Student City Guide – Lancaster
Lancaster is a fantastic city to experience student life.
A warm welcome awaits you in Lancaster and here’s our practical guide to help you make the most of your time studying in our city.
Download our Student Guide here or read on to find out more:
- Lancaster Welcomes Students 2023 – Full Leaflet
- 1. Travel and Transport
- 2. Cycling
- 3. Parking
- 4. Shopping
- 5. Supermarkets and Markets
- 6. Weekend Wanderings – There’s Life Beyond Campus
- 7. Theatres and Cinemas
- 8. Heritage Attractions
- 9. Parents Visiting? Explore This Fantastic Part Of The World Together
Getting around Lancaster
- Download one of our Visitor Maps to help you navigate the city.
- Explore cycling routes in and around Lancaster on the Sustrans website.
Travelling by Public Transport
To get around Lancaster there are frequent bus services around the city and into the surrounding areas. Visit the Stagecoach website for routes and timetables.
Lancaster Bus Station is situated on Damside Street in the city centre and is served by Stagecoach and National Express.
Lancaster University campus is about 3 miles from the city centre. Buses run very regularly from the university campus throughout the day and take around 25 minutes to reach the city centre. If you travel regularly you can buy a UniRider discount season ticket, available from campus or online from the Stagecoach website.
The University of Cumbria campus is situated on Bowerham Road, a few minutes’ walk from Lancaster City Centre.
Lancaster Railway Station is situated just outside the city centre on Meeting House Lane. One of the principal stations on the West Coast Main Line, it is served by TransPennine Express, Northern & Virgin.
A 16-25 Railcard is available for approximately £30 a year, offering discounts on local and national rail travel.
You can pre-book your journey with the following operators:
- 32090 Taxis, Lancaster: 01524 32090 / 01524 35666
- 848848 Radio Taxis: 01524 848848
- Coastal Taxis: 01524 60000 / 01524 424424
Driving into Lancaster and Parking:
Living off campus: Be aware that many streets in town require Residents’ Parking Permits which can be obtained from Lancashire County Council. These incur a yearly charge of around £20.
Lancaster and Morecambe offer popular high street stores, interesting boutique shops and traditional markets.
Shop opening times are usually 9am – 5.30pm on Mondays to Saturdays.
On Sundays (and Bank Holidays), due to Sunday Trading laws, most shops, including the larger supermarkets, only open between 10am – 4pm or 11am – 5pm. A few smaller “convenience” stores such as Spar, Tesco Metro and Sainsbury’s Local open longer on Sundays.
The city and surrounding area offer a range of boutique shops where you can browse for gifts, clothes, jewellery, hobby and craft items and lots more!
High Street Stores:
- Home Bargains: Marketgate Shopping Centre, Lancaster, LA1 1JF [homeware, sweets, gifts / toys]
- B&M Bargains: Unit 3, Parliament Street Retail Park, Bulk Road, Lancaster, LA1 1DT [homewares, food, gifts / toys]
- Superdrug: 1 St Nicholas Arcades, Lancaster [toiletries, makeup, pharmacy and medical]
- Rymans: Ashton Walk, St Nicholas Arcades, Lancaster, LA1 1ND [stationery / office supplies]
- Primark: 18 Marketgate Shopping Centre Lancaster, LA1 1JF [clothes, accessories, gifts / homeware]
- Dunelm: situated between Lancaster and Morecambe, Mellishaw Lane, LA3 3FE [soft furnishings and bedding, crockery, household items, small furniture items]
- Waterstones: Marketgate Shopping Ctr, Lancaster, LA1 1AL
- WHSmiths: 1 Market St, Lancaster, LA1 1HZ
There are many large supermarkets in Lancaster and Morecambe as well as the Spar shop and convenience stores on the Lancaster University campus.
- Booths: Hala Rd, Lancaster, LA1 4SG [1.5 miles Lancaster University]
- Aldi: Aldcliffe Road, Lancaster, LA1 1AZ [3 miles from Lanc Uni]
- Sainsbury’s Lancaster: Cable Street, Lancaster, LA1 1HH [3 miles from Lanc Uni]
- Lidl: Caton Rd Kingsway Retail Park Unit 1, Parliament St, Lancaster, LA1 1BB [3 miles from Lanc Uni]
- Asda: Ovangle Road, Lancaster, LA1 5JR [5 miles from Lanc Uni.]
- Sainsbury’s Morecambe: 253 Lancaster Road, Morecambe, LA4 5TJ [6 miles from Lanc Uni.]
- Morrison’s and Aldi: Central Drive, Morecambe, LA4 4DW [on seafront, 7 miles from Lanc Uni.]
- Lancaster Charter Market: Market Square, Lancaster, Wednesdays and Saturdays 9am – 4.30pm (4pm in winter), [international street food and fresh local produce and sweet treats, arts and crafts, gifts, books, clothes and more]
- Assembly Rooms Market: King Street, Lancaster, LA1 1JN. Tues to Sat, 10am – 5.30pm and Sundays, 11am – 4pm [vintage/retro/alternative and upcycled clothing and accessories, arts and crafts, collectables, jewellery, unique gifts and more]
- Festival Market: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 5pm (4.30pm winter) and all Bank Holidays from Easter to August, Central Drive, Morecambe, LA4 4DW [food, homewares, hardware, clothes, toys, gifts, two cafes and more]
- Morecambe Outdoor Market: every Sunday, next to the Festival Market [food, homeware, clothes] lancaster.gov.uk/markets
Exploring the City and Surrounding Area
Unwind in Lancaster’s outdoor spaces
There are plenty of beautiful outdoor spaces to explore in and around Lancaster. Enjoy the views from Williamson Park, meander along canal towpaths, or simply head down to the quayside to watch the River Lune flow by.
- Lancaster Top Picnic Spots
- 5 of the best walks to get to know Lancaster
- Escape to the Lancaster countryside
- Downloadable walking guides and maps
Wherever you visit, please always follow the Countryside Code.
Discover Morecambe Bay
Morecambe Bay is only a few miles from the campus and easily accessible by bus and train. It has a wealth of wonderful outdoor spaces to explore and enjoy. Here are some posts from our Inspire blog that you may find helpful:
- Top 6 Hill Walks around Morecambe Bay
- Discover Birds of the Bay
- Top places for Morecambe Bay views
- The Bay’s Best Beaches
- Woodland Walks and Picnics around Morecambe Bay
- Free Downloadable walking guides and maps
- Explore More