From piercing turrets and ivy-clad sand stone to geometric gems and avant-garde architecture, the UK is unique in its position as cradling some of the most ancient and stunning universities in the world. So whether you’re fresh off the boat and ready to venture into a new chapter of your life at university, or you consider yourself a senior citizen in the raucous realms of study, we’ve scoured the fine streets of the UK to discover the ten most beautiful campuses and the most inspiring places to kick back, relax and flex those intellectual muscles.
Queens University Belfast
Founded by Queen Victoria in 1845, the campus consists of over 300 buildings nestled among the leafy suburbs of south Belfast. It features gothic buildings and even war memorials. An ideal visit if you’re a fan of the famous queen and partial to an Irish accent.
Specialising in media and design, Ravensbourne University’s awe-inspiring exterior reflects its dedication to contemporary arts, from fashion to television and broadcasting.
University of Stirling
The Wallace Monument and the Cottrell building are just two of the main features of this delightful campus, towering over breath-taking views of Scottish countryside. While overlooking castles, lakes, woodland and meadows, the University of Stirling campus assertively remains at the center of one of Scotland’s most popular cities.
University of Glasgow
Although it may come as a surprise that the Harry Potter series was in fact not filmed here, the stained glass windows and majestic towers of University of Glasgow will still invoke imaginings of quidditch matches and flying broomsticks. As well as the main Gilbert Scott building, the second largest example of gothic revival architecture after the Palace of Westminster, the campus stretches through the west end and includes both modern creations and Victorian town houses.
University of Sheffield
Surrounded by the scenic sights of Peak District National Park, the campus at University of Sheffield boasts a geometric aquamarine library and a number of grassy hang out spots for study sessions or meet ups between classes.
Durham University dates back to the 11th century, and its ancient history can be seen in its castle buildings and grand halls. It also includes a 1930s art deco chapel and is situated next to the river Wear and city’s cathedral.
Stately and striking, Cardiff University’s main building stands as an architectural enigma worthy of its more famous competitors including Cambridge and Oxford. Its 53-acre site spans a number of parks and playing fields.
One of the most striking features of this campus is the Old University Building. With its towers and turrets and its faux stained glass windows, the building is designed to look just like a medieval castle. History buffs are bound to be satisfied by the old school character of this Welsh institution.
Royal Holloway, University of London
If you’re a Downtown Abbey fan then no doubt you’ll be keen to take a gander around the elegant Founder’s Building of Royal Holloway. Surrounded by grandeur and greenery, this campus could pass as a palace.
King’s College London
Standing proudly on the Strand, King’s College provides a refreshing change to gothic and medieval university campuses and instead asserts itself as a city bound campus, surrounded by the bustling London streets, cosmopolitan vibes and the city’s most iconic landmarks.