The North: Sport, art, history and drama - there's an activity to suit everyone's taste
n Sport

Major sports - football, cricket, rugby - are played at a high level all over the North, with Rugby League having a special following in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Humberside. Major athletics events several times yearly at Gateshead international stadium and Don Valley stadium, Sheffield.

All student unions run sports clubs, and if your favourite isn't available, there are normally funds and support available to help you begin your own.

n Activities/Outdoors

A small taster of what's on offer. Unions can help you organise trips for group travel to the countryside.

Cumbria. Fell Foot Park, Newby Bridge. Activities and spectacular scenery by Lake Windermere.

Cumbria: Five peaks - the only five peaks over 900m in England are all here (Scafell Pike, Scafell, Helvellyn, Skiddaw, Bowfell).

Manchester: Softball league. 17 teams, mixed, male, female (PO Box 8, M22 4UE).

Greater Manchester: Paintball. Arena Indoor Paintball Centre, Oldham.

Greater Manchester: Hollingworth Lake Country Park, Littleborough. Watersports.

Yorkshire: Brimham Rocks, Summerbridge. Majestic rock formations overlooking Nidderdale.

n Galleries/museums

Many universities have their own museums and galleries, open to the public. Entry to some publicly owned permanent exhibitions in UK galleries and museums is free.

Bradford: National Museum of Photography, Film and Television. Revamped 1999, several brand new galleries.

Bradford: Colour Museum. History, development and technology of colour.

Cumbria: Sellafield Visitors Centre, Seascale. British Nuclear Fuels showcase.

Durham: Victorian Railway Museum, Shildon. See four-seater public loo.

Leeds: City Museum. Archaeology, international costumes, ethnology.

Leeds: Thackray Medical Museum. Amazing objects including a surgical chain saw. Find out why your tummy rumbles.

Liverpool: Tate Gallery, Albert Dock. pounds 7m revamp has increased space by a third.

Manchester United: Museum and Trophy Room, Old Trafford. Britain's first purpose-built football museum.

Newcastle: Hatton Gallery, Newcastle University. New five-year exhibition of artists who've worked in the area.

Newcastle: Hancock Museum, Barras Bridge. Natural history, science, Egypt.

Preston: Football Museum, Deepdale Stadium. Major new museum aiming for 100,000 visitors a year.

Sunderland: Glass Centre - art, craft, hands-on activities, demos.

n Theatres

(A selection among mainly smaller ones)

Hull: Truck Theatre, Spring Street.

Leeds: West Yorkshire Playhouse. Bacardi award for "most welcoming theatre".

Liverpool: Everyman.

Manchester: Royal Exchange. Newly refurbished after the 1996 IRA bombing.

Newcastle: Gulbenkian Studio. Touring theatre groups; home of student drama.

Sheffield: Crucible Studio.

n Heritage

Many former industrial sites - docks and canals - have been converted to heritage parks. These are some of the better ones, with a few historical gems.

Cumbria: Dock Museum.

Barrow-in-Furness: Modern museum built over original Victorian dock.

Durham: Killhope Lead Mining Centre, Weardale. Most complete lead mining site in the country.

Liverpool: Paul McCartney's old house in Forthlin Road. Open to pre-booked groups.

Northumberland: Hadrians Wall. Forts, mile castles, temples, turrets, reconstructions, visitors centres.

Sheffield: Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet, Abbeydale Road South. Restored scythe works; water wheels.

Tyneside: Bedes World, Jarrow. Includes a working Anglo-Saxon farm.

York: Jorvik Viking Centre. The smells, sights and sounds of Viking York.

n Extra curricular

Contact the tourist offices of your selected area for further details of any of the listed items here, including student discounts and up-to- date prices.

Cumbria Tourist Board 015394 44444

North West Tourist Board 01942 821222

Northumbria Tourist Board 0191-375 3000

Yorkshire Tourist Board 01904 707961

Heather Welford