Hi everyone, the following piece will be a ‘review’ type of writing about Sugarwell Court that will include information that may not necessarily be on the university website and you may find generally useful. Here’s a bit of background to myself before we get into it, I’m a first year student and 19 year old male student who is from Middlesbrough, studying at Leeds Met, or Leeds Beckett University as it’s now known, I live in Sugarwell Court and my course is based at the City Centre Campus.
There are 7 blocks in Sugarwell Court, the names of which are Airedale, Bishopdale, Coverdale, Deepdale (these first 4 overlook the court yard that is seen on photos), Eskdale, Farndale and Glaisdale. Airedale and Bishopdale are the older blocks, and the remaining 6 are relatively new. I live in Airedale so my experience of Sugarwell will be tailored to this block and my experience of other blocks. The flat which I live in consists of 5 bedrooms, 1 kitchen, a shower room and a separate shared toilet and sink. The kitchen is shared (obviously) between the 5 of you, with some blocks having allocated cupboards for each room. For example in my flat, 5 of the cupboards had A B C D and E written on them to represent the rooms that the flat had. In my flat 4 of the rooms were situated on the same side of the corridor and these rooms (including mine) are long and relatively narrow. The width of the room is roughly that of the length of a bed, and the length of it is roughly the length of 2 beds (I don’t have a tape measure, so I do apologise). The other room is a square shape so everything is more ‘roomy’. The beds in my flat are all singles and there is a wardrobe and 5 draws to put your stuff in. 2 of the draws are on a moveable unit that you can place anywhere in your room as it has wheels on it. The other 3 are on your desk. In terms of storage space that’s about it, I would recommend bringing some boxes to put some stuff in that may not fit in the draws. For example in my room I have 3 long but low plastic boxes under my bed that store: food, clothes and just general stuff. The wardrobe is normal size and has a separate top bit to put whatever you want up there i.e. bed sheet etc. There is heating throughout the flat with a heater in each room apart from the toilet and sink room (as this room is tiny).
As I said previously I study at the City Campus and not Headingley so this will be tailored to my experience. On the university website it states the walk to the city campus is 29 minutes, but depending on your walking speed this is very generous. It takes me 25 minutes to walk to the centre at a reasonable non rushing pace, but when I’ve slept in for lecture and have to get ready and get there in 30 minutes you can get there in about 20 minutes, although you will be sweating. Also bear in mind that the way there is uphill for about 15 minutes with short intervals. There are also numerous ways to walk there, some shorter than others, so if I was you I’d walk to the city before you start your course to get an idea of the way. The university website has safe walkways for you to walk on with routes to both university campuses. Buses run relatively regularly (20-30 minutes) outside of Sugarwell Court as Meanwood Road is a relatively busy road. The Leeds Met SU recently managed to negotiate reduced transport to the city campus, through a bus company called Yorkshire Tiger who now only charge £1 each way to the city campus. The services that run are the 92 and 93 and the bus stops are outside of Sugarwell, these buses also run to Headingley campus and again, only cost £1 each way to Headingley. If you’ve missed your bus and simply can’t be bothered walking, you can catch a taxi. The company which Leeds Met promotes is Amber Cars as they have a partnership with them, as long as you book it in advance (which you should always do for safety reasons and so you don’t get ripped off) it should cost you no more than £5. The most I’ve paid for a taxi to the campus is £4.50 and usually if you go out on a night it ranges from £3.90+ depending on where you’re going. If like me you’ve have a car and intend to bring it with you, then driving takes about 7 minutes depending on your route, the easiest is going up Servia Hill and down Woodhouse Lane. The best car park to park in is Woodhouse Multi Storey as it is opposite the university and is A LOT cheaper than the rest of the car parks. However if like me you could park for 24 hours on £3 at home, then you will get a bit of a shock at the parking prices. Don’t park in the Rose Bowl Car Park as it’s a complete rip off.
Facilities in Sugarwell
There is a Laundry room that has washers and dryers to do your laundry (obviously). There are 6 washers and 7 dryers. As there are just under 400 students these are very competitive at the beginning of the year. It is best to do your washing on your day off as everyone’s timetable is different, so you have a full day to do it. Weekends are always full so I’d avoid doing it then unless you’re doing it late at night, although the room closes at 10 PM. It costs £2.40 for a wash, and £2.60 for a speed wash (although this is a waste of money as it only reduces the time by about 2 minutes). Drying costs £1.20, it is coin acceptance only. Also bring a laundry basket thing to put your dirty laundry in it, I can get all of my washing in a washer if my laundry basket is full. If you intend to bring your bike with you to Sugarwell then there is bike storage available, it is free and you get a key to have access to it. Check the Leeds Met website for cycling times and routes. Again however if you are travelling to the City Campus then remember it is uphill – so if you’re not fit essentially you’re not cycling. If you drive then you can purchase a parking permit for a grand eye watering total of £250. However when you break this down over the weeks you are there this is relatively cheap, there is also a surplus of parking spaces so don’t worry about signing up for one straight away. You can purchase one anytime throughout the year at a reduced cost that is according to how later you want to purchase it. For example my flat mate bought one at the end of November and paid £190 pound for it. You gain access through the only gate possible to enter the site by using your room key. This key allows you to access your block of flats, your flat and then your room. The other rooms in your flat do not require a key.
And now for the part most students are interested in. Keep an eye out on the Facebook pages of the university and particularly so during the summer when a 2015/2016 Leeds Beckett Facebook Page would be launched. This will let you know about any wristbands that are available for purchase. Also it would be my advice to only buy the SU wristbands as they tend to be the better events, it cost me £25 for 4 events over the 2 weeks that fresher’s was on. But obviously if you’re moving in with new people then you may all decide you want to go to different venues on those nights. Also, get yourself out on the first night that your flat move in, it doesn’t matter where but it will aid the awkwardness an help to break the ice. Student reps come round Sugarwell in the first few weeks selling tickets for events so you can avoid the queue’s on nights out. After a while this dissipates as people realise they’ve spent too much and now can only afford to live on ASDA’s smart price beans until their next instalment, so don’t spend loads when you go out – the best way to spend the least is by getting absolutely sloshed before you go out by pre-drinking.
In terms of shopping, there is a Morrison’s store located near the city campus in the Merrion centre. Closer to Sugarwell there are stores located further up Meanwood Road. There is a small retail/shopping park where Aldi, Greggs, KFC and a Fulton Foods are located, across the road there is a Waitrose (not that students can afford that) and further along that road there is a small ASDA. However the walk to the shops are, you guessed it, uphill, it takes about 15-20 minutes to walk there. Also if you’re going shopping at Aldi bring your own bags or be prepared to pay 3p per carrier bag.
Sugarwell isn’t the nicest place to live but it’s far from the worst. It provides the basics that you need to live comfortably. Advantages include the all bills included option so you will never have to pay anything, disadvantages include that it is pretty far from both campuses. My tips for people moving in is keep your door open for the first few weeks, an open door is a friendly and inviting one, also don’t be afraid to speak to people, everyone in your flat will be nervous. Also introduce yourself to the flat/flats on your floor, the more people you know the better your experience will be. Also the pictures on the internet of the rooms do not represent every single block so consider that the rooms on the pictures aren't yours and consider it to be worse (I know it sounds bad haha).
If anyone has any questions relating to any of this please comment below or drop me an inbox on here and I’ll get back to you. There’s no such thing as a stupid question and I’ll do my best to answer anything about the University, Sugarwell or any other of your concerns. Hope you all enjoy coming to Leeds!
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