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Smithdown Vs Kenny: Who wins?

The ultimate battle between student areas commences

So, you’re wondering where would be a better place to live in Liverpool. Your friends all have their criteria about what makes a good house and you know people who live on both sides. But where is the best?

Personally, I’ve lived in both Kensington and Smithdown, so not to say I’m an expert, but I do have some experience on the matter. Having left my comfort zone to live in two different student areas unlike plenty of boring students, here’s five main arguments for and against living in either Smithdown or Kensington:

Smithdown = home of the Asda

When people say Smithdown has it all, they really do mean it. From my experience in Kensington, you had to go into town for everything social related. Want to go to the pub? Sorry all the ones in Kenny are full of old men. Want to go to a café? Sorry all the ones in Kenny are shuttered up or are rundown.

Smithdown has it all – decent supermarkets (and the fit giant Asda), pubs (the Brookie *swoon*), cute cafes, and parks. Guaranteed if you went to any socials in the last year, all the pres would be in Smithdown and you’d be the only friend who had to trek from Kenny in an Uber because the buses are shite.

Smithdown is constantly filled with students so if you want to drink at 10am or get a midnight bus to town, chances are your options would be endless and you wouldn’t be alone.

Kenny is fab for commuting to uni

Okay, so if you’re like me and you lived in on-campus halls, the thought of having to pay for a bus and actually wake up an hour before to catch it turns your stomach. I’m sorry but Greenbank students are well enough prepared for that, but my little Melville arse was not out of bed until 10 minutes before my lectures.

For people like me, Kensington was ideal to be able to walk to uni and not have to spend that extra money on a bus every term. The walk is definitely shorter than the one from Smithdown (obviously depending on where you like in Kenny), but it is a busy road and when it’s wet there’s not a bus option from uni.

Smithdown is walkable in some areas, however something I didn’t really think about is how much cheaper the rent is in Smithdown, hence everyone can afford a bus pass. Realistically, and especially at the moment, living further from the student hub seems isolating and how often are you really going to go into uni?

There isn’t a direct Kenny – Smithdown bus, so you’re stuck

Leading on from being the only one in Kenny, being isolated from your friends who you don’t live with sucks. This was a massive issue for me, especially as I didn’t always get along with my housemates. The lack of direct buses from one student area to the other means you either have to get an Uber (expensive) or walk (long). If all your friends are planning to live in the same area then great, that makes life so much easier. But if they’re not then it’s really hard asking everyone to come to yours if they all have to trek across to Kenny.

I will say, if you do a sport at Wyncote it is so bloody difficult getting two buses home and then having to walk half an hour after training. It’s an added expense every week and frankly, Kensington is not worth it.


House prices are sort of lower in Smithdown

Now, this will vary depending on what you’re looking for. If you want an en-suite in every room or a garden the size of a football pitch obviously the prices are going to be higher than what I’ve experienced, but I will say I’ve saved a lot of money living in Smithdown.

My house and my friends’ houses in Smithdown all look the same in some regard: they’re all big, have high ceilings, and tend to be a little colder than I’d like. Literally every house is in a good location in Smithdown and the rent runs on the cheaper side. However, if you wanted a nicer house, there is still that option and it’ll still be in a walkable distance from everywhere you want to go.

The Kenny houses I know are small, narrow, and are expensive for what you get. My first year in Kensington had a common problem: mice. We would literally get home and there would be mice crap in our beds, like how grubby. Although this issue is not exclusive to Kensington and Smithdown is no stranger to mice or rats, I’ve seen a lot more – dead and alive – in Kensington.

The Brookie

Nothing more to be said, Smithdown has the Mothership.

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