Monday, December 12, 2011

In Southwerk at the Tabard as I lay

Or to quote Geoffrey:

At nyght was come into that hostelrye wel nyne and twenty in a compaignye of sondry folk, by aventure yfalle in felaweshipe...

Since we set out from London to Canterbury, in the footsteps of those sundry folk, we've been staying in hostels. It's a pretty obvious choice, as the hotels and (so far) B&Bs are at least four times the price of the hostels. Not to say that all the hostels are super cheap, but they are at least affordable.

Our experiences have been on the whole good, so here's some quick notes if you're travelling. Possibly with links.

1) Kipps Canterbury was lovely, and we have no bad words about it, and only good ones. We had a private room here;

2) Kipps Brighton was not as good, mainly because the staff seemed a bit scatter-brained, and the place was somewhat affected by the general frenetic air of Brighton. Our impressions are not shaped by having shared a dorm, although the bunk beds were amazingly squeaky;

3) The YHA in Salisbury was in a gorgeous location, and was a truly lovely building, marred by having tiny, tiny, tiny showers and by them charging for everything. This has been the most pricey so far, and definitely least value for money;

4) St Christopher's Inn in Bath is a resounding "meh". The room was reasonably comfortable, but the place is above and connected with a chain bar (Belushi's) that is definitely low-rent. Our evening was enlivened by the wifi being shut off at 9:00 while were trying to sort something out, and we declined to eat breakfast in the bar due to the stench coming up the stairs into the bar from the toilets below. We were also distinctly unimpressed to be charged money for renting lockers to hold our backpacks while we wandered, only to be told when we got to the storage room that our backpacks would not fit in the lockers and that we just had to leave them on the floor. We won't be using any of their other sites.

5) Hatter's Hostel in Birmingham, which is where I'm reclining tapping this out, appears to be very good (and indeed has been deemed the best in the country) - the facilities are good, and our room large and awesomely comfortable. We're likely to try their other sites.

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