Image: Wikimedia Commons/Snowmanradio
Image: Wikimedia Commons/Snowmanradio

A student’s guide to Warwick’s campus accommodation

Living on campus is not only the most convenient thing to do in your first year when it comes to getting around and finding your way – it’s the best way to make friends and settle into life at university. There are currently 13 undergraduate halls on campus, each with different options and facilities to cater to different needs. Whether you are a first-year with little knowledge of the benefits and pitfalls of each accommodation or a final year coming back from a year abroad, the best way to choose your home for the next year is to learn about it from personal experiences. Students share their experiences and knowledge of the accommodation that they lived in during their first years. 

Arthur Vick by Nicole Karageorgi

Living in Arthur Vick in my first year was an experience that I enjoyed immensely. I remember being very nervous about moving away from home for the first time, but I found it to be a friendly and sociable accommodation.

I had no problems making friends, especially with the open corridors of Arthur Vick, which allowed people to easily meet friends from other kitchens. This is something that may be more restricted in different accommodation blocks due to the flat-style layout so bear this in mind when choosing. I do have to admit that the open corridors meant that anyone could access our kitchen if we didn’t lock it, which did cause a few problems with stolen food, but that was quickly resolved by the helpful Residential Life Team.

The kitchens are very spacious, accommodating up to 14 students, which allows plenty of room for everyone to cook at the same time. Each kitchen has two fridges, two freezers and everyone gets two cupboard spaces each, which is a luxurious amount of space for student accommodation. The individual rooms are such a lovely size, including an ensuite which has a bath and they are cleaned once a week.

Arthur Vick is definitely a hidden treasure of the campus accommodation blocks

The worst part of living in Arthur Vick is having to move out everything over Easter. This ended up not being too bad because each room has a lockable cupboard where things can be left and there is a storage room along the corridor for bigger items. My favourite thing about Arthur Vick is the location. It’s close to pretty much everything including the essentials of Tesco, the Library and the SU. I very much enjoyed the luxury of waking up just 10 minutes before my lecture and still being able to make it in time.

Arthur Vick is definitely a hidden treasure of the campus accommodation blocks, with many students not likely to walk in its direction unless they live there. It’s a peaceful abode, surrounded by woodland to get away from the hustle and bustle of campus life. I wouldn’t wish to have lived anywhere else in my first year at Warwick. Arthur Vick has the perfect balance of a social lifestyle and peaceful living and in my opinion, is the best accommodation of them all.

Bluebell by Alex Byrne

The only real downside to staying in Bluebell is the looks you get when you tell people that’s where you stay. The bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms are spacious and comfortable, with the three-quarter double beds being a highlight. The desk areas also provide a fine space to make your way (or not) through all the tribulations of first year. Although at times the kitchens can feel a little small, they are more than made up for by the bean bags.

My favourite thing about Bluebell was its location. It was far enough away from all my classes that I could feel some distance to the working side of uni when I came back, but close enough that when I overslept I didn’t miss too much of my lectures. The beautiful pond and greenery surrounding the back of the Bluebell blocks also gave me somewhere to go whenever I needed to clear my head, or just enjoy the fresh air. The recent rise in Bluebell’s fees is sure to be a deterrent (I know it would be now for me), but if you are able to look past that it has all you could want in accommodation.

Claycroft by Noah Keate

Officially, Claycroft is an accommodation option with shared bathrooms. For those who are desperate for an ensuite, that may seem off-putting. However, my experience was that you basically get an ensuite as Claycroft only involves sharing a bathroom with one another person, which, provided you have a good flatmate, makes it a far better option. Costing £137 per week, Claycroft is priced well between other residences and contains the best of both worlds.

Most living spaces are the same regardless of accommodation. My kitchen of eight was a reasonable size. With a large fridge and freezer, there was adequate space for each of us to cook, whether that was a proper meal or a Pot Noodle. Claycroft is also advantageous in its distance to Cannon Park shopping centre, barely a five-minute walk which made carrying food and the whole shopping experience far easier.

The best thing about Claycroft is its distance to everything on campus. The halls of residence are located near enough to buildings to make 9 am lectures bearable – a sprint from Westwood is not required. However, it retains some distance from the central campus, which allows some peace and quiet. This is best enjoyed on the Claycroft backfield, which is beautiful and a perfect space for jogging. My only regret is that the pandemic prevented more opportunities appreciating Claycroft, which was, fundamentally, a reassuring start to my first time living away from home.

Cryfield Standard by Cerys Turner

Cryfield Standard, being the second cheapest accommodation block, naturally involves sharing with quite a few people. Although the idea of using the same four toilet cubicles as 21 other students might be a turn-off, as someone who has survived the experience, fear not. Awkward midnight bump-ins are a rarity, and while the kitchens and bedrooms are cramped, having the opportunity to live with that many different people is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing.

You’ll be meeting a mixture of ages, cultures and personalities that becomes an amazing, albeit slightly over-spilling, melting-pot of memories. My roommates quickly became my closest friends, and the time I had there, although cut short by the virus-that-will-not-be-named, is treasured. Plus, it’s two minutes away from the main campus, so the 2 am POP! return with your trusty Christian Union biscuits is made even sweeter with the shortened distance. I would highly recommend Cryfield Standard.

Cryfield Townhouse by Charlotte Earl

Holding the title of Warwick’s newest accommodation, having only opened last year, Cryfield Townhouses are spacious, modern and definitely a strong contender for the title of Warwick’s nicest accommodation. Every room has an ensuite and a three-quarter double bed (the only other accommodation to have this is Bluebell).

The kitchens are also amazing with plenty of space for 12 residents and each kitchen has sofas and even a TV. Some people do complain about the lack of storage space in the rooms, but each floor has a large communal storage cupboard for suitcases and boxes.

The only major issue I had with Townhouses was the climb to my room on the top floor. The seemingly endless flights of stairs can be an absolute killer after a night out and just popping down to the kitchen can feel like an intense workout. Being in Townhouses also grants you access to the brilliant Cryfield Townhall which has a study space, laundry area, music practice and meeting rooms and even a cinema room. It is very central and you can walk to the SU and main lecture theatres in five minutes.

Heronbank by Alice Standen

I was delighted to get my top preference when it came to accommodation and have enjoyed the year that I spent at Heronbank North. The red bricks give it a rustic, vintage feel and I enjoyed the brisk walk to lectures in the morning, often passing the wild bunnies that live nearby. The rooms are a great size and hot baths were a great comfort during the cold winters.

However, I did apply to this accommodation because I was told that it was one of the quieter ones and that didn’t turn out to be true at all. Several flats near me were noisy, especially when I was trying to sleep, and we also had more middle-of-the-night fire alarms than any other accommodation. I’d advise investing in earplugs if you’re as sensitive as me.

My friends and I were also disappointed several times by the accommodation staff, who only made half-hearted attempts to help with our problems. We also found the staff very difficult to contact as every call I ever made went to voicemail. It just felt like I was annoying them.

However, the rooms themselves are a decent size, including the kitchen and dining room (the only communal spaces). It’s definitely a good accommodation for its price.

Jack Martin by Mady Hammond

Though it may be most widely known as Arthur Vick’s awkward counterpart, I can guarantee Jack Martin is a fantastic starting point for your university adventure. This accommodation is conveniently situated just minutes from the SU (ideal for POP! pre-drinks) and is only a short walk from most departments, which is great for the last-minute lecture dashes.

For the student who wants the social aspect of halls without it getting too crazy, Jack Martin is the accommodation for you – having up to 13 people per kitchen means that whilst there’s always someone around, it’s not quite as hectic as some of the busier accommodations can be.

The 35-week contract means you have to move out over the Easter break before returning for term 3, which is worth keeping in mind. Additionally, it is on the more expensive side of accommodations, although the shorter contract saves on rent over the Easter break. For the prospective Jack Martin resident, my biggest tip would be to not bring too much stuff, as the rooms aren’t massive and storage space is limited but as one of the most central ensuite accommodations, Jack Martin is certainly not one to miss.

Lakeside by Lauren Nicholson

Lakeside was my first choice of accommodation for two reasons. Firstly, it looked the prettiest. The lake is so lovely and at the end of first-year, one of my fondest memories is having a picnic with friends by the lake. The walk back from main campus is calming and not as long as everyone makes it out to be.

This then leads to my second reason – Lakeside is separated from the main areas of campus, though not as much as Westwood. Before the whirlwind of university culture engulfed me, I hated partying and Lakeside is great for anyone who prefers quiet nights in. I know friends who lived in Bluebell heard POP! every Wednesday during term time whereas I think there was only one evening when I struggled to sleep because of the noise. Fire alarms are also rare unlike in accommodations such as Rootes.

From what I can remember, the rooms were the biggest I had seen on campus. I loved the fact that my ensuite had a bath too. Having to stumble back from POP! or Juicy at 2 am for 15 minutes while my friends enjoyed their three-minute walks were the only times I wished I had chosen somewhere else.

Rootes by Caitlan Cassidy

Rootes has something of a reputation on campus as the party-hard halls. This isn’t true of every flat, but even if one is quiet there will be parties above or below at least a few times per week.

As a result, if you’re sensitive to noise, I wouldn’t recommend that you choose to live here. On the other hand, as someone who likes to party but not all the time, I found it very convenient. Often parties would start in Rootes and then move on to another accommodation or a separate bar or club at around 11 pm or 12 am. If you want to only party a bit, then you can wander into the kitchen, play a few drinking games and then go to bed, all without putting shoes on.

Rootes is also located right in the centre of campus, and for the price the rooms and facilities are quite nice, big kitchens and enough bathroom space. However, someone left a bag of rotting food in our kitchen, which attracted flies and people sometimes puked in bathrooms. We also found human waste in our shower not once, but twice. Most people only have one gross event, so I was unlucky, but overall, I enjoyed living there.

Sherbourne by Evie Taylor

I would say that one of the best things about Sherbourne is the kitchens – they are spacious and modern, which is really important as they are your main communal space. The rooms are also really light and in great condition, as it is one of the newer accommodations.

The biggest complaint students have about Sherbourne is probably its distance from the centre of campus, but it’s often exaggerated as the walk only takes around 10 minutes. Sherbourne is also very close to the sports centre and only two minutes’ walk away from other accommodations, including Lakeside and Heronbank.

Sherbourne is one of the largest accommodations overall, with nine blocks in total, so if you really want an ensuite, it is likely to be a safe option to choose.

One element that I hadn’t even considered was that there are automatic locks on the doors to each flat, unlike in most other accommodations. This does make it a lot harder to get to know other people in your block as there isn’t really any opportunity to meet them.

However, the automatic locks do also have positive effects as it feels safer and reduces noise, with only your flatmates walking past your room. Additionally, the flats are quite big, with 13 people in each, so it is likely that at least a few of them will become close friends. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Sherbourne, and if you are looking for spacious, modern accommodation, I would highly recommend it.

Sherbourne Shared Room by Simona Valeviciute

Having a roommate is something that is often portrayed in American films. However, much to many people’s surprise it is also a possibility at Warwick. Bluebell, Sherbourne and Rootes currently all offer twin rooms. This is a room which is suited for two people. It has two beds, wardrobes, desks and chairs. If it is in Bluebell or Sherbourne then it also has an ensuite which is shared between the two people.

After filling out my accommodation form a little carelessly, I was surprised to receive an email saying I’ve been put in a twin room at Sherbourne. This is when I realised, I had selected “I don’t mind” to sharing a room. I was a bit panicked at first wondering if I have made a huge mistake but as soon as I moved in and met my roommate, I was reassured that it will be a good year.

Sherbourne wasn’t even on my list as it was too expensive for me. However, sharing a room means that you pay only half of the rent, so my roommate and I were paying around £3000 less than those around us.

Warwick tries to match people based on their application forms (so please spend some time filling this in accurately) which meant that the majority of people I know who shared a room found it a good experience.

You can also ask to be put into a room with a friend

Sharing a room means that you will always have someone to keep you company. This can be great if you prefer to be around others. Also, many people suffer from loneliness when coming to university, but this is very difficult to feel when you have someone to talk to every single day.

Having the biggest room in the flat by far meant that it was a great place for hanging out with friends. It’s much easier to fit a group of people into a twin room than a tiny box room.

Of course, it can be hard to not have the privacy you may wish for but if you go into it with an open mind and the willingness to compromise it will be just fine. It may be worth setting a few ground rules when you move in, especially if one of you enjoys going out late whereas the other likes to go sleep early.

You can also ask to be put into a room with a friend, this could be a great option if you want to avoid moving in with a complete stranger. I wasn’t aware of this at the time and so the experience of moving in with a stranger is one I will never forget. 

Tocil by Phoebe Greenwood

Tocil is one of the more economic choices for accommodation that is also placed conveniently a few minutes’ walk away from the Oculus, Students’ Union, and library. The accommodation itself houses 12 students. Unlike some other accommodation halls, Tocil has no common area so in most cases the kitchen is used as a social space. In comparison to some of the more expensive halls, the kitchens in Tocil are rather small, which means that cooking and socialising can be tricky if a few of your flatmates are also there.

Unique to Tocil is the fact that each flat is separated from each other, so it can sometimes prove difficult to get to know other people in your block. While for some this might offer a more quiet and relaxing experience, for those who are keen to meet new people this may be a disappointment.

One thing I noticed in my first year at Warwick was that no matter the time of year, Tocil always seemed to maintain an autumnal atmosphere. Trees and bushes tend to surround this accommodation which not only makes for a cosy picturesque background but also invites many woodland creatures to come and explore the area. If like me, you’re obsessed with having an aesthetically pleasing Instagram feed, then I’m sure you’ll also fall in love with the beautiful scenery surrounding this accommodation.

Westwood by Emma Wilkes

Given how far away Westwood is from central campus, it is often not anyone’s first choice of halls and it wasn’t mine either (in fact, it was my fourth choice). Despite this, it’s really not as bad as it is made out to be. 

As far away as Westwood is from the SU, the library and Pret – it’s close to many other amenities. It rivals Claycroft for being the shortest walk away from Tesco, plus you can roll out of bed and be at the post-room straight away. It’s also only five minutes from University House, an often unmentioned advantage if you want to get out of your room to study somewhere that’s often quieter than the library or Rootes Learning Grid. 

Westwood might also suit you if you want to live somewhere a bit quieter or if you want green surroundings but don’t have the budget to live in Lakeside. It’s especially pretty in the spring when the daffodils and crocuses flower. You get a bigger than average room with a decent-sized bed for the price you pay, but you could be sharing a kitchen with up to 16 people and a shower with six others. However, you’ll probably never get to host pre-drinks unless it’s with friends who live with you. If you don’t live in Westwood, you’ll never be prepared for the walk.

Whitefields by Hannah Drew

The best thing about Whitefields is the incredibly cheap rent which I was able to easily cover with my maintenance loan. It is also very central, sitting next to Rootes grocery store, the student union (although this means you can hear POP! on a Wednesday night), and the Oculus, plus a short walk away from most other buildings, such as the library.

The main issue with Whitefields is a lack of kitchen space, as 10-12 people sharing one cooker can get quite chaotic and dirty plates can stack up, however, these issues can be sorted with a bit of organisation and communication between flatmates. Whitefields is also old and consequently, you may have issues with things breaking. When this happens, persevere with the maintenance team and they will fix it.

Whitefields is unique as they are separated blocks of twelve people rather than connecting halls. This worked out for me as my best friends came from my block and another Whitefields block, but this experience may vary from person to person. Overall, Whitefields isn’t the most glamorous and looks a bit run down but is great if you don’t want something expensive and would prefer to be in the middle of campus.

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