The walled Roman city of York is a hugely popular student city with both UK and international students. Famed for its rich historical heritage dating back 2,000 years, York is a vibrant city which seamlessly blends its history with modern living including plenty of bars, nightclubs, old pubs and a lot of tasty places to eat.
Our student accommodation in York places you in the heart of the city and has been designed with the modern student in mind and comes with a choice of spacious studios and shared apartment living.
No matter what you choose you’ll be living in a comfortable space with plenty of storage space, great study areas and social spaces making it easy to make new friends and to enjoy your time as a student in York.
Less than half a mile between them, York St John University and the University of York are the city’s only two universities with a fascinating history, both of which are situated within walking distance to the heart of York city centre.
Unlike most of the UK’s prestigious universities, the University of York was established in 1963 despite having petitions drawn several times for its creation in 1617, 1641 and 1647. More than 300 years since its first petition the university was finally opened with 216 undergraduates welcomed in its first year. Since, the university has prospered and now admits over 14,000 students each year. It has been widely recognised as a world-class university which strives to achieve excellence for all, having obtained a position in the Top 50 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2019.
The University of York is the alma-martyr for fifteen members of parliament, five members of the house of lords and even author Anthony Horowitz who is famed for his creation of the Alex Rider novel series.
As most universities, with every year that passes their vision for progression continues to expand, with the belief that diversity, inclusion and a thirst for knowledge should take precedence above all else. However, their future goals also include providing a home for some of the best research in the world and in recent years they’ve seen a 35% growth on their research income.
They’re not just interested in inspiring young minds, but to help people of all ages to learn more in a way that best suits their needs. That’s why the University of York provides opportunities for online degrees for added flexibility to those who have to tailor study around a hectic personal life, as well as offering 300 courses for professional development on a diverse range of topics.
But life at this university is not just about studying, it’s also about community and how the student lifestyle can provide sociable skills that will become invaluable for your future. There are over 200 student societies to choose from such as academic groups like Astronomy and Shakespeare to more light-hearted groups like Murder Mystery and Quidditch. Or go for something more energetic and choose from over 65 sport and fitness activities ranging from beginner to professional status depending on your athleticism.
Not only that, the University of York is dedicated to providing help for how they can make the transition from living at home to living alone as easy and comfortable as possible for all first-time movers.
Similarly, York St John University holds the same values and aspirations for their student’s wellbeing and dedication to help their education prosper, but they come from very different historical backgrounds.
Despite the city’s outcry for a local university, York St John remained at college status from its construction in 1841 until 2006, when it finally gained university status. Originally created for men only, a second college was created in 1846 for women but consequently relocated to Ripon in 1862. It wasn’t until 1974, both colleges merged and began working under the University of Leeds status in 1990 before finally receiving the right to award its own degrees in 2006.
Whilst not as large as the University of York, York St John has fast become a popular choice for studying, with 97% of students succeeding in progressing further study or work six months after graduation.
This city’s food scene leaves something to be desired, with a whole host of places to eat in York which will suit all personal tastes. Just a short walk or bus ride from your York student accommodation, these York restaurants are well-worth sampling.
If you’re a fan of South Indian cuisine, visit Coconut Lagoon, considered to be York’s number one Indian restaurant. Using the finest local and imported ingredients to give your taste buds a mouth-watering surprise. Or venture towards Shambles Kitchen where you can enjoy a delicious home cooked meals for under £10; try their toasted wraps, selection of sandwiches or the burrito smokehouse, whilst those who are vegan will delight in choosing from a daily selection of vegan soups. This wonderful restaurant is a city favourite and has been hired to cook a large batch of Moroccan chicken for the York St John University staff party in previous years.
Another example of top restaurants in York is Revolution Bar, famed for their sharer platters with enough food to please the whole group. Enjoy specials such as the Vegan Nachos Sharer or the Street Food Platter. Even their selection of burgers has five vegan options to satisfy various tastes. Let’s not forget the iconic drinks menu including vodka classics and cocktails to pair with your meal.
One of the best restaurants in York is Biltmore, a family owned business now over a decade old and resting inside a historic converted church. Enter into a relaxed and calming atmosphere where you can enjoy the drink of your choice at the bar or gather with your friends in a comfy booth. Or visit to enjoy a delicious meal on the mezzanine garden overlooking the island bar.
Other notable places to explore when you’re looking for somewhere to eat, include French restaurant Rustique, Skosh which serves contemporary British cooking and 31 Castlegate bringing European dishes to this English city.
Enjoying the nightlife is part of the student experience and York isn’t short of bars and clubs for all types of nights out. Some of the top choices for an entertaining evening out are Fibbers and Kuda, known for their hugely popular live events.
How many clubs can say they’ve had band legends such as Coldplay, Bullet For My Valentine, You Me At Six and Stereophonics play at their venue since its creation in 1992? A visit to Fibbers could see you being one of the first to see the world’s newest sensation live before they become famous.
Kuda nightclub hosts York University’s weekly student night, Entourage, a sold-out event which features North Yorkshire’s finest DJs and attracts over 1,000 people every week. If you’re looking for a night out in York, Tuesday nights at Kuda are considered to be the biggest and best.
Another of the best nightclubs in York includes Popworld, which aims to give you an experience like no other, home to the famous Ferris wheel 8-shot sharer! Mix and match between the classic shots and sourz. Labelling themselves the ‘cheese with style’, this York nightclub only plays those cheesy pop songs we hate to love. Brave the firebomb and choose from classic cocktails like the pornstar martini and take a break from dancing the night away in one of their luxury booths.
There are plenty of excellent places to drink in York, but another favourite among the locals has to be Slug & Lettuce. Gaining its reputation because of its quality food and drink, this bar is a good choice for those looking for a more laid-back evening out with friends. Choose to sit out in the beer garden during those warmer nights, or visit during a special occasion for their cocktail masterclass in which you’ll leave a skilled mixologist.
Seen as being one of the most beautiful cities to live in, York presents an abundance of opportunities to get exercise, whilst the River use is excellent for staying active with some riverside walking.
Located on Campus East, York Sport Village is the university’s easy access sport facility which provides an abundance of facilities to help you get the most out of your daily exercise. Get help from a personal trainer to reach your goals, enjoy pay as you go sessions for activities such as cycling and swimming, as well as over 90 classes a week. Alternatively, the York Sports Centre is also campus-based hosting football pitches, tennis courts and a gym with a fitness suite; everything you could need within walking distance of your York student accommodation.
The University of York is well-known for its black and gold kit colours with all clubs being student led. Other events include the York Marathon hosted on campus each year which continues to attract over 18,000 people.
If you’re a sport enthusiast, the University of York presents a tradition to compete against Lancaster university in the annual Roses Tournament. Organised by their respective Students’ Unions, the event is hosted during the summer alternating between each university for venue. Since its introduction in 1965, York currently takes the lead with 28 wins to Lancaster’s 26 and a draw in 1974.
This long-standing tradition has seen many familiar faces making an appearance over the years, including England team manager Roy Hodgson and chairman Greg Dyke officially opening the 2015 tournament at the University of York.
More widely known throughout the country is York City Football Club, founded in 1908. Nicknamed the Minstermen after one of the city’s most famous landmarks, York Minster. The team currently stands 1st in the league table for the National League North 19/20 season.
Classed as one of the world’s most famous streets, The Shambles in York is a narrow street with a lively history that dates back to the 13th century. Filled with an array of independent stores and colourful shop fronts, it is well-worth exploring this street.
Famous for its Roman roots, one of the top York shops pays homage to the city’s historical past, House of Trembling Madness. Fully furnished with medieval antiques and artefacts, you’ll be transported back to the middle ages upon entering. Explore their selection of craft beers, ranging from Belgian ales to more contemporary flavours, stocking over 1,000 total.
Considered to be one of the best shops in York, The Shop That Must Not Be Named has been cleverly named after the iconic series Harry Potter, taken from the famous line “he who should not be named” referring to the series villain Lord Voldemort. Students living at one of our York student accommodations are within easy reach of this shop and once inside will be immediately transported into the world of Harry Potter. Fans of the books and films could find themselves spending hours inside exploring the officially licensed merchandise from branded bags and jewellery to collectors’ items such as wands and replica Gringotts coins. You can find this store on the famous York street, The Shambles, which was the filmmaker's inspiration for Diagon Alley and continues to attract visitors from all over the world.
Looking for some designer shops in York? York Designer Outlet is located just 10 minutes away from York city centre and is the perfect place to spend an afternoon shopping at some of your favourite stores from back home. You’ll be sure to find everything you need with 120 stores, choose from retailers such as Adidas to Michael Kors. Stop off at the spacious food court for refreshments and delicious food along the way.
Would you like to experience Christmas German-style? Among the York city centre shops, you will find the popular Christmas store Käthe Wohlfahrt where you will find a wealth of traditional German Christmas decorations to brighten up your home. Or uncover York’s hidden gem, Fossgate Books where you can scout for rare and second-hand books you never knew you could get your hands on.
Other notable stores include York Minster gift shop, part of the famous, Gothic-style York Minster cathedral and Coppergate Shopping Centre. With so many fantastic hidden gems throughout the city of York, you won’t be short of places to shop.
Top York attractions must include a tour of the Gothic-style York Minster cathedral, circling the medieval city walls and exploring one of its many historic museums. Are you curious about the top events in York this year? From your York student accommodation, you’ll easily be able to access the event of your choice, therefore we’ve narrowed it down to the top events circulating the city on an annual basis.
Celebrate like a 9th century Viking at the annual JORVIK Viking Festival set just a short walk from the city centre. After nearly 40 years, this annual event has become a city favourite, with a week’s worth of celebrations in the middle of February. Join an evening event at the Nine Realms Bar and drink like a Viking the night before the festivities begin. Get involved with a variety of events throughout the week such as the Viking Costume Competition, where you can show off your authentic Viking costumes. Other activities include the Saga Storytelling, or compete in the Have-a-Go Sword Workshops, something that is not to be missed.
We’ve got tons more York upcoming events for the year ahead, including the annual York Literature Festival which was first established in 2007. Previously hosting a range of talented authors such as Michael Palin, Lucy Worsley, Simon Armitage, Germaine Greer and much more. Hosted in a range of venues, one of which has been York St John University itself. Enjoy listening in on talks with the authors, lectures and debates, as well as some exclusive storytelling pieces and workshops.
Are you a budding filmmaker? The Aesthetica Short Film Festival could be your next big break; submit a short film across any one of 11 categories. Or check out the York Early Musical Festival which celebrates over 500 years’ worth of musicians of the highest artistic standard.
A favourite among the locals would have to be the York Food and Drink Festival. It’s as good as it sounds. A 10-day festival held at the end of September each year and visitors from all over the country. Looking to promote local food producers and independent retailers in York, this festival highlights the very best this city has to offer. Previous years have not only seen incredible food and drink on offer, but their Food Factory in St Sampson’s Square hosts lessons for learning how to make bread. If that’s not your things then discover how to make and preserve pasta, cheese or chocolate! There’s something for everyone to get involved with here and can make a fantastic day out for you and your friends.
Other notable York events include the York Chocolate Festival and York Christmas Festival where you can look forward to taking part and soaking up the city charm.