Review of first-year Student Accommodation: Sherbourne Residences
Before arriving at Warwick, choosing the right accommodation for myself was a major priority. At that time (outside of the university’s accommodation website), there were not many other sources of information about the benefits and downfalls of life in different student halls. If I can recall correctly, there were only a few Warwick University students with YouTube channels who I had to scour the internet to find. So, I thought that it would be a good idea to go over the pros and cons of different undergraduate halls of residence. In this post, I will start with Sherbourne – which is an en suite accommodation and a popular choice for many incoming students.
Sherbourne was where I lived in my very first year at Warwick (all the way back in 2017) which seems like a lifetime ago. Once on campus, you will notice that there is what is referred to as old Sherbourne (where I stayed) and new Sherbourne which are the buildings behind old Sherbourne that I had the pleasure of visiting a few times (don’t worry pictures will be left down below).
- Massive kitchen: Sherbourne’s kitchen is quite large – I would say perhaps one of the largest compared to other accommodation buildings. Personally, I think that old Sherbourne’s kitchen is slightly larger than new Sherbourne’s kitchen from my experience. It has a very modern vibe to it with an island counter, colourful chairs and large windows that allows the sunlight to light up the room. I stayed on the second floor which meant that each day I got to witness the beautiful, orange, musky sunrise and sunset. If you are someone who cares deeply about the aesthetic of your living environment then this would be a reason to choose Sherbourne.
- Social flat: Though we didn’t share bathrooms and thus had more privacy, Sherbourne is quite a social flat. The large kitchen allows a space for big social gatherings and flat parties (at least before the pandemic). In total each flat has 12 students which means there will always be people in the kitchen to talk to.
- Scenic surroundings: Another major advantage is that Sherbourne is located in Lakeside Village where you will also see two other residential halls – Heronbank and Lakeside. Whilst Warwick’s campus is generally quite green, Lakeside Village has lovely ponds, an overarching bridge, adorable families of Canada geese and gives you an ‘off-campus feeling’ away from the Warwick bubble eventhough you are technically on campus.
- Let length: Unlike Jack Martin and Arthur Vick, Sherbourne’s let length is 40 weeks which means that you do not have to vacate your room temporarily for 5 weeks during the Easter vacation period. This is highly beneficial as after the Easter break the summer term is packed with final assignment deadlines and exams which means that the Easter break is usually a busy study time. Not having the extra stress of having to temporarily move your belongings is definitely a bonus. Nonetheless, for international students that go home for the Easter break, having a 35 week let length may not be as much as an issue. However, I love to work in the library and other on campus study spaces which I was able to do easily during Easter due to my 40 week let length.
- Distance to central campus and Canon Park: One downside of living in Sherbourne is the distance to central campus. Whilst it is not as far as Westwood, it is still further away than most other residential halls, I would say around a 13-15 minute walk. This means that it will take slightly longer for you to reach your lectures on central campus or key facilities like the library. Consequently, Canon Park which has stores like Tesco and Aldi and is where most students on campus will go to get their groceries is around a 25 minute walk (depending on the route that you take). As you can imagine this is also quite a pain when walking back to Sherbourne with a heavy load of groceries. It also means that if you forget to buy something at Tesco or want to do a ‘quick’ grocery run that you would have to trek all the way back to Cannon Park. Due to this many of my flatmates would often do Tesco delivery which has a minimum spend of £40 – this can be a pro if you all order weekly groceries at the same time but also not a solution if you wanted to buy a quick snack mid week. Nonetheless, Rootes grocery store (which is located on the university’s central campus) is slightly closer and has similar amenities to those in your large supermarkets. However, it is a lot more expensive which is why I personally avoided it unless I was too tired to walk to Tesco.
- Cost: Sherbourne is £180 per week which is more so on the pricey side compared to cheaper accommodations like Westwood and Claycroft. For those that need to keep their maintenance costs low, Sherbourne may not be the best option. I remember some of my peers from Sherbourne having to work part time jobs to afford their accommodation and general living costs. I also remember some even transferring to cheaper accommodation buildings after term 1 (yes, it is possible to transfer to another accommodation though it is a tricky process that only few are permitted to do).
- Number of flatmates: Whilst for extroverts living with 11 other people sounds like a dream come true, for introverts or just those that prefer a more quiet flat, this may not be ideal. Although I can say that whilst living in Sherbourne there was always space for me to use the kitchen when I wanted to (we had 2 sets of ovens, cooking hobs, sinks, fridges and freezers), there were many times when the kitchen felt slightly over crowded which meant that I had to uncomfortably manoeuvre my way around when trying to cook a meal. My bedroom was at the very end of the corridor which meant that I was furthest from the kitchen but for those whose bedroom is closer, it can get very noisy when everyone (plus their friends) are all in the kitchen at the same time so this is something to bear in mind.
Overall, I would rate Sherbourne an 8 out of 10 (with 10 being the highest rating). I generally loved the architecture and design of the flats, having my own bathroom was a luxury and the Lakeside Village scenery brought a calm and collective atmosphere which enhanced my mental wellbeing. Regardless, the distance to Canon Park was definitely an inconvenience for me. Honestly, it depends on your preferences and personality but hopefully, this review will better inform your decision