Despite the infamous “cardiac hill” (which can be avoided in favour of an easier path at the other end of Birks) and the slightly long 20 minute walk to town, it actually only takes 9 minutes to walk to central campus. I particularly liked this because not only was this walk really pretty, but also it was just far enough from campus that it felt like University and home were different. There are two small shops, a “Market Place” in the village itself, and a “Spar” and subway at a petrol station a few minutes away which is open 24 hours which was handy. I lived in self-catered en-suite, and found my room to actually be bigger than I expected, with plenty of storage. Everything about my room was fine, although by nature of it being a wet room, the floor remained wet for quite some time after having a shower. The kitchen was very nice, with plenty of equipment (often 2 of every appliance, including sinks, ovens, sets of hobs, kettles, microwaves) but I found that the cupboard space was very limited so had to keep some tins and the like in my room. Also, I was in a block undergoing exterior works and so received a rent reduction; I would honestly recommend this to anyone looking to save a little money, as I found being on a course with many contact hours I was rarely ever affected. Any maintenance issues can be reported to reception which I found very friendly. You get a cleaner, which is helpful, for the communal areas. Our first one was so lovely, she used to have a chat with all of us and even used to wash dishes up for us which is certainly not required. In terms of the social life, I found Birks to be a little quieter than I expected. It is certainly not as wild as Lafrowda, but people still do have people round. Overall I really enjoyed my year staying here.