The Youth Hostel Association of England and Wales invited us to stay at one of their properties and we realised that despite booking with a number of hostels over the years we'd never actually stayed with a YHA member and so, on the return leg of a recent trip to England we spent one night at YHA Berwick in the historic walled town of Berwick-upon-Tweed near the Scottish border.
The hostel building is a former granary, hidden from the main road but with ample parking outside the main entrance on Dewar's Lane and a courtyard with picnic-style tables at the back entrance.
Inside, the cafe area was clean and bright and there was plenty of seating and computers (no photos due to the amount of people sitting there!). Check-in was quick and easy from the desk, we also had a few queries and the member of staff here was able to help us out. Reception isn't open 24 hours and this area shuts down at night but once you're a resident you can enter/exit the back door using your key card.
This is the back door. You can sit and eat/drink/relax here too. Breakfast isn't included but you can have that or lunch here - we didn't have either so we can't comment on the food.
If you're here with a group and the weather's good then this seems like a quiet spot for some al-fresco dining on a budget! And just to the left of here is a short cut to the river-side.
Our room was on the 4th floor - accessed via the lift or stairs and keycard security. It slept five but luckily we had it all to ourselves! There's enough storage for five people but no safes, the cupboards however can be closed with a padlock but you'll need to bring your own. Each bed had a reading light and socket, there were leaflets for local attractions in a binder, and while the room was clean the en-suite with shower (and liquid soap but no towels) needed re-grouting and had a squinty toilet seat. The window looked out onto the car park and nearby buildings. The room temperature was just right, there were no noisy neighbours and we slept sound. Note that there's no WiFi in the rooms.
Due to time constraints our stay at YHA Berwick was over all too quickly, it was merely a place to rest our heads for the night, but we slept well and checking in and out was a breeze. Staff were very friendly and helpful, we noticed there was a good mix of guests and you don't need to be a YHA member to stay here, or at any other YHA property - though you do save money and receive other benefits if you sign up.
If a dorm isn't for you then you can pay a bit extra for a private room. Depending on the date a bed is £10 - £25 per night while a private room for two costs £30 - £60 so if you're on a budget it's an ideal place to stay. The YHA currently have a January Sale with discounts of up to 33% on beds and rooms. Simply book before 31st January, stay between 25th March & 4th September and use code NY2016-001 at the checkout.
We travelled to Berwick by train - most east coast services between Edinburgh and London stop here. The hostel is well-located, a short 10 - 15 minute walk downhill from the station and there are a couple of good pubs on the main road outside.
+ Good location, near to train station and amenities
+ Quick painless check in/out
+ Friendly helpful staff
+ Good value if you're on a budget
+ Secure entry
+ Food/drink available with plenty of seating
+ on-site parking
- En-suite toilet needs some TLC
- No 24 hour reception
- Need to pack your own towels and storage padlock if staying in a dorm
- No WiFi in room
We were invited to review a YHA Youth Hostel of our choosing and we consider this to be a fair review of the property.