University Radio York – the UK’s oldest legal independent radio station
University Radio York (URY) is one of the oldest societies on campus, having first gone on air 1967, which also makes it the UK’s oldest legal independent radio station – before this it was just the BBC and pirate radio.
This piece of broadcasting history sits nestled in the heart of Vanbrugh college on Campus West, and broadcasts 24/7, with an incredible range of shows; variety in the daytime with shows like URY Brunch, Roku Radio and The Saturday Lie-in, and more specialist shows in the later hours, ranging from Cream Cheese (bringing you all the cheesiest tunes) to urDice (a show with its own ongoing Dungeons and Dragons campaign).
It’s great not only to listen to, but to get involved with as well, as being on the air and speaking, building confidence, and experience what goes into the production side of things is all valuable experience.
York Minster’s resident peregrine falcons
York is home to the iconic Minster Cathedral – the largest Gothic cathedral of its kind in Europe.
This architectural wonder took over 250 years to build and contains the biggest collection of intact, Medieval stained-glass windows in the world!
Students get free entry into the Minster, but apparently, it’s bad luck to climb the Central Tower before you graduate so best to save that stunning panoramic view of the city for when you’ve secured your degree!
York Minster is also the secret home for a very special pair of birds. Peregrine Falcons, are one of the UK’s most iconic birds of prey, and if you look hard enough you can often find one perched on the gothic outcrops of the Minster building. The York pair are even twitter-famous with their own account called @YorkPeregrines where you can keep up to date with their sightings.
The Buddha on Campus West is one of the many hidden sculptures across the University campus.
It is located between the Berrick Saul Building and the new Spring Lane Building on a tiny pathway. The Buddha, sitting in a lotus position was a gift of Mrs Elizabeth Cooper, from the collection of her father, John Bowes Morrell in November 1983. Interesting fact: one of the three library buildings is named after Mr Morrell, twice Lord Mayor of York and one of the benefactors who helped establish the University.
The Buddha is one of the only sculptures that is present all year long as she has a small roof over her head. The admirers of the Buddha frequently gift her with flowers, poems or a small number of coins.
Rumour has it, if you donate a penny or two, the Buddha will help you with forthcoming exams and assignments.
Scale model of the solar system on campus
Launched in 2016, thanks to the efforts of the University of York’s Astronomy Society (AstroSoc), the permanent art installation features the Sun, and the eight of the planets in our solar system as well as everyone’s favourite dwarf planet, Pluto.
The model of the solar system stretches across both Campus West and Campus East and the planets are placed at scaled intervals reflecting their positions in space. This enables people to explore the University campus as they learn more about the solar system.
The display is both educational and beautiful, as each planet is designed and sculpted by a specialised team of artists.
Riverside cinema in the heart of the city
Overlooking the River Ouse, City Screen is built upon the historical site of the old Yorkshire Evening Press buildings. The cinema has three screens, which each have a unique feel – one is garbed entirely in stone, one in zinc and one in timber giving each a distinctive character.
As well as films, the cinema also streams live performances of opera, ballet and theatre productions – and you’re in the mood for a drink and some atmosphere, the Basement Bar features live music events as well as comedy nights.
Student membership is reasonably priced and gets you some free tickets and money off food and drink in the cafe – well worth it!