With two rapidly growing universities, it’s now clear that Burnley is budding into a desirable university town. As we approach the start of a new academic year, the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and University Courses Burnley (UCB) are not only drawing in students from all over the country  but students from all over the world.

1) You’ll get the friendliest of welcomes

A kind Tweet from Peter Crouch about Burnley

A thoughtful sign spotted near Turf Moor when Crouch was on transfer to Burnley FC

It’s a well-known fact that Northerners are a friendly folk. But Burnley stands well above the rest. Our town was even named Friendliest Town in Britain by The Times.

Whilst other towns and city may boast a “mind-you-own-business” hustle and bustle, you can walk around Burnley and realise that everyone is mates with everyone.

2) It’s rural… very rural

The Singing Ringing Tree: an award– winning panopticon art piece which looks over Burnley

The Singing Ringing Tree: an award– winning panopticon art piece which looks over Burnley

So rural, in fact the borough of Burnley is a whopping 80% rural. Forget congested and congregated metropolises,  Burnley leaves you with some much-needed breathing space, whilst bragging epic views of the surrounding Peninne wilderness.

Take a stroll through Towneley Park, ride a bike along the Leeds and Liverpool Canal, or tackle the infamous Pendle Hill (once home to the historic “Pendle Witches”). This will blow away the cobwebs if you need a break from revising or give you some much needed fresh air after a big night in town!

3) Middle of nowhere everywhere

Rural Burnley is a huge thing to shout about – there’s no doubt about that. But you don’t have to worry about being isolated from the rest of the world, there’s everything you could possibly want on your doorstep. Leeds, Liverpool and Manchester are all around an hour away. There’s even a direct rail link in to Manchester in case you fancy a quick shopping trip to the Arndale. In the opposite direction, there’s still miles of untouched wilderness to explore; try visiting the stunning Lake District, one of ten National Parks in England. Or the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. All of these places are just a short journey away.

4) Best footy club in the world

"The Royal Dyche" A Popular match day pub named after the Burnley FC manager

A popular match day pub named after the Burnley FC manager

We might be slightly biased with this one, but Burnley FC is the pride and joy of our town. The premier league club has gone from a strength to strength under the strong, long-lasting management of Sean Dyche. But, with the club’s performance aside, there’s nothing better than a vibrant match day at Turf Moor. You may not even be a football fan, but the atmosphere at our stadium is second to none and it’s an experience we think everyone should try.

5) Aspiring doctor? Fashion designer? Police officer?

Students Saif and Serena -UCLan Burnley clinical skills lab

With two growing universities, the span of courses on offer will rival neighbouring cities with ease. The huge variety of courses include accounting, policing, psychology, social work, medical sciences, fashion – and you can even do football coaching and development (we did say we love our footy). The list really is endless, so instead of taking our word for it, check out what courses are available on their website:

UCLan and UCB are also two of the few universities in the country pioneering the up-and-coming Degree Apprenticeship scheme. Degree Apprenticeships are where you can get the best of both worlds by gaining industry experience with a full-time wage and earning your degree.

6) Coolest town in the North

A regional PR award won by Viva PR their use of influencers with Burnley Social

Burnley has its own unique style, its own vibrancy, which sets it apart from other places. A quick browse through burnley.social and it’s easy to see that the town has a growing arts culture. Why else would you think that world famous artist and fashion designer, Aitor Throup, has set up camp right around the corner from the UCLan Burnley campus, instead of trendy London or Manchester?

The Gallery at Creative Arts Burnley. Photo: Beki Hughes (RH Photomania) Copyright: other

On top of this, venues like the Creative Arts Studio give artists of any kind (DJs, singers, actors, painters etc) a prime space to grow their talents. So, whether you’re looking in to taking an arts-based course like Fashion, or you need a space for a hobby outside of studying, Burnley really will foster your creativity. This is why Burnley is the coolest town in the North and you can’t convince us otherwise!

7) We love our festivals and events

Man dancing in front of band

Burnley Live festival 2019

You can’t have a town packed with artists and musicians without the legendary Northern parties that come along with it!

We all know that 2020 is a year where we’ve all had to stay at home, for the greater good of society and to the NHS. However, there’s a light at the end of every tunnel. And the gloomy boring tunnel which is the reality of lockdown, will soon open up to the satisfying strobe lights of 2021 – and Burnley is going to be one hell of a party when that time comes!

Incredible independent festivals such as Burnley Live and Drop the Beat, are renowned for bringing in the very best of local bands, DJs and singers. And then there’s nightclubs such as Mode and Proj3kt, who bring in some legendary live acts: from iconic rappers like Wiley to world famous DJs such as James Hype.

8) Hotspots made for students

An iconic Ellis’s burger

We’ve mentioned some nightclubs, and venues like the fantastic Creative Arts Studio, but there’s many more places to wind-down with your friends and maybe satisfy your hunger whilst you’re at it.

Firstly, I’d like to introduce you to Ellis’s. This irresistible burger bar has just over 10K Instagram followers and it’s easy to see why. Their monster-sized burgers (which are all named after famous hip-hop songs) make the perfect treat after a hard day of revision.

A selection of Illuminati’s chicken wings

Another classic town centre hotspot is Illuminati. Not only is this two story cocktail bar ideal for nights out, they’ve got a new menu which is quite literally tailored for students. Loaded nachos, loaded onion rings, haloumi fries; they even serve a messy selection of chicken wings for a mere 30p each! So, you and the gang can fill your stomachs to the brim without annihilating half your student loan.

9) Super affordable

Four students in Burnley town centre

t’s no secret that Burnley has some of the cheapest house prices in the UK. Last year it was named the best commuter town to Manchester and that’s all down to the jaw-dropping affordability. Of course, there’s some fantastic student accommodation along the canal waterway, but renting a house is what we’d call “cheap as chips”.

And not only will you save money on your student digs, but it’ll stretch even further on your nights out. Whilst your average night out in Manchester or Liverpool will set you back a big chunk of your savings, Burnley’s bars and clubs offer well-priced entry (often free on Thursday and Friday nights) and beverages that are perfectly suited for a tight student budget.

10) World-class businesses

Aerospace manufacturer, Safran Nacelles

Aerospace manufacturer, Safran Nacelles

On a more serious note, Burnley has a huge variety of world-class careers from aerospace engineering to fashion and 5-star hotels to sporting superstars. Why is this important to students? A good work experience or internship can be the key to ensuring success in your degree.

Also, remember the fantastic degree apprenticeships mentioned earlier? Imagine being on a full-time wage at boohoo.com whilst they pay for your degree at the uni down the road. All of this is possible in Burnley. Not to mention when the time comes to graduate, you could find yourself in an exciting career with an affordable lifestyle. From exposed brick apartments to impressive Victorian terraces, properties in Burnley are Instagrammable to say the least.

All of these reasons, plus many more, are why we think Burnley makes for the best up-and-coming student area. Not only will you receive outstanding education, you’ll also live the ultimate student lifestyle and land yourself in a top-noch career when you graduate.