shelter and opposite the Sugarhouse. For those living on campus, there is a free bus service to and from Sainsbury’s that runs on Wednesdays (term time) from 11:00am to 6:00pm, though you may be required to show your receipt on the return journey.
As for alternative supermarkets, you can find:
Sainsbury’s Local (Penny St)
Tesco Express (King Street)
Farmfoods (Parliament St– opposite Sainsburys)
Booths (on the corner of Scotforth and Hala Road)
Oriental Food Store (Common Garden Street)
Iceland (Nicholas Arcade)
There are also various corner shops dotted about, and an Asda and Aldi nearer Morecambe.
Although Lancaster is not exactly the next Arndale Centre, there are still plenty of places to find what you need.
For clothes, the main stores include: Topshop, Topman, New Look, River Island, Primark, JD, Accessorize, Next, Marks & Spencers and TK Maxx. For you bookworms, there are two Waterstones, as well as stores such as Boots, Superdrug, Lush, Pandora and Clintons, etc. There are also budget stores (perfect for us students) such as Wilkinsons, Poundland, and B&M.
Beyond this, Lancaster is great for independent stores, and don’t miss the chance to check out the market that takes over town on Wednesdays and Saturdays – you can even find some of the market stalls on campus on Thursdays and Fridays! However, if you’re still missing some go-to shops from home, Preston and Manchester are only a train ride away!
Usually the most popular place for students is the Sugarhouse, which opens Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This place is run by Lancaster University Students Union and only opens to students of Lancaster and Cumbria (though you can bring a non-student friend with you as long as you are able to sign them in at entry). Don’t worry about getting to sugar either, the Sugarbus comes periodically to take you there and bring you back to campus. The times are listed below.
To find out more on the Sugarhouse, click here.
Other popular clubs include Dalton Rooms, Hustle and the brand new Generation Bar which is taking over from Chupito. Dalton Rooms is located in Dalton Square, and popular for its Lollipop Mondays (soon to become Skint Mondays) and Cheese-on-toast Thursdays. To note: Glow Rooms is part of Daltons, just to clear up any potential confusion.
Hustle is located next door to Wetherspoons on Spring Garden Street and is popular for its cheap drinks, ball pit and DJ Wez. You really have to experience Hustle for yourself before your mind is made up about it.
As for Lancaster’s bars and pubs, the main ones (and popular for students) are Wetherspoons, The Crafty Scholar, Hogarths (for all you gin lovers), Sphere, The Study Room, Mint, Pendle Witch and many more! If you don’t get a chance to visit these bars during Freshers Week, you definitely will at the Furness 15 Hour Bar Crawl in November!
I bet you’re all wondering where the best places to eat are, hm? Unfortunately, Lancaster is lacking in the Nandos and Wagamama department, but there are still plenty of places to go!
In terms of fast food (and post-night-out scran) there’s the standard Mcdonalds and KFC (also Subway, though there is one on campus which opens until 4am). There are also plenty of takeaways, such as Starvin’ Marvin, Simply Delicious, among others who are always open until early hours, as well as Dominos, Golden Jade (Chinese food), Nice n Spicy and Bombay Balti (Indian Food) who all deliver to campus.
If you’re looking for restaurants, you can find a Bella Italia and Pizza Hut (though the latter is nearer the north of town, behind Farmfoods). There are some lovely independent places, such as Mollys and Paulo Gianni’s (if you’re feeling Italian). Pubs such as the White Cross and Merchants, as well as the Study Room and the Crafty Scholar all serve delicious food. And you can never go wrong with a W etherspoons.
There are plenty cafes around town, alongside your standard Costa and Starbucks, and if you like Greggs, you’ve come the right place. For treats, Patisserie Valerie and Kaspa’s desserts are new to town!
Things to Do
If you’re looking for things to do or see around Lancaster, here are some things to start with:
- Go to the cinema (Vue, Church Street – £4.99 for a student ticket)
- Visit Lancaster Castle (Tours being held in fresher’s week – click here)
- Williamson Park (for the beautiful views, walking up the Ashton Memorial and the mini zoo – with meerkats!) Go here for more info.
Below is a map of the city centre. The arrows point the direction of the one-way system around town. You’ll want to keep this in mind when driving.
Obviously, you don’t need to worry about moving off campus before you’ve even moved in, but here’s some info for when you start looking. For those moving into town, there is off-campus accommodation known as Chancellors Wharf on Aldcliffe Road. Find out more about it here.
However, if you’re planning to move into a shared house, the more popular letting agents are LUSU Living (who are part of Lancaster University Student Union), Yellow Door Lets and Student Housing Lancaster. If you need some extra help finding a place when the time comes to it, Lancaster University Homes is a website dedicated to helping you find safe, legitimate off-campus accommodation that has been approved by the university. Check out the website here.
And that’s about it for now folks. If we’ve missed something you want to know, or if you have any questions at all about the uni or Furness College, message the Furness Facebook page and we’ll do our best to answer them. And hey, this is just the basic stuff, there is so much more of Lancaster to discover for yourselves…roll on October!
Guide to campus coming soon…