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The Nouse Guide to Living Off-campus 2015

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Hull Road

For all intents and purposes, Hull Road is a student's paradise. A short seven minute walk up Green Dykes Lane and you find yourself on the campus' perimeter. A ten minute walk will take you to Market Square and to the library. A fifteen minute walk in the right direction will take you to York's city centre which means that the trek returning from a night out will not prove to be too cumbersome. With an abundance of shops and relatively fast broadband, Hull Road has all the amenities that even the most demanding student could desire.
Hull Road has a large supermarket in the form of the Co-operative and while it is a little more expensive than the nearby Morrisons, it does offer a 10% discount for students with an NUS card, which quickly pays for itself after a few visits. Opposite the supermarket is Hull Road's pub, the Beeswing. While it's not the most glamourous pub in York, the drinks are reasonably priced and the pub itself offers entertainment in the form of a pool table and Sky Sports. What's more, it's local and no more than a two minute walk away from your doorstep.
Hull Road also offers a variety of takeaway and fast food restaurants which are perfect for those lazy Monday nights in or for the all-important post-night out feast. Additionally, there is a laundrette which will come in especially handy if your washing machine breaks down or if you need some clothes dried quickly. A Shell garage and an Asian supermarket also line the street as well as Freshways, a small supermarket with friendly staff which is perfect for buying everyday items, such as milk.

Tang Hall

Utter the words Tang Hall to most University of York students and you'll be confronted with sombre reactions. Some may give you a sympathetic smile and tell you "it's all going to be okay", whilst others may just stare in blank horror. Being continuously labelled 'the roughest area in York' and supposedly ridden with troublesome teens, Tang Hall does not have the best reputation as far as rumours go.
But luckily everything mentioned above is completely false and what students say about Tang Hall is indeed just rumours. Having lived there for a year, I will happily vouch for the fact it's one of the cheapest, safest and easiest places to live in York.
Tang Hall is one of the larger districts in York, therefore the area which you're living in will determine your distance from the university and city centre. In general, it's about a 15-25 minute walk to the university, depending on where you are in Tang Hall and where you want to get to on campus. Head up Tang Hall Lane and you'll find yourself at the science park, close to Alcuin and Derwent. Taking the route past Melrosegate and the Shell garage crossing will get you to Vanbrugh and the library. For cyclists the journey can be cut down to just five to ten minutes.

There is a bus service which runs through Tang Hall every 10-12 minutes. Hopping on the number 6 will take you towards either the city centre or Heslington East (great for all you Law and Computer Science students). After seven the service runs every half an hour until about midnight, and with it costing around £1.50 for a single, the bus is perfect if you fancy avoiding a comparably hefty taxi fare to town (between £6-8). The bus journey takes around ten minutes to get to the centre of town and 15 to get to Heslington East; annoyingly it doesn't stop at Heslington West so the majority of students have to walk or cycle.
In terms of shopping, the Co-operative on Tang Hall Lane will be your go to for essential top-ups of food. It's a lot pricier for fruit, veg and the all-important pre-drink shop so it's best to make a trip to Aldi or Morrisons if you're looking to invest in a bigger shop. You'll most likely have to catch a taxi to Aldi but Morrisons is around a ten to fifteen minute walk. Along Tang Hall Lane you've also got a hairdressers, a couple of takeaways and a fish and chip shop - which I can vouch for being very worthwhile if you can't be bothered to cook! Carry on up Tang Hall lane and you'll get to David Lloyd's gym, the closest, yet priciest gym in York.
The cost of housing in Tang Hall is also significantly cheaper than most other areas in York, on average about £5-10 a week less than those who are closer to the university. As well as this the lower cost does not compromise on quality of housing. Rather than the freezing cold and largely falling-to-pieces Victorian terraced houses that students live in closer to town, Tang Hall accommodation is often a lot more modern. The better insulated properties can really lower those gas bills and help you avoid hypothermia in the winter.

Heslington Road

Known as the golden mile, there really is no better place for off campus living. Whilst the beauty and quaint allure of Osbaldwick may be enough to sway some, I believe the phrase is location, location, location. Situated half-way between campus and town, Heslington Road is a prime area for off-campus living. We even have our very own pathway into campus, to speed up the 9am rush.
Moreover, there really is no excuse to pay for transport ever again when the campus hopper has at last been extended to the top of Heslington Road. Equipped with the critically acclaimed Efe's, two mini markets (minus the prices that you would typically find in the campus Nisa), local personality Mr Heso Local, and indie vibes channelled by Bison Coffeehouse and even a Vietnamese cafe, Heslington Road really is the place to have it all.


Fulford is a second year hub mainly down to its plethora of reasonably priced 4-6 bed houses and relatively leafy avenues. What Adam Bennett (if you don't know who they are, you soon will) fails to tell you is that Fulford is rather lifeless and by the end of the tenancy agreement you'll probably end up feeling as isolated as Napoleon did on Elba (haughty history reference for all you boffins out there!) There are two parts to this idle student-ville, the promised land near Mecca Bingo and next to the riverbank, an ideal spot for a summer rose session with the crew before heading along the river into town. Some decent takeaways and sub-standard but still cheap and cheerful pubs (The Lighthorseman) make this area of Fulford probably one of the best areas in York to live outside of the majestic Heslington Road.
The other side is closer to university but with a lot of the student charm taken away from it, as the rows of cold semi-detached houses become empty and lifeless with all the worthwhile parties co-existing a little closer to town. A 40-50 minute walk to town for some, Fulford students will inevitably miss out on what makes being a York student incredibly special: the town centre. However, the Fulford Arms, smack bang in the middle of Fulford, is building a reputation for putting on some decent gigs and Aldi is close for those of you with tight-pockets. There is life in the old dog but for those of you looking for a livelier student experience you're better off living closer to town.


Named after Osbald, a king of Northumbria in 796, Osbaldwick has a village-like feel outside of the main action of York's centre. This sleepy suburb has plenty of greenery, quiet and friendly residents. However, this also means it is near nowhere, which is especially tricky when trying to actually attend your 9am lectures. It's about a ten minute walk to Heslington East and a 20-25 minute walk to Heslington West, while a walk into town can take about 40 minutes. Living in Osbaldwick it is probably best, if you haven't already, to invest in a bike - from a second hand shop or York University Swap Shop, you can normally nab one pretty cheap. Even better, if you're lucky enough to have a car (and clever enough to pass your test before going to university) there is ample parking in the area. The buses are fairly reliable and you can get the No 4 bus from Osbaldwick through Heslington East and into town or the No 20 which runs to university and onto Monks Cross and Clifton Moor. However, if you want to save on money getting to Heslington West, you can always walk to Heslington East and get the free No 44 bus onto campus.
Osbaldwick is fairly limited in terms of shops but it does have enough to meet the essentials. There's a Sainsbury's Local on Farndale Avenue alongside The Last Shop Before Mars, a quirky service station open 24/7, pretty recognisable due to the huge daleks that reside on the building's roof. The large B&Q in the area will fulfil all your DIY needs and also sells home and cleaning products. There are also a few local independent shops in the area, including a fish and chip shop and a hairdressers. However, for bulkier orders I'd recommend getting a delivery, teaming up with housemates to split the cost.

Lawrence Street

Lawrence Street is one of the most popular places to live as a student in York. Wedged in between town and campus, neither feel like too much effort get to, making it particularly useful for particularly lazy students. It's only a 10-15 minute walk to town or campus. However, I'd recommend not pushing it too tight when making it to a lecture or seminar as the road can be a nightmare to cross during rush hour, often adding a few minutes to the journey. The area offers a range of houses. On a house viewing in my first year I was shown around the dampest, mouldiest and most windowless house I have seen in my time in York; but all for the price of £60 a week, you can't complain too much. However, one of the main downsides of Lawrence Street is the business of the road which can be loud.
Lawrence Street offers an array of place to eat and drink. Surprisingly, given that it is one of the York's main roads, the area has two brilliant pubs, the Rose and Crown (which does incredibly tasty pub food) and the Rook and Gaskill. Just off Lawrence Street is Foss Islands Retail Park which houses a Morrisons and a Waitrose, alongside a number of other large stores, including Homebase, Pets At Home) and Frankie & Benny's. For those who feel like the five minute walk to Morrisons is too long, the street also has a Shell with a
Spar attached and a Marks and Spencer, even if this does mean spending a little bit more than necessary on essentials. Plus, being only a stone's throw away from Hull Road's line of takeaways means that you can save on delivery when you're wanting some binge and Netflix time.

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1 Comment

Ollie Pickup Posted on Monday 14 Sep 2015

*3 brilliant pubs! no true real ale lover walks down Lawrence St without popping into the Wagon and Horses!