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Here's what current students think of popular student halls at Bristol Uni

With the newest intake of Bristol University Freshers' recently receiving their accommodation offers, we asked current students what they thought of their old halls

With the newest intake of Bristol University Freshers' recently receiving their accommodation offers, we asked current students what they thought of their old halls.

Unite House

City Centre, 13 min walk to Uni

'There was only one thing that was really on my mind when trying to decide where I wanted to live in first year. Distance. 30 minute bus journeys everyday was never going to be a part of my uni experience and that was a hill I was more than happy to die on.

The priority settings on the Accommodation Office website were almost immediately set to distance and I began making my way through all the city centre halls at my disposal.

I found myself spending a year in Unite House. One of the biggest city centre accommodations in spitting distance from everywhere you needed to be. University, Cabot Circus, Park Street and all the clubs on The Triangle are no less than ten minutes away.

You’re literally right next to the O2 Academy. Take advantage of that. It’s a great location for anyone looking to experience the city and not just the Uni bubble. If you’re anything like me, the convenience of the city will soon permeate into the rest of your lifestyle, taking advantage of late night trips to Co-op or Tescos with your flat mates. The idea of moving any further away after first year may soon become laughable.

As Unite is one of the bigger city centre accommodations, you’re likely to find loads of personalities there. It’s not the most open plan of halls so it may take a bit more effort if you want to meet people outside of your own flat, so I would always recommend making sure you use up communal spaces as well as your flat. The common room and courtyard are great for that. Just remember that noise travels upwards in the courtyard...' - Kofo

Durdham Hall

Stoke Bishop, 16 min bus ride to Uni

'Durdham. Fresher, fear not. You will have read all sorts of depressing things about Durdham. However, having lived there myself, I can heartily confirm that its worst attribute is merely its reputation.

The priority settings on the Accommodation Office website were almost immediately set to distance and I began making my way through all the city centre halls at my disposal.

Thanks to Durdham’s location, never again will you need a jacket on a night out. An invariable inability to be ready on time, in combination with a quick sprint down the hill works wonders for your body temperature AND your outfit. This is obviously more interesting when patches of ice start forming in the winter.

On a more calming note, Durdham has the most beautiful selection of neighbouring cats who love to drop in and be admired. Very cheering. Also, the staff are also very friendly and the maintenance team are quick to tend to any issues.

The only things they can’t fix are the fact that Deliveroo drivers can NEVER find you and the pitying glances of absolutely anyone after you tell them you are in Durdham.

Swings and roundabouts though, because Ocado drivers can ALWAYS find you and the JCR was ace but most importantly everyone in Durdham last year was really, really fit.' - Orin

The University have 25 halls of residence listed on their website | Epigram / Patrick Sullivan

Orchard Heights

City Centre, 13 min walk to Uni

'If you’re one of the lucky ones living in Orchard Heights this year, you’ll soon learn how to respond to people saying ‘Ah! That was my first choice!’ - and it’s not hard to understand why everyone seems to want to live there.

Firstly, it has what all prospective Freshers dream of – a modern room with a double bed and a gleaming white ensuite – a world away from the minuscule grotty wet rooms that commonly feature in ageing halls.

And, its location is fantastic. Although you’ll have to sweat your way up Park Street to get to the main campus - giving you yet another reason not to go to your 9am lectures - you’re only a maximum 15-minute walk away from everywhere you need to be: The Triangle, the Harbourside and the City Centre.

Also, living in OH will teach you how to be exceptionally economical with space, as there isn’t any. It is like living in a (very nice!) matchbox. However, the lack of space does have its upsides.

The smaller the room, the less mess you are able to create (theoretically...), and, if you lose something, it’s most likely less than one metre away from you. But I will miss Orchard Heights incredibly.

As I stood in reception, looking at all of the belongings I had somehow miraculously crammed into my tiny room, all in boxes, ready to move to my new flat, I never wanted to leave. I wanted to cling on to the automatic doors at the entrance until I was forcibly removed. I lived the best year of my life in Orchard Heights, and I envy the Freshers who will be living there this year.' - Maggie

Hiatt Baker self-catered

Stoke Bishop, 16 min bus to Uni

When it comes to halls, Hiatt Baker self-catered offers large, modern, and impressive accommodation. I spent my first year living in the town houses, and those offer spacious kitchens, considerable living spaces (perfect for hosting a hectic house party or a wild pre-drinks) and 12 generously sized bedrooms.

Friends from U.H. and Hiatt Baker catered often migrated to our kitchen to chill, or drink before a night out, just because the expansive space allowed for the most amount of comfort.

It certainly forced me to become very sociable very quickly! The bedrooms are expansive (especially in comparison to some of the other halls). Beds are queen-sized, desks are broad, and there’s plenty of space for a wall hanging, scratch map and a cactus or two.

I found it really easy to make my room my own! For whatever reason it felt as though there were a disproportionate number of Londoners living in Hiatt Baker (perhaps that explains why the people were a little stoic).

The structure of my house meant that I rarely interacted with people beyond the 12 individuals I shared a kitchen with. Despite this, I loved living in Hiatt Baker self-catered.

I really matured whilst living in Hiatt Baker. I learnt how to cook (i.e. how to put a ready meal in the microwave without melting the plastic wrapper). I met some really lovely people and have made friendships for life (I hope). Finally, I’ve learnt how to host a really mean pre-drinks. Overall easily the best halls in Bristol!' - Sabrina

Goldney Hall

Clifton, 14 min walk to Uni

Goldney Hall is amongst the most historic and recognisable halls of residence at the University of Bristol. The main house is a Grade II listed building, built in 1724, that has been the location of many famous TV productions, including Sherlock, Skins and Casualty.

The 10-acre gardens boast Goldney’s distinctive gothic tower and shell lined grotto (an artificial cave), whilst also playing host to the annual Constitution Ball, attended by hundreds of students and some big headliners.

The Goldney gardens even have their own Instagram page! Just a 15-minute walk away from the main university campus and its location next to Clifton Village and the Triangle makes Goldney the ideal location to explore Bristol as a student.

The accommodation is a social hub of 264 students in self-catered halls with access to tennis courts, the Goldney bar and the gardens. Apartments are mixed gender, with 6-8 rooms per flat, and a shared kitchen and showers which fosters a sense of community within the apartment as well as the accommodation as a whole.

To that end, Goldney often organises and hosts plays and concerts throughout the year, as well as having a successful intramural football team. Summer brings the best out of Goldney: students relax, play frisbee and maybe even revise (!) in the sunny gardens with friends, with the conviviality of a relaxed Mediterranean beach.

Goldney is the location of many events throughout the year. Despite being one of the more expensive accommodation options, its popularity means that it is always oversubscribed, and University policy only allows you to select it as a first choice. But considering the superb location and the friendly and sociable community of students, it is well worth the price! - Will

University Hall

Stoke Bishop, 16 min bus to Uni

UH has proved itself to be the best value for money when it comes to student accommodation. Although the concept of a shared kitchen, bathroom and bed is  somewhat unappealing, the lighter side of lesser situations must be seen.

A smaller bed allows for larger floor space. Compared to other Stoke Bishop accommodations, UH has masses of floor space allowing for much sought after luxuries such as the coveted full-length mirror. I once even managed to squeeze five friends into my room at once.

Additionally, more communal space provides more opportunities to interact with your flatmates. This is ideal for the first few weeks of university. It gives you a reason to interact and chat, but if I’m being perfectly honest, by the end of the year, your willingness to have a conversation whilst you are just trying to get a bowl of Shreddies may wear thin.

Despite some of the criticisms, these halls are the making for many. Some may even say the halls are the friendliest due to the type of person attracted to it. Usually down to earth, and not hell bent on flexing daddy’s signet ring, UH has become the most inclusive and diverse of all Bristol’s accommodation.

Furthermore the halls are ideally located near the Stoke Bishop bus stop. Late for a 9am? Getting from the bedroom to the bus stop is a five-minute process rather than trekking across the botanical gardens. Overall these halls get a bad rep and shouldn’t be overlooked! - Tom

Some students opt for accommodation in the city centre | Epigram / Patrick Sullivan

Wills Hall

Stoke Bishop, 16 min bus to Uni

Wills Hall has an infamous reputation. From the belittling glares you get as you step off the U1 bus one stop early, to the multitude of people asking whether your daddy bought you a horse for your birthday; you will get judged.

However, living at Wills is not all negative. The Wills Hall dining hall is straight out of Harry Potter’s sorting hat scene. Wills is part of Stoke Bishop, meaning the U1 is a daily part of life. Nothing beats coming back after a long night at Lounge with Miroslav at the wheel. You feel safe, you feel secure, and you trust him to make sure your intoxicated self makes it back to your room, or at least the Transport Hub.

Wills Hall is not perfect. The New Quad tarnishes the aesthetic beauty of the halls. It transforms from Hogwarts to any 1960s university hall after a single arch. But with that being said, if you’re considering Wills Hall, ignore all the judging, whilst people may call you “posh”, nothing compares to living in Wills. - Olivia

Featured: Epigram / Patrick Sullivan

Feel strongly about your first year halls? Let us know in the comments.