List of UK's Most Beautiful Universities


Cyril Zachariah
Updated on Feb 10, 2023 03:11 PM IST

The UK is one of the countries that have some of the most beautiful universities in the world. It is one of the reasons why it is the centre of attraction for students and tourists from across the world. Find out the UK universities that have the most beautiful campuses.

List of UK's Most Beautiful Universities

When we refer to the Universities in the UK, one cannot refrain from talking about the beautiful campuses and architecture. They are in abundance and located in different parts of the UK. The eye-catching locations, stunning architecture and design of the buildings, make these universities even more attractive for international students from around the world. Some of these universities were built thousands of years ago and are the most prestigious universities in the world.

While you can find many beautiful universities in the UK, in this article, we are going to explore the top most beautiful universities in the UK.

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University of Oxford

The University of Oxford is one of the oldest and most beautiful universities in the world. The historic buildings of the university have unique and eye-catching architecture and design that adds to the beauty of the university. Perfection in design and emphasis on conservation are the reasons why its buildings look so attractive and authentic. The University of Oxford supports conservation, restorations, refurbishments and planning for the construction of new buildings.

The University of Oxford has some of the oldest and tallest buildings in Oxford. The bell tower of Magdalen College is the tallest building in Oxford and the Duke Humfreys Library which was built in the 15th century is the oldest building of the University of Oxford.

The Blavatnik School of Government building, on Walton Street, won a Royal Institute of British Architects National Award. It has the largest double-glazed window in Europe that weighs 4.5 tonnes.

The non-residential Passivhaus building in Oxford at Kellogg College is a cutting-edge architectural design. It is an exceptional building with exceptionally low energy use, thus, reducing overall carbon emissions.

University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge is the second oldest university in the UK. It was founded in 1209 and is known for its historic background, infrastructure, buildings and designs that were built more than 800 years back.

The famous buildings of the University attract tourists from across the world. The University of Cambridge Museums and their collection are appreciated by people who visit the campus. One can explore the treasures and artistic works of scholars in the past and present at the museum.

One can find a lot of variation in the architecture of the building spread across the building campus. The King's College Chapel of the University of Cambridge is the perfect example of late Perpendicular Gothic English architecture. Most of the colleges are situated near the city centre and river Cam which adds to the beauty of the surrounding buildings.

Queens University of Belfast

The Queens University of Belfast is ranked in the 10 most beautiful universities in the UK by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018. It is the ninth oldest university in the UK and is known for its rich cultural heritage and social and artwork.

A unique feature of the Queen's University of Belfast is its historic buildings having stunning architecture and design that were built hundreds of years ago. These buildings meet modern study-space requirements and also have world-class facilities.

Queens University has an award-winning Naughton Gallery that has fine art collections and is a focal point of the university. In the southern part of Belfast is the Botanic Garden where the Ulster Museum is situated. Ulster Museum is known for its cultural values and stunning architecture. The museum has a collection of various works of art, and historical artefacts and is a spot for numerous photographic exhibitions and relics.

Royal Holloway, University of London

The Royal Holloway, University of London was formed by merging two colleges, namely Bedford College, London and Royal Holloway College.

Today, the Royal Holloway is recognised as one of the most beautiful universities in the UK. The stunning Founder's Building of Royal Holloway College is the centre of attraction on the campus. It was inaugurated by Queen Victoria in 1886 as one of the most spectacular university buildings in the world.

The Founder's Building along with the famous Picture Gallery makes Royal Holloway one of the most beautiful campuses in the UK. The Founders Building is a Victorian masterpiece based on a French chateau at its heart. The Picture Gallery has a fine collection of Thomas Holloways Victorian paintings and a beautiful Chapel. In addition to this, one can find a spectacular collection of world-class art at the Victorian Picture Gallery. Some of the paintings are also used for teaching.

University of Glasgow

The University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the UK and is also known as one of the most beautiful universities in Glasgow in the UK. Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow houses historic buildings, magnificent museums, Art Gallery, a Chapel, Cafes etc. The Hunterian Museum, the Hunterian Art Gallery, the Zoology Museum and Mackintosh House are some of the centres of attractions of the university campus.

The magnificent Gilbert Scott building is located at the heart of the main campus at the University of Glasgow - Gilmorehill campus. It consists of a classical bell tower which is notable and one of the most stunning buildings of the University of Glasgow. The peaceful and stunning Memorial Chapel of the University of Glasgow is a symbol of beauty for worship as well as celebration.

University of Greenwich

The University of Greenwich has three campuses, i.e. The University of Greenwich and Avery Hill Campus are situated in London and Medway Campus is at Medway in Kent. The largest campus is the Greenwich Campus which is situated on the banks of the River Thames, a World Heritage Site. The campus has three baroque buildings that are some of the oldest buildings designed and set in the 17th century. It is also surrounded by historical landmarks, Greenwich Park and beautiful sites that attract people for filming and photography.

Avery Hill Campus of the University of Greenwich is located in Eltham, southeast London. The campus is surrounded by green spaces. The Medway Campus is known for its rich culture and historic buildings. Previously, its red brick buildings were Royal Navy bases. Nelson's flagship HMS Victory was built at Chatham's Historic Dockyard.

University of Aberdeen

The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1945 and is the fifth oldest in the UK. The main campus of the university, the Aberdeen campus, consists of historic buildings with state-of-the-art facilities for study and recreation. The Crown Tower at King's College is a historic and beautiful emblem and an icon of the University of Aberdeen. Beneath the tower is the Chapel sanctuary which is a beautiful space and a centre of attraction. It has five rare decorations made of canvas and wooden scaffolding built in the 16th and 17th centuries. The old townhouse building at Kings College has a museum that houses a wide range of collections from the 18th century.

Durham University

Durham University is the third oldest and one of the most beautiful universities in the UK. It was established in 1832 in Durham, England. Some of the university's buildings are recognised as the best architecture in the world. Located at the waterfront of the scenic city of Durham, the university is a spot of beauty and admiration. The campus also houses the Durham Castle and Durham Cathedral which are listed in UNESCO World Heritage sites.

Durham Cathedral built in the late 11th and early 12th century is the largest and most exceptional monument built in Norman-style architecture in the UK. It is known for its remarkable architecture and innovation. Both the Durham Cathedral and Castle are located on a peninsula that further adds to the beauty of the buildings.

With the age, culture, heritage and history behind the buildings and campuses of the universities in the UK, studying in the UK can be beneficial while offering serenity to its international students. While it seems that most of the universities in the UK are old and emerged before the industrial age, the facilities and infrastructure meet the modern higher education standards maintained by universities across the globe.

University of Edinburgh

Since its inception in 1583, the University of Edinburgh has ranked first among the most beautiful universities in UK. The contemporary Gregorian calendar was introduced in the same year, quite literally. The university's Georgian Old College is one of the most recognisable structures on the city-based campus; construction began in 1789 and was completed in 1887, with the addition of its eye-catching dome. It is home to the university's School of Law and the Talbot Rice Gallery of Contemporary Art, as well as some of the best views in the city. If the architecture does not wow students, the prospect of an adrenaline study break will - Arthur's Seat, the 823-foot-high inactive volcano overlooking the city, is a favourite site for students and other people to take in the city's grandeur. And, of course, blow away the cobwebs of a hangover.

Keele University

Keele University not only has a gorgeous rural campus, but it also has Keele Hall, a 19th-century turreted, red-brick stately residence that previously housed the Sneyd family, successful drapers and merchants. Keele University's campus spans 625 acres broad (almost twice the size of London's Hyde Park) and includes parkland, lakes, a stream, secret paths, and an arboretum. It is located three miles from Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire. The arboretum is home to flowering magnolias, redwoods, gigantic maples, pagoda trees, witch hazel, and the UK's greatest collection of blossoming cherry trees. Because of the institution's rustic splendour and immensity, many staff and students are fortunate enough to live on the grounds, which are nearly self-sufficient - there are shops, healthcare facilities, accommodation, and sports facilities on campus.

University of Bristol 

The University of Bristol, founded in 1876, is a stunning blend of contemporary and heritage architecture, with an abundance of beautiful parks, gardens, and open spaces for relaxing and strolling. The sprawling university campus in Clifton is spread between Georgian squares and more modern blocks, with prominent buildings constructed by Charles Dyer, George Oatley, Ralph Brentall, and Charles Hansom. The Gothic architecture of the university is highly renowned, particularly the ceiling of the Bristol Law Library. The city is noted for its creative environment (Bristol-born Banksy's murals can be found around the city) and beautiful rural hikes with Brunel's famed suspension bridge as a backdrop.

Cardiff University

Cardiff University is a young university compared to some of the others on this list, but it had to be included because of some of the eye-catching structures on its campus. Many of the academic facilities, including the Main Building, Bute Building, and Glamorgan Building, have views of Cathays Park in central Cardiff. These three structures are all listed and were designed by separate architects in their distinct styles. The two sets of statues in front of the Glamorgan Building represent navigation and coal mining, respectively, as reminders of Glamorgan's source of prosperity. The Bute Building was created in a neoclassical style, with six Roman columns flanking the building's entrance.

University of Newcastle upon Tyne 

The University of Newcastle upon Tyne, also known as Newcastle University, is widely regarded as having one of the most beautiful campuses in the United Kingdom. The site is 50 acres in size and contains a variety of architecturally significant historic buildings. The Armstrong building, for example, is the university's oldest and houses the stately King's Hall, which is utilised for all formal occasions. The Bruce Building boasts distinctive architecture that relates to its old brewing background, whilst the Devonshire Building has received a number of architectural honours for both style and environmental friendliness.

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Is the University of St Andrews among the most beautiful universities in UK?

Yes! The University of St Andrews is Scotland's oldest university, with structures dating back to the 15th century and still in use today, such as St. Salvator's Chapel, St. Mary's College, and St. Leonard's College Chapel. Aside from the ancient and spectacular structures, the university has beautiful gardens and views of the rugged Scottish coastline. Fun fact: While studying at St Andrew's, Prince William fell in love with a classmate named Kate.

What is Aberystwyth University known for?

Among the most beautiful universities in UK, Aberystwyth University is the second Welsh school to make our top 15. The institution hugs the rugged Welsh coast, providing spectacular views of the water. Much of the campus, including the main Old University Building, is styled after a mediaeval castle. The university, on the other hand, was created and built-in 1872. Interestingly, Aberystwyth University has the world's first recognised department of international politics, which it established in 1919 after World War I.

Which are the most beautiful universities in the city of London in UK?

Among the most beautiful universities in UK, the ones that are situated or located in the capital city of London, are globally ranked and attract a lot of international students are Royal Holloway, University of London, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, King’s College London, Ravensbourne University London, University of Greenwich, Royal College of Music and more. 

Which is the most luxurious university in UK?

The University of Oxford, like its Oxbridge cousin Cambridge, is distinctive and the oldest luxurious university, in addition to being one of the most beautiful universities in the UK. It consists of 38 distinct institutions rather than a single major campus, with eye-catching buildings dating back 800 years scattered throughout the city. Its most recognisable structure is the Radcliffe Camera, which is part of the Bodleian Library and has a copy of every book ever produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Which red brick university is among the most beautiful universities in UK?

The name ‘red brick university’ dates back to the Victorian era when certain specialised institutions acquired independence and became full-fledged universities in their own right. The term ‘red brick’ refers to the type of brickwork popular during the period. The University of Birmingham, the University of Bristol, the University of Sheffield, and the University of Leeds are among the most beautiful red-brick universities in the United Kingdom.

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