June 19, 2019

Best Student Areas in London: Where to Live and What to Do

Wondering where the best student areas in London are?


With 40 universities and a student population of around 400,000, London is a great city to study in. It’s also massive, which can make deciding where to live something of a challenge. 


Luckily, we’ve done the hard work for you. Here’s our pick of three of the best student areas in London.



A short bus ride from both Goldsmiths and Camberwell College of Arts, it’s easy to see why Deptford has made our list of the best student areas in London. 


The area has changed rapidly over the last few years, with trendy bars and cafes popping up almost weekly. Nevertheless, Deptford’s hip new vibe has yet to eclipse its maritime history and strong South London identity.


There are plenty of places to drink – try Little Nan’s for shamelessly kitsch cocktails, or the Dog and Bell for cheap pints in a proper old boozer. Catch live music and a rough-and-ready atmosphere at The Bird’s Nest, or check out Vinyl Deptford for second-hand records, intimate music and poetry gigs, and exhibitions by local artists.


Deptford’s famous market is great for bargain hunters, with a vast array of fresh fish, fruit and veg, clothes, fabric, household items, bric-a-brac and second-hand goods on sale every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. 


Community-focused and volunteer-run Deptford Cinema has an eclectic programme, cheap tickets and exhibitions in its gallery space, while The Albany arts centre hosts a diverse programme of theatre, music, dance and more and offers cheap tickets for students.


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Mile End


Mile End is home to Queen Mary University, and its Zone 2 tube station is served by the Central, District and Hammersmith and City lines, making the area a popular choice for students.


Whilst Mile End is a little quieter on the nightlife side, there’s no shortage of pubs – check out the Palm Tree for canalside pints and East End charm, or the Morgan Arms for tasty food and local ales.


All importantly, a short walk down towards Stepney Green will take you to student stronghold the Half Moon – a Wetherspoons WITHOUT central London prices.


Don’t let the dearth of late night spots put you off either – a pleasant ramble down the Hertford Union canal will land you in Hackney Wick, where you’ll find no end of nighttime revelry, and you’re a mere bus ride away from the buzz of Bethnal Green, Shoreditch or Hackney.


There’s plenty to do in the daytime too. Mile End is spoilt for green spaces, with the beautiful Victoria Park butting up against the equally lovely Mile End Park. The latter is also home to Mile End Climbing Wall, where you can climb off-peak for less than a tenner, and the Art Pavilion, which has a changing array of exhibitions and installations. 


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There’s no getting away from the fact that nightlife takes up a significant slice of most students’ schedules. With this in mind, we had to include Dalston in our list of the best student areas in London.


Although several of Dalston’s most well-loved night spots have closed their doors recently, it’s still got enough bars, clubs and music venues to ensure you’ll never be at a loss to find a fun night out. 


LGBTQ venue Dalston Superstore hosts an eclectic mix of DJs and live music events, with parties throughout the week, while the Waiting Room – a small, dingy space underneath the Three Crowns pub – is a prime spot for electronic music.


Another staple of a great night out – the kebab – is in ready supply in Dalston, with plenty of cheap Turkish restaurants to choose from. Mangal Ocakbasi is one of the best, and something of a Dalston institution.


For culture on a budget, the Arcola Theatre does pay-what-you-can performances every Tuesday, or head to the Shacklewell Arms or the Victoria for free gigs.


The best student areas in London – where will you live?


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