Living In The Holylands
10 July 2012
The second instalment in our "Living in..." series looks at the infamous Holylands.
Plonked right behind Queen's University, this housing area is as popular as it is notorious.
Find out what you really need to know when you consider renting in the Holylands, riots and all!
Average price per room: £200
Distance from Queens: one/two minute walk.
Distance from Town: ten-minute walk or five minute bus.
Named for it's religious street names, the Holylands reaches from the back of Queens to the Ormeau road, making it slap bang in the middle of the university area. You can not get closer to the university without living inside the McClay, but this convenience comes at a price. The Holylands can become a massive street party during term time, with lots of noise, boozing and the occasional few lads acting the eejit.
These properties tend to be cheap and cheerful to rent. Again, we see mostly Victorian housing with most of them being routinely renovated as landlords are aware that these properties will be snapped up quickly if they are modern and fresh inside. Prices can dip under the £200 per room mark but it takes a viewing to see if the house is still up to scratch for the money!
Like most old buildings, they will need to be regularly heated to avoid damp and mildew, but this tends to be the case with nearly every house and even some apartments. There is on street parking, however as each house may have three to four cars attached to it, it can sometimes take a bit of patience to get parked. Secondly, there can also be issues with crime/vandalism in the Holylands and so Student Pulse recommend you take the train if you live here!
Life in the Holylands
The Holylands is a mixed bag in that for every pro it can be seen to have several cons. Firstly, it is infamous for the St.Patrick's day riots in 2009 and your parents may still feel a little uneasy about their little angels going to live in the big bad holylands. Secondly, it is known to be noisy and rowdy at night; when these residents party, they party hard.This can cause tension with the ten percent of residents who are not students.
And finally, it does suffer from crime, varying from robbery to car vandalism, it's best not to walk too far on your own at night. Whilst every area in Belfast is susceptible to this, reports have shown that the Holylands can be more at risk to petty crimes. But on the bright side , you live right on the doorstep of Queens, or the bus to Jordanstown or Ulster. Secondly, the area has a few local shops and a lovely little cafe whilst there is a Dunnes stores on the opposite side of the river for those bigger shops. And if you like a bit of socialising, this is the place for house parties!
The Holylands is definitely an acquired taste for rental yet remains popular with students from all establishments. And with cheap rental prices and close proximity to university, it is easy to see why. Yet rental here should not be considered lightly, as petty crimes and anti-social behaviour remain high, meaning living here could be problematic. When St. Patrick's day comes around it is definitely somewhere to avoid, as the universities clamp down every year to avoid a repeat of the student riots in 2009 but can be good fun most of the year.
Student Pulse recommends you consider all the student rental areas in Belfast before committing to the Holylands, as money can't buy peace of mind; but paying that little bit extra for a different house may make you and your parents sleep a little better!