It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Just because you may be away from home doesn't mean you can't get in the festive spirit. Chester is the Christmas capital right now, with weekly parades, Christmas stalls and markets and Chester Zoo's lantern experience. Not to mention the amazing shopping you can do in the city centre or at Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, you'll have plenty of opportunities to find the perfect presents for your loved ones.

I think we could all agree that the best part of Christmas is definitely the food! One thing you could do to get in the festive spirit is cook a Christmas dinner with your flatmates. Save the student have put together a Christmas dinner on a budget so you can get a fancy roast for a half the price. There's nothing more exciting than Yorkshire puddings and pigs wrapped in blankets with gravy, so what better way to end the term than a feast with your friends?


Make a list, check it twice

Now we know most of you can't wait to get home, but there are a few things you might need to check before you leave. Firstly if you are planning on doing uni work this holiday season make sure you bring all the resources you need, there's nothing worse than getting all the way home and forgetting the important textbook.

Secondly, leaving your student house over Christmas may not seem like a big deal but its still needs some TLC this winter time. The majority of you will probably be leaving for an extensive time, so it's important that you check all your appliances and throw away unnecessary items. One thing to do is make a checklist between you and your housemates so you can all be responsible for taking care of your own things. However, if one person is staying longer in your house then they can take care off a few of these items before they leave.

Things to do:

Empty the fridge - This is often overlooked, but it's important to throw away uneaten food before you leave to stop it from rotting and contaminating the fridge.

Empty the bin - Similarly, take out the bin bag before you leave. The last person to go home will probably want to do this so to eliminate any rubbish being left.

Tidy up - Giving the house a big clean will prevent any dirt and insects from gathering, especially if spilt food and drink haven't been cleared up. Viewings will still be taking place beginning of January, the cleaner your house, the faster it will be let and viewings will no longer commence in your property.

Set timer - As your house will most likely be vacant for a few days or weeks, it's important to set the heating on a timer, even if it's only on for one hour a day on low. This ensures the pipes don't freeze over in the cold weather and cause problems when you return in January.


He's gonna find out who's naughty and nice

Arguably the most stressful part of Christmas, choosing gifts for friends and family.

Cheshire Oaks is fantastic for finding designer goods at a super cheap price, with shops such as Superdry, Nike, Ralph Lauren, Barbour, All Saints, Cath Kidston, Cadburys, Claries and many, many more. With travel for just £4 return on a bus from The Fountains, you can't go wrong!

If you're wanting to shop somewhere more local however, this list of shops in Chester City Centre and/or Greyhound retail park are great if you want to find something unique and different:

Lily Vintage

Lee Louise

The Arc


For a friend or sibling expecting a child, try:

Jojo Maman Bebe

Harriet and Dee

Toys R Us

Weasel and Bug


For those on a budget:

Primark (they sell fantastic trinkets and big labels at small prices like Disney and Harry Potter merchandise)

New Look

TK Maxx


Other suggestions:

Boux Avenue, Yankee Candle, Outfit, PC World, The Flower Box, Warren James, Tillys Sweets and Treats, The Entertainer Toy Shop, Waterstones Books, Menkind, Millies Cookies.


Driving home for Christmas

Whether you are literally driving home or hopping on public transport, its best to check the weather conditions before you set off. Perhaps google council websites to see if any road grit has been laid down, or if any motorway roadworks/closures are taking place over the Christmas period.

Trains are notorious for being cancelled over the winter period, so check in advance for any changes or pick a off peak day in the week to travel that's less stressful. Looking in advance, especially for train tickets, will be beneficial for your bank account. Northern rail and east coast trains usually have discounted train fairs for specific cities, so it might be worth checking them out beforehand. Also, if you have a railcard don't forget to take full advtange of 1/3 off regular prices!


We hope you have yourself a merry little Christmas from all of us here at CSL!

To read more articles like this check out our blog