What’s so good about the city of York?

Hello again!

Welcome back to York after the holiday season!

By now, you’re probably trying to make the decision about which one of your chosen universities you would like to attend.

You’ve probably spent the past few months (or longer) looking through prospectus after prospectus, comparing course content and entry requirements until it felt like you were an expert in university life before you’d even started.

And important though that is, what about the city that you’ll spend the next three years of your life in? So, to give you an insight into what your life could be like when you arrive, I’ve compiled a list of a few aspects of York which I love – and which you’ll get to know very well during your time here.

The River Ouse

First things first, it doesn’t always look like this…

King’s Staith, York city centre
View from Lendal Bridge, York city centre

As you’ve probably seen on the news, York has recently been the victim of some pretty severe flooding. However, although the River Ouse does occasionally burst its banks, only a very small section of town is affected – and the businesses it does affect are incredibly resilient, with some pubs even putting a bridge to their front door so you can still enter. It’s quite spectacular!


But when it’s at normal levels, you can enjoy a scenic river cruise and see some of York’s historic and beautiful landmarks.



Many cafes and bars also have outside seating areas along the Ouse, so on a sunny day (they do occasionally happen) it’s perfect for relaxing with friends or family over a coffee and a slice of cake- or a cocktail, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.


The Minster

View of the Minster from the city wall, near the train station
York Minster at night

Potentially York’s most famous building and the tallest building in York, the Minster stands proudly in the very centre of the city. You can actually see the Minster even when you are several miles away from York itself. And, as you can see from these photos, it is just as impressive at night as it is in the day!

The Shambles

On your first visit to this characteristic little street, you’ll be forgiven for wondering if you somehow made a wrong turn and ended up in Diagon Alley. Just a few streets away from the Minster, the Shambles is made up of a selection of independent local businesses, including clothes shops, cafes, restaurants and sweet shops.

The Shambles
The Shambles

It also has a habit of putting up beautiful displays around Christmas time (as well as a number of other streets in York), so an evening wander around the city is a must.


Back of the main Wentworth building

Of course, the part of York you’ll be most familiar with during your time here is the campus itself.

Wentworth, the home of Sociology, is nestled at the very far end of the lake which winds itself through the Heslington West campus.

Path near Derwent college

Although to begin with the size of campus may seem daunting, it will not be long before you know it like the back of your hand and even know all the shortcuts and the best places to relax with friends. There are several cafes and bars/pubs which serve delicious, value-for-money food at most times of the day; plus a hairdressers, a shop and a letting agency, to help you find a house if you decide to move away from campus for your second and third year at university.


Accommodation is also split into nine different colleges, with three based on the new Heslington East campus and the other six dispersed around the main Heslington West campus. Each college has different types of accommodation, ranging from standard shared bathroom accommodation to premium en suite accommodation – so there is something for almost every preference.

This week, I’ll leave you with the pictures I took a few weeks ago, on a cold but sunny winter’s day, when I went on a wander around campus.

Until next time!



Heslington Hall
Heslington Hall from lake near Derwent college
Central Hall from lake near Unity Health Centre
Central Hall from Exhibition Centre
Central Hall from James college



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Hello and welcome to the life of a Sociology student at the University of York! I'm Sam and i'm a third year studying Sociology with Criminology.