The small town of Loughborough (or ‘Lufbra’, or even ‘Loogabarooga’) is very much geared towards student living, which is great news for you! Click on the link to the right to learn more about Loughborough University or use the search bar below to find a house.
1. Shop around. Wilkinsons in town is a good shout for getting set up in your new accommodation. However, you might do well to visit the less obvious laces such as Home Bargains, or the quirky little local discount store “Bonkers”, which happens to be right next door to Wilkos.
2. Discount. Get yourself a “Love Loughborough” card for a whole host of special offers around town, such as 5% off at Wilkinsons, BOGOF at Pizza Hut and loads more. Check out their website for current offers.
3. The Sock Man. You’re sure to find this out eventually, but a random photo with the locally loved landmark “Sock Man” (a rather comical looking statue in town centre) is pretty much obligatory at some point during your stay in Loughborough.
4. Visitors? When the parents come to visit, take them for a walk in Bradgate Country Park and then on to one of the cute village tea rooms opposite the car park on Bradgate Road.
5. Fancy dress. Theme nights are big, especially during Fresher’s week. Get ahead of the game by visiting Masquerade Fancy Dress near the train station, or for a more creative and much cheaper alternative check out the charity shops in town.
6. Market days. Stock up on cheap fruit and veg at the market in town centre on Thursdays and Saturdays. You can really bag some bargains if you turn up towards the end (about 3-4pm).
7. Eat out. The Noodle Bar is a popular eatery among students and the impoverished. However, for a lesser-known gem of a cheap diner, try the creatively named “Grill House and Shisha Lounge”, where you can fill your face with generous portions of delicious middle-eastern food (and reminisce about your gap yah), without breaking the bank!
8. Travelling? Being close to the M1, Loughborough is pretty well-connected with regular Megabus and National Express services, which often cost no more than a fiver if you book in advance. Plus you get 10% off with an NUS extra card. So you can afford to visit the parents after all!
9. Shopping. Fashion-conscious freshers, fear not! For clothing you can afford on a student loan, there’s a Primark in town centre, as well as TKMaxx, New Look, Next and a few of the usual Arcadia Group suspects such as Topshop/Topman. Don’t forget to use that student discount!
10. On-the-go. If you’re living in the student triangle, St. Peter’s Centre on Storer Road has just started running a handy little café on weekday mornings. Stop off for breakfast, or pick up a coffee on your way to morning lectures. There’s free WIFI too.
Loughborough University is best known for its sporting prowess, so it’s no surprise that there are a lot of sports clubs, health food shops and gyms around. We can't conclusively prove this but we're quite sure that Loughborough students' 'protein shake per person' ratio is off the charts. But don't panic if you're not sporty, there are still plenty of entertainment options. As well as all the ‘student discount’ signs stuck in shop windows, the size of the place makes it very easy to get your bearings and start spotting some familiar faces.
It’s a 20min walk from the student union to the town centre (there is a shuttle bus) and the area in between is mainly full of student houses, earning it the nickname of ‘Student Triangle’. The town centre itself isn’t huge but it has all the vital student essentials, including the usual high street shops, several large supermarkets, and a good variety of restaurants and takeaways. There’s a large market on Thursdays and Saturdays where you can pick up some cheap veg and other bargains, the town hall hosts regular shows and plays, and there's a small (surprisingly small!) Odeon cinema near the market square. For anything Loughborough can’t cover, both the cities of Leicester and Nottingham are a mere 15mins away by train.
Queen's Park is a great place to get away from the books and relax, located near the centre of town. It has some great open spaces for games or sunbathing, and the Carillon Tower. This is one of the tallest landmarks in Loughborough, which isn’t saying a lot, but you can climb to the top and see out over the town. The nightlife is split between the Student Union and town, with a fairly equal mix of pubs, bars and nightclubs. The standout student favourites are Echoes, which sports the standard sticky floor and two large rooms playing different tunes, and The Orange Tree bar for it's casual atmosphere and excellent cocktail list.