Living in Leamington Spa (North vs. South)
Before reading this, I must ask that readers take into consideration that these information are self-experienced and also gathered through the testimonies and surveys of students class of 2019. If any terms are deemed inappropriate, please feel free to comment below and I shall clear up any misunderstandings.
In my second year, I lived in South Leamington Spa during those good old days when Stagecoach buses did NOT pass through Westwood. As a theatre student, Westwood is the dreaded long walk from the interchange where practices are held. Since the academic year of 2018, however, Stagecoach buses have been passing westwood and tesco bus stops which is a definite plus but also a con since it now takes even longer to get from Leamington to campus.
Living in Leamington Spa was great: the houses were clean and nice (compared to certain Earlsdon houses), the streets were lined with lights, the fastfood shops and beloved Viallis were always opened till late, the Parade was a mini London (an exaggeration but still the closest thing to a high city), and lets not forget about all the social places we can go at night.
Buses in Leamington Spa were very frequent compared to the dreaded delays of National Express. I lived in South Leamington; but although it takes us an extra 15 minutes to get to campus on top of that 30 min bus ride in the mornings, we South-Leam dwellers always manage to get a seat on the bus because busses often start in South Leam and move up to the Parade where dozen of students are waiting.
During peak hours from the interchange, however, is a nightmare. Around 5pm is when all the students desire to go home and the queue from the bus stop can reach all the way to the social science building.
If you have a car and desire to have lots of flatmates, it’s best to live in North Leam. Although it is pricey, most student houses in North Leam can range from a single studio to a six person house just like the rest of Leamington. The difference is that it is much cleaner and nicer but also way more expensive. If you are a student who likes to hang out with friends at night, I would definitely recommend living in South Leamington where most of the social places are open and within walking distance.
Pros living in Leamington Spa
1) Clean and beautiful
2) Walking distance to shops and social places
3) Most students live there (if not 65% of students in Warwick/ caucasian)
4) An actual city to live in away from the “Warwick Bubble”
5) Frequent Stagecoach busses compared to National Express
6) Fast food places open until late
7) If you’re studying late in the library on campus, the last Stagecoach bus is around 2am on weekdays compared to National Express when it ends at 12:30-1am.
Cons living in Leamington Spa
1) Pretty expensive compared to Earlsdon or Coventry
2) Far from campus (if you live in South Leamington it might sometimes go up until an hour)
3) Busses from the interchange in peak hour is terrible
4) As a Chinese/Asian student, there are very few students from my culture that live in Leamington. Most Asian students live in Canley or Earlsdon.
5) It’s just really, really FAR. Wait, have I mentioned that?
Living in Leamington Spa was a blast because it was a really beautiful city to live in. It also felt liberating to escape campus life and enjoy cafes in the afternoon or a drink at night with friends. Living in Leamington was also convenient for society socials where social execs from societies would often plan events in Leamington.
If you are an Asian student with no car, however, I would suggest you live closer to campus if most of your friends are non-caucasian. I had a balance of local friends and international friends, but I was also an exec member of Malaysian Student Association. Because I was in charge of a cultural society, I had to plan socials or practices near campus since that was where most of the Malaysian population was. I had to travel from Leamington to campus and further such as Earlsdon for exec meetings or socials; and after a while, it was very tiring.
If you also like to study on campus for long hours or a student involved heavily in societies, I would suggest living closer to campus if you feel like you want to go home during the day. Without a car, most students stay on campus the entire day if they have events going throughout their schedule; whereas if you live closer to campus, you can easily catch a bus back home, freshen up, and return to campus. 9ams are curses to those living in Leamington just because you have to wake up super early to catch the long rides to campus.
I hope this has helped you in some way!
All the best,