Supermarkets and shops in Ormskirk

Grocery shopping and more! I hope this post is useful to

  • students living on campus of Edge Hill University, especially who self-cater (cook for themselves), or need a break from the university catering
  • people who consider living in Ormskirk

The range of shops in Ormskirk can cater to your needs of: everyday grocery shopping, cosmetics/skincare/health and beauty in general, warm clothes and more. You can’t really find some big names like Tesco, Primark, TKmaxx, etc. in Ormskirk but for me, what it has right now is enough for all essential shopping needs. Plus I even think life is made simpler and easier to live, and consumerism is avoided, when you’re not spoilt for choices.

1. Supermarkets in Ormskirk

live on campus, two choices: catered and self-catered. for catered, as is the case with students on a study-abroad program to edge hill – cost 42 GBP per week. self catered students (like me and my flatmates) buy their own food, and we could could save by spending 20 GBP per week but still have a range of food to go round. Supermarkets offer you this saving choice

  1. Aldi: cheapest. wide range: spices like ginger garlic also very cheap, much cheaper than Morrisons or M&S Foodhall.
  2. Morrisons: bigger shopping space, a cleaner and more tidy look than Aldi in my opinion. Wide range of goods, especially meat and fish, vegetables, desserts and so on, definitely a winner in the area for me. One discovery for me when it comes to Morrisons is the ‘Food to order’ section on their website, which is like booking very good, ready-to-eat food in advance to collect at the store. I think I’ll talk about this in another post on culture highlights I’ve noticed in England.
  3. M&S Foodhall (Mark and Spencers): sounds posh? expensive? yeah maybe a little. But I got to admit this is my favorite place to shop: smoothie, range of ready meals, fresh king prawns (I can’t find at Aldi or Morrisons). For other things like vegetables, fruits and meat, I’d say I’d go for Morrisons or Aldi.
  4. Poundland: The idea of Poundland is many goods on sale at 1 pound. Sounds ideal enough, and the range of things there is great, I used to shop there in the beginning for mugs and laundry bag, and even makeup, but most other things you can find at Aldi for less than a pound, like 50p or less. So now I almost don’t go to Poundland anymore
  5. Iceland: great for shopping frozen food: pizza, varied dishes of chicken, beef, lamb, etc. Bad news is at the time of this post, the Iceland store is closed down for good (from 4 Jan 2020), you have to walk for a while to the next Iceland store. I feel saddened by this because I like to shop a few things at Iceland like their kitchen rolls and box of 10 free range eggs, because they are the cheapest and best value for money among all the stores here.
  6. Local butchers: Family butchers, Scott’s butcher. These are great for buying sausages, pork, beef, chicken, lamb; especially at Scott’s Butcher they have many offers/deals everyday and they offer a range of seasoned/prepared-to-cook meat, along with different types of chutney and sauces. Worth a look and a try.

I only speak from my experience, therefore the information may be limited. The best thing to do is just go to the stores and see for yourself which one is your favorite. As someone who’s been literally scrutinizing through these supermarkets, I think it’s safe to say you can rely on (some of) my choices 🙂

Comes another problem when shopping around: navigating (tìm đường), which means knowing the roads and streets’ name. But I don’t feel the need to because its very straightforward. As long as you take the Ormskirk tour with the student guides on your arrival, you’ll find it easy to navigate around. the clock tower is the heart of all the shopping places so if you get lost, just find way or ask directions back to the clock tower

Next, Iceland (which is closed now, since January 2020), and Poundland – where you can find all things at 1 pound! (although sometimes you may want to buy cheaper than 1 pound, in that case, find B&M and Aldi, haha)

Lastly, a photo inside M&S, though I took of nothing but the flowers:

2. Shops

I’ll continue in the next post

health and beauty shops, then clothing shops.

Until next time x

Thao Vy Thai

Southport trip in the spring

Southport is a 45-minute drive from Edge Hill and it’s a beautiful, appropriately busy seaside town! From Ormskirk you can take the 375 or 385 bus to get to Southport and pay around £5.5 for a return ticket. Or, if you’re in luck, (which is very likely thanks to our Edge Hill Students Union and International Office), you’ll get a free coach trip like us!

3 things I’d say about Southport:

charming Architecture, tastefully busy and plenty of Shops, all sorts and decorations

…… turquoise Lake and simple yet interesting Pier, + beach

lots of ice cream shops, amusement arcades and other family-friendly facilities.

Plus, you’ll also get to see an eye-catching merry go round, first spring blossoms (if you come in spring) and just very pleasant sights in general. For me what’s best was the tasty, affordable Chinese dining we had!

Our Chinese dining: we got spring rolls, stir-fired beef and mushrooms & rice, prawn curry & rice, sweet-and-sour pork & rice. All for only £19.80, so each of us (3 people) paid only £6+ for a very wholesome meal. The restaurant is Ho Lee Chow (address: Rotten Row, Southport PR8 2BZ) and they have various meal deals.

Our group photos in Southport: (caption from Didem and Cassie)

Wait, it rained later! when we got back to the coach.

That’s all for today. Definitely give Southport a visit while you’re at Edge Hill! Thanks for reading!

Check out also:

Thank you Cassie and Didem for your contributions to this blog :D!

From Lancashire to Derbyshire, my past two months in England

COVID-19 has taken the world by storm and we international students definitely ‘ve had our share of turbulence. Hello there! Today is 23 May 2020 and it’s officially been two months since the UK went into lockdown.

In today’s blog, I’d like to capture a little story from the day I parted with my Edge Hill friends as they went back to their home countries. And as I had settled in the countrified town of Hadfield. I would like to call it a “from Lancashire to Derbyshire” story, recounting my move from the lovely halls at Edge Hill/ Ormskirk to my new found home in Hadfield.

20 March: A farewell party

Featuring in this party: 2 Germans, 2 Japanese, 1 Mexican, 1 Vietnamese. Our German girls hosted this party showcasing their cooking talents with Turkish and Vietnamese dishes! (Is there a mistake here, you ask? No dear, our cultural backgrounds are diverse that’s why ;).

Our range of menu: first dish Vietnamese, second and third dishes Turkish

For the next round (of eating!) we’d got Korean dumplings, snacks, and more puddings/desserts.

I would like to thank Aina, Dung, Didem especially, for always being such good friends! I hope we’ll see each other again soon, in Japan or Germany or Vietnam!

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  • japanese curry cubes for cooking

21 March (Saturday)

I went to the town centre (of Ormskirk) and it was completely busy, from the shops to the supermarkets to the Open Market, which, honestly, scared me, considering the virus situation and all. So I decided I’d move to my friend’s house in Hadfield. She was really kind to offer me to go and stay with her soon, as she could expect a lockdown coming soon.

Ormskirk’s open-air market (photos for illustration’s sake, from Google)

22 March to 23 May (next 8 weeks): “chilling” in Hadfield

… while at times nervous about the whole situation. Anyway, 23 March to 23 May, featuring: online lectures, online tutorials and my two giant assignments for Term 2. Don’t worry, you won’t have to hear me complain about these. What you’ll see now are (hopefully) beautiful photos of a private garden in Hadfield, a small town in the county of Derbyshire. And while you may not know where Derbyshire is, just know that the world-famous female English author Jane Austen said it’s the most beautiful county in England. (Check out the Pride and Prejudice adaptation on Netflix, you can verify that. Or if you’ve already known, hi-five!)

That’s it for today’s story. I’m sorry it’s quite short (but sweet though!). See you in the next blogs! Thanks for reading!

(If you’d like to know who I am, you can check out my First week at Edge Hill blog. Thanks!)

Check out also:

Lake District – a green oasis and a great escape

Last October (2019) we had a coach trip to Lake District with the Students Union (SU), and it was a lovely memory. This green haven doesn’t disappoint!

What you need to do to get on a free trip like this is to go on the Give it a Go page by the SU, choose the event, log in at the site with your university email, and book a place! Make sure you sign up early for any trip or there will be no spaces left. Another way, if the International Office is the organiser of the trip, you’ll get an email directly from them, and just need to reply to sign up! (check the link out! you’ll see a list of free trips you’ll likely go on!)

A walk around Windermere, Lake District

Expect to see a lot of tourists as Lake District is a much loved travel destination in the UK. We saw a lot of families with kids, and Chinese tourists too. I guess there must be a significant influx of Chinese tourists to Lake District, since there were many signs at restaurants and places of interest written in Chinese.

The trip took us to Windermere area. Lake District is huge comprising 4 major mountainous areas (or towns to be precise). Beside Windermere town, there are also Keswick, Ambleside, and Bowness-on-Windermere. Take a look at this video and you’ll agree with me how beautiful Windermere looks!

Share lunch with a friend

We arrived in Lake District at around 11am, wandered for a while and went for lunch. Now this (Windermere) is a bustling area with all kinds of cuisines and shops. My friend and I were looking for a budget option, so we looked through many menus and prices (at the entrance of restaurants) and stopped at one pizza place.

The pizza we shared (quite a large size) cost only £ 8. Lunch offer even on a Saturday, brilliant!

Alternatively you can pop in Tesco Express near the lake (where the coach dropped you off) to get a meal deal at 3.00 GBP with a main meal, a snack and a drink. (much like Mccoll’s on campus, but a bit cheaper and more choices I guess).

Great spot for photos

Although I didn’t discover much variety in Lake District (probably because I’m a slow walker and a chilled wanderer), I found a few amazing views for my Instagram photos! (or my phone gallery only, haha, too lazy for instagram posts)

  • lake-district-trip-edge-hill-international-student-boats and lake

Few other peaceful shots of the Windermere area!

Keep an eye out for free trips by the International Office and the students’ union, and make sure you sign up early!

Until next time x . Thank you for reading!

Check out also:

O Briens Tea Room in Ormskirk

Dear those who love a chilled afternoon,

Today I recommend a nice place near campus for a (quality & cheap!) cup of tea: O Briens Tea Room.

Location: Opposite Morrisons, same side as Aldi and McDonald’s.

O Briens Tea Room seen from opposite the road at Morrisons store

What’s on their menu

A wide range of tea, ice cream, cafe and toast, sandwiches, or Afternoon Tea.

Their decor and seating

There is nothing fancy about it, but it’s cozy and friendly. Their toilets are nice too, haha. The seating furniture really reminds me of my Vietnam (had to bring it up again, sorry haha).

What I ordered

My friend and I only needed some tea for a chat. It was quite nice, and milk was served with tea as well. Only £ 1.90 for a pot of tea, hands down unbeatable price.

Opening hours (updating) (if you happen to know, please comment. thanks!)

In summary

If you like a simple relaxing time with tea, cake and light meals at affordable price, O Briens is the place to go!

Check out another cafe in Ormskirk: Mandrakes magic-themed cafe!

Check out also:

A guide to washing your clothes at Edge Hill

All students living on campus are advised to use Circuit Launderette (Laundromat, if you’re more familiar with this word). It is located inside the Students Union building, which means you’ll do laundry near Subway and SU Bar. This also means that it is quite near the Hub in the main building (where Starbucks, Mccoll’s and other catering services are). You’ll know where it (the laundry room) is if you go on the campus tour when you just arrived.

Sounds like a mundane thing but actually doing laundry can be a nightmare for new beginning or first-year students. Because you:

  • Have to have a card to pay (visa card, mastercard, or Paypal. In my experience Paypal maybe the most convenient because you don’t have to type in the details every time)
  • Use Circuit mobile app to operate the machines (washing machines, and tumble dryers). There’s no manual way to do it (To be fair, there is one machine that accepts coins, but all the other 30+ machines demands mobile app usage). So, you need internet connection, which is no problem when you have your student ID, account and password. However in the first week when your account has not been set up, you probably need to use mobile data, and the best way to do this is: have a UK SIM card.—Don’t worry the International Office got your back – it’s in the purple welcome bag they’ll give you when you first came (Giffgaff SIM). Set up the sim by topping up some money in using your visa card/mastercard/Paypal, etc.
  • Once you get the two things above sorted, using the laundry app is easy. (See the instructions on the wall inside the laundry room)
  • Pricing: costs 2.9 GBP for a wash and 1.5 GBP for a dry. total 4.4 GBP. yes quite expensive but the bright side is clothes are cleaned and dried properly. I’m pretty happy with its work.

Big advice: Ask for help from other students when you first use the machines in the laundry room. You’ll save yourself a lot of trouble.

Here’s a quick video to let you see what it’s like in the Circuit laundry room at Edge Hill.

Thanks for reading. Until the next post <3

Check out another guide to see the view of the laundry room.

London trip – a must when you’re at Edge Hill!

Coming from an industrial city in Vietnam, I’m familiar with and have come to love such city sights as (medium) skyscrapers and modern buildings, scattered across busy streets and Buddhist temples. I mean they are beautiful, but to see something so different from Asian architecture or normal office buildings would be awe-inspiring. And for me London is just that. It is a “looker”!

I’ve been to Liverpool, Manchester, Chester, Southport, all beautiful cities in their own ways, also with that “difference” I was yearning for, but London seems just another level of impressiveness for me.

Travelling and accommodation costs

To get to London from Ormskirk (where Edge Hill University is based) the most common way is by train from Liverpool Lime Street station. Take a train from Ormskirk to Liverpool Central first, then walk for 5 minutes to Liverpool Lime Street station and there you’ll get a direct train to London (Euston station).

Train tickets: I travelled with 3 of my friends and we managed to book the cheapest return tickets from Liverpool Lime Street to London Euston at only £15.80 (If you don’t plan well ahead it may cost you up to £ 30 each way, which is not too bad)

(In case you’re not familiar with the “language” of train tickets, like I did when I first came, here’s a quick explanation: Single (ticket): one way; Return (ticket): two-way (go and back). There are also “Anytime Single”, “Anytime Return”, “Advance Single”, but I figure I’ll deal with that on another post about travelling by train in the UK.)

Accommodation: We (group of 4) booked Airbnb for 5 nights and the cost for each person was £ 70. There are other websites to find and book cheap hotels or accommodation in London, you might like to do a Google search and shop around.

That’s it for the tips. Now, here are the sights that wowed me in London.

1- Tower Bridge

  • tower bridge london

On the other side of the Bridge we got to see a Christmas market (because we went there in December).

2. The River Thames

3. London Eye

London Eye

4. Buckingham Palace & Queen Victoria Memorial

Buckingham Palace was packed with tourists
Queen Victoria Memorial was also splendid

5. St James’ Park and St James’ Palace

St James Palace (I’m not sure which one it is but this corner of the street was just marvellous)
St James Park
(There’s a lake right next to me in this picture. The park is much bigger and though in winter, it’s still so beautiful to me, but the winds were too strong!)

6. Household Calvary Museum

This is where you can see the iconic horsemen. I truly loved the experience, although I could see one of the horses was a bit sad when there were so many tourists in front of him.

7. Regent Street

Regent Street is, from what I’ve seen, the street with all the most luxury and high-end brands in London. Every store can become a sight to marvel at, especially Burberry London (in my opinion, I’ve just never seen any fashion store like it). You can also find other affordable brands here, like The Body Shop. Regent Street at Christmas is obviously a must-visit.

  • regent street in london

8. Chinatown and a few other streets (not sure what they’re called because as usual I relied on my friends, heavily)

  • chinatown london
  • St Paul's Catheral

There are so many things to see and do in London. Definitely give London a visit while you’re studying here at Edge Hill!

Halloween at Edge Hill University

I didn’t ever celebrate Halloween when I was in Vietnam (except for that one year in high school where my English teacher organised a costume party as a class activity for us all to enjoy), but I got the very first and special Halloween here at Edge Hill. Below are three events I partook in for Halloween 2019.

1. Halloween makeup event by Students Union

It is a free event in the afternoon of 30 October. Definitely sign up for this, you’ll have so much fun.

2. Halloween theme park at Coronation Park in Ormskirk

A good chance to see so many local families and kids in their creative costumes and makeup. Walk to town center or take the bus, then the park is right near Morrisons, or opposite Aldi and MacDonald’s, very easy to find, Google map is your friend or simply ask a local on your way.

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  • halloween-night-theme-park-in-ormskirk-coronation-park-4-grill-snack
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  • halloween-night-theme-park-in-ormskirk-coronation-park-6

3. A tour around local houses in Ormskirk at Halloween

There’s not much going on but a few houses do get creative with their decorations, and they are very friendly; my friend and I got to talk to a lovely local who clearly did some very good work bringing the Halloween atmosphere to his house, the star of the night definitely being his special ghost on the grass (picture and video below).

  • house-in-ormskirk-halloween-2019
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(Thank you my friend Amanda Tang for this video, I hope you don’t mind me re-uploading it on Youtube so that it can be added to this blog)

Thanks for reading! Until the next blog <3

Discover Ormskirk EP.01: cafe MANDRAKE’S A Magical Experience

Edge Hill has a great campus but that wouldn’t stop you from looking for other gems in Ormskirk would it?

Good news for you! Today we’ll discover a haven for those fond of the peace, the quiet and the mystique: cafe MANDRAKE’S A Magical Experience.

Mandrakes is very easy to spot when you’re on the university’s free bus to town.
If you’re a Potterhead you definitely don’t want to miss out on this lovely cafe.

1. Few facts about Mandrakes

  • Address: 4 St Helens Rd, Ormskirk (L39 4QR)
  • Opening hours: Tue-Sat: 10am-4:30pm, Sun: 11am-5:00pm, Mon: closed.
  • Price range: £ 1.00-4.50 for drinks, £ 2.80-6.75 for breakfast and lunch, £ 9.50-16.50 for special Afternoon Tea. See full menu down below in section 4.

When was it opened? 9th August 2019

Why was it opened?

At first glance it is clear that Mandrakes is inspired by Harry Potter theme. However, the theme of the café is not just Harry Potter, the owners wanted to create a mystical atmosphere with different elements of magic, wizards and witches. This magical cafe is like a breath of fresh air the owners wanted to bring to Ormskirk, to attract more people into this lovely town, especially when there’s a huge amount of young people coming into town to study at Edge Hill.

The café has been more successful than they ever imagined. They had a soft opening (not much advertising other than the Facebook page) and it was totally packed, queues of people around the corner waiting to get in.

Current manager at Mandrakes is an Edge Hill graduate

We met with manager at Mandrakes, Lizzie, who is an Edge Hill graduate in English and loved her experience so much she progressed to study an MA (master of arts) which she has just finished and will be graduating in December.

Lizzie is a big Harry Potter fan and said the book was a major inspiration for her to pursue her studies in English, which is why it’s no surprise Harry Potter featured in her personal statement.

Staff at Mandrakes are referred to as House Wizards and Witches. Their outfits truly depict that spirit. These wizards and witches though, are very warm, friendly and welcoming, so you needn’t worry at all.

2. How to get to Mandrake’s from Edge Hill

(If you already know, please skip to the next part. Though I think you may like to learn the bus schedule tip I’ll mention in paragraph 2 below)

Walk. (10 minute walk from Edge Hill). Out of Edge Hill’s main entrance just turn right and keep to that only road (called St Helens Road by the way) until you reach the first traffic light. Cross the road at the traffic light and walk for a little more you’ll see Mandrakes right on your left hand side.

Take the bus. You probably already know about the bus (which is run by the University and free for all students and staff) but I want to take this chance to tell you a tip I’ve just learned about the bus schedule (after over two months living here and taking the bus for like 100 times though🤣). Everybody can tell you the bus leaves every 20 minutes, but nobody seems to tell you: at what minute? …because with this cold weather and those winds, waiting for 15+ minutes at the bus stop isn’t a great idea (at least for me). So here’s the tip that saves lives (from the winter winds obviously): There are 3 stops—Edge Hill Main Entrance, Creative Edge, Ormskirk bus station Stand 5—when you plan to take the bus, look at your watch but only care about the minute: The bus leaves Main Entrance at minute 08, 28, 48, leaves Creative Edge at 13, 33, 53, leaves Ormskirk at 05, 25, 45. (So it starts from Ormskirk, after 3 minutes reaches Main Entrance, then moves to Creative Edge).

3. The space at Mandrakes


Harry Potter merchandise room

This is where you get to see and buy official Harry Potter merchandise. The fireplace is not to be missed!

Cafe area

The best part about the Cafe area isn’t just the space and the drinks, it’s DJ ‘Wand Apprentice’, a staff with special role at Mandrakes. While we’re enjoying our tea and drinks, DJ would come to our table and give us a demonstration of wands (replica) from Harry Potter. The way the demonstration works is: DJ takes the wands out from his box one by one, allow us time to admire the wand and guess which character it belongs to, while at the same time gives some hints to us, then in the end reveals answers and explanations.

We delighted in the guessing game he led us through, got to admire his patience and immense tolerance of us being not decent HP fans at all. (us: me and 2 staff members from the International Office, Emma and Brad. Props to you Emma for being the best player, you truly saved our face by correctly guessing the wands of Harry, Hermione, Dumbledore and Voldemort.) We couldn’t guess Luna Lovegood’s despite all of DJ’s hints and efforts.

DJ really wowed us by how knowledgeable and articulate he was on the reasons behind the design of each of the wands.

Feels very cool to hold these wands in our hands after the guessing

“Experience Rooms”

Behind the café are the Experience rooms, very atmospheric and moody lighting. Fascinating thing here is you get to try on fabulous wizard cloaks. (with the help of lovely Lizzie)

  • Train Station “The Flying Mandrake 5672”
  • Wizards’ Meeting Room

I love this room, right from the moment you meet it, it feels like you’re not in the real world any more. Feels like you’re in a movie, or even better, a true magical room.

And of course, don’t forget a picture with Mandrake the magical tree.

4. What’s on the menu

Mandrakes’ Menu

Our orders and reviews

We had quite a fair share of items on the menu at Mandrakes: Festive Afternoon Tea (which we booked in advance on Mandrakes website), Mandrake Pudding Pot, and loaded Hot Chocolate.

I finally learned that Afternoon Tea in the UK doesn’t just mean “tea” at all, you’ve also got sandwiches and other savory (or sweet) additions as well. 😆

Festive Afternoon Tea, consisted of… (“Festive” because Christmas is coming~)

  • Selection of Sandwiches – Cheese & Cranberry & Turkey & Cranberry Sauce
  • Festive Scone with Clotted Cream & Jam
  • Mini Trifle
  • Crisps
  • Christmas Cake
  • Quality Street sweet

If you’re an international student who’s new to all of these food names, don’t hesitate to ask one of the friendly staff for an introduction to this very British tradition.

Mandrake Pudding Pot (Flower Pot containing Chocolate Cake, Mint Ice Cream, Cream, Chocolate Crumb)

Loaded Hot Chocolate with cream and marshmallows

Christmas Cracker: also another Christmas tradition which I’m not familiar with (since where I’m from, Vietnam, we don’t have this tradition, or not that I know of) but learned it today thanks to Brad and Emma!

Our Ratings – Brad gave a 5 out of 5 rating, praised the variety and believed a lot of effort and thought has gone into the afternoon tea choices. We all agreed the food was delicious.


The best thing about Mandrakes for me is how warm and caring the staff are. Even if you know nothing about Harry Potter, or are all new to these magical wizardry concepts, don’t worry because the staff will walk you through all experience with great consideration.

Oh, did you notice the title of this blog? “EP.01”. And that means yes I will be having more “episodes” for the Discover Ormskirk series (hopefully I’m persistent and hardworking enough). Stay tuned!

In the meantime, definitely give Mandrakes cafe a visit! Don’t forget the Experience Rooms, and take loads of cool pictures for yourself and your friends there!


Thank you Emma and Brad from the International Office for taking me to this lovely cafe, for your detailed notes, Emma and your beautiful photos, Brad that helped me write this blog.🧡

🚩Check out other cafes in Ormskirk reviewed by local Edge Hill student

‘New Beginning’: My first week at Edge Hill

What does it feel like to actually be in another country? If you’ve ever been abroad I guess you have some ideas for the answer. But for me, I only knew what it feels like on 11 September 2019, when I officially arrived at Manchester Airport, to begin my first year at Edge Hill University.

Edge Hill entrance! (pardon my first attempt at panorama mode :))

Hello there, I’m Vy from Vietnam and I’m here at Edge Hill to study for a master’s degree in TESOL (that’s a cool acronym for um.. teaching English as a foreign language, essentially).

To answer my own question in the beginning, well, strangely, it feels… familiar? I remember thinking at the airport and on the way to Edge Hill: this peace, these roads, even the airport remind significantly of my hometown in Vietnam. Except it’s colder, a lot colder. (like, 15 degrees here versus 32 degrees home, yeah?)

Now let me get back to the topic and give a breakdown of my first 7 days at Edge Hill thanks to which I can confidently tell people: it’s possible to not miss home and have the best first week imaginable in England.

Day 1. Welcome to (North West) England

Edge Hill welcome sign at airport
Edge Hill’s welcome sign at the airport

The best thing on arrival is you get free pick-up from the airport by Edge Hill’s International Office. To receive this lovely service you need to inform the office of your arrival details. Your destination should be Manchester or Liverpool airports, and ideally the date and time should fall on the window time on the office’s plans. However you can always arrange pickup service with the office regardless of when you land. Read more about it here.

Edge Hill International Office provides free transit from Manchester/Liverpool airports. This is such a lifesaver if you’re like me, new to England, or new to being abroad altogether. Here to your left is me waiting outside the arrival gate of Terminal 2 because at first I could not find the pickup staff. We could only find each other after I emailed Kay (from the office) a photo of where I was standing at the terminal. So a word of advice from my experience: save all the contacts from the International Office (mail, phone number) to get in touch when there’s a problem.

Lovely weather on our arrival
Lovely weather on our arrival

After a breezy 45-minute transit featuring a lovely driver and a cool English playlist, we arrived at Edge Hill (me and about 10 other international students). Now I got to see the so-rumored “Hogwarts entrance” for real instead of on the iPad screen. Weather was nice and they said we were lucky because it’d been raining days before. Also, on a side note, even if you’ve just gone through a 10 plus hour flight, make sure you look presentable because you will have your student ID photo taken and printed right on the spot in that little house on the left of the picture. It’s called the security hut. Or you don’t need to care because you’re like some people who look great all the time.

At the security hut, we would get keys to our halls room. Using the keys can be different from what you already know and therefore can be quite tricky. But I got help by a student guide from the International Office so no worries. Getting a sneak peek at our new home and unloading all the “physical burden” at our new room, we headed off to the International Office with our student guide. This was when we got a welcome meeting from the International Office, got a chance to say hi to other international friends and a pleasant surprise: a welcome bag from the International office. In the welcome bag we got chocolate, potato crisps, easy peeler, card game, information guides on Ormskirk (town where Edge Hill University is situated), the uni’s Arts Center (wonderful live performances coming!), Students Union activities (free trips and workshops coming!).

Day 2. Tour of campus and Ormskirk town

If you arrive at Edge Hill during the day, after the welcome talk the student guides will straight away take you on a walking tour around campus and to the town center. For me I felt too sleepy after the long flight so I decided to take the tours the next day.

Edge Hill is situated in Ormskirk, a small lovely convenient town, not to mention that it’s a historic market town, which means once upon a time princesses and royals came here to shop all the time, or I could be excused for imagining that. Jokes aside, there is an amazing traditional market in town center featuring dozens of stalls selling everything from fresh fruits, meat and fish, to clothes, kitchen appliances, perfume, etc. and of course, convenient food to eat along the way – pies, cakes, wraps, burgers, vegan rolls, ice cream, you name it. It’s not everyday that you get to see such a lively historical cultural wonder. And I mean it literally – the market only runs on Thursday and Saturday, from 8:00am to 4:00pm. Lucky for me Ormskirk town tour I took was on Thursday!

Excuse me for taking photos of strawberries only and not the whole market. The heart wants what it wants, hehe

You can find out more about Ormskirk market here.

If you’re wondering why I haven’t talked about the campus well first thank you for actually reading 😄and second, I think I’ll have another post talking about my favorite spots on campus. In the meantime, you can see a professional video of campus by the uni itself and here’s my favorite photo of campus (from the Internet and I added the text). ⬇

Day 3. Friday. Welcome presentation and other important talks

We gathered at the Technology Building to meet Kay from the International Office for a guide to life in England presentation. I loved the presentation and found it extremely helpful. Do not miss out on this even when you’re feeling lazy!

Then came talks by the Student Services team on physical health, mental health, chaplaincy (faith, religion and also non-religion), and the Students Union on their activities, societies and a fun, informative presentation on “consent“, definitely essential knowledge for everyone.

Attending to these talks really make me appreciate the way Edge Hill University (or maybe UK universities in general I guess) approach welcome talks to freshmen/new students. They don’t talk about rules or some other rigid things but instead direct all the attention to students’ health, mental well-being, faith, etc.

Day 4. Saturday. Trip to Conwy Wales

Organising weekend trips is the best proof of how much the University and the International Office cares about you 💛💛😂

Since it’s been quite a long post, I’ll save the details for another blog. In brief, I feel thankful for this free trip. I got to see the majestic Conwy Castles, Suspension Bridge, the pier and many more. Best part, on this trip I got to talk more with my new friend from Korea! She was so sweet!

Day 5. Welcome Sunday (15 Sep 2019)

This was rather a coincidence, because we already had so many welcomes as international students🤣. I think I was lucky to be around at such an eventful period of the Uni. On this day, free cakes, tea and other refreshments are offered inside the main building where the Uni welcome new students and their parents. My friends and I even got free ice cream from the ice cream trucks outside the main building.

If you arrive in other months (other than September) you may get to experience this as well because the Uni has open days around the year.

Special thing I’d always remember about this morning is I got to talk to a chaplain, Harry. He was incredibly nice and lovely to talk to. I hope to see him again but haven’t got the chance to.

Day 6. Monday. Trip to Liverpool

One purpose of this trip is students on a Tier 4 visa got to post office in Liverpool to get their BRP (essentially it’s an identity card for international students on 1 year or longer course). And the other purpose is obvious: to see Liverpool 😍Again, I may write another post on my experience in Liverpool because it’s been a very long post, so sorry.

Day 7. Tuesday. Stay in.

Rest and process the last incredible 6 days :))


Now that I wrote it all out, it does feel like a travel itinerary by a professional agent, haha. But honestly I didn’t expect I would receive this much from the International Office and the Uni. All the thoughtful preparations and plans for us international students to get our feet on the ground, to feel at home here at Edge Hill.

The best thing on these trips and meetings is I got to make friends with other international students from across the world: Korea, Japan, the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, USA, China, etc.

Also, I’d like to introduce a very cool video blog by my friend Suji from Korea who’s studying here at Edge Hill as an exchange student until mid December (2019). This video gives you a look into what living in halls is like and shows you around the campus. ⬇

Even though it’s been a very long post, I certainly missed a few important things. Please look forward to my next blogs where I’d talk about discovering Ormskirk town, especially comparing different shops in Ormskirk which I now consider my forte, haha, and also about trips to Conwy, Liverpool (as it happens we visited Liverpool twice in a week!) and other free trips to be revealed!

Until next time 💛

Meanwhile: To check out what free activities and trips are on at Edge Hill, go see Give it a go brochure by the Students Union, and the university webpages for students.