Friday, 6 December 2019

Staying At YHA Oxford And A Competition For You To Stay Too

Tilly and I travel A LOT to foreign countries because travel is cheaper than travelling in the UK. But recently she asked about an English town and I realised we don't travel enough in this country. When the older kids were little, we travelled the whole country in search of making memories and we had some of our most memorable holidays in the UK. These days, we just hop on a plane or a bus and travel to Europe. So Tilly can tell you a lot about European history, but nothing about the history of her own country. This had to change!

Recently we were gifted a weekend in YHA Oxford in exchange for a frank and honest review. We travelled from Kent to Oxford after school on Friday and I had a very excited child with me because it was like an adventure, she has never stayed at YHA before. The train was pre-booked and cost only £4.50 each way between London to Oxford.



We arrived at 9.30pm and I was delighted that the YHA was right next to the train station. When we travel anywhere and we look for affordable accommodation, and that accommodation is usually out of town. But YHA Oxford is a three-minute walk from the station. The check-in process was easy, you do need to provide photo ID. This is because its a family hotel and providing photo ID helps protect the guests. We were given a key to our private room and given directions to it. We hired towels, purely because I didn't want to take any in my overnight bag. These cost £2 to hire.


The Room


We had booked a private room and it had four beds in there (two sets of bunk beds). There was also an ensuite toilet and shower. There was a duvet on each bed with a lime green duvet cover and one pillow. If you like more than one pillow, it might be worth packing one in your luggage. Beside each bed are a plug and two USB plugs. I like USB plug holes when I travel because you don't have to worry about adapters. There is also a personal light for each person to use in bed. This is excellent if you're sharing with other people because you can switch the main light off and not disturb the other people with your bedside light. 


There was storage to put your belongings in. This could be locked if you needed to lock it. You just need a padlock, and if you don't have one then you can buy one from reception. Our room has two huge windows, but they were the most secure windows in a room that I have ever stayed in (we have stayed in many different accommodations). There was a metal bar across the window so you couldn't lean out of it and there was also a latch to stop the window from opening too far. This is perfect for families. 



The room was a really good size and having the ensuite meant that we didn't have to queue for the shared bathroom. We were really happy with the room.



Shared Space

There was so much shared space within YHA Oxford so even if you travel on your own, you don't actually need to be on your own. There is a library, where you can relax on a sofa and read a book that has been donated, or use the tables to catch up on some work on your laptop. There is WIFI on the whole ground floor of YHA Oxford. 




There is a TV room, this has sofas to relax on whilst watching the huge TV, or some chairs to have a chat with friends. There is an outside garden area, with tables and chairs which will be perfect for the summer evenings with a beer from the bar. There is also an iconic red phone box to have some Instagram photos taken in. 




There is a bar in the reception area, as well as some seating and tables. The bar sells alcoholic drinks as well as snacks and hot drinks. These were all affordable prices. There was also a vending machine in the reception area. 




The self-catering kitchen was huge and it had all the things you could need to make a meal. This is obviously a cheaper option for eating in the YHA bar area. I was absolutely impressed to see rice cookers, microwaves, sharp knives and even different coloured chopping boards. It had everything that I would expect to see in a professional kitchen. There was also a camera in the kitchen, so if you're travelling on your own you don't need to be worried about being with strangers in a kitchen. The kitchen was clean and tidy, the whole time we were there. 




There was a dining room for you to eat your meals in but there was also a kitchen where you could get meals cooked for you. YHA Oxford offered a fully cooked breakfast buffet for £6.95. This included a full English breakfast, cereals, tea, coffee, juices, rolls, cheese and meats, toast and yoghurts. It was well worth the money and we both had breakfast, meaning we didn't need to eat until late afternoon when we were out in Oxford. 





What Did We Think

When we arrived, Tilly was disappointed to see there was no TV in the room and we couldn't get WIFI in the room on the first floor. It made me realise how times have changed from when the older kids were her age. Tech is a big part of their lives, but it's not always a good thing. Instead of watching her Kindle or TV, she found other things to do for the weekend. It included playing and pretending she was in I'm A Celebrity. She used her imagination and she drew some pictures and she read a book. It did her the world of good and it inspired her to do something other than being on her Kindle. I told her I had no signal on my phone either, so she couldn't tether. 


I found it relaxing, and Tilly actually slept better without using the tech because her brain wasn't wired from watching YouTube.

The Hostel was slightly noisy, there are so many different people in the hostel and one lady was outside my room on the phone at midnight, but after explaining that I had a child in the room, she was apologetic and ended the call. YHA Oxford is superbly located but it is on one of the main roads to town and you can hear the party people going to and from town on a weekend. It didn't bother me, but please take it into consideration when you book. Although the YHA is next to the train station, you don't actually hear the trains passing by. 

I would love to stay here again in the future. I came away feeling relaxed and I know Tilly slept better than she usually does. You can book YHA Oxford by clicking here 

We have also partnered with YHA for one lucky winner to win a two-night stay for up to four people at any YHA owned hostels, excluding YHA London Oxford Street. All you need to do is enter the competition below. Please make sure you read the terms and conditions below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms And Conditions
  • UK entries only
  • Over 18's Only
  • Winners need to accept within 48 hours of us contacting them, due to the booking details. 
  • Excludes bank holidays
  • Bookings should be made in the two weeks following the competition for stays in the six months following the competition.
  • Excludes YHA London Oxford Street




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