Every time someone makes a booking on our site, they’re asked to review their stay in terms of location, character, security and more. Then, at the end of every year, we compile a list of the top hostels in the world from these reviews and award the crème de la crème at the annual Hostelworld.com Hostel Awards. So what are the Top 10 Hostels in the UK for 2012? Read on and find out!
1. Vagabonds, Belfast
Set in a beautifully renovated, listed building, guests tell us they love Vagabonds in Belfast due to its ‘really cool and super chill atmosphere’, the staff who were ‘really great and made you feel like you were part of the family’ and a common room which is ‘very cosy with nice décor’. Located close to Queen’s University, the Botanic Gardens, and just a 15 minute walk into the city centre, here you can stay in a twin or double room, or make friends with a stylish dorm option.
2. Global Village, Belfast
Do you fancy a stay in the heart of Belfast, close to some of the best pubs and restaurants in the city? Then check out Global Village! This hostel gets some great ratings, largely due to the fact that it’s run by an experienced globe trekker so they have the inside scoop on what a traveller wants. You’ll find it in the Queens Quarter, run by some energetic and helpful staff. There’s also a beer garden/BBQ area, pool table, board games and lots more entertainment on offer.
3. YHA London Oxford Street, London
Described as a ‘quiet getaway from the bustle of the busiest street in the world’, YHA London Oxford Street offers a tranquil stay in the heart of England’s capital city. Guests staying here are just minutes away from some of the busiest areas, trendiest streets and top-notch entertainment that London has to offer. Nevertheless, we think you’ll be amazed at the peaceful and relaxing surroundings at this top UK hostel.
4. Castle Rock Hostel, Edinburgh
If you fancy seeing one of Edinburgh’s most iconic landmarks as soon as you step outside the door of your hostel, then Castle Rock Hostel is for you. This backpackers’ haven oozes character, and the building itself dates back to 1846. In fact, the rooms are spacious and there’s free Wi-Fi, a patio for those sunny spells and an open fire for those not so sunny days.
5. Caledonian Backpackers, Edinburgh
One of Edinburgh’s most central hostels, this spacious backpackers offers clean rooms of all sizes and includes breakfast that’s served until 12 noon – great if you fancy a sleep in. There’s a bar/café in the hostel that has cosy couches and pool tables as well as a Wii and lots of board games to keep you entertained. Not only this but there’s also WiFi available, and the staff will even lend you a laptop free-of-charge to get you connected.
6. The Riverhouse Backpackers, Cardiff
This newly refurbished hostel is a neighbour to the Millennium Stadium but is also in a quiet location on the banks of the River Taff. It’s the perfect place to relax as there’s many books on offer for guests to read, or catch up on your email with the super-fast, free Wi-Fi. There’s also a great kitchen, free breakfast, free tea and coffee available, with free maps and helpful advice from the friendly staff.
7. Travel Joy Hostels Chelsea, London
In Travel Joy Hostels Chelsea you can chill out in a relaxed environment where you’ll feel right at home. This top hostel is located in a great area just between Chelsea and the Houses of Parliament – what more could you want from a London location?! There’s tons of great things on offer here for guests, including free tea/coffee/soft drinks, free linen and towels, free Wi-Fi in the entire building and even a free continental breakfast. There’s also a 24-hour bus that stops right outside to bring you to some of the city’s coolest sights.
8. YHA London Central, London
Spread out across seven floors, this spacious, modern hostel lies just five minutes from Oxford Street, making it the perfect location for exploring the sights of London, the entertainment scene, or shopping ‘til you drop on London’s busiest street. There’s also 24-hour reception where the friendly staff will only be too happy to assist you any time of day or night. And don’t forget to check out their on-site café bar!
9. The Fort Boutique Hostel, York
We think you’ll love the modern and stylish design that flourishes throughout the Fort, particularly in their guest rooms. There are quirky double/ twin rooms available along with a range of great dorm options. There’s also Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs if you want to kick back and relax in comfort. But if you do want to get out and about, this hostel is right in the heart of York, putting it quite close to many great restaurants and bars.
10. Budget Backpackers, Edinburgh
Despite being located in the lively Grassmarket area of Edinburgh, Budget Backpackers still manages to keep a relaxed and tranquil atmosphere behind its doors. It’s clean and cosy and there are tons of great common areas where you can hang out and get to know your fellow guests. They also organise lots of great activities for guests to take part in. There’s lots of great travel advice on-hand from the friendly staff, a great café and bar, 24-hour reception and funky designer rooms with lots of space.