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As a first year, I’ve noticed that whenever I venture off campus, it seems to be either to go to Sainsbury’s or Sugar. The other day however, I decided to walk the hour into town to get some much needed exercise after the Christmas binge. Whilst walking through the countryside I noticed that the majority of other people I saw seemed to be elderly people or sheep. So many students seemed to be missing out on the beautiful scenery that surrounds Lancaster so I decided to do some research into what else there is to see and do off campus (Sugar not included!)
Most students like a drink or four, and the Lancaster Brewery seems like a great excuse to drink during the day. For £10 per person you get 45 minute guided tour of the brewery which takes you through all of the stages of brewing, then at the end, you receive four complimentary half-pints of Lancaster beer – well worth the £10 you’ve paid. More information can be found on http://www.lancasterbrewery.co.uk/.
If you’re not a beer person, perhaps the Creamy Lancashire Cheese Walk is more up your street. Beginning and ending at Chipping (about 40 minutes away) the 4 mile walk is based around Leagram Organic Dairy, run by Bob Kitching a cheese-making fanatic. The highlight of the walk is the opportunity to sample the cheeses themselves in the Chipping shops! Visit www.forestofbowland.com for a map.
A similar distance away is Windermere; from £8.85 you can get a return train ticket (with a railcard) and spend the day by the stunning lake, possibly with a picnic. Or if it’s raining, there are plenty of cosy pubs to hide in whilst you soak up the atmosphere and get away from the chaotic world that is campus.
If you want to stay in Lancaster however, there are plenty of museums you can visit. Museums have the excellent ability of making you feel like you’re learning which makes them the perfect method of procrastination. The Lancaster Maritime Museum, down by the River Lune has many interesting artefacts depicting Lancaster’s rich maritime history, touching on Lancaster’s involvement in the slave trade – the buildings next to the museum were owned by slave trader Dodshon Foste. Or indulge in some nostalgia by visiting the Museum of Childhood in the Judges Lodgings which has toys and games from the 1700’s to the present day. You can release your inner child by playing with the reproduction toys and games too. Concessions prices for both are £2, and opening times can be found at http://www.lancashire.gov.uk/acs/sites/museums/venues.
Finally, if the cold Lancashire weather is getting you down, then the Butterfly House in Williamson Park is the perfect destination. For a £2.50 student ticket, you can wander around a tropical rain forest with the butterflies and koi carp and forget about the British winter for a while. See http://www.lancaster.gov.uk/sports-and-leisure/parks-and-open-spaces/williamson-park/butterfly-house/ for details.
If none of these ideas appeal to you however, you could just go on a walk into town like I did!