Whether it's because you've been settling into a new city and starting your university journey or because you've been busy making new friends and just having fun going out, there comes a time every semester when you get slightly stressed, tired and let's be honest, behind on all the work and assignments you have to do.
Fortunately, unknown to most newcomers, there is this thing called “Reading week”. It is a full week, usually the 6th one, with no lectures or seminars and it's a chance for everyone to take a deep breath and catch up.
Now, it's very much up to you how you're going to go about this opportunity. I personally divided my time, studied for a couple of days, but also planned a few day trips with my friends to different cities.
Manchester is located at a perfect distance from a lot of beautiful places, making it really easy and accessible to go for a few day trips every now and then. I would recommend going to the Lake District, York, Liverpool or the Peak District.
After deciding where to go and planning everything out with my friends, our first stop was Liverpool. Liverpool is about an hour away from Manchester and the train tickets are usually very cheap as well so it's the perfect getaway. The city's architecture is beautiful with plenty of nice buildings, the streets are very spacious and the overall atmosphere is super friendly. One of my favourite places that we've seen was definitely the Albert Dock. The docks, with their industrial feel, consist of many restaurants, bars and museums, all built within former warehouses. The Liverpool Cathedral is the biggest cathedral in Britain and definitely worth the visit. With its incredible interiors and free guided tours, you can really learn a lot about its long history. P.S. Taking a photo with the Beatles statue is a must.
Our second destination was Edinburgh. To be honest, I was not looking forward to the 4-hour train ride, but it was over quicker than expected and as soon as we got out of the train I fell in love with the city. Wandering through the medieval Old Town, appreciating the historic Edinburgh Castle and taking pictures of the colourful shop fronts on Victoria Street, I even considered moving up for a hot minute. With many green places to enjoy a little picnic, we made our way to Calton Hill. Known for its collection of historic monuments and some of the most important landmarks of the city, it really did not disappoint. I thoroughly enjoyed the panoramic views of the city from the top of the hill as well. The only downside no one warned me about were the numerous uphill walks which left me embarrassingly out of breath.