Bankside House is the largest LSE student hall, with almost 600 students staying there during the academic year. Here are some things you should know before applying for a place at Bankside House.
In comparison to all other LSE halls, Bankside House is located not too close and not too far from campus. If you’re looking to stay near the School, High Holborn Residence and International Hall are some of the closest accommodations. In comparison, Sidney Webb is further out. The average walk from Bankside House to LSE is roughly 25 minutes. Nonetheless, if you walk fast, you can reach the School in 15 minutes.
Personally, I find the walk to campus quite enjoyable. Some common scenery includes the view from the Blackfriars Bridge, the Tate Modern, Big Ben, and several gardens like the Inner Temple, Middle Temple and Victoria Embankment Gardens. You can also observe some old printing press buildings if you take Fleet Street!
The first important service students need is access to supermarkets. In order of distance from Bankside House, these are some of the nearest shops: Co-Op, Amazon Fresh, M&S, Tesco, and Sainsbury’s. All of these shops are within a five-minute walk. For any Asian ingredients, Tian Tian Market and OSEYO are also good options! Overall, supermarkets are extremely accessible and remember that Bankside House is catered so you may not have to buy ingredients too often.
The next important service is transport. The closest tube stations to Bankside House are London Bridge and Southwark (roughly, 10 minutes walking distance). As for rail services, Blackfriars National Rail is five minutes away and can take you straight to Cambridge and other destinations. There are some bus stops as well but for more travel destinations, you can opt to go to Waterloo Station where both tube and rail options are available.
Quality of the food
Personally, I think the food served at Bankside House is outstanding and the variety of dishes offered is amazing. As part of the accommodation fees, you are guaranteed six catered dinners (Monday-Friday, Sunday) and brunch on Saturday. The menu changes every day and you never eat the same dish two days in a row. Furthermore, you receive one main dish, one dessert/fruit bowl, up to two pieces of fruit (eg banana, apple, orange), hot soup, and a salad bar. During brunch, you also receive a mix of the typical English Breakfast meal and some hot dishes, not to mention cereal, pastries and toast.
If you are a vegetarian or vegan, I have heard from others that the dishes may be slightly repetitive, so keep this in mind when you make your choice.
Overall, I highly recommend the food at Bankside House!
Bankside House offers basic services like a laundry room and a basement area. There’s also a computer room and a silent study room that I often frequent. It is a great place to study with your friends or just leave your room and be more productive! On-site, there are always reception members who will monitor who comes in and out of the building. If you like to order online, they will also be responsible for collecting your delivered parcels and publishing a list every day of the parcels they have received, making it really easy for you to receive your items.
The students at Bankside
It is noteworthy to point out that the students differ each year and you might make really good friends at Bankside House, especially since there are so many of us staying here. In the first few weeks, there are many events hosted by the accommodation team to help students foster friendships. For instance, there is a Welcome Party on the first day in the basement, a Pizza Party with your floormates, and London exploring tours, among many others.
However, because there are so many of us, it tends to get quite loud at Bankside House. This is certainly one of the cons I have found whilst staying at Bankside House. Perhaps because of the nature of the accommodation as a student accommodation primarily for first years, this is very likely to happen. Nevertheless, if this does happen to you, there are many systems in place to protect your sleep.
As part of your contract, a quiet hour is established from 11pm to 8am and, therefore, you are allowed to report any noise issues to the Warden team and the Night Security team. I have found this the most effective solution! Also, if you have any special needs requirement like insomnia, let the accommodation team know as soon as possible so they can arrange for you to have a room that is catered to your needs!
If you are interested in the moving-in process, you can find several videos on Instagram under @lsereslife.
Learn more about how to book accommodation in LSE halls.