My friend Lily and I spent a night at Stonehenge Hostel before attending the Summer Solstice at Stonehenge. Our plan was simple, stay at Stonehenge Hostel, relax and save our energy before the inevitable chaos and merriment that would ensue the following night!
Our evening at the hostel
We arrived at nearly 10pm after a long day of travelling only to realise that the reception is unmanned from 9:30pm. After a kind guest shouted down from a top window to ring the hostel, we did just that and the lovely lady on the other side of the phone provided us with a code for the key safe. We stepped inside with a sigh of relief.
We had booked two beds in a dorm of six. The room had an en-suite bathroom complete with a shower, as it turned out, we were the only people staying in the room that night. So we kicked off our shoes and got comfy!
The hostel has a fully equipped kitchen in which we made a massive salad and heated up a quiche for dinner. We then wandered through to the large comfy lounge with our dinners, looking for somewhere to eat. We opted to eat our hefty salad in the large conservatory. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find the light for the conservatory but were content to eat by the light of the neighbouring living room. We idly wondered what the garden looked like as we peered out into the darkness.
That night in our room we settled down under a warm duvet provided by the hostel and fell into a deep sleep.
Exploring the grounds the following morning
We were awoken the next morning by the sounds of playing children which were floating over from the nearby Forest School. How delightful!
After wandering down from our room, we were delighted to see the garden for the first time through the conservatory windows. It was a slice of paradise. With a large water feature, rose bushes, picnic benches and fruit trees.
Lily and I immediately began to explore down little paths lined with flowers. Slowly the garden began to open out and signs started to appear for pointing us towards rabbits, pygmy goats, and guinea pigs! I knew Stonehenge Hostel was located next to a rare breeds farm; I didn’t know the rare breeds farm would be immediately in the back garden! It was like magic to step out of the hostel and suddenly be petting sheep and admiring peacocks!
After walking the perimeter of the rare breeds farm, stopping only to say hello to the donkeys and exclaim at the number of ducks squeezed in one pond, we realised we were hungry for breakfast. And as if by magic we stumbled across the rare breeds farm café! The spacious café is located within a converted barn with a farm shop at one end and the café overlooking the farm at the other. We both opted for the English breakfast with came with a cup of tea or coffee included.
We had a few hours to kill before heading to Stonehenge for the evening. We curled up on the comfy sofas in the lounge and settled in to watch the new series of Black Mirror. The hostel is conveniently located just a short drive from Stonehenge, making it the ideal place to stay when visiting.
It was here in the lounge we met a lovely girl from Canada who had landed in England the day before, she needed a lift to Stonehenge and we happily obliged.
Giving Belles a lift to the Solstice ended up being the best decision we could have made. Lily was working as part of the welfare team at the Summer Solstice so I was originally intending to spend the evening alone. But thanks to making connections at the hostel, I spent the whole night with my new friend Belles instead! She was funny and smart and we chatted the night away. We even arranged for her to come and stay with me in Sheffield as part of her UK travels!
If it wasn’t for the communal areas at Stonehenge Hostel, my chances of making a great new friend like Belles would have been nearly impossible. I think this is the reason why hostels and hostel culture are so important – it facilitates friendship in a unique and wonderful way.
I would recommend Stonehenge Hostel to anyone. The beautiful gardens and kindly staff make it such a welcoming and special stay. I think it would be great for families with young children as slowly discovering the animals in the gardens is a truly magical experience.