Destinations,  Europe,  Hotels, Hostels & BNBs,  United Kingdom

Where to stay: United Kingdom hostels & hotels for solo female travelers

I find it helpful to see where people stayed in certain areas, so I thought I’d share where I stayed in each part of the world. This is where I’ve stayed while traveling the United Kingdom. So far everything is from April-August 2022, but I’ll update this post with more hotels whenever I go back to the UK.

Things to note:

  • Since prices change so frequently I haven’t bothered to note what I paid for each room, but in general I TRY to stay at $50 or less per night.
  • I prefer single rooms with an ensuite (and will pay a few bucks more to get one). I also prefer smaller B&B style hotels than large chain ones, generally.
  • If I’m staying in a particular area for longer than a few days, I try to get a place with a kitchen.
  • I use, AirBNB, and Google Maps to search for places to stay, and I make sure to check my major credit card’s travel portal in case I can use CC points to save a bit of money.

Hotels with a little ♥ in front of them are recommended in particular.

This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one and buy something, I get a small percentage of that at no extra cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.)

Aberdeen, Scotland

Aberdeen itself is…maybe not the best place to visit for sightseeing IN the town itself, but it’s good to use as a base and explore nearby areas. I found it to be very gray and drab, and the best park was under major construction when I was there so there wasn’t that much greenery, either. However, there were some really nice community-centered things starting up, like new cafes, coworking spaces, and so on.

Grade B listed studio flat, shared walled garden (AirBNB). Aberdeen is a quiet city that can be explored in a weekend, but it’s a good spot to use as a home base and visit other areas nearby. The only thing I didn’t like about this flat was that it was partially underground, so while I got some sunlight the main living area felt pretty dark all the time.

Also check out my travel budget breakdown for the month I spent in Aberdeen!

Coventry, England

Coventry is a cheaper alternative place to stay than Birmingham, and if you like World War II history there’s a lot to explore. I stayed in a University area which was pretty nice, and within walking distance to some of the major sights.

Lifestyle Ensuites with shared kitchen. This was a student accommodation that opened to travelers when university is out of session. It was fairly comfortable, but the shared kitchen needed more regular cleaning. Coventry is another location that can be used as a base for exploration.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Edinburgh, Scotland

My goodness did I pick a bad time to visit! The main tourist walking street was under major construction and it was such a pain getting anywhere. I’ll have to come back during a less hectic time. Still, I really liked the style of the buildings and it seems like a fun place to go pub-hopping.

Peaceful place to stay in Edinburgh (AirBNB). This was a room in someone’s house– which I really only booked because I could NOT find something cheaper (my stay was near a big summer festival and everything else was booking closer to $100/night). But it ended up being a wonderful stay! The host was very friendly and the room was so sunny and bright.

Glasgow, Scotland

Glasgow is a lovely “small” city with surprisingly steep hills. I enjoyed talking to the locals– their sense of humor is wonderful– and I definitely want to go back when I can.

Charing Cross Hotel. A standard budget hotel located one street away from a major shopping area. It looked sketchy when I checked in, but it ended up being alright. Located close to Charing Cross train station, the Kelvingrove Museum, and a really nice park.

Hampton by Hilton Glasgow Central. I used my Hilton Honors points to book this and saved a bundle. This was the most American style hotel I stayed in during my UK visit, and it was kind of nice to have a taste of home. Very comfortable room, and the (English/Scottish style) breakfast was good, too. Downside was the location: centrally located, but quite a hike from the train station and up a rather steep hill.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Victorian House. Only stayed one night here and was glad, because I really didn’t like it. Uncomfortable bed, dirty hot water kettle, iffy shower floor, etc. Such a bummer too because the room itself was very interesting with huge Peter Pan windows. It IS in an actual Victorian-age building, and not much updated, so that’s probably part of the problem.

Isle of Wight

I really enjoyed my time on the Isle of Wight! It’s very easy to get around using the bus system, and there’s tons of good forest walks and hiking opportunities. AND if you like ancient history, there’s some fascinating Roman ruins.

Tip: To save money on hotel bookings, go during the shoulder season. I was here in April and it wasn’t busy at all!

Best Western New Holmwood Hotel (Cowes). This wasn’t exactly like an American Best Western, more like an older hotel that leased the name. I very much enjoyed my stay here; it was fairly far from town but close to the beach, and the attached restaurant was lovely. The room was huge!

Here’s a room tour video I took:

The Chestnuts (Shanklin). A bed and breakfast owned by a younger couple, with what seemed like newly updated rooms and excellent COVID-19 cleaning protocols. Good breakfast as well! Close to the beach and the main part of town, well-placed to the bus station which linked to the rest of the island.

London, England

Well, what’s there to say about London except: if you haven’t visited before, you MUST do it at least once. It’s huge and chaotic but there’s many wonderful things to see. I spent most of my time trying to get to West End shows and doing walking tours. Fantastic!

The Clarendon Hotel. I used CC points for this and definitely got the “budget third party website room” at the back of the hotel. Still, it was a pretty nice hotel (good breakfast) and the location was good, being just outside of the main part of London in Blackheath. Taking the train into the city was about $9 round trip. It was also a good location for exploring Greenwich!

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Crescent Hotel. I stayed here one night before leaving to go to Scotland and I’d definitely stay again. It’s in a (relatively) quiet neighborhood in Bloomsbury not far from King’s Cross train station (which is why I stayed there). The staff were very nice and kept my luggage for me before check-in.

Gateway Hotel. Located in Clapham, this hotel was 2 zones out of the major part of London on a fairly busy street. It’s an older building with a lot of charm– and a mini fridge, which I loved. On the other hand, I didn’t realize I’d be paying a little more for metro tickets by staying here. Clapham itself isn’t that charming, either, but it’s a good place to stay if you want to explore London without spending huge wads of cash.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Newcastle upon Tyne, England

I stayed here partly because of the cheap accommodation and partly so I could get to Hadrian’s Wall and go exploring! Newcastle is rather industrial, but there’s a growing artsy subculture that I enjoyed.

Newton Court. Another student accommodation open to travelers, this one was located fairly far from the Newcastle train station and the main tourist part of Newcastle. Walking distance was maybe 20 minutes at a fast clip, and involved going over a highway. However, it’s very close to Ouseburn, a lovely artsy neighborhood well worth checking out.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Oban, Scotland

Oh, I didn’t get to explore Oban as much as I hoped, but it’s a charming seaside town right at the end of one of the most beautiful train routes in Scotland.

Muthu Alexandra Hotel. Located at the far end of Oban’s boardwalk area, but not SO far from the train station/center of town that you’d struggle to get there. Decent rooms and okay showers, though confusingly the shampoo and soap dispensers were around the corner from the shower stall. Lovely staff who didn’t mind me sitting in their lobby for four hours before my train out of town.

Southampton, England

I stayed here to recover from a translantlic cruise, and to ease my way into exploring England. It’s a small town, but there’s some intriguing historical elements to explore. If you like WW2, the Titanic, or ancient city walls, Southampton is the place to be.

Glenmore Guesthouse. My first B&B EVER! But I didn’t shell out extra for the B(reakfast), so I had to make do with only a B(ed) (and ensuite bathroom). Loved the purple decor but my window was right above the trash so I kept getting flies. Somewhat absent owner/staff but they were perfectly nice when I did run into them.

Fenland Guest House. An excellent B&B and one of my favorites, with comfortable rooms and very friendly hosts. And good breakfast, of course! Also close to the train station, and technically within walking distance from the cruise port…though I wouldn’t recommend walking from there. UPDATE: The owners have since retired and are no longer running the B&B.

Taynuilt, Scotland

Booked entirely because I found a good AirBNB for a month at a great price. It’s a teeny tiny town a short distance from Oban, luckily on a intercity bus line and a train line as well. The town has a butcher, a grocer, a cafe, a book exchange, a post office, and a farm that sells eggs on the side of the road: perfect.

Entire spacious loft with private garden (AirBNB). A very comfortable flat located behind the host’s main house in a converted freestanding garage kinda thing. The flat was quite a hike from the train station (and up a massive hill) but I liked the quiet countryside after staying in noisy areas for weeks and weeks.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

York, England

I liked York so much I stayed here twice! Fascinating historical stuff (as in many British towns tbh) and good shopping/culture/cafe/etc.

ALTIDO Affordable York. A student accommodation much like the others. This one was located about 15 minutes walk from the main part of town (and 25 minutes from the train station), but close to numerous bus stops and three big grocery stores. It was also near an entry spot on the York wall, which was handy as I wanted to walk along the parts I missed on my first visit. The room also came with free coffee or tea in the shared lounge, which was very handy.

Here’s a room tour video I took:

Brentwood Guest House. Only a single night’s stay as I was on my way up to Scotland, but it was a good room with ensuite and close to the main part of York. No breakfast with this one but the owner let me check in a few hours earlier than expected, so that was nice.

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Anastasia is a former librarian turned digital nomad. She's been traveling the world full time for two years and has visited 18 countries so far! Just Gone Wandering is a travel resource for solo female travelers on a backpacker's budget-- or slightly more-- and highlights amazing places to visit as well as providing tips and tricks for traveling smart and frugal. Read more...

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