Students. They are about to go everywhere, literally armies of them descending on the biggest towns and cities across the nation on a mission of exploration, enrichment and enlightenment. If you’re one of them then congratulations, you’re about to embark on what hopefully will be one of the most life-changing and happiest periods of your life-time.
First things first though, you can’t do it without some help. You’re going to be getting advice coming in from every angle, whether you’re a first time away from home newbie or a final year expert seasoned to all the idiosyncrasies of student life. So rather than follow the usual checklist of must-do’s for students and the likes we’ve gone for a different route; asked a few (in our eyes) experts who know a city inside out for their views on where is great and where to go.
We’ll be speaking with promoters, DJs, club owners, journalists and anyone we think has got a bit of know-how about how to enjoy themselves in a few of the major cities across the UK coming up. So if you’re looking for somewhere to go wild on your first night in Glasgow or a place to unwind and eat amongst friends in Leeds, we’ll be getting the best insights from our insiders just for you.
First up is Jamie Scahill, owner of 2022NQ in Manchester and a DJ and promoter born and bred in the city…
Where do you live and why do you live there?
I live in Manchester, just outside the Northern Quarter in New Islington. Its 10 minutes’ walk to the NQ, has two canals, a marina and couple of bars.
What makes the city so special?
The diversity of people and cultures make a huge difference but mainly the attitude of the city itself. Since the bomb in 1992 the city has come together and moved from a grim northern metropolis to a city that is up there as the best in the UK.
Where’s your favourite places to eat there?
Kabana in the Northern Quarter does the best curry in Manchester, and you can get a feast for under £5. For something a bit more up market you can’t go wrong with Northern Quarter Restaurant.
And the best places to go out?
2022NQ is the only place (ha) to go out if you want music and art in an underground Berlin style venue. Gorilla is also great as is Mint Lounge (the home of Funkademia), and Sound Control is very good for live gigs
For someone about to come to the city for the first time, what are the three things they must do before the year is out in the city?
1. Go to 2022NQ for a club night or exhibition launch. Exhibit (main ticket link) on Friday 20th September is a good one to start with.
2. Spend an afternoon drinking in Castlefield (weather permitting)
3. Take an underground tour.
What’s the city’s greatest hidden secret?
As Manchester doesn’t have much city centre green space I would say the areas around the canals on the edge of Piccadilly Basin are great to get out of the hustle. Ancoats Marina is a hidden gem in the summer, loads of space to sunbath and cook on the BBQ’s.
And finally, what one bit of advice would you give someone hitting the city for the first time?
Stray off the beaten track, you’ll find lots of hidden gems if you do. The city is full of them.
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