AD – Press trip
This year, now that we finally have a car, we wanted to explore somewhere further afield. After a bit of searching for something suitable for the whole family, we chose Stratford-upon-Avon. By using YHA Stratford-upon-Avon as a base, we were able to have a fantastic family getaway.
Address and contact information
Parking is free at YHA Stratford-upon-Avon and the car park had loads of space. During our stay, there was always some free spaces and there was even a coach parked in there at one point. The car park is only a short walk away from the main building.
Getting into Stratford-upon-Avon
Although YHA Stratford-upon-Avon isn’t right in the center, we found getting around to be really easy. If you have a car, you obviously have the option of driving. We only did this on our last day when we went to Anne Hathaway’s Cottage (which has a huge, cheap car park).
Just across the road is a bus stop, serving the number 15 which runs roughly around every hour into Stratford-upon-Avon. The bus took around 10-15 minutes and stopped at McDonald’s which was really central. There’s a timetable inside the bus shelter which is really handy or you can look this up online. Buses take card payments so no need to worry about having cash to hand. For your return journey, the bus stop is opposite the McDonald’s we got off at and the bus will drop you off right outside YHA Stratford-upon-Avon.
Another option is to use Ubers, which is something else we used during our stay. Generally, these cost between £8 and £10 per journey (from YHA Stratford-upon-Avon to a central location). On two occasions, we didn’t even wait 5 minutes for the Uber to arrive. Unfortunately, on our last day the wait was really long at around 30 minutes or more which is why we chose to drive.
Accommodation options at YHA Stratford-upon-Avon
For families, private rooms are a great option as some can sleep up to 6 people. Children under 12 are not allowed in shared dorms so it’s great that there’s another option. These come both with and without private bathrooms, depending on availability.
The room we had came with a bunk bed and a separate single bed. Some rooms do have a double bed underneath a bunk if you have 3 people sharing. John and Erin shared the bunk bed while I had the separate bed on the other side of the room. One thing to note is that mattresses and pillows are quite thin but hasn’t ever stopped us from sleeping well.
The room itself was pretty big, a lot bigger than most hotel rooms we stay in. Beds had space underneath for suitcases etc and we had one storage cupboard which could be locked at the bottom if we had a lock with us. With the addition of hooks for coats etc. we had more than enough space for the three of us and our things.
Our bathroom was an accessible room, meaning there was emergency cords, a seat near the shower and it was more like a wet room than anything else. The comfort of having a private bathroom is lovely but you will pay a little bit more for the luxury.
If you’re looking for a cheaper option when travelling, a bed in a shared dorm is a good way to go. Dorms are same gender only and children 12-15 years old can stay with an adult of the same gender. This option typically includes a bed, reading light and cupboard which can be locked.
Get all the charm of a camping pod with some luxurious home comforts added! This insulated pod has everything you need to enjoy outdoor living in comfort, including a kitchenette area with fridge and microwave, wet room with toilet and shower, and plenty of space to sleep and relax.From the YHA website
Enjoy a stay under the stars in one of the premium bell tents. Each tent comfortably sleeps up to 5 people with a double bed, two single futon beds and a single futon that can be folded into a chair. The integrated wood burner makes things extra cosy in the colder months.From the YHA website
Self-catering or dine in!
Something we really appreciated as a family staying at YHA Stratford-upon-Avon is that there were multiple options when it came to food.
Guests are able to use the shared kitchen, which was huge. It had everything we possibly could have needed including ovens, microwaves, kettles and toasters as well as all the pots and pans you can imagine. It’s great to not have to take any of this with you. The kitchen also had 2 large fridges and freezer and a dry store area where guests can keep their own food. There’s a very clear label system to use to make sure everyone knows what belongs to them.
Thanks to the shared kitchen, we were able to take our own drinks and breakfast to keep our costs down. Next time we stay in a YHA we’ll probably take things to make packed lunches as well.
YHA Stratford-upon-Avon also has a great restaurant which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. After a long day of travelling, we chose to eat dinner in the restaurant and I’m so glad we did.
The menu isn’t massive there but there’s enough to ensure there’s an option for most as there are vegetarian and vegan options available. Although there is a small children’s menu, Erin didn’t fancy anything from it at the time so we all opted for pizza and chips! The pizza was a lot bigger than I was expecting and we definitely didn’t need to order one each, as well as chips.
For three pizzas and three portions of chips, we paid roughly £36. I though this was excellent value and it saved us figuring out where else to eat after a long day of travelling. Erin actually said the pizza was one of her favourite things about our stay.
A home away from home
Something we all loved about our stay at YHA Stratford-upon-Avon was how different it was to staying in a hotel.
The games room
The games room was definitely Erin’s favourite though. With a giant Connect Four board, wooden blocks like Jenga and table tennis, there’s plenty to do. The room was empty a lot of the time during our stay so we didn’t worry about getting in anyone’s way or hitting them with a table tennis ball!
Relax in the lounge
Here, you have the use of a shared lounge and games room which we made full use of. You’ll find sofas, chairs, books, board games and puzzles in the lounge, as well as a desk if you need to get some work done. Whether you’re travelling solo, as a group or a family, this is a great place to meet new people or spend your down time.
YHA Stratford-upon-Avon has a huge outdoor area, which is perfect if you’re travelling with children who sometimes need to stretch their legs. We had a lovely walk around the property, finding picnic benches in the sun, trees to climb and field space perfect for a game of football.
Things to do for families in Stratford-upon-Avon
During our 3 day break to Stratford-upon-Avon we packed quite a lot in and found some great activities to do as a family. Here are some of our ideas of things you can do when you visit Stratford-upon-Avon:
- Explore life in Tudor times at the Tudor World Museum.
- Walk along the River Avon.
- Visit the Stratford Butterfly Farm.
- Learn more about Shakespeare with the Shakespeare’s Birthplace Trust (visit 3 Shakespeare related properties).
- Stop by Magic Alley – a shop filled with fun magic related items. There are sometimes events on too!
- For the more adventurous, book a ghost walk!
- Ride the Stratford-upon-Avon Ferris wheel.
- Visit the Gower Memorial in Bancroft Gardens. Here you’ll find sculptures of some of Shakespeare’s famous characters.
A great base for a family getaway in Stratford-upon-Avon
We really loved our stay at YHA Stratford-upon-Avon. For us, being a little bit further out of the center of Stratford-upon-Avon meant that we got the best of both worlds.
Not only did staff at YHA Stratford-upon-Avon make us feel incredibly welcome, but the friendly communal aspect meant that we could meet new people too. Only being a short distance from the main attractions means that getting into Stratford-upon-Avon is easy no matter how you do it and there’s loads to do once you’re there.