Visit Preston: better by degree

Visit Preston: better by degree

Preston lies at the heart of England’s northwest and is one of the best connected cities in the UK. Its station is a key point on the West Coast rail mainline between London and Glasgow. From there, you can get to Liverpool, Manchester and Manchester airport in less than an hour. Preston also has motorway connections in five directions. There are even numerous National Cycle Network routes leading to and from the city.

More than a transport hub

These links make Preston an ideal base for anyone doing business in the wider region. You can easily get away to the nearby Lake District or Yorkshire Dales. Or explore the Ribble Valley, or Blackpool and the coast. But what about the city itself? Perhaps Preston’s best-kept secret is that it’s a destination as much as a transport hub.

So why do people come to Preston? Well, it has everything you would expect in a small city, with a little extra buzz into the bargain. It has a museum and art gallery. An increasingly rich mix of cafes, restaurants and bars. Gyms and leisure facilities, numerous places of worship and an attractive river. The city’s historic dock is now a marina with shops, pubs and eateries, and even its own cinema. Preston is also home to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). In fact, the university is perhaps the key reason for Preston’s remarkable dynamism in recent years.

Students going places

UCLan might not be one of Britain’s famous universities. It doesn’t offer all the courses you would expect from an Oxford or a Cambridge. But, like many successful modern universities, UCLan succeeds by doing what it does do exceptionally well. Its 350 undergraduate programmes and more than 200 postgraduate courses are focused on preparing students for employment. UCLan also runs one of the UK's largest paid undergraduate research internship schemes. And an array of CPD courses help those already in work to develop the skills industry needs.

Founded in 1828 as the splendidly-named Institution for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, it later became a polytechnic. Then, in 1992, the institution became a university. In the past decade or so, the university has spent £200 million on updating its Preston campus. It’s now a state-of-the-art educational facility and ranked in the top 7% of universities worldwide.

A global city

With a staff and student population of nearly 38,000, UCLan is one of the UK’s largest universities. Its students hail from more than 100 countries. And partnerships with 123 international institutions make this a truly global university. Meanwhile, the Royal Preston Hospital is one of the UK’s leading teaching hospitals. It attracts even more students to the city to pursue a career in medicine.

All this obviously has an effect on the look and feel of Preston itself. Students from near and far have made their mark. And a variety of shops, restaurants and bars are on hand to meet their different many needs and preferences. Students’ families have also found Preston and lively and welcoming place to visit. So why limit those visits to settling the new student in or celebrating their graduation? Many families are coming regularly and making a holiday of it.

And whether you’re coming from Doncaster or Dubai, it’s easy and affordable to stay in the heart of the city. Guestz manage three sites in Preston. These include Union Lofts, a suite of modern duplex apartments in a converted late Victorian carriage and auto-car manufactory. Just minutes from UCLan’s main Preston campus, you’ll enjoy comfortable and stylish modern living. So what are you waiting for?