Over the summer, we decided to take advantage of lots of people avoiding the big cities and made a trip down to London. The twins were desperate to go again and see more of what we didn’t see on previous trips. We will run out of things to see at some point, I’m sure, though I’m an adult and still haven’t seen everything myself!
For our stay, we opted to stay with YHA (again!). I love YHA and YHA London Central didn’t disappoint. Previously we have stayed at YHA St Pauls in London as well as other YHAs around the UK.
YHA London Central is located on Bolsover Street between Hyde Park and Regents Park. It’s in a (relatively) quiet street considering its central location, though there was some noise off the streets in terms of a few cars, early morning bin lorries, and the odd reveller. I was expecting it to be worse considering the convenient location.
The room we had was a four-bunk room with en-suite. It was basic but clean as per all the other YHAs we have stayed in. If you’re expecting luxury, then you won’t get it here. What you get instead is clean, mostly comfortable, safe, and great value for money.
During covid, the options for catering are more limited. While the self-service kitchen and lounge were available, the usual full cafe bar menu was not. Breakfast, for us, was pastries and hot chocolate, and we opted for a packet of cereal and some milk from the nearby Tesco Express for subsequent mornings. We ate out every night – the Pizza Express on nearby St Christopher’s Place just off Oxford Street got a big thumbs up.
The bathroom was a shower, toilet, and a very small sink. You need to take your own towels or you can hire them from reception. The wardrobe was more of a functional hanging rail and shelves. Each bed has its own phone charging station and reading light, but they didn’t all work.
Check in and check out was very easy, as was booking on the YHA website – top tip, if you join as an annual member you get a % discount on your booking which could work out as a bigger saving than the £15 membership fee, so check that out before you confirm your booking.
Car parking was limited though there is a nearby car park. We didn’t try it out and it obviously costs money. We chose to park on the outskirts of London using JustPark and trained it in instead.
Our biggest gripes mainly related to the room itself – the sink was very small and made brushing teeth very messy, the window didn’t open very wide at all which made the room a bit stuffy, and the lights were faulty which made the room too bright for us on the night. But these are all minor complaints and are much outweighed by the friendliness of the team, the cleanliness, great family-friendly facilities, and the price for a room in central London.
If you’re looking for luxury, then I suggest you try the Hilton up the road. If you’d rather save your budget for something more fun instead, then YHA are worth a look!
So what did we do all week?
We spent some time in the shops on Oxford Street and Regent Street, including Hamleys (natch) and the Disney Store. We also may have done a trip to the huge Primark on Bond Street.
One day we walked up to and all around London Zoo, back to Camden Market for tea, and then back to base.
Another evening we walked all the way down to the South Bank/London Eye area, took a cheesy pic with Big Ben, and then back through Soho and China Town. We did about 30,000 steps that day according to the FitBit!
Another day we walked all the way down to Kensington, to the Science Museum, and then back through Regents Park where we watched the parakeets and pigeons feeding.
We pretty much walked everywhere from YHA Central London. We did consider the tubes but with Covid still at large, and the fact that the hostel was in a very convenient location, we thought it just made more sense to walk. By the end of the week our feet hurt but we didn’t do car, buses, or tubes once.
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