Sorry, couldn’t think of a more exciting title for this post so it’s a bit of a Ronseal job!

We’re now at that time of year when applications for accommodation are due to open and peoples’ attention turns from panicking about which uni to Firm to panicking about which accommodation they’d like to stay in. Fear not, hopefully things should be clearer by the end of these next two blogs.

I’m going to concentrate on Oadby halls here as that is where the vast majority of Freshers live, but there are options in the ‘City Living’ accommodation too for those who want to look into those.

The question everyone seems to ask me on Open Days is ‘which halls is best though?’. There really, really isn’t a ‘best’ halls! Please believe me on this, everybody loves their own halls and if you ask this to any current students the only answer you’ll get is their own!

John Foster

John Foster, or JoFo, is the newest of the halls up at Oadby and is comprised almost entirely of ensuite, premium and premium plus, rooms, both catered and self catered. Put simply JoFo is plush. The rooms in the main part, which are premium plus, are large, have a full size bathroom (rather than the ‘pod’ of some other ensuites) and a very modern kitchen. The Coppice is an older block which got refurbished when the rest of JoFo was built and is pretty much the same only with slightly smaller rooms and all self catered.

JoFo rooms are also the most expensive, unsurprisingly. Whether having all these luxuries is worth it to you is something you’ll have to think about. Personally I think all the halls are pretty nice inside and have everything you need, certainly more than you tend to get in private accommodation in second and third, but for some people the ensuite is a non negotiable!

In terms of social life John Foster is maybe a bit less buzzing than GMS and Beaumont, principally because of the layout I think (it’s an unavoidable truth that if the rooms are bigger they are also going to be more spread out), but everyone I know there still had a great time during their Fresher year. The social area is styled on a cocktail bar, without the prices, and is very nice.


GMS is a large halls which was previously two separate ones (Gilbert Murray and Stamford). Within GMS the main blocks are Stamford houses, premium catered; Bowder court, premium/premium plus ensuite self catered; and Lasdun, premium catered.

Stamford houses are laid out in blocks of 30 or so, are pretty nice inside and, talking to friends who lived there, tend to form large social groups. They’re also about 2-3 mins walk from the dining hall for those who are particularly lazy, but very close to the gym!

Lasdun is similar to Stamford houses inside, but the blocks are all connected and arranged around central staircases in flats of 5 or 6. Lasdun is apparently a celebrated architectural work, but most people would probably struggle to see this and advocate that a significant advantage to living in Lasdun is that you cannot see it’s somewhat Brutalist exterior.

Bowder Court sits between these two and is made up of six quite large blocks with each one divided up into flats of 6 or so. As a sucker for pretty architecture I was never a fan of Bowder, however if you’re more logical than me about housing and want a kitchen in which I think it is genuinely feasible to play cricket plus a rather nice ensuite Bowder is a great option. The occasional third year does get mixed in here so it may not be quite as jumping as the likes of Lasdun but people I know who stayed there still swear by its social side.

In terms of social facilities GMS is very well equipped, with a large pub style bar which is particularly popular for sports matches.



Ok, I’ll leave it there for this week and next time I’ll do Beaumont and the miscellaneous self catered houses. For anyone who urgently need to know about Beaumont here’s a blog I prepared earlier.

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Owen graduated from the University in Summer 2013.

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