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Top 10 Beautiful Historic Universities in the UK

Have you ever dreamed of studying in a stunning historic castle, similar to Harry Potter’s Hogwarts? Stroll through grand archways and long corridors, relax in the grassy courtyards, explore ancient books in the library…

This might sound like a silly fantasy, but in fact the whole atmosphere of a university can add to students’ motivation and inspire them to achieve academic excellence. If you ask me, there isn’t anything more inspiring than studying in a great medieval castle or some other old and magnificent building. There is something about the spirit of these places that just pushes you to want more and to work harder to achieve it.

Where could you find the biggest variety of beautiful and historic universities? I suggest starting with universities in the UK, the island which has inspired so many legends about kings, knights and castles! Yes, universities in the UK are not only some of the most prestigious in Europe and indeed the world, but many also offer a rich historic atmosphere and stunning historic architecture that is difficult to beat. Here is my list of the top 10 beautiful historic universities in the UK, which are based inside some of the most majestic buildings you can imagine:

1. University of Cambridge

The University of Cambridge definitely has some of the most impressive and iconic university buildings in the world. Established back in 1209, this medieval university is not only incredibly beautiful, it’s also one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the world, ranked in joint second place in the QS World University Rankings 2014/15. The historic grandeur of Cambridge University’s colleges and faculties infuses the entire town, and must surely motivate students to develop and improve their skills and academic achievements.

2. University of Oxford

The oldest university in the English-speaking world, the University of Oxford was established in 1096. Currently ranked joint 5th in the world, Oxford University has connections with an impressive 58 Nobel Prize winners, and many more famous and powerful people have passed through its historic doorways during the years of its existence. Iconic buildings such as the Radcliffe Camera library are symbols of academia throughout the world, and those dreaming of Harry Potter may recognize scenes from the film, including the Hogwarts Great Hall (filmed at Christ Church College).

3. Durham University

Compared to Cambridge and ! It was established in the 19th century, in 1832, and its stunning buildings have been described as "one of the great experiences of Europe to the eyes of those who appreciate architecture". Like Oxford and Cambridge, Durham is divided up into colleges, established at various stages in its growth. One of these, University College, is based in Durham Castle, built in the 11th century. Some lucky 100 students get to not only study here, but also live inside the castle! The university itself is currently ranked 92nd in the world.

4. University of Glasgow

Travelling further north from Durham, the University of Glasgow is known as one of the four “ancient universities of Scotland”, alongside Aberdeen, Edinburgh and St Andrews. It is part of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities and was a leading center of the Scottish Enlightenment. The university was established in 1451 and moved to its current site in 1870, with a stunning main building designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in 1886. It’s ranked 55th in the world in the current edition of the QS World University Rankings.

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