It was with great trepidation that we first stayed in a YHA (Youth Hostel Association) property a couple of years ago when I thought they would be dirty, smelly and full of young travelers moving from room to room in the middle of the night or worse yet full of random murderers like on the horror films! Yet we (obviously) lived to tell the tale, loved our stay and have since stayed in various YHA properties across the UK.
So far our absolute favourite is the Stratford-Upon-Avon YHA where we have just returned from our second stay.
The first time we stayed at the Stratford-Upon-Avon YHA we stayed in one of the beautiful bell tents, this time we chose to stay in one of their pods, who knows next year we might even make it into the big house itself. Regardless of what kind of accommodation you choose the YHA Stratford-Upon-Avon is simply perfect for families and here is why…
The Stratford-Upon-Avon YHA is only a 5 minute drive from Stratford itself, or if you are feeling more energetic we are told you can walk there in 40 minutes. It is also a 5 minute drive from Charlecote Park which is brilliant for families and FREE if you have a National Trust membership. If you want to go a bit further afield you can get to Warwick town centre and Warwick castle in 20 minutes and Coventry in 25. There are so many brilliant places for days out nearby that you can’t possibly get bored.
The site itself is in a built up area but the grounds are so big that you hear no noise form anywhere, it is so peaceful and tranquil and the streets surrounding the YHA make for a lovely evening stroll too.
Available accommodation at the Stratford-Upon-Avon YHA
You can choose to stay in three different types of accommodation. The main hostel where you can have a family room or a bed in a mixed room if you are a solo traveller.
The glamping bell tents that are lovely, large and come with log burners if you stay in the colder months.
And the pods, which is where we stayed this time. The pods can sleep 4 without a problem as they have a double bed and a double sofa bed. They are surprisingly spacious and also have a kitchenette area complete with sink, fridge/freezer and microwave, a dining area with a table that can be extended to seat 4 and an en suite with toilette, sink and even a shower as well as a veranda over looking the grounds.
In addition to being brilliant in terms of accommodation, another reason why we feel that the YHA in Stratford-Upon-Avon is perfect for families is because there are things to do on site for the children too. Firstly there is ample room in the grounds, including an adjoining field for them to run and play to their hearts content. There are also some pretty big trees that just scream “climb me” to every child that looks at them and a secret woodland area opposite the restaurant which seems to be a favourite meeting point for most of the kids on site.
There is also a giant xylophone in the grounds that the children can tinkle with much to the amusement of the adults.
If the weather takes a turn for the worse then worry not as regardless of what accommodation type you have picked to stay in you are more than welcome to use the inside facilities which include a range of free board games you can borrow from behind the bar, a library of books to read at your leisure for both adults and children, a relaxing space to chill out and a games room with giant jenga and giant connect four.
Paid for activities
As well as the above the games room also has table football and a snooker table that you can pay to use.
Food and Drink
The Stratford-Upon-Avon YHA offers a variety of food and drink options.
Firstly you can use the facilities in the pod to go self catering or the bigger kitchen facilities in the hostel to prepare your own meals at your own pace. If this sounds too much like hard work then you can choose to use the restaurant facilities which includes a fully stocked bar, good menu with both small snacks and larger meals as well as a specials board inside and a children’s menu that comes with a free pudding of choc ice or fruit for each meal ordered. The other bonus for families wishing to be waited on is that if you are staying with the YHA then the children eat FREE when dining with an adult which can save you quite a lot of money. We stayed for two nights and ate in the restaurant on the first night which we all really enjoyed and used the self catering kitchen on the second night which was clean and had all the utensils we needed.
As well as evening meals and lighter snacks you can also order breakfast and pic nic lunches to take out with you if planning a day out.
Things to do near the Stratford-Upon-Avon YHA
There are lots of things to do in the area. The ones we have reviewed and would recommend are
Charlecote Park – a national trust park with both indoor and outdoor activities for the whole family.
The Butterfly Farm – Only a 15 minute drive from the YHA opposite river Avon.
Warwick Castle – A bit further away but worth a visit if you can drive.
Overall we had a wonderful stay and would recommend it to any family that wants a few nights away so book your stay now. If on the other hand you fancy a city break then check out our review of the YHA Oxford.
(We were gifted a two night stay at the YHA in Stratford-Upon-Avon in exchange for a review, all opinions are my own).