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Are you looking for things to do in the space you have between assessments, during the holidays or just for when you’re bored? Then keep scrolling…

Student life can get a bit monotonous if you stick to the same routine – you can end up going from your lecture rooms to the library and back to your accommodation, repeatedly. Sometimes, you just crave something different. So, here is a list of things you can do in your free time.


Journalling is a proven method of keeping track of your thoughts, emotions, and feelings about your day-to-day life. Be it things that are too private to share with friends, or an acknowledgement of your feelings about certain situations or a mental decompress, journalling is one of the best ways to do this. You can shop for journals at WHSmith, Ryman Stationery or The Works, all on Foregate Street in Chester. Alternatively, you can order online.


Did you know that swimming is one of the best ways to get into shape? Apart from the many physical benefits swimming has to offer, it offers great mental health benefits too. It releases endorphins in the brain (our “feel-good” hormones), can be calming and can help to soothe the mind and reduce anxiety. The University of Chester has a 25-metre swimming pool in the Fitness Suite located at Exton Park that costs just £10 per student for 12 months (it comes free with gym membership and students who have joined a competitive sport at the University will receive a discount)*. To find out more, email or call them on 01244 513452.

Watch a Movie

By now, the phrase “Netflix and chill” should not be new to anyone. If it is, try it if watching a movie on your own in the comfort of your accommodation is what suits you best. If it isn’t, why not go to the cinema alone or with friends. Storyhouse is a great place to start if you’re looking for a cinema in Chester. There is also the Vue Cinema in Cheshire Oaks, where you’ll also find lots of shops and restaurants. In the warmer months, there are also some outdoor screenings if you’re interested in trying something different. You can find these screenings and how to access on Moonlight Flicks’ website.

Try Out New Recipes

Want to brush up your cooking skills? Then try your hand at different cooking recipes. You can choose between simple to more complex recipes, depending on the time you have. There are many free resources to find recipes on YouTube, TikTok and the general web if you are interested in this.


 If adventure is what makes your heart race, why not try hovercrafting at the Hover Force Activity Centre. Though located in Frodsham, it is only a 25-minute bus trip from Chester on the bus. They also have a bunch of other activities to try out including off road karting, axe throwing, archery and so on. To find out more or book tickets, check them out the Hover Force website.

Pick Up a Hobby

This could be knitting, painting, pottery or just anything that lets you stay off your phone for a period of time. Research has shown that spending more time doing handy activities and less time with our phones has great benefits for our minds. You can find activity materials at a shop in Chester or order them online.

Eat Out

Finally, when all else fails, we can always count on food and drink to spark joy. Take a self-care day and try out different food spots by yourself or go with friends, whichever suits you. There are many options to pick from on Eastgate Street in Chester city centre, but you can also just walk around from spot to spot as it can be quite relaxing. There are lots of places to eat out all over the city, so go and explore.

I trust that you will find these tips useful when you have time on your hands and nothing planned. Have fun trying!

*Please note, this is correct at the time of writing (June 2023). Please check with Sport and Active Lifestyle for the latest fees.

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