YHA Canterbury reviewed for families

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As a family of 4, we look for good value, well-located accommodation wherever we travel. Anyone who has travelled as a family can tell you rooms for four in any city can be hard to come by and expensive.

We have stayed in hostels in Europe and Asia in the past and hope to do so in the future because they really work for us. So on our recent trip to Kent, we were looking at places to stay in the Cathedral City of Canterbury, we put the YHA Canterbury Hostel to the test!

Many families do not consider a stay at hostels as they think of them of a party place where families are not welcome but many hostel are now trying to change that and the YHA brand hostels are leading the way in this area.

Have you stayed at a YHA Hostel?

The Canterbury city YHA is located in a gorgeous Victorian-era multi-story house. There is a small amount of car parking out the front (9 car parks) The friendly staff will happily check you in and tell you about the facilities available on-site as well as ones in the local area.

Like all good hostels, the YHA do this very well for visitors to the hostel. There will be a rack that is full of brochures and pamphlets emphasising the sights and attractions of the area.

2 kids relaxing at the YHA Canterbury  in the lobby listening to music and using their phones
The girls waiting in the lobby to check-in

What facilities does the YHA Canterbury have?

The friendly staff will happily inform you about any of this historic town’s local attractions. Local knowledge is the absolute best!

Being a refitted repurposed house, you won’t find a big all-in-one common room, bar and cafe like you would at, say, YHA Central London. Everything is done from the small but central office. It is like being back in school and waiting in line to see the principal.

At the office, you can order coffee and cake, 5 different types of pizza, beer, wine and cider. The YHA Canterbury offers a rotating meal deal every evening. You can get a 2-course meal for 9.95 GBP. Some of the meals on offer include

  • Beef Lasagne and Orange sponge with custard
  • Cumberland sausage and mashed potato with honey sponge & custard
  • Chicken Tikka Masala and lemon meringue pie

As a progressive company, YHA also offers a vegetarian option for all meals and a vending machine for snacks.

Communal lounge at YHA Canterbury looking out into the very green back yard and the small hut that you can stay in
The common room at the YHA Canterbury

The communal room features couches for relaxing and chairs for playing board games and cards. The office has a large selection of board games that you can borrow and play, perfect for families staying in a hostel. There is also a bookcase full of reading material and a TV on the wall to keep you entertained.

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What are the rooms like at the Canterbury YHA Hostel?

The 15 rooms are mainly 4- —and 6-bed dorm-style rooms with bunk beds. Some rooms have ensuites available; make sure you ask for this when booking.

Dorm room at YHA Canterbury with 2 sets of bunk beds and green doona covers
Dorm rooms at the YHA Canterbury
Cabin room at YHA Canterbury with a wooden interior, a double bed on the bottom bunk and a single on top
The amazing accommodation at The Shire

There are toilets and showers on every floor for those without an ensuite. Towels and toiletries are not provided but are available to hire or purchase from reception.

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YHA Canterbury and The Shire

The real charm lies in the Shire, an area out the back of the main house. There, you will find 3 large deluxe cabins. They remind me of hobbit houses from Lord of the Rings.

A small wooden cabin at the back of the YHA Canterbury. The path leads to the front door through the green grass. It looks like a small hobbits hut
One of the amazing cabins in Shire at the YHA Canterbury

These cabins sleep 5, with 3 single beds (2 elevated) and one queen bed. The cabins feature shower and toilet facilities, fridge and microwave. The kids loved the cabins, it gave you camping like feel but in the middle of a city.

Can you cook, clean and wash at the YHA Hostel Canterbury?

In the main house’s basement, you will find a laundry for clothes washing, which is always handy for families travelling. The kitchen features 2 stoves with oven tops, plenty of pots and pans and cooking utensils.

Laundry room at the Canterbury hostel with the dryer and washer stacked on top of each other
Laundry anyone?
The colourful Kitchen at YHA Canterbury with blue cupboards and orange splash backs it looks fully stocked for a big cook up.
Perfect spot for a cook-up!
Dining room at Canterbury YHA with plenty of dark wood tables and chairs for people to sit on. SOme are picnic tables and some are full dining tables with chairs
Find a spot for dinner

You could easily cook a 5-star meal in the Canterbury YHA kitchen. There is a dining table in the kitchen for the family to sit around while the meals are cooked.

The downstairs dining room accommodates 32 people for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Is the YHA Canterbury Centrally located?

The Canterbury Hostel is centrally located and easy to find if you’re coming from London. The world-famous Canterbury Cathedral and city wall are just 1.3 kilometres away from the hostel.

Canterbury Cathedral with its sandstone pillars and stained glass windows. It looks a little dull in the weather as it has been raining
The Canterbury Cathedral is within walking distance of the YHA Canterbury

There is a Sainsbury store just 400 meters away near the Canterbury city centre for all your food supplies. The white cliffs of Dover, Sandwich and the Channel Tunnel are just 30 minutes away. This hostel is the perfect launching point to catch a ferry to France or to do one of the popular Uk walking routes along the White Cliffs.

Was the YHA Canterbury a winner for families?

Yes, definitely. If you’re looking for quality Canterbury accommodation at a budget price, look no further than YHA Canterbury. Have you tried a hostel for families when looking for your next perfect weekend city break or holiday accommodation?

We hope this article from us here at Wyld Family Travel has you inspired to visit Canterbury and stay at the YHA Canterbury. There are so many things to do in Canterbury that will have you entertained for your families the whole stay in Canterbury, and staying at the Canterbury Youth Hostel is the perfect place to help you see it all.

For more amazing ideas on where to holiday in the United Kingdom click through to our England Destination Guide page for more brilliant inspiration.

We have stayed at some amazing hostels throughout Asia and Europe feel free to click through to our Hostel reviews page to book your next stay.

More travel inspiration for your trip to England

Rebecca Wyld


Content Creator/SEO Editor

Co-founder and SEO editor here at Wyld Family Travel. Bec has travelled to over 45 countries across 3 continents and is a journey with kids advocate. When Bec is not planning travel, she creates content for our family travel blog or does local community service work. You can find all of Bec’s detailed travel guides here on Wyld Family Travel and on other popular websites such as Lonely Planet.

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