A Student Guide to Preston 2019 • Visit Preston
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Preston Guild City

Students sat on the grass on Winckley Square Gardens.

A guide to living and studying in Preston for savvy students...

Studying in Preston? Lucky you! This welcoming city has all you need to embrace the student life. There's a diverse choice of entertainment, a colourful culture scene, and plenty places for a good shopping spree. When the sun goes down you'll also find mainstream and independent bars, pubs, and clubs nearby - enough to tickle anyone's fancy. All this is wrapped up in the neat little package that is Preston's city centre; small enough to feel like home and large enough to have something to discover round every corner.

This student guide provides an overview of what the city has to offer and where is best to visit to get the most out of student life. To get to know the city a little more there are also a number of self-guided walks that take you around the city centre and give you a peek into the city's history.


Things to do

Preston's bustling city centre is a prime location for shopping. Fishergate High Street is home to your favourite retailers as well as the St George's Shopping Centre and Fishergate Shopping Centre. You'll also find independent shops, cafes, and bars down the side streets leading off Fishergate High Street, including vintage clothing stores. All within easy walking distance from each other, the city centre is also home to a vibrant market scene at Preston Markets, a Makers Market every second Saturday of each month, and a regular vegan market at the PPL on Cannon Street.

Daytime entertainment is never far away, with the city centre holding a variety of activities close to its chest. For group entertainment Level is home to laser tag, bowling, crazy golf, an assault course, and karaoke rooms. You'll also find Escape Reality escape rooms nearby and Energi Trampoline Park for burning off some energy, not to mention the Ninja Adventure assault course and Wacky World inflatable theme park. These venues also host a range of fantastic events and money-saving offers.

On a budget

You can be sure to soak up some culture in the Harris Museum & Art Gallery. This Grade I listed building delivers hours of entertainment. You can learn about the history of Preston, admire some astounding art, visit the ever-changing exhibitions, or listen to some live music at a Harris Live event. Make sure to pay the Preston Cenotaph a visit and St Walburge's Church, home to the tallest spire in the UK and guided weekend tours.

Perfect for repeat visits and sunny summers, Preston is also home to some stunning parks, with Winckley Square and Avenham & Miller Parks just a short stroll from Fishergate High Street. Avenham & Miller Parks are two large conjoined Victorian parks, both ideal for meeting up with fellow students. The parks provide diverse spaces that keep on giving, with scenic strolls and many gems to discover. Winckley Square Gardens also has plenty greenspace and benches for relaxing and catching some rays, peaceful studies, or meeting up with friends.

Eat and drink

Whatever takes your fancy, you're spoilt for choice when it comes to places to eat and drink in the city centre and beyond. Whether you're after a South American coffee that packs a punch at Cafune or some delicious lunchtime nibbles at the Mystery Tea House, there are plenty places to sample. Friargate is also renowned for its large and diverse number of places to eat and drink, including hearty pub food, all close to campus and many offering takeout.

For more places to eat and drink see our Eat & Drink directory.


Preston is home to a variety of student-friendly bars, pubs and clubs in the city centre, easily reached from campus and city accommodation. The city's nightlife has been awarded Purple Flag status which identifies an entertaining, diverse, safe, and enjoyable night out. See our Bars and Pubs directory to discover what's on offer.

You'll find various club nights and live music taking place within the majority of Preston's bars as well as dedicated clubs open until late. For mainstream, dance, and old school hits be sure to pay Evoque and Switch a visit. Or, if you're an alternative music fan, Warehouse will certainly have your night covered with three alternating floors of punk, emo, indie, and more.  

For a night out with a difference, the Playhouse Theatre and The Continental have packed programmes of performances and entertainment. For brainy bunches there are also a large number of pub quizzes to take part in including Roper Hall on Thursdays, The Adelphi on Mondays, and the Market Tap on Tuesdays.


Events don't stop after Freshers' Week, there's also tons of stuff going on throughout the year around the city.

To keep up to date with upcoming events make sure to keep checking our What's on Calendar.