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Pax Lodge, Hampstead, London, UK

Pax Lodge is the hostel that the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts runs, in the Hampstead area of London. I've stayed there and also have volunteered there, it's a safe, fun place to stay, they have an elevator/lift, they're located right behind the famous Air Studios and on a corner where there are bus stops (168, 268, and bus 24 at least). There's a dining hall, but also a pub on the corner, and several grocery shops on that street, and when I stayed there, there was a kitchen that guests could use. They have their own parking lot. They are finally Reopening on Feb 19th,2022, and open to all travelers (scouts/guides get a bit of a discount but it's not a requirement). The Belsize Park tube stop is the closest. They also had given tours for the scouting/guiding history that has happened there, so if you don't stay there overnight, you can still stop in for a tour and their gift shop, and sometimes evening events for groups of guides/scouts from all over the world. They recently renovated the lobby to use their covid closed time effectively. When I stayed there, the beds were not great, but they have since replaced all the mattresses. They sell a few snacks and sodas at the front desk. Tea and coffee was always available. They had a flag ceremony every morning and discussions of the day's plans and suggestions for travelers are easy to get each day. They have an elevator/lift.

Posted by
2716 posts

I stayed here and had a great time. But it is a hostel. Bathrooms down the hall. Friendly staff.

Posted by
7 posts

Hi, I am new to the forum. Aly, I saw your post and was intrigued. This looks like a good option for a budget accommodation in London. My only concern is about noise - have you found Pax Lodge to be noisy in the corridors or adjoining rooms from 10pm to 7am? I ask as I am a light sleeper. Thanks for suggesting this accommodation!

Posted by
273 posts

Hi all,
Yes, I stayed there in 2006 for a weekend that was really fun. Then in 2010 my daughter and I were the first mother-daughter pair to volunteer there together for 2 months. There are 2 floors, some in private rooms, others in shared rooms, and I found the private rooms to be quiet, all carpeted. THe bigger shared rooms were grouped together, the last I knew. Usually the teens that might be in a Girl Scout/Guide troop are exhausted by the end of the day :) and usually only older ones are allowed to stay overnight.
They have good security, the door locks electronically and the elevator only gives access to those who are staying on that floor. If there's a special accomodation like a need for extra quiet, I'm sure a phone call to the front desk when booking would be able to get anyone specifically what they need. We had one group with a girl who was VERY allergic to peanuts, so the entire dining room removed every last bit of peanut products for the whole time she stayed with us :)
They just added an additional room space with a kitchenette in it, too.
Don't think I'd know the pricing, it varies from shared to the private rooms of course. Probably varies for different times of year, too. It's competative, for sure. And the money goes to a good cause.
It is a hostel that's set up to feel like camping a little bit, with the flag ceremony each morning, sometimes group activities in the main room downstairs, different international groups getting to know each others' traditions and uniforms. There was a BBQ they had used out back sometimes.
Their front desk also had the ability to sell tickets to the major sights, so that was convenient. They sell postcards and there's a postbox out the side door not far away. Also a computer corner to use their machines, and free wifi that is MUCH better now than when I was there, I hear.
They've been posting live, virtual tours on EventBrite for the 2 years they had been closed. Recently their reopening was delayed by a huge storm taking off part of their roof (eek) but it's fixed now and they're reopened, finally. There's a library room with books that can be borrowed. There's a red phone booth inside the stairwell for photo ops :) The last I knew the french crepe cart was still just a block up the hill, big tradition among the volunteers.
Now that they're really reopened, I might learn more. They're on Facebook and posting their news fairly regularly, usually VERY prompt at answering questions.