Living in Leamington
Like most students in their second and final year, I chose to live in Leamington. Although students get the choice to live anywhere outside of university – albeit Canley, Coventry, Kenilworth, Warwick, etc.… – the majority of students will be looking for accommodation in Royal Leamington Spa. This is just one of the many reasons why I loved living here and why I would recommend living here over neighbouring towns to future students: it is essentially a second Warwick University campus, with the town housing so many students each year.
There are, of course, other advantages to living in Leamington. Personally, I even preferred living away from campus as it gives you the opportunity to find your own property and to live with your best friends from university in a sort of family dynamic. Although house hunting can be stressful – and particularly for Leamington, as there is high demand for housing here – the array of houses on offer to students is amazing and allows you to pick a property that suits you best: whether you want to live in an apartment or a house, to be close to the nightlife or close to the bus stop – the choice is yours!
I suppose this brings me on to my second downside of living in Leamington – the commute. Unfortunately, Leamington is a town that is quite a journey away from the university campus, meaning that unless you have a car, you will need to rely on the bus service. This obviously will be different for those students living in Canley or Kenilworth, as the university can be reached by a short bike ride or even a walk. However, as bus services go, the U1 and U2 buses, which travel to and from Warwick campus and Leamington, are not bad. There have certainly been mornings where I have spent over an hour waiting to get on a bus as the previous ones have either arrived late or arrived full. However, this is a rarity and will depend mainly on where you are picking the bus up from (the more south, the better) and also what time you are hoping to get on (naturally, peak times are a nightmare). The bus pass can be expensive and the journeys each morning can be long, but this is just the price to pay for living in Leamington.
Personally, the buses have never put me off wanting to live in Leamington, but understandably, will be something that you factor into making your decision of where to live. For me, there has always been a trade-off between living close to campus and living close to the nightlife. So, for those who are looking to spend a few nights a week at a Leamington club, or even hoping to spend their weekends shopping and visiting cafés, Leamington is your best bet and hence, living in the town with these facilities on your doorstep is ideal. There are equally plenty of green spaces for picnics or exercise and Warwick has even brought study spaces to Leamington, so you no longer have to commute into campus to access the library or learning grid.
In summary, I can definitely see why people would be persuaded to live elsewhere, but personally, I can’t image my university experience being anywhere near as fun or social if I hadn’t chosen to live in Leamington Spa.