3 top day trips outside of London

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Whether you’re new to London or you’ve come to call it home, there’s always something to do in the city in your free time. But if you fancy a change of scenery, then why not head further afield and explore some of its neighbouring counties?

London is surrounded by beautiful places waiting to be discovered – all of which are within a short drive or train ride from the capital. So, escape the hustle and bustle of city life and start exploring this summer…

1. Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead

Windsor-Castle-And-The-Long-Walk

Home to the historic market town of Windsor – most recently famous as the place where Prince Harry and Ms Meghan Markle got married and where the royal wedding was celebrated, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead is a beautiful and historic destination for a unique day out.

Walk the ‘Long Walk’ – a beautiful 2.65 mile tree-lined avenue, where you’ll be taken to the largest and oldest inhabited castle in the world and the Queen’s second home; Windsor Castle. And if you time it right, you can catch a glimpse of the guards marching through the streets of Windsor for the Changing of the Guard ceremony.

If you fancy a flutter on the horses, be sure to visit the world-famous Ascot Racecourse. Although most commonly known as the home of Royal Ascot in June, you’ll find races and events taking place all year round.

And of course, when it’s time to refuel, you won’t be disappointed with the range of restaurants, bars, cafes and pubs to enjoy – including some renowned Michelin-starred restaurants!

2. Buckinghamshire

Waddesdon-Manor-Country-House-

If you’ve not visited Buckinghamshire before, then you might be surprised at how familiar it looks. That’s because it’s home to the famous Pinewood Studios – one of Britain’s largest TV and film studios, and has been the backdrop for many films including Bond, Harry Potter and Bridget Jones’ Diary. You can visit the studios and even sign up for free tickets to be in the audience of live shows filmed there!

You can also visit the village of Missenden – the home of the world-famous author Roald Dahl. Walk through the countryside and take in the sights that inspired some of the late author’s greatest stories.

And how does a cellar stocked with over 10,000 bottles of wine sound? Don’t believe us? Check it out for yourself and sample some fine wines in the cellars of the magnificent Waddesdon Manor.

The Grade I listed house was built in the Neo-Renaissance style of a French chateau by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild between 1874 and 1885. The building opened to the public in 1959 and now displays the Rothschild Collections of paintings, sculpture and decorative arts. It’s the perfect place to soak up some culture, admire the beautiful manor grounds and take some time out.

3. Kent

Beautiful-Sunrise-At-Dungeness-Beach-Kent

Kent; also known as the ‘Garden of England’ for its abundance of orchards and hop gardens, and often referred to as the ‘Gateway to England’ because of its close proximity to mainland Europe.

But we like to know it as a great day out. Why? Because there’s so much to see and do. Located right on the south-east coast of England, and packed with some of the best beaches in Europe and the most Blue Flag beaches in the UK, it’s the perfect place to escape to on a sunny day!

For those not so sunny days, you can shop till you drop at Ashford Designer Outlet where you’ll find top designer brands under one roof. Or head to Bluewater – the largest shopping destination in the south east of England outside of London, where there’s over 330 shops, 40 cafes, bars and restaurants plus a 13-screen cinema to keep you occupied.

And if it’s history and culture you’re after, Kent is a treasure trove of historic attractions so you won’t be disappointed. From beautiful castles steeped in history such as Hever Castle, Leeds Castle and Dover Castle and historic dockyards, to the magnificent Canterbury Cathedral they’re all waiting to be explored.

If you’re visiting London and its surrounding counties, why not stay with us at One Penrhyn Road? Summer accommodation available until 2nd September with rooms available from just £215 per week. Contact us for more information on summer bookings. 

Leaving your student accommodation

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

For many students, university has finished for another year and it’s almost time to move out of your student accommodation. But as you pack up your belongings and get ready to leave, you might be wondering what to do with some of your things. Below we have some helpful information and suggestions for moving out.

Your belongings
Pinglocker logoIf you’re off travelling, staying with family or are visiting friends for a few months before you move into a new home, you might not know what to do with your possessions as you move out. That’s where Pinglocker can help; they provide convenient and affordable student storage in the UK. Not only can they store your items, but they can collect them and deliver them back to you as well. And with exclusive resident offers including free boxes and free insurance, it’s storage made simple.

Leftover food
Host Pause Logo Donation BoxAs you clear out your accommodation and rummage to the back of the kitchen cupboard, you might find some unopened tins of beans, packets of instant noodles and the like – which you didn’t get around to enjoying. If that’s the case, and you’re not going to bother taking them with you, then don’t let them go to waste; donate them to a local food bank. Here at Host, we’re supporting the Trussell Trust who provide emergency food for people in crisis. So, when you move out, donate any non-perishable food that you don’t want to people in need. You’ll find boxes near Reception where you can drop any unopened food in, and we’ll deliver it to the local foodbank on your behalf.

Non-perishable foods include: Cereal, tinned foods (soup, fruit, vegetable etc) pasta, rice, lentils, beans and pulses, tea/coffee, biscuits, UHT milk.

Unwanted clothes
cancer research collectionIt’s surprising how much can change in a year; trends, fashions and styles all pass as quickly as they arrived. What once suited you might not anymore, and what you feel comfortable in now might not be the same as what you did a few months ago. And as you pack, you might come across clothing you arrived at uni with in September and wonder what were you thinking wearing that? But if you no longer want items, don’t bin them; donate them to charity. We have a clothes collection basket here at One Penrhyn Road with all donations going to Cancer Research UK. Providing the clothing is clean and in a good condition, your donations would be greatly appreciated.

Foreign Currency
If you’ve travelled to another country in the last year and have any foreign currency lying loose and you’re not sure what to do with it, then we have a collection jar in Reception which you can drop any change into. We’ll then donate all the collected money to a local charity.

If your current contract has ended, if you’re studying over summer or you’re arriving in London early before the new term starts in September, we have summer accommodation available here at One Penrhyn Road. Contact us on +44(0)203 770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com for more information or to book.

Affordable student accommodation in London this summer

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Whether you’re visiting on vacation, you’re here on an internship or as part of a summer language course, or you’ve arrived in the city early ahead of the new academic year starting in September, there are many reasons why you may be in London this summer.

And although you might have your reason for being in the city, you might not know where you’re going to stay during your time here yet. You could stay in a hotel which can be a lovely luxury for a night or two, but if you’re staying for a longer period of time, it probably isn’t the most practical option as it can soon become very expensive. You could instead stay at a hostel. There are lots of hostels available in the city and it’s a much cheaper option and certainly won’t break the bank. However, sharing with others and staying in a hostel isn’t for everyone.

So, what if there was another option? One that offered the comfort, quality and privacy of a hotel, but didn’t burn your budget in the process? Well, if you’re visiting London, you’ll be pleased to hear there is; student accommodation.

Here at One Penrhyn Road, we provide accommodation to students during term time while they study at the local universities and colleges. But when the summer term ends, the majority of our students vacate in June, and our rooms become available through July and August for students like you to stay in before our new residents move in for the start of the new academic year in September.

So, what’s it like living at our student accommodation at One Penrhyn Road?

1. Location

Nestled in the heart of the beautiful Kingston upon Thames, One Penrhyn Road is ideally located for anyone who needs to be in and around London this summer. It’s just a stone’s throw away from the popular bars, restaurants and shopping districts of this bustling market town, and the town’s riverside location with meandering tow paths and its Royal Parks provide plenty of outdoor places to escape to when the sun’s shining. And with Kingston station only a short walk from our accommodation, you can jump on the train and be in Central London within 30 minutes.

2. Cost

Staying with us at One Penrhyn Road is the perfect solution for affordable London living throughout the summer months. We have private, self-catering studio rooms available starting at £215 per week – that’s less than £31.00 a night; which makes it’s much cheaper than a hotel, and can even be cheaper than a hostel in London. The less money you spend on accommodation, the more you’ll have to go out and experience the city!

3. Choice

Not every student’s reasons for staying in London are the same, and neither are their requirements for accommodation. That’s why we offer a variety of options to suit your needs. From Premium or Deluxe, to Deluxe Plus Studios, we have a number of room types available for you to choose from. And if you don’t have it with you, we can even provide bedding for a small cost, so you haven’t got to worry about bringing it with you.

And whether you’re visiting for a short period of time or the whole of summer, we have flexible contracts available so you can stay with us for as long as you need to (1 week minimum stay applies).

4. Facilities

At One Penrhyn Road, we offer much more than just a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen. We have a 24/7 staff presence on-site, free 100Mb Wi-Fi and we also offer a variety of on-site facilities for you to use throughout your stay including a games area with pool table, and communal lounge area with a large TV and comfy seating. You’ll also find an on-site laundry room with washing and drying facilities available for a small cost.

So, no matter your reason for visiting London this summer, make yourself at home with Host at One Penrhyn Road in Kingston. Learn more about living at One Penrhyn Road and our summer accommodation, or contact us on +44(0)20 3770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com to make a summer booking.

Celebrating Christmas in Halls

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Christmas is just around the corner. Which can only mean one thing; the first semester of term is finished. And how quick has this year gone!? It’s been a busy couple of months and now it’s time to relax and enjoy the well-deserved break. But where will you be spending this Christmas? While a lot of students are getting ready to head back home to celebrate and enjoy the day, some of you will be staying put. If you’re spending Christmas in halls, then we have some advice for you to make it as festive and merry as possible!

Celebrate with friends
Why not kick start this festive season by throwing a Christmas themed party with your friends and flat mates. Dress-up (do a competition for silliest and funniest Christmas jumper), meet new people, share your story about staying in halls and you’ll see that you’re not alone. You can even club together with others who are staying and buy everything you need to cook a Christmas Day feast. Then when you’re done, head to the common room and catch up on the best of the Christmas Day TV and movies.

Explore
Now is the perfect time to get out and appreciate what your city has to offer this Christmas. It doesn’t matter where you are, there are so many great things to see and do at this time of year. Experience the beauty of a city draped with sparkly lights that brighten the mood and spread festive warmth. Wonder the local towns and enjoy food and drink fresh from the street; after all there’s nothing better to lift your winter spirits than the aroma of mulled wine or hot chocolate and the glow of Christmas market stalls. And as a student living in London, a visit to Winter Wonderland (in Hyde Park) is a must! From ice-skating and fun fair rides to an ice kingdom and circus, there’s so much to see and keep you entertained. So, wrap up, put your cosy clothes on and start exploring the city!

Be productive
With several weeks off university, you may find you have a couple of days free with nothing to do. So, if you’ve got any assignments due or exams coming up in January, why not make the most of your time by doing some work or revision now while it’s quieter and you’re not as busy as in term time? We’re not saying spend the whole of the holidays with your head in a book, but making a start sooner will definitely ease some of the pressure in January.

And don’t forget to look out for the Christmas events we have planned here at One Penrhyn Road over the festive period!

Are you looking for student accommodation in London? Rooms available for Semester 2 (January 2018) and for September 2018. To find out more about our accommodation in Kingston, please contact our onsite management team today on +44(0)203 770 9119 or kingston@host-students.com.

Staying safe in London

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

As we all know, London is a big city. But even though it is big, it is also a very safe city – just as safe as anywhere else in the world. International students and their parents often wonder how safe it really is to study in another country, that they’ve never visited or spent much time in before. So, here are a few tips to help keep you safe while studying in London.

Student Accommodation
A lot of international students will stay in university halls of residence or private student accommodation when they come to London. These types of accommodation are safe options for students as they have secured entrances and exits which can only be accessed with a key card. You will also find there are manned receptions and staff on-site 24/7. Office staff are on-site throughout the day to answer any questions and assist students when needed. And then security staff takeover and are on-site throughout the night.

Your personal belongings
As a student living with us here at One Penrhyn Road, we provide you with free contents insurance from Endsleigh at no extra cost. This means all of your valuable items, such as laptops and mobile phones, are insured against theft or damage. You can find out more about what is and isn’t covered at https://www.endsleigh.co.uk/.

When out and about in London, you should avoid carrying a lot of cash around with you. The best advice would be to set up a UK student bank account and get yourself a debit card so you can easily pay for things and withdraw cash as and when you need to. Most shops and restaurants accept card payments in London.

Personal safety in London
London is a safe city, despite its size. During the day, you can walk around with friends or on your own and feel safe in London. Public transport including the underground and bus services operate throughout the day and night, but not all night.

However, it is very important to be aware of your surroundings at all times and you should avoid walking alone in the night time. We would always recommend to go home with a group of friends or even get in a pre-booked cab. Taxi companies also operate in all parts of the city throughout the day and night.

Are you still looking for student accommodation in London? We have short-term and long-term contracts available. To find out more about living with us here in Kingston, please contact us on +44(0)20 3770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com.

Short-term student accommodation in London

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

For a lot of students, they start the academic year in September and finish in June; staying in the same city throughout. This means they need accommodation in the same city for that whole period of time. However, this isn’t the case for everyone.

Some students may need to be in a different city for a period of time during their course because of placements or exchange semesters in the UK, and some students may be completing a short course which only lasts for a single semester and therefore don’t require a full year of accommodation. If that’s you, and you need short term accommodation in London, look no further.

Here at One Penrhyn Road in Kingston, we have a limited number of our Premium Studios available for students looking for a place to live during either your first or second semester of university. Giving you the flexibility to study and live in London, without the commitment of long tenancies.

If you’re looking for accommodation for semester one, we have Premium Studios available from 10th September 2017 until 7th January 2018 on a 17 week contract. If you’re not arriving in the city until the New Year, then our second semester contract is available from 7th January 2018 until 1st July 2018 on a 25 week contract.

No matter which semester you choose to stay with us at One Penrhyn Road, you’ll find everything you need to enjoy your student experience. Our totally self-contained Premium Studios come complete with a fully fitted kitchen, en-suite bathroom and study space. And not forgetting our comfortable and stylish social spaces for you to make the most of including a study area, games area and common area.

If you would like to find out more about our semester bookings, please contact us on +44(0)20 3770 9119 or at kingston@host-students.com.

Need a place to stay in London for summer?

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Summer is here and exams are finished, which means sunshine and ice-creams! But as much as we love them, there’s more to summer than just that. So, how will you be spending your time during the summer months?

London has so much to offer, and with university finished, there’s no better time to explore in and around the city than now. Do all of the touristy things you’ve wanted to do but not yet had chance to do, discover hidden gems to take your friends to when term starts in September, or use London as a central base and venture to the other corners of the country.

And whether you’re simply enjoying your summer break in London, continuing your studies, or even working in the city, why not stay with us here at One Penrhyn Road?

We have summer accommodation available in the beautiful area of Kingston – a historic town located in south-west London and situated on the picturesque River Thames. A place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of Central London, but still reach it within 25 minutes by train when you need to.

Our accommodation at One Penrhyn Road gives you the convenience and flexibility you need to enjoy yourself over the summer months. Whether you need a place to stay for just a few weeks, or perhaps the whole of summer, we have a range of Studio rooms – all with a private en-suite bathroom and fully fitted kitchen, available now right through until the 3rd September.

Starting to like the sound of it? Well, that’s not all. One of the best things about our summer accommodation is you can stay with us for as little as £178 per person per week – that’s just £25.43 a night! Plus, all of your bills are included in that price – even the Wi-Fi and internet!

And when you arrive back to us after a busy day out exploring, working or studying, you can relax and unwind in our modern and spacious social spaces. Put your pool skills to the test in the games area, catch up with your friends in the common area or watch the latest TV shows from the comfy seating area. Fancy a night out? One Penrhyn Road is just a stone’s throw from Pryzm nightclub and Kingston’s main high street. Not to mention Richmond Park, London’s biggest open space for you to enjoy on a sunny day.

Our doors are open to all students this summer – even if you’ve not stayed with us before. If you’re a student already living with us, why not extend your stay through summer, or visit another city and stay at one of our other halls? Whether it’s work or play, we can accommodate you.

To find out more about our summer accommodation, or to book, please contact our onsite management team today on +44(0)203 770 9119 or kingston@host-students.com.

May Day madness from around the world

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

This time of year isn’t easy for students and is often dreaded by many. Spending your days endlessly studying to meet deadlines and remembering everything you need to know for your exams. But in the end, those hours you put into revision will pay off as you graduate and enter the world of work. And while you might find yourself working some longer hours now and again in employment, the typical working day will be eight hours a day.

But did you know that our ancestors in London were also thinking a lot about eight hour days too? So much so that almost 1027 years ago to the day, 300,000 of them were demonstrating in Hyde Park in support of a change in legislation for an eight-hour working day – as opposed to the 10 to 16 hour days they were experiencing. And that demonstration was just the beginning of what we now know as May Day.

So, not only do we have our ancestors to thank for the eight hour working day, but also for the extra day off and the long weekend ahead for May Day. How will you be celebrating the long weekend? Well, if you’ve not got any plans and want a break from your revision, why not take some inspiration from others? Here are some fun facts about how people around the globe celebrate May Day:

Germany
In Germany, the night before May Day, men cover trees with streamers outside the house of a girl he likes. Whilst the women place flowers or rice in the form of a heart at the house of their beloved one.

Greece
It is tradition in Greece to pick flowers and use them to create a May Day wreath to hang on your door.

France
In France, Lily of the Valley or Dog Rose flowers are given as a symbol of springtime.

Finland
Towns across Finland see statues crowned with student caps.

Bulgaria
In Bulgaria, rituals are followed to protect people from lizards and snakes, as their May holiday is associated with these ravenous reptiles.

Scotland
Students in St Andrews in Scotland run into the sea at sunrise to celebrate spring. This often involves very little clothes…!

England
If you head to Durham in the northeast of England, you’ll come across another student tradition to celebrate Spring. Students gather on Prebends Bridge to see sunrise, and they celebrate with a BBQ breakfast, folk music, dancing and singing.

Italy
The Italian’s celebrate Spring with a seasonal feast.

And what about here in London? Well, the traditional way to celebrate May Day include Morris dancing, the crowning of a May Queen and dancing around a Maypole. But, if you don’t fancy doing that, then here are some top events going on in and around the city this weekend.

If you’re in need of a place to live while you study in London, contact us on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 or email us at kingston@host-students.com for more information about our luxurious studios and clean and airy communal areas at One Penrhyn Road.

Celebrate Chinese New Year in London

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Chinese New Year, or Spring Festival as it is also known as, is one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar. The first day of the New Year falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice, and ends 15 days later on the full moon. Each New Year is represented by one of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar.

This year is the year of the Rooster, and the first day of the Chinese New Year falls on Saturday 28th January. And if you’re looking to join in the celebrations, there are lots of festivities going on in London to welcome in the New Year.

Head down to Trafalgar Square on Sunday 29th January where an opening ceremony with special guests will take place to kick off the celebrations. Then follow a colourful parade through the city, and stage performances including acrobats, dragon and flying lion dances, martial arts and much more. Don’t forget to visit a stall-filled Chinatown for even more fun and activities with food stalls and dancing. Then make your back to Trafalgar Square to end the evening where they’ll be fireworks and a spectacular show.

Check out visitlondon.com for more information about the celebrations. If you’re a student living at Host, pop down to reception and find out if there are any events taking place in the hall to celebrate Chinese New Year.

Here at One Penrhyn Road all our luxurious studios have a purpose built study area as standard and our students are able to take advantage of our clean and airy communal study areas. To find out how you can join our thriving student community in 2017 please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3770 9119 for more information and to make a booking.

Kingston Carnival returns this weekend

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

With September here, last month’s Olympic games in Rio feel like a distant memory. But what if you could re-live the wonderful colours and excitement of Rio all over again?

This Sunday (4th September), sees the return of Kingston Carnival to the streets of South West London. And this, year, there’s a special Brazilian-theme and green ideology inspired by the Rio Olympics.

Now in its 14th year, Kingston Carnival brings together local communities and celebrates diversity. Along with dancing, live music, stalls and food available between 12pm – 7pm, there’s also the main street parade taking place at 12pm from Guild Hall.

So, head down to Kingston this weekend where you can join in with the fun and celebrations – what’s more, it’s free to attend!