Looking for inspiration of how to spend your free time in Wolverhampton, Walsall, and Telford? Look no further.
Take advantage of what’s on offer on and around each of our campuses. It doesn’t matter where your lectures take place – you can enjoy food in Walsall, gigs in Wolverhampton, and shopping in Telford, all year round.
Here are some of our top recommendations for ways you can spend your days and evenings you’re not studying!
Offers are accurate at the time of posting.
Entertainment and social life
Wolverhampton, Telford, and Walsall are so filled with places to enjoy a bite to eat that you’re sure to find your perfect snack or meal, whatever you’re looking for.
Many restaurants and food outlets were closed during the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns – though others thrived by offering take-away options. Check each venue’s website or social media, or give them a call to ensure they’re open.
Here are a few top recommendations.
Independent or chain?
There are so many options to choose from, in and around Wolverhampton city centre. Whether it’s independent foodie finds like Café Maxsim or Zuri; your fast-food or pub-grub favourites; or street-food options stands at the market, you’ll find something to suit every taste (and budget).
For Middle Eastern deliciousness at a fair price, look no further than Nutmeg on Farmers Fold (the alley beside Waterstones). Friendly, feel-good, and filling, it’s great for veggies and vegans too. Don’t forget to check out their specials board!
If you’re heading to or from the bus or train station, satisfy your cravings with Indian street food favourite Zuri Coffee on Lichfield Street.
For lots of options, whatever your appetite, pop to Café Maxsim on Darlington Street. With meal deals for under a fiver and BOGOF tea/coffee from 11am-12pm, it’s a popular place to take a break.
Being on a budget shouldn’t mean you shouldn’t splash out once in a while, and you needn’t go far. For a meal that feels magnificent, The Bilash and Hamiltons Restaurant are within walking distance from campus, while a short drive away, there are options such as The Cowshed, Fiume, and Miller & Carter.
You can combat your hangry mood at our on-campus catering outlets. But if you fancy a change of scenery, head to the Waterfront and you’ll find you can grab a bite to eat at restaurants such as Brewers Fayre, Pizza Express, Bella Italia, Hungry Horse and TGI Fridays, or there are student favourites like Nando’s at The Wharf Shopping Park. Don’t forget your student discount!
Alternatively, if you’re looking for some pub grub or want to be quiz champion, a 15-minute walk from Walsall campus will bring you to the door of The Bell pub from Ember Inns.
More gravy with that?
There are loads of your favourite names in town, especially at the Southwater complex, including: TGI Fridays, Pizza Express, Nando’s, Subway and Miller & Carter. If you’re looking for somewhere that’s walking distance, you could try The Lion on Shifnal Road for that local pub atmosphere with food, drink and regular entertainment; a great example of the quintessentially English institution of the classic pub. Alternatively, The Priorslee offers student-friendly fare like Wing Wednesdays and traditional Sunday roasts, as well as live sport on TV, a pool table, and free Wi-Fi to keep you entertained.
Here at the University of Wolverhampton, we’re surrounded by the arts on all sides. Whether you’re a dedicated culture vulture or looking to dip your toes for the first time, you can find everything you need within walking distance or a bus ride from the campus.
Indulge your artistic side
Need a break from your studies? Rest your eyes upon Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s collection (or grab a tasty treat in their café). Our very own Arena Theatre offers a great range of entertainment – as well as generous student discounts – that will often cost less than you think. Or head to the iconic Chubb Locks building to Light House’s cinema, gallery, language cafés and much more.
A spot of culture
Need a break from your studies? Why not embrace the Black Country with a visit to Walsall Leather Museum? Or for something even more niche, explore a local industry of the past at the Black Country Living Museum which is open for special events, including Heritage Open Days.
A museum for everyone
We couldn’t talk about Telford without mentioning the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. With ten different attractions, from Jackfield Tile Museum, to Blists Hill Victorian Town, an annual pass should keep you busy all year – and with the online student price of £15.65, we think that’s not a bad amount of entertainment for the price of a few Starbucks coffees!
Alternatively, for some local heritage (with renowned cakes!), why not visit Sunnycroft, or Benthall Hall National Trust properties nearby?
Your time at the University of Wolverhampton offers you the opportunity to relish the stunning Midlands countryside and parks, which are famously beautiful any time of year. Wherever you’re staying and studying, you’ll always be close to an area of natural beauty.
Winning West Park
Wolverhampton’s iconic Victorian marvel, West Park, won a Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence for five years running – and with good reason. Only a short walk from campus, it offers everything that great parks do, with space to relax, play sport, have fun with the kids, and to feed the ducks. If you’re stretched for time, why not pop into Wolverhampton’s Archive Gardens, a hidden gem right next to Molineux Stadium? Or take a walk from City Campus to Springfield Campus along the canal for a different perspective.
Walking on sunshine
Malvern may have its Hills, Telford may have its Wrekin, but Walsall has the Barr Beacon, so get outside for some fresh air and amazing views! Even if it’s not so sunny, getting outdoors and stretching your legs will do you, your health, and your studies the world of good. You can also head out to nearby Palfrey Park or check out the gorgeous colours of Walsall Arboretum. If you’re a nature-lover, head to Park Lime Pits Local Nature Reserve – you never know what you might see and can get involved in, as they often hold events like bat walks and forage trails.
Lights! Camera! Action!
Why not round up your mates and head to Buildwas Abbey or Wenlock Priory to see who can take the best photo or shoot the best video in the ruins? Whether you channel your GOT vibes or your inner Kate Bush, it’ll be sure to be atmospheric.
Go round the Wrekin
If you're someone who loves the great outdoors, then Telford delivers plenty to keep you entertained. With half a dozen parks offering everything from woodland to canal walks, you'll also find remnants of the region's industrial heritage interwoven in the landscape. And if that’s not enough to satisfy your wanderlust, get your boots on and explore the Shropshire Hills – a listed Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, which includes the iconic Wrekin.
The Wrekin is a hill that’s clearly visible for miles around and is popular with walkers. Legend has it the Wrekin was created when a tired giant called Cawr dropped a shovel of earth on the way to Shrewsbury. If you’re after something less strenuous (though possibly not so good for your waistline) you can feast upon the locally-made Wrekin White cheese. Though you may need to run “round the Wrekin” to burn off the calories! This local phrase means taking the long route, or not getting to the point.
Finding ways to unwind and cut loose while you study is essential. There are few better ways to reduce stress than going to a show to laugh or be entertained for a few hours, so here are some of the countless options you’ll have while studying at the University of Wolverhampton.
Bring out the popcorn
If you’re sick of streaming or feeling Netflix negativity, head to Cineworld at Bentley Bridge retail park for all the big screen action or to Wolverhampton’s Light House cinema, both of which have student prices. It’s also the place to go for National Theatre, Royal Shakespeare Company, opera and ballet screenings. Even closer to home, our very own Arena Theatre offers cinema screenings of new movie hits, as well as seasoned classics like Elf or The Matrix.
If live music and entertainment is something you crave, The Halls venues have played host to countless incredible bands over the decades including Nirvana, Ugly Kid Joe, and all sorts of other classic acts.
Just for laughs
Work, study, life… they can all leave us in need of laughter. So if your commitments are leaving you in need of relief, check out who’s on stage at The Slade Rooms; whether it’s a local comedy night, or rising stars like Desiree Burch or Lost Voice Guy, you’ll raise a smile or two. Alternatively, find the funny with big-name shows at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre, where you can also fill up on a satisfying mix of travelling shows including drama, ballet, music, comedy, opera and more.
Have a reel good time
There’s nothing quite like seeing your favourite films on the big screen. So when you’re feeling terrestrial tedium, streaming sadness, or Netflix negativity, head to The Light cinema at the Waterfront. Don’t forget your student discount (or your Meerkat on Tuesdays and Wednesdays), or if you’re lucky enough to have a free morning, you can grab a showing for only £5.95 before noon Mondays to Fridays at the Light! We think that’s a pretty good way of catching up on the latest blockbusters at a knock-down price.
Are you a culture vulture?
Catch everything from Superslam Wrestling to the Bon Jovi Experience, as well as touring theatre and the latest laughs from popular acts like Ross Noble and Josh Widdicombe at The Place.
Laughter is the best medicine
If concentrating on your studies leaves you in need of a good laugh, why not head to the Forest Arts Centre? Only 15 minutes’ drive from campus, you needn’t break the bank for a taxi and night of entertainment from comedians including the likes of Ed Byrne and Milton Jones.
If you can’t resist a tribute act, like to get dressed up, or perhaps like to hear from some inspiring names from the sporting world like Graeme Souness or Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, head down to Walsall Football Club The Venue to experience some of the eclectic entertainment on offer.
Bring out the popcorn!
You’ve got plenty of choice in Telford if you need a film fix. Head to Cineworld at Southwater for all the big screen action and for money off with your student discount. Alternatively, Odeon in the town centre has 10 screens, and if you’re lucky enough to be able to get to a screening during one of their less busy times, you can get their Supersaver tickets! Or, if you prefer the more intimate setting of independent cinemas, head to the Wellington Orbit for some movie magic.
If you prefer comedy or live shows, The Place Telford theatre offers non-stop fun, music, and entertainment throughout the year.
If you’ve always wanted to get running, or have signed up to a Couch to 5k, then your local park is a great place to start. Parkrun are nationwide on Saturdays at 9am, head to Wolverhampton’s West Park, Walsall Arboretum, or Telford Town Park, and join the fun.
Many swimming pools and leisure facilities were closed during the Covid-19 pandemic or lockdown. Check the venue’s website or call them to ensure they’re open.
If you want to dip your toe, or explore local exercise options, check out the council’s WV Active site for swimming pools, classes and sport facilities in and around Wolverhampton. Or, make use of your student membership and hop on the campus bus to use the facilities at Walsall Campus – open early ‘til late on selected days.
If you prefer to be on the water rather than in it, why not head to West Park in the summer and hire a boat to splash around on the boating lake?
Head to the Sports Centre to get the low-down on all the facilities and classes available to you: whether you’re a serious athlete, like to be competitive, or just want to drop in occasionally. Grab your mates for a game and head to the Sports Zone by Lomas Street Halls: open 10am- 9pm, its floodlights won’t let sundown interrupt your fun: simply swipe in and go!
Grab a seat
You can’t miss the mighty Molineux Stadium when you’re on City Campus, and you can sometimes get tickets to see Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club in the stands at a bargain price. But you’ll find something to get your pulse racing in Wolverhampton whoever you are, whether it’s the horse (or greyhound) racing, speedway, or why not try your own hand at climbing or caving at Wolf Mountain?
Alternatively, head to Monmore Green for a night of thrilling greyhound racing. You can add to the fun with a party pack, or joining in with their Tribute Nights or Christmas parties.
If watching someone ride a bike with a 500cc single cylinder engine with acceleration to match Formula 1 race cars, with no brakes, is your idea of a good night out, then head to Wolverhampton Speedway. Thrilling fixtures, both at home and away!
If you’ve never been to the races, then you’ve got one of Britain’s busiest racecourses on the doorstep right here at Dunstall Park. With Grandstand tickets available from low prices, and a huge range of concerts and special events, it’s a bit different to a night of Netflix, isn’t it?
Are you a water baby?
If you’re more of an outdoors type, or perhaps training for triathlon, it’s only half an hour from our Walsall Campus to outdoor swimming at Netherton Open Water Swimming. Midlands Open Water Swim Centre and neighbouring West Midlands Open Water Swim at Cliff Lakes Water Park are also within easy reach.
Closer to home there’s Sneyd Water Activity Centre, offering canoeing, kayaking, sailing and more. In addition to other facilities, Aldridge Airport Outdoor Centre also has a lake – so what’s keeping you from getting that wetsuit on?
You’ll be well catered for at our Walsall Campus with our inspiring selection of sports and physical health courses supported by the latest facilities and equipment, not to mention inspiring and informed staff. From our 3G pitch to the Judo Centre for Excellence, we’ve got all bases covered. Or if you fancy something more challenging, you can try your hand at sailing, windsurfing and canoeing with Walsall Outdoor Pursuits.
Love of local
What better way to spend your weekend than supporting your local team or rediscovering the love of playing sport? Whether you’re cheering on Walsall FC, Walsall Rugby Club or Willenhall Wanderers netball team, you’ll instantly find you belong to a new family.
Make a splash
If you can hop on the bus or in the car, there are several Council-run swimming pools a short drive away: Abraham Darby Sports and Leisure Centre; Newport Swimming Pool; Oakengates Leisure Centre; and Wellington Civic and Leisure Centre. Or, if you’re a fan of outdoor swimming why not try Albrighton & District Swimming Club’s outdoor pool? Experience the bracing vigour of their outdoor swimming pool for only £3.50 for a day membership, or £29.50 for the year. Brrrrrilliant.
Always dreamed of a life on the waves? Why not give sailing a try? At Telford Sailing Club, you can get a student membership for only £55. You don’t need your own boat and there are various taster days and training courses available.
Climb, swim, skate, fly and bounce! Whatever you like to do for fun, you’ll find there’s something in the area to keep your adrenaline flowing.
The Great Escape
Is it time you had a digital detox? We all need to escape sometimes, and if you’re a fan of budget-friendly camping, why not pitch your tent somewhere for a few days? You might find the fresh air gives you a totally new perspective. And you needn’t go far, for instance, you can rest your gaze over the calm waters at Cliff Lakes only half an hour away. So gather up your new mates, pick up a packet of marshmallows for the BBQ, and rediscover the magic of conversation and constellations.
Fitness can be fun
While you can go for a kick-about on campus, Telford offers an intriguing variety of alternative ways to get a bit of exercise, keep fit, and have fun. Perfect your Dancing On Ice moves at Telford Ice Rink, where you can also catch the ice-hockey team, Telford Tigers. Brush-up your slope skills, whatever the weather, at Telford Snowboard and Ski Centre, or for an all-over workout, gather your mates and try out AIREA51’s trampolines and assault courses.
Reach for the sky!
If you're an aerial acrobat or a budding Batman, why not have a go on the aerial ropes course at Sky Reach Telford Town Park? (Open April to November). As part of the Telford at 50 celebrations, the high ropes section was reopened – so grab your mates and see who will brave the high walks! Just don’t look down… And if that’s not enough of an adrenaline rush, why not head for the dry slopes or ice skating rink?
If your mood needs some inflating, Telford Balloon Fiesta at the Town Park Arena, QEII, in May each year is an aerial spectacle worth checking out. Alternatively, you can explore the history of the Royal Air Force (and see the amazing planes) at RAF Cosford: open every day, and it’s FREE to visit!
Smells fishy to me…
If you need an escape from your fellow students, why not pick up a fishing rod and head to one of the angling pools in the region for a spot of fishing? There’s no guarantee you’ll catch anything, but this leisurely pastime may give you the space for inspiration to flourish.
If you want to try something different, Telford and the surrounding area have some wonderful experiences that will keep your calls home interesting. Whether you hop on a locomotive at Telford Steam Railway, feed the animals at Hoo Farm Animal Kingdom, or get dressed up as your favourite character, and head to Comic Con at the International Centre, where you might even meet some stars!
Bag some bargains in the many shopping centres and markets of Wolverhampton, Walsall, and Telford. You’ll find all you need for your weekly shopping as well as great spots for browsing clothes, eating out, and trips to catch the latest films.
Bag a bargain
Far from just being a city of delicious food and plenty to do, Wolverhampton has plenty of options for great shopping. Between them, the Mander Shopping Centre and the Wulfrun Shopping Centre have everything you’ll need for a day’s browsing and buying. Stroll through the City of Wolverhampton Market with its range of tastebud-tingling ingredients, and snap up a snack for a snip. Bentley Bridge Retail Park is also worth your time – especially when you’ll get a student discount at the eateries and cinema.
If you need some retail therapy, Walsall’s Saddlers Shopping Centre is full of tasty places to snack and shops for both browsing and picking up the essentials. There’s also a market to browse and the excellent Crown Wharf Shopping Park, where you’ll find big name stores to explore. It’s also just across the road from the Waterfront where you can rest in some of Walsall’s best restaurants and bars, plus the Light Cinema.
Shopping and showreels
If you’re happiest racking up the mall miles, then head to Telford Shopping Centre – its 25 acres should keep your pedometer ticking. Or you’ll find top names like TK Maxx, Next and Gap at Telford Forge. And then there’s the whole Southwater One complex to keep you entertained. After a hard day’s shopping, take a break at one of its restaurants, or put your feet up and brush up on your film studies at the IMAX cinema. You can even squeeze in a visit to our University Centre Telford to get some inspiration about your future education.