Off-campus accommodation: Canley vs. Leamington – OurWarwick

Off-campus accommodation: Canley vs. Leamington



  • Obviously the big benefit of living in Canley is the proximity to campus. With the closest student housing being only about a 10-15 minute walk away from campus it makes those 9ams a hell of a lot easier to get to, and the journey home after Pop a lot more pleasant than the last U1 back to leamington at 2:30 (even if it is 0 degrees outside).

  • Not to mention that, Canley also has the proximity to Coventry on it’s side. With the train station (and more importantly Kasbah) a short bus journey away, you can still have something of a social life, and be able to visit home more easily during those stressful times (y’know, the 10 weeks between holidays).

  • In first year, you become somewhat accustomed to the joys of Cannon Park, with Tesco, Greggs and Wilkos (among others of course) all nicely positioned in the same building. It can be hard to get used to the idea of having to do your groceries and your treat-yourself greggs shopping in different places, but living in Canley you don’t have to make this difficult choice as you’re still within a reasonable walking distance of the shopping centre.

  • The biggest pro I have found for living in Canley this year has been the complete absence of U1 journeys in my life. Waiting for the bus to get into campus for a 9am, and queueing in the rush hour traffic on my way home are no longer a part of my daily life, and it’s a change I welcomed with open arms. You don’t quite appreciate how nice it is to roll out of bed half an hour before a lecture until you have to factor in an hour buffer period to catch the bus before lectures ‘just in case’.


  • While Canley is closer to Kasbah than housing in Leamington (obviously), it is a significant trek to get to the other social ‘hotspots’ for Warwick students (including Kelsey’s, Neon and Smack). This means that if you’re partial to a good Smack Tuesday (there must be some of you out there) then Canley may not be the ideal place for you to live.

  • The actual time it takes to get from the majority of houses in Canley/Leamington to campus is probably roughly the same, with Leamington being anywhere between a 20 and 30 minute bus journey, and Canley being on average about a 20 minute walk (depending on where abouts on campus you’re going). This means that the walk, especially in the winter, can be absolutely freezing compared to the significantly warmer U1 journey you’d have to Leamington, so this can definitely be a con.

  • The final issue with Canley is simply that it is a lot smaller than Leamington meaning a lot less Warwick students live here. It can leave you feeling a little out of the loop at times as your friends are bonding over their bus journeys home and shopping on the parade while you head in the opposite direction towards Cannon Park and the nearly-but-not-quite campus life.



  • The massive pro of Leamington is what draws most Warwick students there: Most Warwick students live there. It’s a bit of an endless cycle but the real reason so many students live in Leamington is because that’s ‘the place to be’ for Warwick students. I know in my first year almost all of the friends I made in higher years were living in Leamington, and it meant that when it came to looking for a house it was basically the only place we looked.

  • Going hand in hand with this, as the more popular student haunt, Leamington also has the better social life of the two locations. Like I mentioned before, Smack and Neon are both located in Leam so if you prefer Smack Tuesday to Kasbah Monday (like some kind of monster) then Leam is definitely the better location. Not to mention if you’re part of a sports club or society that circles in Kelsey’s often, thats a lot more convenient if you’re based in Leamington over Canley.

  • The big question I always get asked as a student ambassador is about the idea of the ‘bubble’ you get from going to a campus university. As campus effectively exists as it’s own little town, a lot of the time students and parents are worried that you don’t actually feel like you have any independence if you live there (compared to the more lively city uni life). However, I’m always quick to reassure these students/parents that Warwick really isn’t like that- being so close to Cov and Leam means that you can venture outside of campus as often as you like in first year, and obviously if by the end of first year you do feel a little isolated then living in Leamington (or even Coventry/Kenilworth/Earlsdon) definitely gives you that extra independence that you might be missing.


  • The big reason I chose not to live in Leamington again this year really was the bus journey. As someone who was used to getting to and from school in less than 15 minutes, and lived in Tocil in first year so was at the heart of campus, it was a tough adjustment for me to then have to accommodate for a 30 minute bus journey every morning and evening. Where abouts you live in leamington really makes all the difference, my second year house was really south which meant that the journey had an extra 10-20 minutes added on top of the average Leamington bus journey and it really did feel like it made all the difference.

  • Another issue I found with Leamington was the bus limitations. I’m the kind of person that does most of their work of an evening/during the night, and so having to be cautious of the last bus (for fear of getting stranded on campus overnight) really affected the way I worked- especially during holidays when the last bus was a lot earlier and during exams where I liked to stay working in the library until the early hours of the morning.

  • As you may have noticed, the buses were really the main issue for me, and you may think that you can avoid this by bringing a car to uni. Your house in Leam can always have a drive so you have somewhere to park it, and being able to drive to and from campus whenever you like solves the issue of having to live by a bus timetable. This sounds all well and good, but the parking on campus for students isn’t really designed for a daily commute- it’s not particularly cheap to park, and often a lot of the carparks are full. This means that often the bus is the only option for getting to and from campus day to day.

To conclude, my advice (based on personal experience) is that if you’re a social type that enjoys nights out in leamington and has a lot of friends also planning to live there, then it’s definitely a reasonable option- especially if you’re someone used to a bit of a commute in the mornings and evenings to and from campus. Second years especially would get way more out of Leamington compared to boring finalists who are more likely to spend their evenings working than drinking (or at least you’d hope so, I’m trying to reform).

However, if you’re more of a Kasbah fan, or if you feel like the time is right to knuckle down a little more and spend some more time in the library rather than on the bus (and if you want to save time and money avoiding the bus) then Canley is definitely a great choice that I’m loving so far and that often gets totally overlooked.

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