Ranking the best (and worst) study spaces for finding love this Valentine’s Day

Anything to distract us from working


Found yourself feeling painfully single amid the buzz of Valentine’s Day? In need of a romantic conquest to post cryptic Instagram stories about? Or simply just enjoy the thrill of seeing your library crush wander the aisles of Morrell, praying they’ll sit near you and then you’ll magically fall in love and get married? Then this list is just what you need.

With the official university Instagram posting sickeningly cute photos of married alumni who met while studying, it’s time to start grafting and indulge in the cuffing season before it’s too late. And here are the places to do it, ranked from worst to best.

11. Burton

Umm… it’s the silent study part of the library. How are you going to meet someone if you can’t talk? Seductive eye contact can only take you so far, so either spot your library crush and take them elsewhere, or give up and commit to your work like the studious queen you are (if you ever choose to work in Burton).

10. The F. R. Leavis Room

If you said “the… what?” after reading this, then you wouldn’t be the only one. Perhaps the most often deserted study space on the entire campus, this room in the English department gets less traffic than a lecture hall at 9am. Unless you either want to work in absolute silence or make so much noise that you’d even be kicked out of Fairhust, the Leavis room is not the place to be to meet people. It may be useful for some on campus… privacy… if that’s what you want, but definitely useless for meeting people.

9. The Ron Cooke Hub

While not a big frequenter of east campus myself, I’ve had a friend refer to patrons of Ron Cooke as “minus likely” to meet a future romantic partner. Often absolutely desolate with immensely strange vibes, think less “tall dark and handsome” and more “weird scary and murderous” for the type of people you’ll meet here.

8. Spring Lane

This would have ranked much higher but someone decided it would be a good idea to remove the long benches on the ground floor and replace them with horrible plastic chairs and dividers between all the tables so you feel completely isolated from everyone around you. Those long benches (RIP) were perfect spots to cosy up next to the attractive person working next to you and there was always a nice level of conversation. Now it’s an absolute dead zone, so steer clear if you want a romantic meeting or a pleasant place to work. The upstairs area is fine to work in but too quiet and always either far too busy or far too empty to encounter the future love of your life. Next!

7. Morrell

Morrell is the biggest part of the library and the area where every fresher sees their first ever library crush. It can get super packed, so fingers crossed you end up sat next to someone a) attractive and b) not completely insufferable (as unfortunately many of the Morrell regulars are).

Either way, you will be thinking about that library crush throughout all your time at York and long after you graduate #theonethatgotaway. I did have a friend get propositioned by someone in the “smoking area” just outside (it is plastered with “no smoking” signs), so maybe carry an emergency lighter on you just in case.

6. The Kitchen at Alcuin

You may think this is surprisingly low on the list, given its cosy atmosphere and tables that are placed too close together (putting you closer to potential love interests). However, there are two massive drawbacks to the Kitchen that render it decidedly mid: It is often completely impossible to get a seat, and the sun is literally always in your eyes no matter where you’re sat, so you’ll be too blinded to tell if anyone attractive is there anyway. Maybe a cute spot for a first date, but not a spot for a meet-cute.

5. King’s Manor

If you can be bothered to make the trek across town to King’s Manor, you’ll get to know it as the study space that attracts the strangest mix of people. You’ll see workaholics that stay there all day every day, girls who only go so they can take a photo of the exterior to put on their Instagram, and everyone else who only manages to work for a couple of hours before their toes fall off from frostbite. Possibly the coldest building in York, only attempt to go here armed with a blanket and thermal socks. Who knows, maybe you could offer to share your blanket with the person sat next to you: just make sure they’ll be able to fit you into their busy schedule of studying, studying, and more studying.

4. Church Lane

There’s something so intimidating about Church Lane. Maybe it’s the fact that the café is always filled with old people there for conferences, or maybe it’s that everyone always seems so hard at work and always looks so good doing it, but establishing any kind of romantic connection in Church Lane seems terrifying. If you’ve got the balls to approach someone then kudos to you because I could never, but if you manage to find a partner in Church Lane, congratulations, because they’ll be with you for life.

3. Fairhurst

The “studious buzz zone” of the library (whatever that means), you can certainly chat to people comfortably here. It can often be quite cliquey though, with most people arriving in a big group of friends and talking just a bit too loudly, so forget trying to get any work done, and good luck meeting anyone that doesn’t have an intimidatingly large posse of friends behind them. There are a few surprisingly intimate spots (some maybe too intimate – don’t get me started on how small the kitchen is), so if you pick the right place and make the right amount of eye contact, who knows – you might get lucky.

2. Piazza

If you’re set on finding someone with daddy’s money from east campus but put off by Ron Cooke then don’t worry, because this is the one building on east that doesn’t feel like a complete ghost town. The Piazza has a nice cosy vibe, perfect for gold digging Constantine girls and posh Langwith men. If you do hit it off with someone, you can take them to the café (and get them to pay for it), making the Piazza a pretty ideal spot to meet someone.

1. Courtyard

Okay, fine, this may be cheating slightly as it’s technically a bar more than a study space, but it did advertise itself as having a “quiet study room” during exam season so I think it counts. If you want a place to get some work done and meet the future love of your life, Courtyard is the place to be. With a very social atmosphere (and the potential to drink), it’s never been easier to meet someone. True story: My friend got passed an actual love note from a stranger while in Courtyard – and if it can happen to her, it can definitely happen to you.

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