City guides

City guides

United Kingdom

Birmingham

Birmingham

Birmingham takes its name from the old English words describing an Anglo-Saxon settlement: Birm (a name) ing (tribe) and ham (home). The town became famous for manufacturing and was nicknamed the 'city of a thousand trades' for its many industries. Through the ages it came to specialise in metal work and jewellery. Best-known brands made in Birmingham are Cadbury's chocolate and the Mini...

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Bradford

Bradford

Bradford is located in West Yorkshire in the north of England. The city is home to the University of Bradford, and Leeds Bradford International Airport is just six miles away. Bradford is a multicultural city with a population made up from a wide range of ethnic groups. Bradford's history lies in the textile industry and there are still some fine buildings that stand today which highlight its...

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Bristol

Bristol

Bristol, or ‘Brizzle’ (how it is affectionately referred to by the locals), is a young and vibrant city. However, at first sight it might not seem so. Its elegant cafés and restaurants, the neat streets and the often quite expensive shops seem to indicate otherwise. It will take you a very short time, let's say just a brief walk on a sunny afternoon or a glance on the streets...

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Cambridge

Cambridge

Cambridge is a university city on the River Cam, approximately 50 miles (80 km) north of London. At the UK Census 2011, its population was 123,867, including 24,488 students. Cambridge became an important trading centre during the Roman and Viking ages, and there is archaeological evidence of settlement in the area as early as the Bronze Age. The city is home to the...

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Cardiff

Cardiff

Cardiff, or Caerdydd if you’re feeling brave enough to try a little Welsh, is the vibrant and exciting capital of Wales, situated on the coast of the Bristol Channel. To understand Cardiff and Wales in general, one should keep in mind a few basic facts of history: From the Statute of Rhuddlan in 1284, Wales has been politically integrated to England. Nevertheless, nationalist aspirations...

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Colchester

Colchester

Colchester is 51.2 miles (82.4 km) northeast of London, and is less than 30 miles (48 km) away from Stansted Airport and 20 miles (32 km) from the passenger ferry port of Harwich. At the time of the census in 2011, it had a population of 121,859, marking a considerable rise from the previous census and making it one of Britain's fastest growing...

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Dundee

Dundee

The city of Dundee is located in the east of Scotland in the Central Lowlands, on the coast of the North Sea. The area known as The Law can be found in the centre of the city and is home to an extinct volcano with a peak of around 570 feet high. The city is also home to no fewer than five castles! In 2017 the V&A Museum of Design Dundee will open and it will be the first design museum...

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Durham

Durham

The city of Durham is located in northeast England and home to Durham University – the third oldest university in England. The city is steeped in history and, as such, is a stunning place to visit with its beautiful castle and cathedral, University Botanic Gardens, cobbled streets, and the dramatic Heritage Coast and striking countryside nearby, which will offer an escape from your...

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Edinburgh

Edinburgh

Edinburgh, or Dùn Eideann if interested in picking up Scottish Gaelic, is a small city of happiness. Most people who visit fall in love with the atmosphere that Edinburgh offers. From castles and old churches to cobblestone roads and quaint pubs, it is a comfortable and safe city that makes it easy to call Edinburgh ‘a home away from home’. One of the current interesting...

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Egham

Egham

Egham is a town in the borough of Surrey, located around 20 miles to the southwest of London. It is part of the London commuter belt and Greater London Urban Area and has its own railway station, with regular trains to London Waterloo taking 37 minutes. The local area provides plenty of opportunities for students – from shopping and eating out, to exploring the local history, culture...

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Exeter

Exeter

The city of Exeter is located in Devon in southwest England, and is arguably one of the best cities in the country to study in. Not only is Exeter a beautiful city in which to live, it offers students plenty of shops, bars, cafés, restaurants and clubs. For those that are into clubbing, then Arena is hugely popular on a Tuesday and Thursday night and discounts to students are available....

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Glasgow

Glasgow

Stone Age canoes unearthed in Glasgow suggest this settlement began as a small Celtic fishing village before the Roman invasion. Through the ages, Glasgow grew into the UK’s busiest trading centre outside London, diversifying from tobacco exports, to sugar imports, to ship building, locomotives then tourism. Glasgow has changed tack and changed tack again in order to keep its conurbation of...

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Guildford

Guildford

Guildford is an historic market town located in Surrey in southeast England, just 27 miles from central London (35 minutes by train). It has a long history, and has some beautiful period buildings. The town offers an impressive selection of places to eat and drink, as well as a monthly farmers' market. Offering first-class entertainment and shopping, and surrounded by a wealth of gardens...

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Huddersfield

Huddersfield

Huddersfield is a large town which can be found in West Yorkshire between Leeds and Manchester. It is close to the beautiful Peak District National Park. Huddersfield has a population of around 160,000 and has a wealth of stunning Victorian architecture. It is home to the University of Huddersfield. Image credit: Shahid Khan/123rf.com

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Leeds

Leeds

Home to actor Peter O’Toole, singer Mel B of the Spice Girls and punk rockers the Kaiser Chiefs, the city of Leeds is a vibrant and lively metropolis nestled in the Yorkshire midlands. The Industrial Revolution shaped Leeds as a major industrial centre for the production and trade of wool during the 19th century. The 20th century witnessed the development of Leeds as a centre for higher...

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Leicester

Leicester

Leicester is an exciting cosmopolitan city with a proud history stretching back 2,000 years. As one of the country’s most diverse cities, Leicester offers students a unique multicultural living experience. The city lies on the River Soar and at the edge of the National Forest, and is the burial place of King Richard III. Population In the 2011 census the population of the...

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Liverpool

Liverpool

People were encouraged to settle in Liverpool in the 1200s by King John who wanted to create a port free from the control of dockland landlord the Earl of Chester. The city became home to the UK’s first wet dock in 1715 and enjoyed trade from the West Indies, Ireland and Europe. The population of Liverpool has now been put at about 436,000 people. The city’s rich cultural heritage, as...

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London

London

London is one of the world's largest – and most expensive – cities. 'Londinium' was founded by the Romans more than 2,000 years ago, and has since grown into a hub of legislative, political, financial and regal activity. The English capital survived plague, fire and two world wars to become the largest conurbation in the European Union, with a population of more than 8...

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Loughborough

Loughborough

Loughborough may be a relatively small town, but getting a place at the university here is no small feat. Loughborough University is not far behind Oxford, Cambridge and high-ranking London institutions in the UK university league tables. It is exceptional for sport, awarding more scholarships in this field than any other institution. More than 250 international athletes train at...

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Luton

Luton

Luton is a large multicultural town in Bedfordshire, England with a population of around 200,000. It has its own international airport – London Luton airport, and the University of Bedfordshire has a campus within the town. London is only 30 miles to the south of Luton and so within easy reach. Luton is renowned for hat making and the business dates back as far as the 1600s in the town. Hat...

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Manchester

Manchester

Many people would imagine Manchester to be a mere industrial city. But this image has long been outdated. Often described as ‘capital of the North’ or ‘second city of the UK’, Manchester is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city offering a range of multicultural attractions. With a population of about 500,000 inhabitants, Manchester is one of the biggest cities within the UK. The...

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Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough

Middlesbrough is located in the northeast of England and is home to Teesside University and its large student population. There is plenty to keep you occupied in this large town, including the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art which features some fantastic exhibitions, and the beautiful Albert Park which is located in the centre of town. Transport links are good – the town has its...

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Newcastle

Newcastle

Newcastle was established as a defensive settlement along Hadrian’s Wall, built to guard England against the Scots more than 2,000 years ago. The city takes its name from a ‘new’ kind of castle that was constructed as part of the fortifications in the 1200s. Newcastle grew into a busy trading area for exports like wool and coal through its coastal connections and became the home of...

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Nottingham

Nottingham

Nottingham is more famous for its legends than for its recorded history. The story of Robin Hood and his Merry Men who reputedly lived in Sherwood Forest robbing from the rich and giving to the poor has stood the test of time to be a major tourist lure. But Nottingham is more than fairytales. A great medieval castle has presided over the city since it was built by the Normans in 1068. As well as...

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Preston

Preston

Preston is a city located in the county of Lancashire in the north west of England, not far from the seaside town of Blackpool. Preston was a small town until the 1800s when its population grew due to its involvement in the textile industry. Today the city has a population of around 114,000, and is home to the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan). Image credit: Laura Melling/123RF

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Sheffield

Sheffield

Sheffield is one of the greenest cities to live in the UK, with more trees per capita than any other conurbation in the UK. More than half of Sheffield is made up of green space, which consists of 200 parks, forests and gardens. The city is home to one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in the country and lies within the Peak District national park, which makes Sheffield the perfect choice for...

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Southampton

Southampton

The city of Southampton is based on the south coast of England and is renowned for its waterfront and its maritime heritage. It has two universities – the University of Southampton and Southampton Solent University – and a student population of 30,000, making up nearly 13% of the city's overall population of 237,00. Located close to the stunning New Forest, Southampton also...

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Sunderland

Sunderland

Sunderland is located in the northeast of England in Tyne and Wear. Being a port town, Sunderland made its name in ship building and coal trading which were major industries for the city for hundreds of years until the 80s and 90s and the Port is still an active part of the city today. The University of Sunderland has two campuses in the city and attracts a large student population. There is a...

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France

Lyon

Lyon

Lyon is a sprawl of urbanisation which lies on the banks of two major rivers; the Rhône and the Saône, only coming to a head at their convergence which has formed a peninsula (presqu’ile) between the two. Lyon’s wealth and its development over the years is largely thanks to the silk trade. Through the cobbled streets of Vieux Lyon (the old quarter) can be found many hidden...

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Paris

Paris

The capital of France boasts a vast array of culture, history and magnificent architecture, whilst being an important centre of economic activity. The city’s charm though is subtle and lies much deeper than in the generic characteristics listed above, which could be attributed to many of Europe’s finest cities. A whistle stop tour of Paris may leave you with the impression of a city...

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Germany

Berlin

Berlin

With its copious amounts of historical venues and cultural artefacts, Berlin has rightly claimed back its capital city status. Berlin is the biggest capital city in Europe, but after the devastation caused to the East from the war, it has the lowest number of inhabitants. The amount of construction in Berlin is at first alarming, but once you surpass this initial shock you can see the beauty...

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Italy

Rome

Rome

I feel happy here for I learn something new every day: I try to become impregnated with the unalterable beauty Rome dispenses with such generosity’ (Auguste Rodin). Rome is not a city that can be easily described in brief. It has too often been described as a crowded, dirty city made up of many churches and pickpockets. However, when you take the time to discover the Eternal city, it...

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Venice

Venice

Often referred to as the “City of Water”, Venice is the capital of the region of Veneto, which is known to be one of the most beautiful northern Italian cities. World-famous for its waterways, Venice is built up of 118 islands formed by about 150 canals. The islands on which the city is built are connected by about 400 bridges, all contributing to a city that is full of character and...

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Spain

Barcelona

Barcelona

One of Barcelona’s main traits is the pride of its people, as a community which has suffered many changes and never achieved independence. Spain has passed through a number of hands: originally Roman, then conquered by Muslims for 700 years, Spain pushed out the moors in 1492 and became an Empire. The country experienced an economic fall and passed to the French in the 18th century before...

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Madrid

Madrid

Madrid is one of the world’s greatest cities and the capital of Spain. The city centre is surprisingly small, with the majority of its main attractions within walking distance. The heart of the centre is called Sol. This can be considered as one of the main tourist attractions as it is classed as the very heart of Madrid’s old city. There is even a plaque on the floor which states you...

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Valencia

Valencia

Valencia is the third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, yet is catching up as one of Spain’s most desirable tourist destinations. The city has everything to offer. A buzzing metropolitan centre in a beautiful seaside location, also benefiting from a close proximity to a beautiful coastal mountain range making Valencia the place to be! The climate is controlled by the...

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Australia

Adelaide

Adelaide

Adelaide is the capital city of the state of South Australia, and the fifth-most populous city of Australia, with a residential population of 1.3 million (June 2014). Named in honour of Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen, queen consort to King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for a freely-settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's...

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Brisbane

Brisbane

Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of 2.3 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred on Brisbane, has a population of more than 3.4 million. One of the oldest cities in Australia, Brisbane was founded upon the ancient homelands...

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Melbourne

Melbourne

Melbourne is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Victoria, and the second most populous city in Australia. Melbourne is located on the large natural bay of Port Phillip and expands into the hinterlands toward the Dandenong and Macedon mountain ranges, Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley. The city consists of 31 municipalities, and had a population of 4,442,918 in...

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Sydney

Sydney

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds the world's largest natural harbour, and sprawls towards the Blue Mountains to the west. Sydney is the second official seat, and second official residence, of the Governor-General of Australia, the Prime Minister of Australia and the Cabinet of...

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