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The Freshers Guide: Life in Leeds!

Hey LAU, it's your Student President, Claire here. It’s that time of year again…FRESHERS WEEK!

If you're brand new to Leeds you might be wondering where to go to find the best nights out and cheap student drinks that will keep you dancing til dawn! Don't worry, I've got you covered with inside tips and advice for some of the hottest spots in Leeds!

Here's a list some of my favourite bars and venues for all year round, as well as low to no alcohol venues and events to go to, because it's not always about the booze! First things first, what's on this Freshers Week?

Monday 20th September:

Bobby’s Freshers Disco Festival @ Beaver works. This is a night of funky music full of dance classics from MJ to Daft Punk.

Tuesday 21st September:

University of Leeds' Fruity Headphone Disco @ Fruity LUU. Fruity is a personal favourite and a big hit among students with it being the official University of Leeds club night, taking place every Friday. Since it’s Fruity’s 20th birthday this week, LUU are running three official birthday celebrations during freshers week, one being this incredible headphone disco.

Wednesday 22nd September:

Leeds Freshers Neon 90’s Party @ Revolution Leeds - Electric Press. Music includes old school R&B, old school Hip Hop and old school classics. Best dressed neon outfits win a prize so make sure you dress to impress neon 90’s style!

Thursday 23rd September:

Indie Thursdays @ 02 Academy, Cookridge Street. Indie Thursdays are always a great night, with all the best Indie classics from artists like the Arctic Monkeys, Blossoms, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Circa Waves, Two Door Cinema Club and more.

Friday 24th September:

University of Leeds: The second event in the Fruity Freshers Birthday Party @ Fruity LUU. Fruity is a great night out in the student union, with reasonably priced drinks and great music on three different floors, there’s something to please everyone!

So now we've covered Freshers events, what are the other great venues in Leeds?

The Dry Dock is a small pub you can find on your way from the University to the city. This charming bar is shaped like an old boat and offers cocktails for half the price compared to anywhere else in the area. Students flock to The Dry Dock for Wing Wednesday for half-priced pitchers and all you can eat chicken wings.

This cocktail bar is located around the corner from Millennium Square. It opened in 2015 and didn’t take long to become a popular spot with the locals. Be at One has great music and offers 241 cocktails at varying times each day, you just need to check out the website to find out when happy hour is!

University of Leeds Old Bar and Terrace:

Two of University of Leeds' own pubs and probably my most visited spots in Leeds! The Terrace does a quiz every Wednesday night at 8pm, with £1 entry and prizes including union vouchers up to £50! They also host the pre-Fruitys party every Friday night with their resident DJ! Old Bar is LUU’s traditional pub; the place to be for all your sports-viewing needs, from cricket to boxing and everything in between. It’s a great place for a casual drink or meal with your mates at great student prices and they hold a weekly pub quiz too, every Thursday from 8pm.

Low to no alcohol

In a brand new city, meeting brand new people, it's easy to feel like you have to conform and do what everyone else is doing to fit in. Sometimes, the pressure to go out all the time can become too much and make you feel like the odd one out if you choose to stay in. Whether you’re the life and soul of the party or more comfortable chilling at home with friends, remember that there’s no right or wrong way to socialise at uni and it's far cooler to be yourself. Below are some venues where the vibe is more chilled out and arts-orientated:

Chow Down is an open air drink and dining venue with live music and events like drag shows, with so much to see, there’s no need to drink! I’d recommend booking in advance!

This industrial-chic bar and live-music venue with multiple dance floors and a vegan comfort food is one of my favourite places to go for a meal when I’m not up for drinking. What makes this place even cooler is that they’re big on supporting arts students and often host exhibitions by LAU students. They run exhibitions every three weeks that anyone can get involved with!

Creative days/nights out

If you're looking for something different to do in Leeds but you're not sure where to go why not try walking through one of our green spaces or heading to a gallery for the afternoon. There's plenty to do in Leeds which will get your creative juices flowing.

The ‘Visit Leeds’ website is a great place to find things to do, places to see, art exhibitions and new restaurants and so much more! You can even find suggested itineraries from 24 hours to 72!

Outdoor walks/day trips

If you fancy getting out in a nature for a little while, another place I love is Meanwood Valley Urban Farm and the walks through it. Here, you can pet animals and be surrounded by beautiful scenery! Just behind the farm is Sugarwell Hill a beautiful nature trail! If you fancy somewhere further a field, Knaresborough and Hebden Bridge are short and super cheap train journeys away and make for a great day out!

It goes without saying that there is always a lot of fun to be had during Freshers and whether you're staying in or going out, out, we want you to be safe. Check out our full list of safety tips on the Union website to help you look after yourself and others on nights out in Leeds.


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