A February 2004 trip
to London by milliebell
Quote: Growing up in Northern England, I dreamed of London. But childhood dreams and reality are often different. When I was 19, I got a job near London and I HATED the place. Ten years later, I decided to give it another chance, but only for a long weekend.
Thankfully, there’s lots in London that’s free, including some huge museums and galleries that could take days to get around. London is not as expensive as it is thought to be, as there some cheap hostels, good food can be found if your willing to wander off the beaten track, and a travel card is a real bargain, especially at weekends.
The main problem with London I found was crowds. The buses and tubes, galleries, streets, stations, everywhere was constantly packed solid. If you have introvert tendencies, like me, ensure you know in advance what relieves you when you're stressed.
Hotel | "St. Pancras International"
My room on the sixth floor was huge, with just two pairs of bunk beds. The beds were solid pine bunks, and bedding was provided. There was a locker and plenty of storage space for each bed. Most rooms are en-suite. Mine wasn't, but I found no shortage of bathrooms. The bathrooms were like proper bathrooms, rather than a room of cubicles, with each one having a toilet, shower, washbasin and plenty of hooks and a generous dressing area. As it was February, it was a quiet time of year, and I only had one or two roommates each night. Dorms are single sex, but there are numerous two- to six-bedroom units for couples and families. Despite being on the very busy Euston Road, it was quiet.
A full breakfast is provided in the price, consisting of cereal, toast or croissants, orange juice, tea/coffee and a cooked breakfast OR cold meat and cheese. I was very impressed with the cooked breakfasts as they did vegetarian sausages as well as meat ones, something I have not come across before even in hotels. I had an evening meal there one night -- they cost around £3.75 for a main course, are cooked to order, and portions are generous. The station cafe where breakfast is served is light and pleasant, with plenty of tables by the window.
The location of the hostel is great -- only a few minutes walk from Kings Cross, St. Pancras, and Euston stations. Kings Cross underground is a bit nearer than Euston. There are several shops, restaurants and bars along Euston road, and in the side streets. Tip: the 24-hour food mart a few minutes along Euston Road is much cheaper than the vending machines at the hostel for soft drinks and snacks. Camden town, the university of London and its musuems, and various other attractions are in walking distance. The hostel reception sells day and weekend travel cards, and there is a bus stop outside. I found anywhere in London easy to reach from here. I enjoyed my stay here greatly, and look forward to going again. I really cannot understand why this hostel has only four stars and not five.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on March 29, 2004
YHA London St. Pancras Youth Hostel
79-81 Euston Road
0870 770 6044
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 28, 2004
St Ives, England PE17 4WS
+44 20 7488 2414
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom