When the idyllic charm of the South meets the rugged beauty and rich history of the North, the result can be an overwhelming mix of emotions for young Southerners heading northward for university.

If you’re about to take the leap, you might find yourself grappling with the cultural nuances, confusing slang, and the brisker climate that the Northern regions of the UK proudly offer.

Whether you’re enticed by buzzing cities like Manchester and Leeds, or the picturesque landscapes of the Lake District, this guide has everything you need for moving North.

Moving North? Better get to grips with Northern food

It’s no joke when we say that Northerners like things a certain way. Whether it’s how they say something (‘dinner’ isn’t ‘supper’ to Northerners, sorry), or their love of gravy and mushy peas, you just gotta get used to a whole life of Northern-ness (definitely a word).

But it doesn’t end there, there has long been a debate about the ‘right’ way to have an afternoon tea. In the South, you may follow the Cornish method of jam then cream, but when you head North, this North South divide of afternoon tea etiquette is still very much up for debate.

The answer? Well, we’re none the wiser really. Just do you.

moving north

Enjoy cheaper booze

Southerners forget how much they’ve been paying for alcohol when they move to the North. If you’re a student moving North, get ready to enjoy a pint at probably half the price you’ve been paying for beer in London. Madness, right?

Expect sport rivalries

Some of the fiercest footballing rivalries can be found in the North. Matches like the Manchester derby (Manchester United vs. Manchester City) and the Merseyside derby (Liverpool vs. Everton) are highly anticipated events.

There’s also the historic Roses rivalry between Lancashire and Yorkshire, which plays out in matches between clubs like Manchester United and Leeds United.

Football is deeply rooted in the Northern communities, with a rich history of both highs (numerous league titles, European successes) and lows (such as the tragedies at Hillsborough and Heysel).

southerners moving north

Wrap up warm

Now, it may sound silly, but when you’re moving up North, you’re likely to notice the weather… Well, change. It’s naturally a bit colder, so be sure to pack your cosiest jumpers. Down South, we barely get any snow for example, but up North? Well, it’s gonna get damn chilly, and probably a bit snowy.

It’s the UK after all, so you better expect some rain. Let’s say you’re moving to Newcastle, it’s gonna be a bit colder than what you’re used to down South. Winter truly hits when you move up North.

However, once you’ve been in the North a while, you’ll soon be heading on a night out without a jacket no doubt. Believe me, it happens – even on the coldest nights. Beer coat, anyone?

Get used to the North’s transport

Depending on where you’re moving, you might find that public transport links are less frequent than in the South, especially in rural areas.

Be prepared to be called posh

You might not notice it when you live down South, but the Southern accent is, well, posh sounding. To Northerners anyway…

When it comes to making Northern friends, they’re likely to take mick out of different words you say. Let’s face it, there’s no ‘r’ in ‘bath’, but we just say it that way, right? What’s the BIG deal? To Northerners, it’s a very big deal, posh one.

Accept you’re gonna pick up Northern sayings

From being called “love” and “duck”, to learning phrases like “mardy” and “canny”, depending on where you are, there’s a bunch of different sayings that Northerners use that you’re just gonna have to get used to I’m afraid.

Before you know it, you’ll be saying them anyway.

shopping in the north

Get ready to go shopping

The South can be great for a bunch of things, but let’s face it, it depends how South you were… If we’re talking Portsmouth, for example, you’re gonna have your mind blown with the opportunities to go (proper) shopping up North.

Depending on where you’re moving to up North, there are a bunch of shopping opportunities, including:

  • The Trafford Centre
  • Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet
  • Liverpool ONE
  • Manchester Arndale
  • Boundary Outlet
  • Quayside Media City

Stay true to your Southern-ness

When you head home from uni to your Southern friends, you might realise you’ve picked up some Northern traits while you’ve been away. This is totally cool, but you gotta stay true to your Sourthen-ness, you can’t let those roots die, my friend. You’ll no doubt want to head back South fairly often, so make sure you know how to bag the cheapest train tickets.

If you want to move North but haven’t quite found the right uni, here’s some of the best unis in the North West.