More to life than campus!

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Photograph: Bethany Dahlstrom

One of the most charming aspects of Lancaster University is the fact that it’s surrounded by usually-peaceful farmland and set apart from town, allowing for some peace and quiet should you so desire. But despite its lovely location and the ease of access to a train station to take you nearly anywhere in the country, coordinating a trip off campus to see the sights and take in the variety of aspects that make up English culture can be time-consuming and frustrating, especially when you’re trying to travel on a budget. Thankfully for students, the colleges at Lancaster University offer frequent day trips on the weekend, usually on offer about every other weekend. Most of these trips are run through Graduate College, and they arrange everything from travel to a quick-reference guide to local sights in each location, allowing you to maximise your time in each place.

Last term, some of the highlights included a trip to Edinburgh for St. Andrew’s Day celebrations (where you could get into the castle for free!), a gorgeous day out to Whitby (which had its annual Gothic Festival on that weekend), and Chester, with a stop off at Cheshire Oaks for pre-Christmas shopping. This term promises even more excitement, with the most immediate trips being to Birmingham (Saturday 30th January) and Manchester (Sunday 7th February) for the Chinese New Year celebrations.

In Birmingham, you’ll be able to visit the Bullring, where you’ll be able to do all of your second-term shopping, as well as the chance to book a time to take a tour of Cadbury World, where you can learn about chocolate-making and have a taste of England’s most famous chocolate. The Manchester Chinese New Year celebrations promise a day of fun, with the opportunity to see a 175-foot dragon in Albert Square, stage shows in Chinatown, and fireworks to end the evening out.

These are just a few of the many trips on offer this term through Graduate College. You can also take a trip to Haworth and Harrogate (13th February) and experience Brontë country, Conwy, Betws-y-Coed, and Penrhyn Castle (27th February) and get to see the beauty of the Welsh countryside, Buxton and The Heights of Abraham (19th March) where you can see the gorgeous Peak District by cable car, North Lakes (9th April) where you can see some of our more local attractions, Stratford-upon-Avon (23rd April) for the 400th Anniversary celebration of Shakespeare’s death, and the Llandudno Victorian Extravaganza (30th April) where you can see traditional Victorian slideshows and a real-life travelling show!

County College are also offering trips, including a day trip to Hadrian’s Wall, where you can see the Roman forts that once made up the wall between England and Scotland (as well as a side trip to the tree from Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves at Sycamore Gap), and Carlisle, where you can indulge in shopping and sightseeing. Overall, all of these trips are well worth the incremental travel expense, which provides you with pick-up and drop-off in town or campus.