Where we are
The second city of the UK, Birmingham is around 90 minutes from London by train, and has its own international airport with direct flights to many European and American cities.
Birmingham has a fantastically diverse cultural life, reflecting its multi-ethnic population. There are also big mainstream institutions such as the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, The Birmingham Royal Ballet, the Museum and Art Gallery, and the Midlands Arts Centre. The Ikon Gallery and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group showcase contemporary art and music. Just as vital part of the scene are the numerous jazz venues (such as the Drum), and the venues that represent Birmingham’s diverse music and arts scene (such as Sampad).
Bristol is the largest city in South West England and about two hours from London by train. Home to two universities and famed for its maritime history, thousands of students have been attracted to study in Bristol by its vibrant city centre and diverse arts and cultural scene.
Bristol is home to Britain’s oldest working theatre, the Bristol Old Vic, and the Tobacco Factory, Bristol Hippodrome and Redgrave Theatres, as well as a thriving film industry producing innovative and award-winning film and TV. A flourishing and varied music scene sees an eclectic mix of performances in venues such as the Colston Hall and St George’s, and numerous clubs and festivals including the Bristol Jazz and Blues Festival. The harbourside area includes the Arnolfini, a leading centre for the contemporary arts, while the city’s streets are renowned for their architecture, and increasingly for exciting street art inspired by Banksy, the graffiti artist who hails from Bristol.
Cardiff is the capital of Wales, a country that is part of the UK but with its own distinctive national identity. It is around two hours from London by train, and has good air links to Europe.
Cardiff has everything you expect in a capital city: a national art gallery, dance company and arts centre (the Wales Millennium Centre) a national opera company (Welsh National Opera) and symphony orchestra (the BBC National Orchestra of Wales), and a national Concert hall (St David’s Hall). As well as being home to the BBC Cardiff Signer of the World competition. But it’s also affordable, student-friendly city, close to a beautiful coastline and wild, unspoilt countryside. And it has a flourishing live music scene, with numerous live music clubs.
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland. It is about four and a half hours from London by train, and about one hour by train from the country’s capital, Edinburgh. It has its own international airport, with good links to major European and American cities.
Glasgow has a proud heritage as one of the world’s great industrial cities, especially well-known for ship-building. Monuments of Glasgow’s Victorian civic pride can be seen throughout the city centre. Glasgow remains a thriving city, with one of the liveliest cultural scenes in Europe. It has three universities, a national ballet and opera company, several world-famous museums and performance spaces such as Glasgow Barrowlands and the City Halls and Royal Concert Halls. And for those who enjoy skiing and hill-walking, there are two national parks just a short train ride away.
Leeds is a thriving industrial city, inexpensive to live in, close to the beautiful Pennine hills, and within easy reach of Manchester and Liverpool. It has its own airport, and is about 2 hours North from London by train. Leeds has a remarkably flourishing cultural life for a small city. It is home to Opera North, the Yorkshire Playhouse, and the world-famous Leeds Pianoforte competition. It also boasts 10 music festivals and 110 live music venues – all adding up to what the Observer newspaper describes as ‘the most happening music scene outside of the capital.”
Leeds can justifiably claim to be the UK’s No.1 city for dance outside London. Bringing together eight national dance organisations including two international touring companies – Northern Ballet and Phoenix Dance Theatre – as Leeds City of Dance, it attracts a rich mix of international dance artists and students to live and work there.
London is one of the world’s great cities, and its cultural life has a claim to be the richest on earth. The number of world-class institutions is astonishing: two opera companies, five orchestras, the National Theatre, theatres by the dozen, and a huge number of arts and music venues. These range from large multi-arts institutions such as the Barbican to specialist music venues such as the Wigmore Hall, Ronnie Scott’s famous jazz club, and live pop music venues such as the Ministry of Sound. Two areas of London are especially rich. One is the south bank of the Thames, home to a dozen institutions including the Globe Theatre, the large multi-arts South Bank Centre and Tate Modern. The other is the South Kensington cultural quarter, which includes the Science and Natural History Museum, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Albert Hall.
Conservatoire for Dance and Drama
– Central School of Ballet *
– London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art *
– London Contemporary Dance School *
– National Centre for Circus Arts *
– Rambert School of Ballet & Contemporary Dance *
– Royal Academy of Dramatic Art *
Manchester is the largest city in the North-West of England. It is around 2.5 hours from London by train, and has an airport with direct links to many European and American cities.
Manchester’s proud Victorian heritage is visible everywhere, including cultural institutions such as the Manchester City Art Gallery, the John Rylands Library, and the Halle Orchestra. It’s also home to the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Manchester Camerata, and the Bridgewater Hall and Cornerhouse arts centre. Manchester is also a thriving centre of pop culture. Oasis, The Smiths and Elbow all hail from the city.
* Denotes schools of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama