I studied at Queens University as at the time it was the number 1 ranked university to study chemistry in the UK and I am really glad I studied there, although I have left 10 years I still know a lot of the staff there and we regularly meet up for coffee and a chat! It is more like a big family within the school of chemistry.
I went to university before the internet was in use. In those days, you wrote away for the university prospectus & then poured over these books for days/weeks to determine if there was a degree programme that sparked your interest. These days, I would suggest that, if you can, talk to graduates of the programme to see where they are now & what they thought of the programme. It’s alot easier to do this now!!! There are also great open days in all universities.
I visited quite a few unis before deciding, and had interviews at a few too. It was really important for me to actually see the university and ask questions of the staff and students before I made a decision. In the end I chose The University of Manchester because it had brilliant undergrad labs (they were brand new) with access to high tech equipment, the staff seemed really nice- and most importantly I felt that it was a city and a university where I would be happy: it wasn’t too academic and high pressured, but wasn’t just about partying either.