Wake Up Here: YHA Hostels in England and Wales

Thanks to the Big Blog Exchange trip, I was able to sleep in 9 different Youth Hostels throughout in England in 10 days. An overnight stay is probably way too short to provide a proper feedback for each hostel I have visited, but I can say something about the standard that the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) and Hostelling International upholds. 

The Rooms

YHA England and Wales | YHA London Central | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA London Central

YHA England and Wales | YHA Ambleside | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA Ambleside

At YHA, you’ll be sleeping in a bunk bed with white sheets and green blankets - YHA's official colors. Sometimes, they would cover the sheets for you. Sometimes, you’ll have to do it for yourself. In the room, you’ll have your own cabinet to store your valuables and a personal bed light with an electric plug/power point. I like the personal electric plug because my gadgets are within the vicinity of my bed and I wouldn't have to worry about someone stealing my stuff.

The room's aesthetics are pretty basic but all of them were clean, welcoming, and presentable. 

Due to the architecture of the building, the layout of the rooms was different in each hostel. Some rooms have their own ensuite bathroom, some don’t, but rest assured that all of the rooms will have their own sink. I think the reason why there’s a sink in every room is so that you can still freshen up even if you can’t use the common bathroom yet. 

There are no bar fridge inside the room, but you can deposit your food in their self-service kitchen. Make sure you properly label your food!

Self Service Amenities

YHA England and Wales | YHA London Central | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA London Central’s Beauty Room

All of the hostels comes with a common lounge area for you to interact with other guests, a self-service kitchen where you can prep and cook your own food, and a computer area to surf the internet. Hostels like the one in YHA Stratford also has a restaurant where they would offer breakfast for five quid. 

They’ve also partnered with a lot of tours and sights. So if you’re interested in watching a show or joining a group tour, the front desk will be able to assist you and even offer you a discount! :)

YHA England and Wales | YHA Stratford | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Stratford | Big Blog Exchange 2013

My room in YHA Stratford and the ensuite bathroom

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Are the beds comfy? Yes, they were! I never had a hard time sleeping! But for better comfort, I highly recommend you sleep at the top bunk.

Are the bathrooms clean? Yes, but my least favorite bathroom was YHA Ambleside because it was a shared bathroom where 8-9 rooms (2-4 guest in each room) have access. But the bathrooms and rooms were still spic-and-span!

Do they offer free breakfast? No. The majority of them, except for the hostels in London, offer a full English breakfast for five quid. Personally, I wish YHA London Central would offer an English breakfast since they have a big kitchen (the self-catering kitchen).

Is it safe to stay at a hostel? To be honest, I felt safe throughout my stay. They have CCTVs installed and most of the hostels use a key card system.

Will people steal my stuff if I leave it at the hostel? I can’t vouch for every backpacker but I did leave my locker unlocked for most of my trip and no one stole anything (of course, there was nothing valuable in there). But don’t follow my footsteps! Remain vigilant, don’t leave valuables unattended. Get your own padlock! ;)

Will I share a room with the opposite sex? This depends on the hostel. I’m not sure if YHA offers such kind of set-up, but there are hostels that do. Be sure to check before you book.

What happens if someone’s snoring so loud? Use an ear plug. I’m glad that the girls I’ve shared rooms with were mindful with the noise they’re making, especially during the morning when some are still sleeping.

What are the things you need to bring? Research this because it’s different for each hostels. With YHA, you can rent towels, padlocks, earplugs and umbrellas for a small fee. You can see the full list of amenities on their websites.

Why should I stay at the hostel? I get you. Who doesn’t want to stay at a hotel? I would if I could! But given the expenses to travel, I just find it ridiculous to stay at a hotel for $200 per night (the average rate for London).

 
YHA England and Wales | YHA London Central | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA London Central | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA London Central

 

Pros

  • It’s located in Central London.
  • They have an elevator.
  • About 2-3 blocks away from the nearest Tube: Oxford and Regent's Park. You can also ride Bus 453 and that will bring you to Regent Street, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square and the Parliament.
  • Aside from the laundry and self-catering kitchen, they also have a beauty room.

Cons

  • No breakfast, but there’s a huge self-service kitchen.
 
YHA England and Wales | YHA Stratford | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Stratford | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Stratford | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Stratford | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA Stratford

This place looks amazing and the room they gave me was quite big. The only issue is that it's not within the central part of Stratford.

YHA England and Wales | YHA Wilderhope Manor | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Wilderhope Manor | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Wilderhope Manor | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA Wilderhope Manor

 

Pros

  • You get to live in a really old manor.
  • The manor may look old on the inside, but the Bridal Suite looks new and modern.
  • Great place to do a digital detox.
  • No paranormal activity during my stay.

Cons

  • In the middle of nowhere. It's located in the hillside of Shropshire.
  • No signal for Three mobile throughout my stay.
 
YHA England and Wales | YHA York | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA Ambleside

Overlooking Lake Windermere and is located right beside Ambleside Pier. 

YHA England and Wales | YHA York | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA York | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA York

The hostel is located 20 minutes away from the town central. Everything in this place is so spacious. 

YHA England and Wales | YHA Boggle Hole | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Boggle Hole | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA Boggle Hole

On the outside, the hostel may not look much, but once you're inside, you'll be transported into a different world. This easily became my favorite YHA hostel for its quirkiness and creativity. I absolutely love this place! The only problem is how to get here using public transport.

YHA England and Wales | YHA Whitby | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Whitby | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Whitby | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Whitby | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA Whitby

The hostel has an amazing view of the town and is right beside Whitby Abbey. It's a great hostel for families, big groups, and the disabled. Great place!

YHA England and Wales | YHA Oxford | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Oxford | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Oxford | Big Blog Exchange 2013
YHA England and Wales | YHA Oxford | Big Blog Exchange 2013

YHA Oxford

My room has a balcony and a TV. Located near the train and bus station

YHA England and Wales | YHA Oxford | Big Blog Exchange 2013

For more information about the Youth Hostels in England and Wales,
please visit their website at http://www.yha.org.uk/