Man with backpack preparing to come to campus

Plan your journey and what to pack

Whether Lancaster is a short road trip or a long haul flight away, here is all the information you need to pack your suitcases and make your way to campus.

How to get to Lancaster

Plan your journey with advice on everything from trains to airport transfers.

Advice on how to get to the University campus is available on our Maps and Travel page. It includes sections on road, air, rail, bus and cycle travel, as well as information about accessibility, parking and electric vehicle charging points. We will also update the 'travel updates' section of this page (below) if we become aware of temporary disruption that may affect your journey. If you are travelling from overseas, find out about how we can help you reach campus in the general guidance and support for international students planning to join Lancaster University. We also have a page that gives you more information on commuting to campus.

What to pack

Pack smart and be ready for Lancaster with our essential tips.

Are you planning to live in the University-managed accommodation? Our accommodation is fully furnished but you will need to bring some personal items. Here is a list of what’s provided, and what we recommend you bring.

You can also visit the EcoShop during Welcome Week in Alexandra Square, where you can buy pre-loved student essential household items on a pay-as-you-feel basis. All the money raised will be donated to Green Lancaster, to fund various environmental projects on campus such as tree planting, upcycling or the upkeep of our allotment on campus. At the ECOShop, you’ll be able to find items such as pans, bedding packs, kitchen utensils and room décor items.

What's already here

In your bedroom

All study bedrooms are furnished with carpet or vinyl flooring, and curtains or blinds. They contain a bed, desk and chair, shelving, wardrobe and waste bin. Most rooms have some storage space under the bed and above the wardrobe.

In your kitchen

All communal kitchens contain fridges and freezers, but storage space is relatively limited so keep that in mind when you're doing your shopping. There’s a cooker, microwave, kettle, iron and ironing board provided, and most kitchens have a toaster. We also provide you with a vacuum cleaner, plus a dustpan, brush, mop and bucket.

What you'll need


You will need to provide your own bedding. Many of our single beds are now longer than average, at 2100mm. Make sure any fitted sheets you buy are big enough. All students are advised to use a mattress protector, as any stains would require the mattress to be replaced.

To help you pack light, you can purchase a bedding pack ready for when you arrive. Information about this will be included in the Welcome email from your college.


Whether you bring them with you or buy them on the day you arrive, don’t forget to have a couple of towels ready.

Cutlery, crockery and saucepans

A few pieces of cookware to enable you to cook, eat and store the food you like is all you need. For those keen to pack light, inexpensive kitchen items are easy to find in the city centre.


Your phone, your laptop, a tablet, maybe some speakers, a hair dryer or tongs – the electrical items you rely on can quickly add up. So a good quality bar adapter (the long flat form of plug extension that offers a few more sockets) will be useful, but please don’t use a cube version. You should also check that any electrical items are safe and compatible with the voltage system in the UK. If you’re travelling from overseas, you might want to bring a three-pin plug adapter with you. And don’t forget all the leads and chargers!


While it can get quite hot in the summer, Lancaster can become quite cold and wet over the autumn and winter months so you definitely want to have some warm layers and a good coat at the ready. A decent umbrella will also be a wise investment. Then think about the things you are likely to do once you get here – lectures in the day, plus your favourite sports or hobbies, nights out with your new friends – and pack what you need. Don’t go overboard and bring everything you own. If you want to travel light, there are plenty of shops in the area that sell a range of clothing.

First aid and hygiene supplies

Plasters and painkillers are always good to have ready. If you don’t have them packed, you can pick them up at a campus or local pharmacy. The same goes for face coverings and hand sanitiser.


You should bring proof of funding and identity, as well as railcards, bank cards and money and your NHS and National Insurance numbers. If you are travelling from overseas, visit the International webpages for more details and suggestions.


A rucksack or satchel to carry your books and any electrical devices to and from class is a must-have item.


If you can’t fit them in your luggage, just pick some up in the city centre.

Laundry basket and household cleaning products

Some other things you may want to buy once you get here. Washing up liquid, kitchen/bathroom surface cleaner and a cloth are your cleaning essentials.


And don’t forget your toothbrush!

What may be useful


There are lots of bike paths in Lancaster and the local area as well bike storage on campus, so if you have room to bring your bike, then you’re likely to find it useful. There are bike shops in the city centre and a used bike sale takes place on campus in the first term. New for the 2023-24 year, students can hire a bike for the whole term for as little as £50 subject to availability through the University’s Cycle Hire Scheme.

If you don’t fancy cycling, there are frequent bus services from campus. Find out more about cycling in Lancaster.


If you have one, we would encourage you to bring it.

Sports equipment, musical instruments etc

You may already have an idea of the sports and hobbies you want to explore while at Lancaster. Just bear in mind the limited amount of space you will have in your room to store larger items.


It’s great to bring a few things to make your new place feel familiar. But don’t feel you have to strip your bedroom of all its furnishings and bring them with you. Plant and poster sales typically take place on campus in the first term, so it will be easy to personalise your new space.

More advice

If you're still deciding what to pack, and you'd like some advice from someone who's been through a university move-in already, check out this packing blog by student digital ambassador Maria.

Advice for travelling from overseas

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