Bristol accommodation

(43 Posts)
stonecircle Mon 03-Oct-16 18:56:07

DH went with DS to an open day at Bristol a couple of weeks ago. They were both very unimpressed with the accommodation they saw. I was surprised as I'd expect universities to wheel out their best accommodation on open days.

DH has just been saying again that it was dire - and he's the family open day chauffeur so he's seen plenty over the last few years.

However, DS likes the city and the course so I'm just wondering if anyone else has any comments. It's also fairly expensive for what it is.

Also looking at Bath, Nottingham, Southampton, Sussex, York and Leeds. Any advice about accommodation at those places would be very welcome.

Squirrills Mon 03-Oct-16 19:19:32

Can't help with Bristol but I have DS at York.
I think there is probably a range of accommodations at all unis.

He went on his own to the York open day and said the accommodation was dire. It was the best course though so he applied. When he went back for the offer day they showed us different, much nicer accommodation. He's in a modern block well fitted out room with tiny en-suite and a decent kitchen between 6.

I went with him to Nottingham and all the halls are around the field on the edge. We saw several rooms ranging from a shared room (grim) to smart en-suites. Much of Nottingham is catered though and he wanted S/C. The self catered is on a different campus.

hellsbells99 Mon 03-Oct-16 19:29:28

I wouldn't pick a university based on the accommodation as your DC may be allocated somewhere they haven't chosen. My DD is at Leeds and has great accommodation but there is another thread on here where some DCs haven't. DD1's friend is at Bristol and been given a shared room which she didn't want. My 2 DDs said that a lot of their friends didn't get their first choice accommodation at various universities.

Peaceandl0ve Mon 03-Oct-16 19:36:04

My DD is in Hiatt Baker self catered as a fresher. So far v impressed, the room and en suite lovely and clean, free use of a small gym on site, bus pass to uni included in the price. Cant speak about any other accomodation.

stonecircle Mon 03-Oct-16 19:48:34

Hells bells - no intention of picking based on accommodation and I know from recent experience that students don't necessarily get the accommodation they want. I was just surprised that if the 'showcase' accommodation at Bristol was grotty then what must the rest of it be like!

hellsbells99 Mon 03-Oct-16 19:50:33

Good point stonecircle!

Leeds2 Mon 03-Oct-16 22:35:45

Only UK Open Day I went to was Bath, and they had a wide variety of accommodation (in terms of what was offered and price) on show. DD and I were looking at the most expensive, and there were lots of moans about how they had no intention of paying for mood lighting, and it was a ridiculously high price. Looked round the cheapest, and there were people moaning that it didn't have en suite. My point, I guess, is that I would look on line and see what they have to offer - it may be that the "nicest" accommodation, for whatever reason, wasn't on show.

My friend's DS was at Nottingham, and lived in for 4 years with an en suite and kitchenette. He loved it, although don't know if he moved into a second year hall when he was a second year etc.

NapQueen Mon 03-Oct-16 22:38:41

Maybe they show the naff accommodation on purpose. "So parents welcome to Bristol university you can either take X accommodation or you can upgrade at great £££ to our superior accommodation " - instantly motivating parents to pay more!

LetitiaCropleysCookbook Mon 03-Oct-16 22:49:53

My ds was at Goldney (Clifton) in his 1st year at Bristol, and loved it! The accommodation is divided up into 'flats' with maybe 8 bedrooms (mixed) a large kitchen and a couple of bathrooms.

The grounds are lovely. An episode of Sherlock featured the Orangery there (not relevant, but interesting, if you like Sherlock!) Yes it is fairly pricey, but par for the course in Bristol, I think.

ErrolTheDragon Mon 03-Oct-16 23:10:04

My DD really liked some of the older accommodation in bristol (she went to the earlier open day straight after AS finished), perhaps one persons 'grotty' is another persons 'characterful'? But those (esp goldney with its lovely garden) tend to be oversubscribed, and she didn't like the look of the rather soulless modern blocks esp as some are well towards the city centre. Anyway, the dept talk and lab tours were lacklustre compared to other places so it dropped off her list.

Southampton iirc was ok, fairly standard stuff - and the department shes interested in more convincing.

fatowl Mon 03-Oct-16 23:17:36

I was at Hiatt Baker 30 years ago!

I'd decide if you wanted SC or fully catered, Clifton halls or further out.
Back in the late 1980s Baddock Hall was the party hall! Hiatt baker was quieter. Wills hall people were the private school peeps with a chip on their shoulder that they weren't at oxbridge.
But I am 30 years out of date.

My dd went to Nottingham (graduated last year)
She was in Albion - loved it.

1st year accommodation is such a minor thing in the whole uni experience i would let it bother you.

fatowl Mon 03-Oct-16 23:18:10

Wouldn't confused

ErrolTheDragon Mon 03-Oct-16 23:26:56

I saw a comment on another thread to the effect that some of the bristol accommodation was fine for kids used to boarding school.

stonecircle Mon 03-Oct-16 23:28:23

It's not bothering me at all. It's just one thing to think about. DS2 didn't have the best accommodation experience last year so we're just aware that DS3 ought to give it some thought (as opposed to no thought like his brother!)

I've heard more negative comments about Bristol accommodation than anywhere else so wondered if there was an issue with it.

Needmoresleep Tue 04-Oct-16 07:27:10

What did he see and what does he mean by dire?

DD deferred her place and has not been to an open day, so needs to look round before putting in her accommodation form. However Internet research suggested there are two main areas of accommodation, older trad accommodation up the hill near the sports fields and newer, higher spec private accommodation near the port and nightlife, with some more in Clifton.

From what I read on The Student Room it's horses for courses, neatly segregating the party types from the sporty types. There is a mix of catering and non catering, Wills has formals to appeal to those hankering after Oxbridge.

I suggest he looks through the accommodation offer and then through comments on The Student Room. My impression was that there was effectively something for everyone.

blueskyinmarch Tue 04-Oct-16 07:43:16

My DD is in first year at Bristol. She wanted catered halls. She put down Churchill as her first choice but didn't get it. She is in Badock. It is a bit scruffy but she has made her room nice and she has makes a great group of friends. She is not a party animal and put this on her accommodation application and they seem to have taken heed of this. Her corridor is full of lovely girls who are not fussed for partying and getting drunk. They get a bus pass if the are in the Stoke Bishop halls and there appears to be a good bus service from there to the uni and into town. Overall she is happy with where she is.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 04-Oct-16 08:12:48

I think it was more mixed than other places mine has looked at. If someone didn't take the bus out to Stoke Bishop where most of the halls are, or towards town where the new stuff is, and just looked at the places in Clifton, then (if they didn't think 'character' and love the library) they might well think 'grotty'. Not many en suite, and some rooms don't even have a sink.

Even at the stoke bishop halls some looked quite tired, maybe bristol rests on its laurels a bit and doesn't keep up with the refurbishment cycle as well as they might if they had to try harder to attract students?

blueskyinmarch Tue 04-Oct-16 08:33:27

DD2 doesn’t have a sink in her room. For a girl used to her own en suite at home i thought she might hate having no privacy but she says it is fine. She says the girls often congregate in the toilet/sink ares when they are going out and do each others hair and make up.

Compared to DD1’s accommodation in Glasgow (Murano Street anyone?) Badock seems nice!

Peaceandl0ve Tue 04-Oct-16 10:04:54

I am pretty sure that most universities have good and bad accommodation. Surely most prospective students will look at the uni accommodation website to see the range of halls prior to rejecting a uni on the basis of their room. Which hall was the one viewed during the open day, anyone with an offer might like to return for offer holder days and go for a look around some of the other locations?

My DD was lucky to have been placed with other sporty, party sometimes not all the time students in her flat. However, this is what she put in her biography blurb they all had to send in with the accommodation request.

mouldycheesefan Tue 04-Oct-16 11:25:08

Bristol has some fantastic accommodation, like pp said look at goldney house, Clifton hill house, wills hall. It also has some 70s style blocks like Hyatt baker. Less attractive aesthetically but doesn't mean they are not well equipped inside.
Surprised he thought accommodation was dire, which halls did he see?

Peaceandl0ve Tue 04-Oct-16 11:44:53

Hey Stonecircle, which Halls was it?

stonecircle Tue 04-Oct-16 12:04:01

I don't know! And I doubt if he would remember the name now - several universities have been visited since. He's focusing on courses, grade requirements and whether he likes the area rather than first year accommodation.

DS and DH would both appreciate 'character' but not, I think, cracked sinks and high student:bathroom ratios.

Sure all universities will have a range of accommodation. I was just wondering if what DS and DH saw was the best Bristol had to offer!

stonecircle Tue 04-Oct-16 12:05:01

I don't know! And I doubt if he would remember the name now - several universities have been visited since. He's focusing on courses, grade requirements and whether he likes the area rather than first year accommodation.

DS and DH would both appreciate 'character' but not, I think, cracked sinks and high student:bathroom ratios.

Sure all universities will have a range of accommodation. I was just wondering if what DS and DH saw was the best Bristol had to offer!

bojorojo Tue 04-Oct-16 12:07:08

I think it is best to show potential students what the accommodation is really like instead of dressing up what is available. Bristol has three fairly distinct student areas. On an open day,lots of students do not have time to go out to Stoke Bishop where there are a variety of halls. Goldney is perennially popular and yes, Wills (old quad) is fairly boarding school heavy as it is pretty old fashioned - just like lots of boarding schools and young people who have boarded get over the privacy issue pretty quickly! Wills has a newer block though and the hall is catered and has formal dinners. Churchill is popular and Hiatt Baker (formerly nicknamed Shite Baker!) has been done up. The transport system from Stoke Bishop works well and late night trips back to hall always involve a taxi to keep safe. Not expensive though.

Students who want to fall out of bed into lectures go for Clifton area halls and houses. This area is livelier with cafes and supermarkets around but I am not sure about the quality of the accommodation here and lots of open day students just look at these rooms.
Lastly there are the newer halls in the city area which are much nearer the pubs and clubs. A friend's DS chose one of these and loved it but it is a noisier area. If a young person is quieter, I would avoid these.

My DD had friends in most of the Stoke Bishop halls and one of these would be my top pick. You can easily walk to other halls to meet friends. If you want to avoid old fashioned furniture and shared bathrooms avoid the quad at Wills. However it has a great atmosphere and often it is who your friends are that make a hall rather than the building and furnishings. Also, as Bristol does have lots of students who don't mind not gave her all nod cons, they have a variety of galls and prices.

ErrolTheDragon Tue 04-Oct-16 12:08:23

Its entirely possible that they didn't see any of the newer stuff. I think the uni website has accommodation details, probably pictures.

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