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Here’s why Sheffield is the UK’s friendliest, most cultural student city


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If I had to choose one word to describe Sheffield, my adopted university city, that word would be diverse. If you want culture, affordability and a sense of belonging look no further than this former northern powerhouse.

It’s easy to say that Sheffield has developed into one of the best student cities in the UK in recent years (obviously this is me being completely impartial and unbiased.) One of the main reasons I hold Sheffield in such high regard is the friendliness of the local people - whether you’re staggering down West Street at midnight or going for a shop down Moor Market, you are treated by the same warmness.

Diversity, as I have previously said, is a key characteristic of the ‘Steel City’. In the past two decades Sheffield has been on the receiving end of multiple regeneration projects, which have very much changed the identity of the city for the better, and increased the variety of culture it affords.

A creative hub

If you’re interested in the arts you have to look no further than its three award-winning theatres, the Crucible, the Lyceum and the Studio, and its annual summer music festival, Tramlines. But that is not all - there are countless venues that are perfect for live music, and you never know you may stumble across the next Human League, Arctic Monkeys or Pulp, all of whom formed in Sheffield.

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Let The Good Times Roll #TramlinesTEN

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Yellow Arch Studios in particular plays a part in musical history, having been the recording studio utilised for the Arctic Monkeys’ debut album, and it also remains a key feature of the Sheffield music scene, with countless live events all year round. The Yellow Arch is situated at Kelham Island, and is definitely worth a visit with the £1.20 student bus fare.

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Our 21st birthday party is this Friday Three rooms filled to the brim with vibes! Find out more via our Facebook page

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The Yellow Arch is not the only worthwhile location to visit within the vicinity of Kelham Island, which is known to be the city’s oldest site of manufacturing. Kelham Island has been transformed into a creative and cultural hub, having a number of galleries in addition to microbreweries and places to eat. A monthly event that’s definitely worth a visit is the Peddler Night Market, which mixes street food, live music and cocktails.

The bars on West Street

I cannot describe Sheffield without giving mention to the notorious West Street, which is somewhat the main drag of bars in Sheffield. On West Street you can experience everything from cheesy noughties pop to 90s indie throwback. There are many bars, almost too many to mention, and you most definitely won’t struggle to find fun night out.

The countryside is on your doorstep

Peak District. Image credit: Ciaran Hanvey

If you thought culture and good nights out was all Sheffield has to offer, you are most definitely forgetting the beautiful Peak District, which is right on your doorstep if you choose to go to uni here. If you’re looking for a lovely summer walk or a place to take outstanding photographs then the Peak District is the place to be, and it’s only a 25-minute bus ride from West Street.

Sheffield offers you everything, and that’s why it is hard in my opinion to look anywhere else other than here as the best student city. Disagree? Feel free to try to convince me otherwise…

Want more? Check out our cultural guide to Sheffield and our music guide to Sheffield.

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