Over half term we were invited to stay at YHA Oxford for two nights in one of their family en suite rooms. We have stayed with YHA on a number of occasions over the past three years, in a variety of different accommodation types including; pods, bell tents and even a tipi but we have always been in more rural settings, never a city centre, so I was looking forward to seeing what, if anything, the difference would be.
So far the YHA’s that we have stayed in have been fairly similar in that they have all had large buildings with self catering kitchen as well as restaurants for the guests, a mix of single, shared, and family rooms, communal areas for relaxing and a bar area. Despite YHA Oxford being in the city it was in this sense exactly the same as the ones we have previously visited.
However there were two main differences.
- The ones in the rural areas have all had large gardens or fields surrounding the YHA and this one doesn’t, however it does have a small outside garden area where the kids were still more than happy to run around and play tag.
- There is no onsite parking.
These two differences didn’t impact are stay at all but are worth mentioning if you are used to the rural YHA’s.
The location of YHA Oxford
YHA Oxford is perfectly located for exploring the city. It is city centre based yet not so central that you have late night noise or much passing traffic and after 11 we couldn’t here the trains either. It is walking distance to all the attractions, the high streets, and Westgate Oxford which is the main shopping mall. It is the ideal place for families to stay when visiting Oxford.
Top Tips for getting the most out of your stay at YHA Oxford
Unfortunately YHA Oxford has no parking facilities and the parking in Oxford itself is either non existent or very expensive, so realistically you have two main options. You can either use the park and ride which we were told was very reliable and reasonably priced or, like us, you can opt to use the app Just Park which is where you hire a driveway for the days you need it and can come and go as you like all for one price that you pay up front. We had never used this app before however we found a driveway on the same street as the YHA Oxford and paid £13.50 from lunch time Friday till 5 pm Sunday, which we thought was very reasonable.
If the price of parking puts you off then the train station is just round the corner from YHA Oxford and as everything is in walking distance you could easily stay for the weekend without a car.
If you are wanting to save money where you can on your visit then I would recommend eating at the YHA as all there meals are reasonably priced and there is a good selection of choice too. Furthermore, if you are staying there with children then when you dine the children can eat for free when an adult orders a main meal. This means that a family of four can at for roughly £20 depending on what you order.
You can check in from 2pm and have to check out by 10am but don’t let this stop you using those days as full days as YHA Oxford have a luggage room where you can leave your things whilst you enjoy your break.
Overall we had a wonderful time at YHA Oxford. Our family room was the perfect size for two adults, two children and a baby, the beds were comfy and the en suite was clean. It was the perfect location for exploring Oxford and with the train station just a round the corner it is a great location for those that want to explore London without staying in the city overnight. If you are planning on going to London then make sure you read the Ultimate London Bucket list before you plan your itinerary.
If you are looking for a UK city break with kids and want something affordable then I would recommend you check out YHA Oxford, you get the cheapest price when you book direct and then follow these tips for travelling on a budget to get the most from your holiday.
If you do go to London for the day whilst stating at YHA Oxford like we did then I can highly recommend that you hire a GoBoat and see London from the water.
(We were gifted our stay in exchange for a review, all opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate link).