Easy to find, the hostel is situated close to both train and bus stations, but unfortunately also near one or two noisy bars (to sleep, earplugs are a must, like in any youth hostel). Early arrivals can leave their luggage in the office and use the premises (kitchen, living room, bathroom, and computers). Beds are allocated later in the afternoon. No curfew; a code is issued for the front door and a magnetic card for the room. The dorms all have small lockers for valuables. Bring your own lock or buy one there.
The staff was friendly, welcoming and willing to help. I was given a short tour of the place when I arrived at lunch and eventually given my bed (with quite a good mattress) in a dorm of 6 girls (3 bunk beds) when I came back at 6 p.m. While sheets, duvet and pillow were supplied, towel & toiletries were not. Plenty of pots and pans were on hand to cook on the stove (you had to wash your own dishes of course) and a couple of small fridges were standing under the counters to put things away. For breakfast, toast and cereal, coffee, tea and juice were available every morning after 7 a.m. The whole place was clean including the couple of showers/toilets and the terrace closed every night at 11 p.m.
There was only the one ceiling light for all of us, so the lack of a small individual light beside the bed was felt. Also a small chair/table in the room would have been handy. Last, while the walls were not extra thin, one could hear doors slam, especially late at night. That being said, overall, considering the number of people in the hostel, it was reasonably quiet for this kind of lodging.
Nearby, to buy food, there was a Mark & Spencer on High St. and a large Sainsbury at the Westgate shopping centre. The train station also had a small M & S-food only. As well, a small Sainsbury could be found on St-Giles St., all within 5-10 min. walk.
To go to Cambridge: The X5 bus is the simplest way (3 1/2 hrs). Reserve your ticket ahead through the Megabus website for a very low price (depending on the departure time). Using the train means going back to London and is therefore as time consuming as the bus but much more expensive.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Central Backpackers, Oxford’s premier Backpackers Hostel accommodation. Central Backpackers brings a new level of comfort and security to the hostel experience. With a huge range of free services including Internet, light breakfast, 24 hr access, lockers in all dorm, BBQ deck area everything you need to make your trip safe, comfortable and enjoyable. Located in the centre of Oxford’s Historical University city. Central Backpackers is less than a 5 minute walk from the bus station, train station, Oxford’s Castle/Prison complex, Museums and vibrant student nightlife. ... more less
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