We decided to head to London the day before our trip to Paris to make the most of some time in the big smoke. We were invited to the St Pancras Youth Hostel to stay the night in one of family rooms.
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Growing up we always stayed in YHA places on our holidays, my parents are still trying to visit all the ones in the UK and are still finding more to stay with. A lot of people have the idea of youth hostels and dorms you share with backpackers (which is an option) but I've always stayed in family rooms and annexes with my family. The only difference to a hotel being you have to bring your own towel and often you have to sleep in a bunk bed rather than a double bed.
I recently stayed in a YHA place when I visited Manchester with my family and Wilf and I had a family room which consisted of a double bunk bed which was brilliant. The room we stayed in St Pancras consisted of two single bunk beds and Wilf thought it was the most exciting thing ever!
We arrived around mid-day and as we were an hour early for check in decided to head to the cafe and see what was on offer. Children under ten eat for free at Youth Hostel's which is a great idea so Wilf tucked into some pizza and Tom and I shared a halloumi salad, pizza and bucket of fries, yum! There is also a great selection of wine and ales and coffee and pastries on offer too.
As we wanted to mooch around London a bit we didn't really spend anytime in the games room but I do have fond memories of telling our parents to find us in there and rushing down to play connect four with my siblings as a child..youth hostels do hold a certain amount of nostalgia for me.
There is a kitchen available for anyone staying and needing to cook their own food but as we were out and about we ended up grabbing something out of the hostel. The only thing I wish they had was tea and coffee making facilities in the rooms as I pretty much don't get out of bed unless I've had my first cuppa of the day ;)
WiFi is free for YH members (you can get a card here) and costs £15 for over 26 year old and £5 for under. You an also use it for discounts for loads of places including buying a family railcard so it's a useful thing to have. At this particular hostel the wifi was only available on certain floors (ground and first) which meant on the third floor we couldn't access it which is tricky if you are stuck for the evening with children's bedtimes..although I guess you could just read a book! I wanted to get some work done (watch Sons of Anarchy) so I used my phone's hotspot to use my laptop instead.
The room was very spacious with an on-suite bathroom and a large window for people watching. Family room's start at £75 and the hostel is situated across the road from the station so perfect for early morning trains!
We were guests at the St Pancras Youth Hostel but all words and thoughts are my own