AUC in the UK

Family Life

Moving your family to a new country is a big decision and can be daunting, but it can also be a new adventure. We've put together this helpful guide to support you and your family as you settle in Preston.

Leisure time

Use this comprehensive site for ideas about activities and day trips in and around Preston and nationwide.


Find out how to buy your TV licence. Everyone who watches live TV or downloads BBC programmes needs to be covered by a TV licence. 

For a good choice of channels, check out the following providers: Freeview, Sky and Virgin.


Preston's Harris Museum, Art Gallery and Library is located in the centre of the city. Preston also has a number of local libraries in areas such as Fulwood, Ribbleton and Penwortham which hold family-focused events such as Baby Bounce and Rhyme.

Play Centres

These contain soft play or trampolining equipment and cafes and are a fun, cost-effective way to play, especially when it’s wet outside.

Wacky Warehouse
Mini Magee’s
Flip Out

Leisure Centres

Preston has a number of leisure centres boasting gym, swimming and activity facilities.

Better Leisure
Virgin Active

Nature and parks

Brockholes is a local nature reserve and outdoor park. It has a café and children’s outdoor play equipment with a focus on preserving a natural landscape.

Avenham and Miller parks are historic parks with beautiful landscapes and riverside walks.

Moor Park and skate park

Retail and leisure parks

Preston has a number of retail parks boasting cinemas, restaurants and shops. Please visit the individual websites for more details.

Deepdale Retail Park
Capitol Centre
Riversway Retail Park

House and Home

Wilko is a city-centre store offering a wide range of household goods.

Argos is a catalogue store offering a huge range of household goods, furniture and toys.

Mothercare is a specialist mother and baby store based near the docks in Preston.


In an emergency (if you need an ambulance, police or fire brigade) ring 999.

Register yourself and children with the NHS (National Health Service) to access medical care. You can obtain forms from the AUC Office in Eden Hall.

Royal Preston is your closest hospital. It has an accident and emergency department and a primary care facility (for non-urgent, out-of-hours care) and a pharmacy.

If your child is ill, ring your General Practitioner (GP doctor)’s surgery for an appointment. If you need help when the surgery is closed (for example if a child has a fever and you cannot wait for an appointment), call 111.


You will need to pay Council Tax which covers services such as street lighting, policing and refuse collections.

If you have any queries about your gas and electricity supply, check with your landlord first.

In the event of any power outage or emergency situation you can use the following numbers:

For water supply issues contact United Utilities.

For gas supply-related emergencies, contact National Grid.

For electricity outages contact the new Power Cut 105 number.


Schools and Education

Ofsted is the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills. It inspects and regulates services that care for children and young people and services providing education and skills for learners of all ages.

To research schools in your area, consult the relevant Ofsted report.


Preston boasts numerous supermarkets at all price points.

Budget: Lidl; Aldi

Mid-range: ASDA; Morrisons; Sainsbury

Premium: Waitrose; Marks and Spencer

Online communities

Netmums is an online community which will give you the chance to find out what is going on in your area. You can search for local activities and ask questions to other users.

Local news outlets are also a good way of finding out what is happening in the local area:

Blog Preston


Use Traveline’s journey planner to find the best route and mode of transport for your trip.


Preston is well connected within the city, across Lancashire and beyond.

Local travel: Preston Bus

National travel: Stagecoach and National Express


Preston train station has excellent rail connections to the rest of the UK. Some typical journey times are listed below.

  • Lancaster: 15 mins
  • Manchester: 50 mins
  • Windermere for the Lake District: 1 hr
  • Birmingham: 1 hr 45 mins
  • London: 2 hrs 30 mins
  • Edinburgh, Scotland: 2 hrs 30 mins

Preston is your nearest train station. You can book tickets through The Trainline.