Small Halls, Big Heart

Southampton’s selection of ‘Small Halls’ may be marketed as the unappealing option for cheapos, but that’s only because the uni wants more of your money. Across the board, the residents […]


Southampton’s selection of ‘Small Halls’ may be marketed as the unappealing option for cheapos, but that’s only because the uni wants more of your money.

Across the board, the residents of small halls have a great time and feel a stronger sense of community than resident of larger halls like Montefiore and Glen Eyre. Here are their stories:

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Archers Road

Romero and Gateley are part of the small halls group suitable for undergraduates, both situated on Archers Road. Very little separates the two apart from the size of the kitchens, Gateley’s are much larger, both are en suite and self-catered. Gateley is home to the reception whereas Romero has the laundry room; however, they are literally across the road from each other. Archers Road is actually quite far from Highfield Campus but with your free bas pass first year this shouldn’t be a problem, and for those at Avenue Campus it’s just a short walk.

More importantly you will be ideally located for pre-drinks as these are the closest Southampton Uni halls to Bevois Valley, home to The Hobbit, Sobar and most importantly, Jesters. As well as this you will be just a short walk from Bedford Place (home to the Bedford Bloc party) West Quay, the docks and Southampton Central Station. Being one of the smallest halls, you quickly get to know everyone and peace and quiet is easily achieved. Archers Road is the ideal halls for all Freshers!

Bad for: Fire alarms
Good for: Large common room, distance to clubs

Bencraft

Bencraft is one of the smallest halls in Southampton, where I myself lived, with under 200 students living in it. It has a pretty large common room with sofas and a TV for big pre-drinks as well as more relaxed social events. The size of Bencraft basically ensures that you’re friends with pretty much everyone in halls by the end of freshers week. The laundry room is in Block A up three flights of stairs which is a bit of a trek, although you pay for it with a card reader that they’ll give to you when you move in which is actually quite simple to use unlike the old system. The bedrooms are nothing special, and showers/toilets/kitchens are shared between 7 people to a flat- just remember to lock the door.

Bencraft is a 20 minute walk from campus and is right on the edge of Southampton, meaning it’s a bit of a journey to get to the city centre or one of the clubs in Portswood. Bus pres are the best though to be fair and the bus goes straight to the ASDA in town so it’s not the end of the world by any means and you’ll get a free bus pass for first year. There’s also a plush co-op just down the road, ideal for meal deal dinners, and a pub beyond that. Wide Lane is about a half hour walk away or so for anyone playing sports. The only real drawback? The occasional funeral at the crematorium next door- although sometimes the bagpipes practising in the Bencraft car park can provide a bit of light entertainment. The football team also just achieved back-to-back promotions to the top division at the University, so definitely worth joining.

Bad for: Distance to campus, funerals
Good for: Bagpipes, co-op meal deals for dinner

Highfield Halls

Highfield is the smallest halls in Southampton, but is probably in the best location. It sits right next to Avenue Campus and is a five minute walk to the main campus, with buses taking you to the city centre in ten minutes, Portswood is a 15 minute walk and the Common is just over the road. Unfortunately you do have to move out over Easter which is quite a pain.

Bad for: Size
Good for: Location

City Gateway

This is the newest halls in Southampton which pretty much guarantees that everyone else will be extremely jealous of your pad (apart from the extortionate price you’ll be paying). It’s right next to a 24-hour McDonald’s though so it’s well worth it. Bencraft and Wessex Lane are also short walks away, and it’s a 5 minute bus journey up to campus or back toward the city outskirts for the Wide Lane Sports Complex.

You also get your own doctors surgery and a supermarket right below you which is unbelievably handy, too. AND En-Suite rooms. I think you’ll have a pretty good year.

On the negative side, it’s in contention for an “ugliest building in the country” award, despite being very expensive and basically brand new.

Bad for: Price
Good for: Unlimited McDonald’s, Location

Connaught

Probably the best looking halls, Connaught is part of the Wessex Lane halls complex, the biggest in the whole of Europe according to rumour. What you get in looks you lose in size, with a lot of people sharing rooms in Connaught in first semester and flat numbers often way outnumbered the number of showers available for use. The catering is not always up to scratch either but there is some scope for making your own meals. Connaught is relatively close to Wide Lane Sports Complex via a bus, and also to campus. And don’t worry, the bus is free in first year. There’s a McDonald’s close by too, a co-op a little further on and a supermarket underneath the nearby City Gateway.

Bad for: Overcrowding

Good for: Looks, Location

Check out our other halls reviews:

Did you live in Small Halls last year? Let us know your experiences in the comments below!