By Olivia Russell
Huddersfield, the home of rugby league, once Prime minister Harold Wilson and some of the finest best-kept secrets for night-life and entertainment. Huddersfield is a vibrant town with a strong cultural heritage, and with the University having strong international ties; you aren’t short of options for world-wide, authentic dishes.
Being a local girl through and through, I integrated into first-year University life quite well as a home student. Of course, there are great perks to camping at your mum’s for the next 3 years, not having pasta with Dolmio sauce every night, greater financial stability and general home comfort that people living in halls will miss. And if anything I am qualified to fill in the gaps with local knowledge and enlighten you on the best places to go during your time in Huddersfield!
You may be inclined to visit the local Wetherspoons, The Lord Wilson every other day. My first year I had what I liked to call my ‘Wetherspoons Bible’, a handy and well-abused book full of discounts, oh happy days. The allure of cheap full English’s and 2 for 1 alcoholic pitchers appetise the student in us (make that loan stretch because does it run out quickly). But there really is so much more to this town than Spoons and the often misconceived ‘grim’ perception of market towns in northern England.
Check out fresher’s fair! If no one will go with you it is still the perfect place to meet people and sign up to societies. I’m big on thrifting vintage clothing and upcycling, some of my favourite pieces in my wardrobe are from the little pop-up stall during fresher’s week outside the student’s union. Bryam Arcade on Westgate is also home to solo vintage retailers if you want to cop a bargain or two, as well as quirky cafes.
Magic Rock Brewery. A niche, independent brewery that calls Huddersfield Home. From hoppy ales to zesty craft lagers, have a beverage and test taste the wide array of intense flavours they have on offer.
Five Bar! Personally my favourite club in Huddersfield. Their music is mostly house and drum and bass. On Wednesday 25th of September, head down there for a night of bassline, with Danny T on student night.
Showtime, Huddersfield’s best-known secret. An entertainment complex situated across from the University on Zetland Street. With pool tables, table tennis, live sports, beer pong, air hockey – they’ve got it all! Student night is on a Monday, it’s £1 shots all around, including a private DJ booth.
Siam Square – situated across from the Railway station is home to some of the best Thai and East Asian cuisine you will have tasted, with dishes infused with rich, vibrant flavours. It is also great value for money with the lavish interior and overly generous portion sizes you are presented with.
If your housemates are being too loud and you need a quieter place to work, check out Coffee Evolution. It was voted by The Guardian as number one in ‘Huddersfield’s Top 10 Budget Eats’. With its outstanding coffee and cute, rustic interior. It’s a quiet place to sit back and get a coffee rush.
Who doesn’t love a bargain? Sainsbury’s on Market Street put out their discounted and clearance stock towards the end of each day, and every Friday there typically a bulk of produce that’s still perfectly edible for a fraction of the price. Thank me later when you can’t afford another Domino’s and want to cook up some home-made goodness.
Vox Bar is a quirky bar opposite the town centre, neon lights, cosy places, pinball and a wide array of cocktails, it’s the perfect chill spot for a beverage and a catch-up
Kingsgate – located on Cross Church Street is Huddersfield’s main shopping haven, with large retailers like Topshop, HMV and H&M based in the shopping centre, it’s also an indoor complex so the rain outside wont phase you. The exclusive Student Lock In 2019 is from 6pm-9pm on 26th September, remember your student ID and sign up at http://kingsgatestudentlockin.co.uk/
These a just some of my favourite spots in Huddersfield – and I’m sure you will find more as you settle into your new home.
If anything, just explore what this town has to offer, your first year is about finding your feet and settling into a new environment. Of course, your academic studies are the priority, but the most important thing for the first year is to get out there, meet new people and along the way you will find yourself. For me, first year was a breath of fresh air, your head may be spinning in morning lecturers and getting the notorious freshers flu is inevitable, but it’s all part of the hospitable Huddersfield welcome.
A Guide to Huddersfield for First Year Students
By Olivia Russell