Why Oxford Road is the best student area in Manchester

3rd August 2020
An image depicting student nightlife.

Manchester is a student's dream! Bursting with character, with a vibrant year-round social calendar (under normal circumstances, anyway!), this energetic city is home to four major universities: the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, University of Salford and the University of Bolton.

This iconic city has an incredible heritage, playing a pivotal role in many historical movements – from the Industrial Revolution to Brit Pop (did someone say Oasis?). With plenty to immerse yourself in, from gigs to shopping to museums and culture, it’s little surprise that Manchester has been named the most “liveable city” in the UK for the last two years!

But with 99,000 students and plenty of locations to choose from, which student area is best?

*Obviously some of the venues, theatres and museums mentioned in this blog may currently be closed or have social-distancing measures in place – but we are optimistic that things will return to normal soon! If in doubt, check the venue websites before planning a visit.

Why Oxford Road?

When choosing your uni accommodation, being in the heart of the action is vital! And we may be biased, as our Denmark Road and Grafton Street student accommodation are either side of this road, but the Oxford Road is a smorgasbord of food, nightlife, theatres, outdoor areas and various cultural delights. Plus, it’s a stone’s throw away from the main University of Manchester campus and the Royal Northern College of Music.

Nicknamed ‘the Corridor’, the recent transformation of the Oxford Road area has been extraordinary. It starts in the heart of the city at St. Peter’s Square and runs towards the Curry Mile in the south. With plenty of architecture, museums and cafés to take in, a walk down Oxford Road is a thing to do in itself!

Here’s why choosing Sanctuary Students in the Oxford Road area will help you get more from your time in Manchester:

The variety of food

There’s plenty of delicious food on your doorstep in Oxford Road. One of our favourite places is Hatch – an array of colourful shipping containers with a range of street food companies, bars and coffee shops. Another student favourite is the burger and milkshake chain, Archie’s – with its bright pink branding, you can’t miss it. Not only that – Manchester’s famous Curry Mile in Rusholme is a mere 20-minute walk away.

When it comes to day-to-day groceries, you couldn’t be in a better place. There are plenty of local fruit and vegetable shops, which are more reasonably priced than the supermarket chains. It’s really no wonder Manchester was named the third most affordable university city in the UK by Totally Money last year!

There’s culture at every turn

When you’re done sampling the culinary delights that the Oxford Road has to offer, there’s an array of museums, theatres and galleries to explore (p.s. they are mostly free entry!). You can even visit the place where the atom was split!

Through the years, Oxford Road has been a hub of creative and cultural activity – philosopher Friedrich Engels and writer Elizabeth Gaskell even lived there. Visit the Whitworth art gallery, Manchester Museum (which has an amazing Egyptology collection), the International Anthony Burgess Centre and the Pankhurst Centre. Theatre-wise, there is the Capitol Theatre, Contact Theatre and Palace Theatre to choose from!

The buzzing music and nightlife scene

An image depicting student nightlife.

Music is the beating heart of Manchester. From the city that brought us the likes of Oasis, Stone Roses, The Smiths and Joy Division, there is still a thriving live music scene, with nightly gigs and genres to suit all tastes. And Oxford Road is home to some of the city’s best live music venues – from Deaf Institute to the Manchester Academy. There’s also Big Hands, where Elbow famously hung out – it now features a glorious roof terrace with plenty of events to immerse yourself in.

In terms of the general nightlife scene, there’s plenty to be found in amongst the music venues – including the University of Manchester Student’s Union, plus the nearby LGBTQ area of Canal Street, which is a short walk or bus journey away.

Take a dip

There's no escaping football in Manchester, but if it’s not your bag, why not try out the Olympic sized swimming pool at Manchester Aquatics Centre? Whitworth Park is also just a few minutes’ walk away from our student halls – perfect for running or studying outside with friends!

Use your connections

Students travelling on public transport.

There’s plenty to see throughout Greater Manchester, and the Oxford Road is the perfect location to get out there and explore – there are frequent buses, and the road even has its own train station! Head into the city centre, where there are plenty of shopping, sightseeing and partying opportunities. Don’t miss Manchester Cathedral, the Science and Industry Museum, the National Football Museum and, further afield, the Trafford Centre and The Lowry in Salford.

Contact Sanctuary Students today!

Example bedroom at Denmark Road

Example bedroom at Grafton Street.

L-R: Denmark Road and Grafton Street

If one of Manchester's universities is in your top spot, or you’re lining up your options for clearing, it’s never been easier to book a student room in Manchester with Sanctuary Students.

To find out a little more about our Denmark Road or Grafton Street locations, visit our accommodation pages for more information, or get in touch with us. We’ve also changed our terms and conditions this year to offer you more flexibility for your contract start date so you can have total peace of mind that by booking a room with us, you have a flexible contract in place.

If you’d like to give us a try before you buy, why not pop along and let one of our awesome team show you around? Arrange a viewing using our online form.