The City of Preston

The 40,000 student inhabitants of Preston make up more than a quarter of the city’s inhabitants. As a result, this historic city, located in one of the most exciting and beautiful parts of the UK, is the perfect destination for sampling all the British student life has to offer!

With award-winning parks and nature reserves, an array of city centre shops, a booming nightlife scene, excellent sports and leisure facilities, numerous museums, art galleries and cinemas, Preston has something for everyone. 

Culture | Nightlife | Shopping | Sport and Leisure | Employers | Transport and Travel

Preston Culture
Preston’s long history of industry and prosperity has resulted in a unique cultural heritage.
The jewel amongst the city’s 750 buildings listed as being of significant architectural or historic importance is the stunning neo-classical Harris Building. This dramatic building is also the cultural hub of Preston, being home to the Harris Museum and Art Gallery. Many of the pieces on display in the museum, covering the fields of fine art, decorative art, costume and textiles, history and photography, are of national and international importance and are supplemented by a number of temporary exhibitions and events. 

The Preston Art and Design (PAD) Gallery in the city centre caters for the area’s local creative community, featuring constantly changing work by over 250 north-western artists, designers and makers. 

The city also contains two multiplex cinemas catering for the mainstream audience of cinema-goers, as well as the Mitchell and Kenyon cinema based within UCLan itself, screening a selection of art house and minority interest films.

Preston Nightlife
The density of the local student population has result in a burgeoning and vibrant nightlife scene, covering all tastes at an affordable cost. 

The city offers a variety of venues for those looking to put down their books and spend an evening with friends. For traditional drinking venues and quieter British pubs, Friargate serves the local community as well as students who come to sample the relaxed atmosphere and wide range of establishments. 

Church Street and Glovers Court are the destination of choice for individuals seeking a more lively evening with a range of bars and clubs, including large national chains, student venues, and themed bars.

Preston Shopping
Currently undergoing a £700 million redevelopment programme, the city centre has hundreds of shops for every occasion and every budget. ‘The Mall’ alone contains over 100 shops from small independents to large department stores and national chains. 

The Fishergate Centre is the city’s other focal point for shoppers offering a wide range of stores, restaurants and eateries. 

Also worth a visit is the smaller but impressive Miller Arcade, a classic example of Victorian commercial architecture.

The city first received the right to hold a market in 1179. This institution continues to flourish today, with a 140-stall outdoor market open four days a week and daily indoor market hall with 60 permanent shops and 75 stalls. 

Preston Sport and Leisure
Residents of Preston benefit from being located in some of the country’s most beautiful countryside. With coastline and towns, the rugged Pennine moors and forest of Bowland, Lancashire is the perfect location for hikers and walkers.

The city itself is also home to over 500 hectares of parkland, split over 7 municipal parks, five of which have won awards for excellence. Two public leisure centres, five golf courses and many gyms are also available as well as the university’s own facilities, clubs and societies. 

Preston Employers
Lancashire has a rich history of industry and commerce. During the 19th Century the county emerged as one of the main beneficiaries of the Industrial Revolution, earning a reputation as a centre of heavy industry and manufacture. Although much of this has since subsided, England’s north-west region remains an important area of employment and innovation. 

Preston’s main employers include BAE Systems and The Carphone Warehouse, both of whom have large facilities in the city. 

The city’s proximity to cities such as Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield also boosts the employment prospect of UCLan’s graduates, 95% of whom are working or in further education 6 months after graduating. 

Preston Transport
Students wishing to travel during their time in the UK are well catered for in Preston. Sitting on the West Coast mainline, there are frequent and fast trains to London, Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as regular and direct services to 12 of the UK’s largest cities, including Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. 

Preston is also a major hub for the UK road network, with three motorways originating from the city going to destinations throughout the country. People without a car are also well catered for with a comprehensive and complete local and national bus service operating from Europe’s second largest bus station.

International travel is also possible from the region’s many airports. 

Just 20 miles from Preston is the recently expanded Blackpool International Airport with regular flights to Ireland and the Mediterranean. 

For a more complete choice of destinations, Manchester International Airport (40 miles) offers non-stop scheduled flights to destinations throughout Europe, South Asia and The Far East, North America, Africa, and the Middle East.