Chocolate Alchemy Cafe
Indulging your sweet tooth, catching up with friends or relaxing after a long day of lectures. Good for…
What it is... The Chocolate Alchemy Cafe is Loughborough’s only chocolate shop that offers handmade treats. It’s also got a coffee shop inside where you can grab a hot drink and eat puddings made with real Belgian chocolate.
Why you should go… Whether you want a catch up with friends over coffee and cake or buy fancy chocolate to take home and share with your flatmates, they’ve got all your options covered. And if that isn’t enough you can feel like Willy Wonka by attending one of their chocolate making workshops.
Loughborough Town Hall
Good for… Comedy, music, theatre and art fans. Nights out with your friends, first dates or just to feel all cultural!
What it is... The local town hall puts on a variety of entertainment throughout the year, including top comedians, art exhibitions, movie nights, musical performances, plays, and regular slots for both a jazz and comedy night (not on the same day, obviously!).
Why you should go… Escape your studying stresses and take your mind off lectures for a night, you deserve it! It’s also a great place to bond with new uni friends as it’ll help break the ice as you’re guaranteed to have something to talk about after. Plus they offer student discount so you’ll be saving a few quid!
45 Gin School
Good for… Gin fans, learning about how your drinks are made, making drinks you actually like.
What it is... The 45 Gin School offers you the unique opportunity to tour a working gin distillery. Not only will you see how gin is produced, but you can also create your own with the help of a master distiller.
Why you should go… You will be able to truly appreciate your gin and be able to act all smug when you tell your friends you’re now an expert in gin production (ok it’s a slight exaggeration but you’ll definitely know more than them).
Plus you’ll be able to take home your very own created gin, something that’s much more special than buying the supermarket’s own brand, and because you’ve had help from the experts, it’ll probably taste better too. You’ll even get to add a personalised label to your bottle!
Good for… Picnics on sunny days, playing with mates, relaxing walks and learning something new.
What it is... A beautiful park in the centre of Loughborough that’s easy to get to and offers lots of activities.
Why you should go… It’s more than just something to walk around, inside the park there are two museums, the Carillon Tower War Memorial and Museum, and the Charnwood Museum. The latter is completely free and the War Memorial museum is just a £1 to visit the whole thing.
There’s plenty to see as you’re walking around the park too, including a bowling green, bandstand, aviaries and even a swan shaped maze! And to top it off, you’ll be connected to the university as there are sculptures that have been designed by actual Loughborough University students. Basically you’ll never be bored
in this park.
The Climbing Station
Good for… People who want to exercise, have fun and learn a new skill.
What it is... An indoor bouldering (rock climbing) centre that’s suitable for climbers at all ability levels. They rely on crash mats rather than roped equipment so you’ll be able to learn more and grasp the basics easier. It has over 800sqm of surfaces you can cover so you’ll certainly have plenty of space to climb! They also offer introductory lessons for complete newbies.
Why you should go… It’s always good to learn new things, especially at university, and this will not only teach you something different but it’ll also keep you fit and healthy. Win/win. And no matter what your level of skill or fitness this activity is suitable for you.
It’s indoors so you can go throughout the year, whether it’s blistering hot or so cold you’re wearing a coat in lectures. Plus it’s only 3 minutes away from Loughborough centre so there’s no excuse not to go!
Good for… Cheap food, house essentials and other bargain buys.
What it is... A local market that is open every Thursday and Saturday between 7am-5pm. Based in the town centre, there are over 100 traders selling a variety of items at affordable prices. There’s also a vintage market every Friday between 8am-3.30pm and a Farmer’s Market on the 2 nd Wednesday of each month between 9am-3pm.
Why you should go… Your student loan doesn’t always stretch as far or as long as you’d like, so this local market is the perfect place to get more for your money. From cheap dinners and household basics, to luxury goods and clothing, you’re bound to find both what you need and the luxuries you want.
Good for… Pizza, obviously.
What it is... A great pizza place where the food is not only delicious, it’s authentically Italian. In this modern restaurant you’ll be surrounded by beautiful artwork, exposed brick walls, low slung lighting and a range of seating options, including up-cycled furniture!
Why you should go… If you love pizza as much as Joey from Friends, then you absolutely need to visit this place. It’s virtually always there for you as it opens from 8am-10pm, so you can go for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
It’s definitely suitable for your student bank balance, with a margarita pizza being an absolute steal at £6. And did someone say Nutella pizza for pudding? Yes, they genuinely sell that.
They put a lot of work into your pizza too, the dough gets fermented for 20 hours and each one is hand shaped. How can you say no when they put that much effort in just for you!
Good for… Nights out, dancing till your feet hurt, drinking, general socialising.
What it is... One of the biggest nightclubs in Loughborough, it holds students nights on Fridays and Saturdays. On Fridays they play indie, rock and pop music. On Saturdays they play chart and popular music in one room, and dance and urban house in the other.
Why you should go… They have entire nights just for students, which means student prices and the chance to not only have fun with your uni mates, but to also meet and make brand new ones! And with two rooms playing different types of music, you’re bound to find something you like to dance to.
Open from 11pm-4am you can party through the night and beyond, and because it’s situated really close to bus stops and taxi ranks, it’s easy to get home.
Good for… racing enthusiasts, finding out how competitive you are and having a fun day out with your friends.
What it is... An indoor karting venue.
Why you should go… If you want a day out with a difference then going go karting is definitely a good option to choose. What’s better than speeding around a track, whizzing past your friends and being really smug when you win? Plus you’ll get a print out of your fastest laps, so if you beat your mates you’ll be able to stick it on the fridge and be smug about it till you move out.
They also offer student discount if you race before 6pm, so it’s worth making the most of your university status while you can with this place.
The Basin Restaurant
Good for… Japanese, Chinese and Thai cuisine, cocktails, night outs with friends.
What it is... Based by the riverside, this restaurant specialises in fresh Chinese, Japanese and Thai food. This includes delicious meals like sushi, Dim Sum, a range of dumplings and a variety of curries to name a few. It also has a lounge area where you can buy cocktails or a nice glass of wine or two.
Why you should go… Whether you want to go for a full dinner, a small meal, drinks or all three, The Basin is a great place to start a night out. Plus the food is locally sourced so you’ll actually be supporting the Loughborough community!
It’s always good to try new foods, and The Basin is the perfect place to expand your taste buds and introduce yourself to different types of cuisines you may not have tried before.
Additionally, we’d also suggest getting a
Love Loughborough card. It's free and will give you discounts and offers at local places and chains in the Loughborough area.
A big shout out and thanks to everyone who
provided suggestions on Reddit, you guys rock!