Living in Hertfordshire
While studying, you can take advantage of our tranquil Hawkshead Campus in the surrounding areas of Potters Bar; here, you will be immersed in the student community, and there are plenty of pubs, bars and walks to enjoy. Check out Ester's top recommendations below to get you started!
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.
During your time living at the Hawkshead Campus, you may decide to make the quick train journey into London. 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.
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.