Where you'll be based
In the first years of the Veterinary Medicine courses, most student opt to live locally to our Camden Campus. London is a vibrant, international, bustling city with something to offer for everyone’s tastes. As of 2023, London was ranked ‘Best Student City’ by QS for the fifth year running, and it isn’t difficult to see why; there’s ample things to do, from museums, iconic monuments, fantastic eateries, and charming pubs.
In years three, four, and five most student relocate to take advantage of our tranquil Hawkshead Campus and the surrounding areas of Potters Bar, although it is a change of pace there’s plenty to enjoy. The RVC also offers a free shuttle between Potters Bars station, the popular student living areas and the Hawkshead Campus. This service improves, safety efficiency and accessibility of our campus saving you both time and money.
Things to do in London and Hertfordshire
Naturally, our students know best the local places to enjoy, so here are the top recommendations from some of our students to get you started on your London adventure:
Saima’s Top Recommendations in Camden
Moving to a new city or even new country can be a scary and daunting time but, it is also an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and explore new places. However, travelling in London can be so, it is nice to be in one of London’s hotspots that has a lot to offer in terms of food, entertainment and shopping. There is nothing better than to just go for a walk and see what you can discover! Here are some hidden gems I have stumbled upon in my time in Camden.
Let's begin with Camden's main attraction: the market. It caters for everyone with its diverse selection of food, clothes and jewellery. From tantalizing cheese pasta from a cheese wheel to delectable Dutch pancakes, the market offers a culinary journey around the globe. As you immerse yourself in the labyrinth of shops, do not miss the chance to explore Cyberdog. While its eccentric and fluorescent vibe might not be everyone's cup of tea, it's certainly an adventure in itself, complete with dancers and a DJ. Plus, there are plenty of activities ideal for a fun date night or an outing with friends. I went to junkyard golf recently which is mini golf with a twist. I did the creepy carnival course but there are many to choose from.
Camden offers some of the best culinary delights. Babuji is a great place on Kentish town road for home cooked style Indian food and drink. You can enjoy a nice refreshing chai or pani puri! And who can resist indulging in some classic desserts like creams?
Pedros café is one of my favourites, with a wide range of dishes from roast dinner to English breakfast or simply go for just a drink. I especially recommend the freshly pressed orange juice which has become my favourite drink in London. Everyone must try this at least once!
Lumi is worth a visit at least once and the French toast is a must try. Located conveniently on Camden High Street so, not a long walk from campus! Bonus: It has a cute interior for Instagram picture
After a long day of lectures many students will enjoy a drink (non-alcoholic too!). I will start with one you might all know, just off the Grand union canal we have our very own Wetherspoons. While it is always busy, it offers drinks and food for a student friendly budget. We also have our very own Haxby which may not have a wide range of drinks but provides a space to meet fellow RVC students, play pool and has cheap drinks. Socials tend to take place here every week and you can even rent it for a games or movie night as there is a projector.
Looking for a unique outing? Social Pottery provides a unique day out consisting of pottery painting and even pottery making classes for those with a higher budget. It is a fun experience for all regardless of your artistic ability! It is also a fun keep’s sake as I still use my frog pot today to store my jewellery.
And finally, as the sun sets over the city, Primrose hill offers a stunning view of London’s skyline. It is the perfect spot to hang out and get some fresh air, take breath-taking photos and even watch fireworks as, I did on Guy Fawkes night. And its free!
Adaeze’s Favorite London Spots
As an International master’s student at the Royal Veterinary College, discovering the vibrant city of London is an adventure filled with endless possibilities, from cultural excursions to culinary delights and everything in between. After spending several months exploring this dynamic metropolis, I've compiled a list of some of my favorite spots that capture the essence of London's diverse offerings.
Regent's Park offers a welcome respite from urban life and academic pressure, with its lush lawns, meandering pathways, and serene lakes. Take a leisurely stroll through the park and soak up the sights and sounds of nature, from the gentle rustle of leaves to the melodious chirping of birds. Whether you're enjoying a picnic with friends or simply taking a moment to relax and unwind, Regent's Park provides the perfect backdrop for moments of peace and reflection. Queen Mary's Gardens provide a stunning display of colorful blooms and fragrant roses in full bloom, with different species of birds and an opportunity to marvel at the wonders of nature.
The NOW Building at Tottenham Court Road Station
Standing tall at the junction of Tottenham Court Road, and conveniently located around oxford street, the NOW Building is a remarkable architectural marvel. It features a massive public atrium adorned with LED screens both inside and outside, making it home to the largest collection of screens globally. Broadcasting a diverse range of entertainment, cultural content, and advertising, this building serves as a vibrant hub within the heart of London. Whether you're passing by or stepping inside the main cinema, The NOW Building immerses you in the reality of the screen, offering an experience that makes you feel like you're living within its vibrant digital world.
For breathtaking views of the city skyline and to admire the stunning architecture, look no further than Canary Wharf. Situated in the bustling financial district, this iconic location offers an unparalleled panorama of London's landmarks. Its corporate environment and striking architecture inspire dreams of career excellence, making it a symbol of professional success. Explore the area's luxury restaurants, providing a culinary experience fit for any occasion.
Whether you're enjoying a leisurely stroll along the riverside promenade or dining at one of the many rooftop restaurants, Canary Wharf is sure to leave you spellbound. Be sure to visit Cross Rail Place Roof Garden, a hidden oasis featuring lush greenery and stunning architecture, providing a serene escape from the hustle and bustle below.
Be At One, Camden High Street
After a stressful week of studies and assessment worries, unwind with cocktails and good vibes at Be At One on Camden High Street. This vibrant cocktail bar offers a welcoming atmosphere and free entry for all. Step inside and let the eclectic playlist, spanning from afro beats to pop, set the mood for a memorable night out. As you settle in, take advantage of the bar's student-friendly policy: with your student ID, enjoy a generous 30% discount on all orders. The skilled bartenders at Be At One are renowned for their creativity and flair, ensuring that each drink they craft is nothing short of exceptional. So, gather your friends, bring along your ID card, and get ready to dance the night away or celebrate a special occasion in style at Be At One.
Nestled in the heart of London, Borough Market is a paradise for food enthusiasts. With its array of stalls offering fresh produce, artisanal cheeses, gourmet pastries, and international delicacies, the market is a feast for the senses. From the aroma of freshly baked bread to the sight of vibrant fruits and vegetables, every corner of Borough Market offers a delightful culinary experience. One can spend hours wandering through the bustling aisles, sampling delectable treats, and soaking in the vibrant atmosphere. Be sure not to miss the opportunity to indulge in a popular treat: a heavenly mix of fresh strawberries and rich chocolate served in a cup. Additionally, Borough Market is renowned for its commitment to organic and sustainable food practices, ensuring that every bite is not only delicious but also environmentally conscious. So, whether you're craving a mouthwatering gourmet sandwich from Kappacasein or longing for a piping hot bowl of paella from Brindisa, Borough Market promises an unforgettable gastronomic adventure.
These are just a few of the many incredible spots that London has to offer. From its world-class architecture to its bustling markets and lively nightlife, the city never ceases to amaze and inspire me. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned Londoner, there's always something new to explore.
Ester's Top Spots in Hertfordshire
My name is Ester and I’m a third-year veterinary student! Throughout my childhood, my mum and I moved countries for her work every few years. Although moving was nothing new to me, I was still apprehensive about making the transition from central London into Potters Bar. But since moving here about 6 months ago, I’ve found lots of things that have made it a really lovely place to be based in and it’s very easy to go back into London when I want to!
Balance Juice & Coffee Bar
Balance is a small café right opposite the train station and is one of my favourite places to go to in Potters Bar! When I lived in London, I loved working from cafes or grabbing a coffee before a walk, and I struggled to find an equivalent place with the same feel when I first moved here until I found Balance! They make amazing smoothies, cakes, sandwiches, and coffee, and even have a 20% discount for students. The café has Wi-Fi too, and sometimes I bring my laptop and do some studying here to mix it up from working on campus or home. The staff are also so friendly which makes it an even nicer atmosphere to come to.
PB Golf Club Walk
This large green space is a former golf club which is now open to the public. It’s a walkable distance from the train station or you can park nearby if you have a car. The walk around the grounds takes around an hour, but it’s a loop so it can be shorter if you have less time! I’ve done this walk several times, and my friends who have dogs can let their dogs run around here which is lovely too. The walk is completely off-road, making it a really nice space to get a breath of fresh air and enjoy the outdoors!
Revive Health & Fitness
Both RVC campuses have a gym which is free to students, but I decided to also get a membership at the local gym in Potters Bar too. I really enjoy being active, and I love to be able to break up studying by working out or going to one of their exercise classes. My favourite classes are group Spin classes on Saturday’s, but they also have yoga, boxing, and dance. A lot of these classes are also offered by RVC for those that would rather do them on campus, and these are really fun too! The staff at the gym are really kind and wonderful. Friendly staff that remember you is one of my favourite things I’ve noticed about living in a smaller place like Potters Bar!
Old Manor Pub
The Old Manor is located right behind the train station, which makes it perfect for meeting friends who get the train into Potters Bar. I especially like this pub because it has such a cosy atmosphere, and it’s usually quieter than some of the other pubs in the town which is nice if that’s what you’re looking for! The fireplace and soft lighting make it particularly nice for the winter days. They make some incredible food and drinks, so it’s a nice place to relax in and socialise.