Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom
June 22, 2004
I initially started off on the second floor, in a big spacious 6-bed dorm with a BIG shower room next door. Because of a few big groups, I was moved downstairs to another dorm halfway through. This was also a 6-bed dorm, but the room was a lot smaller, so it seemed more cramped. There were no luggage storage areas in there, and the showers were quite a walk away, and they were tiny with no areas for clothes, towels etc. I guess its just luck as to which room you get allocated.
There is a very comfortable lounge with Internet access (£1 for 20 minutes), and the reception area is comfortable. In front of the hostel is parkland, so there are plenty of places to chill out in warm weather. It is not recommended to walk through the park at night if you’re alone. There is a well equipped kitchen and dining area, but its in the basement and dingy, not somewhere pleasant to hang out. Security is good. The door code to get past the reception area changes daily and you get a key for your dorm room, and there are additional lockers if you need them.
I liked Bruntsfield a lot and I would go back. I found the staff to be the friendliest of almost any hostel I have stayed in (and I have stayed in several). The other guests were friendly and easily conversive, there were loads of people there on their own, and I enjoyed meeting lots of really cool people. Unfortunately, the hostel’s large size means it gets a lot of school and college groups. Most of these were fine, but one group was very noisy and misbehaved constantly.
The location is a bit out of the city centre, but it’s not too bad. The bus stops on the main road, Bruntsfield Place, are only a few minutes walk from the hostel. Buses 10, 11, 15, 15a, 16, 17 and 23 run direct to Princes Street and St. Andrews square, and they run very frequently. The single fare was 80p when I was there (May 2004). From Bruntsfield place, it’s an easy walk into the city centre, as the road pretty much is the same one. In addition, there are several shops and restaurants on Bruntsfield place, including a continental bakery with chocolate croissants to die for, a fantastic deli called Peckhams, and Parrots restaurant there is fantastic for people on their own, with very friendly staff, great food, and an excellent drinks list, and there were several people there eating on their own when I went.
I stayed there for seven nights and I really didn't want to leave. It was £13 a night then. The hostel’s website can be found at http://www.syha.org.uk.
From journal Paradise in Edinburgh