Living in Edinburgh for 3 years with Downing Students – Annabel’s Story

By on May 20th, 2019

So, you want to know why I chose to live at Downing Students’ New Park site for my…

So, you want to know why I chose to live at Downing Students’ New Park site for my entire degree?


Well, before I divulge everything there is to know about studying in Edinburgh and living at New Park, I think it is only polite that I should introduce myself! My name is Annabel, I’m 22, I’m from a small farming community and I live in Scotland’s sunny (well, most of the time) capital city Edinburgh, where I study history at the University of Edinburgh!

You’re looking at living in Edinburgh? All I can say is, you’re making an excellent decision.

In my mind Edinburgh equates to heritage, magic, entertainment, and a whole lot of love. I chose to study at the University of Edinburgh as it can be best described as magical. You only need to look up our student’s union building Teviot Row House to see what I mean… It’s the oldest purpose-built student union in the world and it looks like Hogwarts. I can live my Hermione Granger fantasy. This combined with our stunning graduation hall (McEwan Hall) sold studying in Edinburgh to me. Just these two buildings alone made me want to move 200+ miles away from home for four years!

From an academic point of view Edinburgh has so much to offer in terms of libraries and museums, which are perfect for my studies, but the city offers a host of art galleries, theaters and sites of major historical and geographical interest. I’m able to go to the Festival Theatre and watch a Scottish Opera performance for £10, and then run across the road to go to look at the gruesome exhibitions of the Anatomical Museum.


There is something to do literally everywhere you turn.

I’m not one for going out all the time during semester, but if I do go out there are hundreds of bars, clubs and pubs to flock to and dance the night away. I am a huge foodie, and all of my needs are met here – if you’re vegan, Edinburgh can sort you out, and if you can’t get enough of stone-baked pizza Edinburgh can hook you up. The city feels calm as it’s rather small, and this was another selling point for me as I’m from a small market town and village. I don’t feel overwhelmed when I’m going to campus or exploring what the city has to offer. Plus, if you’re a travel enthusiast Edinburgh is ideal as there are plenty of firms offering weekend trips away to the Highlands and even day trips to national parks, so if you’re wanting to explore bonny Scotland, you’re in for a treat.


On the whole, finding my student accommodation was a quite stressful process, as I wanted to find somewhere that felt like a second home, and I was uncompromising on this point.

However, I can genuinely say after staying at New Park for two years now, the New Park site is my second home. The team feel like family members as I can go and talk to them about anything and they’re always there to lend a helping hand, and this has played a central part of my university journey so far. Like everybody else I was nervous when my parents and I were driving up to Edinburgh.  I was moving away from home for the first time, but I tried to turn the nerves into excited energy. I was looking forward to starting my new life in Edinburgh and at New Park.

From the moment that we first met the New Park team at reception my nerves subsided. The big smiling faces were all that I needed to feel welcomed. Since the first day moving in, all the little details concerning accommodation have been covered by the New Park team. I don’t have to worry about buying a printer as we have free bluetooth printing or paying bills for WIFI, gas and electricity; and my post and parcels are all collected at the reception and stored safely until I get home from classes.


I think the main selling point for Downing Students and the New Park site has been its family feel and the team’s attention to detail.

We have a real community feel at the site, and this is fostered with the different events we’ve held. There is literally an event for everyone’s interests, such as cheese and wine evenings, Zumba classes, massage evenings, games nights and the popular film discussion events. Pizza and other snacks are ordered in and we all curl up and watch a film – everything from comedies to thrillers, New Park has got us covered. This feeling of comfort and ease is also due to the fact that security is on site during the night and early hours of the morning, so I know that I’ve got someone to call if there’s an emergency on site.

My one piece of advice with searching for university accommodation is to go with your gut feeling when you’re looking around a site, as you’ve got to be able to imagine yourself living in the accommodation and living your best life.

Hopefully, you’ll fall in love with Edinburgh and you will be living at New Park in the near future!



Student living made easy

Let us help you find the
perfect place to live

Downing Student Life

Keep up to date with the latest student news with the Downing Student Blog. We’ve created this space for you to get the best advice about the things that matter most to you. Find up to date information on student news, student discounts and insider tips on your chosen student city. We’ve created this blog as your survival pack. It’s jam packed with all the essentials you’ll need during your time at University.

View All

Back to Top