7 things to do when leaving your student accommodation

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Exams are finished, the sun is shining and university is finished for another year. It’s time to get out, make the most of summer and enjoy your freedom.

But before you do, you’ll need to pack up and move out of your student accommodation. And sometimes, knowing where to start can be a challenge, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful experience.

Instead, seize the moment and take the opportunity to have a cleanse and get things in order before you look to the future. And to help you out, we’ve put together a few handy tips and reminders for leaving your student accommodation.

1. Have a clear out

woman-packing-suitcase

Don’t just empty your cupboards, throw everything you own in bags and boxes, fill the car boot and hope for the best. Take time to sort through your belongings and decide whether you really need to be taking everything away with you; you’ll be surprised at how much stuff you have accumulated since moving in.

If it’s rubbish, throw it. If it can be reused, recycle it. And if it’s something you don’t want or need, but it’s still in great condition, give it to someone else who can benefit from it or make some extra cash and sell it – eBay and Gumtree are a great way to sell unwanted items.

2. Donate

Food-donations

Now you’ve sorted through your belongings, you might find yourself with a pile of things that you don’t want. You’ve offered them to your flatmates but they don’t want them either. So why not donate to charity?

Whether it’s unopened tins of food from the back of the kitchen cupboard, or great condition clothes that you no longer want, don’t just bin them, donate to a worthy cause.

Local food banks such as The Trussell Trust provide emergency food for people in crisis, and welcome any donations of non-perishable food. And charities such as Cancer Research UK or the British Heart Foundation, always appreciate clean clothing in good condition.

If you do have items you’d like to donate, pop down to reception and speak to the Host team as we can collect items from you on behalf of the charity.

3. Pack smart

Girls-Moving-packing

Before you chuck everything in boxes, think carefully about what you’re packing and when you might need it.

Pack any items you’re less likely to need such as decorative items and kitchen utensils, pack at the bottom of boxes. And any essential items such as phone chargers and your toothbrush should be packed at the top and easy to access; you don’t want to be rummaging through all your boxes trying to find these items.

If you’re packing fragile or sharp items such as glasses, picture frames and knives, wrap them up and keep them safe. You don’t want any accidents or damages in transit, so use bubble wrap, clothing or newspapers to protect your items.

4. Update mail

Posting-Letters

If you’re leaving your student accommodation, it means you’ll no longer be living at that address. Which means, any mail and deliveries you currently receive to your accommodation will need to be redirected to your new address.

From mobile phone contracts to online shops, the easiest way to avoid missing any post or parcels, is to update your billing and delivery addresses on any accounts, bills and documents that you have.

5. Clean

Deluxe-Studio-kitchen

When you’re ready to vacate your room, don’t just up and leave your accommodation without giving it a good clean before you go. Your room was left in a good, clean condition when you moved in and should be left how you found it.

Try to tackle the mess and clean as thoroughly as you can. Having a clean room and flat will help to ensure you pass the room inspection upon checking out and avoid any additional charges incurred from hiring professional cleaners to come in.

6. Make use of storage

pinglocker-logo

If you’re leaving your accommodation, but don’t have a new place to move into straight away then you might be wondering what to do with all of your belongings.

A simple solution is to put everything into storage temporarily. There are lots of storage providers such as Pinglocker who offer affordable and convenient student storage in the UK.

They make it easy for you by sending you boxes, collecting your items to put into storage and they can even re-deliver your items to your new address when needed; it’s storage made simple.

7. Return your keys

the-hive-reception

Amongst the commotion and hustle and bustle of moving, it can be easy to forget to hand your keys back to reception. But if you don’t return them, you could incur additional charges for replacements keys.

So, make sure you leave them out on the side and don’t pack them away. Then as you leave your room, they’ll be clearly visible for you to see and remember to pick up.

Pop them into reception and say goodbye to the Host team as you make your way out of the building and leave your accommodation.

Whether you’re leaving because you’ve finished uni, or are just moving out for summer, we hope that your move goes well and you enjoy the next chapter of your journey. And if you’re returning, we look forward to welcoming you back for the new term in September.

Mental Health Awareness Week

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This week (14th – 20th May) is Mental Health Awareness Week and the theme of this year’s campaign – which is hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, is stress. And although stress itself isn’t a mental health problem, it is linked to our mental health because too much stress, for too long, can make us ill. If unaddressed, stress can cause mental health issues such as depression and anxiety, which can lead to self-harm and suicide. Stress can also affect your physical health and cause problems such as cardiovascular disease and problems with your joints and muscles.

mental health awareness week

As a student, there are times throughout your time at university that you may feel stressed or overwhelmed such as when sitting exams. However, there are things you can do which will take your mind off things and help you to feel less stressed. Let’s take a closer look:

  1. Exercise: your physical and mental health are connected so eat well and exercise regularly to release endorphins – which trigger a positive feeling in the body. Whether it’s riding your bike, playing a team sport, or hitting the gym, find an activity that you enjoy and you can fit into your schedule.
  2. Have fun: your life shouldn’t revolve around studying and exams. Yes, you’re at university to learn and get a degree, but you should also make time to have fun and embrace life as a student. From catching up with friends or watching a movie, to shopping or a night out, it’s important to set aside time to have fun and indulge because the positive emotions can help build a buffer against stress.
  3. Learn a new skill: Having a hobby can be the perfect way to unwind and take your mind off feeling stressed, and trying a something new can be fun too. So why not try learning a new language, playing an instrument, painting a picture or joining a photography class – the options are endless.
  4. Switch off: In this day and age, it’s too easy to get caught up with things going on around you – both online and offline. So, take some time out and step away from any distractions to have some ‘me’ time – that includes turning off your phone! Even if it’s just 10 minutes each day, make time for yourself as regular part of your routine.
  5. Talk to others: It’s OK to feel stressed, we all do at different stages in our lives. But it’s important to share how you’re feeling and not keep things bottled up. It’s OK to ask for help and support from others. Whether it’s a friend, flat mate, university lecturer or a staff member at your accommodation, there is always someone to turn to.

If you are concerned about your stress levels, please pop to Reception and speak with our friendly team and we will be happy to help. You can also find out more about Mental Health Awareness Week here.

Easter Weekend celebrations in London 2018

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This coming weekend is Easter weekend. And whilst there’s no doubt many of you will be busy tucking into chocolate Easter eggs and sweet treats, if you’re in London for the long weekend, there’s lots more going on in the city to keep you entertained. Below are just some of the seasonal events taking place to celebrate the occasion.

  • Head to Trafalgar Square this Friday – which is Good Friday, and watch a spectacular performance of The Passion of Jesus. The event is free and involves 100 performers and animals re-enacting Jesus’s final days – from his arrest to his resurrection.
  • From Good Friday through to Easter Sunday, join an Easter weekend service at one of London’s many churches or cathedrals, including Westminster Abbey, St Paul’s Cathedral, St Martin-in-the-Fields and Southwark Cathedral.
  • If you like chocolate then head down to Hampton Court Palace and you’ll be in for a real treat. Join the Lindt Gold Bunny Hunt and admire the home and gardens of Henry VIII as you hunt for the delicious chocolate treat. And if that wasn’t enough to satisfy your chocolate needs, you can even partake in some Royal chocolate tasting!
  • If the Easter weekend weather holds up, it’s the perfect time to step outside and enjoy some fresh Spring air. And there’s no better place to do this than at the beautiful Kew Gardens. You can even follow the Peter Rabbit trail among spring daffodils and crocuses, stopping off for lots of fun activities along the way.

But the fun doesn’t end there. Once you’ve eaten enough chocolate eggs to make you feel sick, and have enjoyed some of the above Easter festivities, it’s time to make the most of the 4-day weekend and celebrate in style with you friends!

  • Willy Wonka Easter Brunch Party – From chocolate fountains and a Willy Wonka inspired menu, to live DJs and Oompa Loompas, head to Bunga Bunga in Battersea on Good Friday for a brunch like no other.
  • South Place Cinema – There’s no better time of year to watch the classic films, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory or Chocolat than at Easter. Showing on Saturday 31st March and Easter Sunday respectively, take your pick and also tuck into a delicious two-course dinner following the screening.
  • If you haven’t had enough of Easter treats, then why not sample a unique Easter cocktail? Many bars and restaurants are serving limited edition Easter-themed concoctions. Check out these 7 best cocktails for Easter 2018 – with many of them available right here in London!

5 small changes for a healthier day

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Contrary to popular belief, student life isn’t just fuelled by Pot Noodles and alcohol. Nowadays, students are turning to healthier options, and with a rise in social media apps such as Instagram, snapping shots of healthy, colourful meals and making your dinner time a masterpiece has become a common trend. But being healthier isn’t just about the foods that you eat, there are other small changes you can make to your daily student life that will make you feel healthier and happier!

1. Have a protein packed breakfast
It’s all too easy to hit the snooze button, oversleep and be rushing out the door to make it in time for your 9am lecture. And when that happens, breakfast can often be forgotten. But if you skip breakfast, your energy and concentration levels will be lower and as you become hungrier, you’re more likely to reach for the unhealthy snacks and junk food as a quick fix to curb those cravings. So, if you’ve got a busy day ahead, it’s a good idea to fill up on breakfast. Having a high-protein breakfast will keep you fuelled and focused for longer at university.

2. Take a walk
For the days you’re not running late or in a rush, why not take a leisurely stroll to uni instead of automatically opting for public transport? Walking will not only help to keep you fit, but getting outside in the fresh air can do wonders for your mental well-being. It gives you the chance to escape and have some ‘me’ time, process your thoughts and clear your mind. Plus, your wallet will thank you for choosing to walk too as you won’t be spending on travel costs.

3. Plan ahead
When it comes to eating well and avoiding those all too convenient takeaways and sugary snacks, planning and meal prep is key. Decide on some meals you’d like to have then do a weekly shop so you have everything you need. And on a day where you’ve not got much on, spend some time in the kitchen cooking up some meals that you can portion up and keep in the fridge or freezer to have the rest of the week. Whether it’s a packed lunch in between lectures or dinner back at home in the evening, knowing what you’re going to eat in advance will save you time, money and probably your waistline too!

4. Drink aware
For a lot of students, it’s inevitable that you’ll have a drink or two on a night out (or a night in). But rather than going heavy on the pints or guzzling the wine, why not opt for a single spirit with a low-calorie mixer instead? This choice of drink has far fewer calories in than beer and wine. And when you’re contemplating whether to have that last drink of the night before you head home, you could always opt for a soft drink instead – a decision you’ll probably be glad of the next morning!

5. Sleep longer
Now here’s one you’re probably not going to argue with; getting more sleep. Yes, you heard that right, where you can you should try and sleep for longer. Getting a good night sleep while studying will do you wonders. You’ll wake up feeling energised and ready to take on the day ahead. But that’s not the only reason sleep is important, studies have found that losing just 30 minutes of sleep a night can lead to long-term weight gain in adults. So, it’s time to hit the sack a little earlier at night or when you don’t have an early morning lecture, it’s a great excuse for a lie in.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for September 2018, look no further than The Hive. For more information please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550 or email thehive@host-students.com

Where to celebrate Pancake day in London

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Tuesday 13th February is no ordinary Tuesday – it’s Pancake Day! Which means it’s a great excuse to heat up the frying pan, put your flipping skills to the test and indulge in a stack of scrumptious pancakes. But if you don’t fancy cooking them yourself, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants close to The Hive where you can enjoy some of the best pancakes in town.

Where the Pancakes Are
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, enjoy stacks of buttermilk pancakes all day long in a restaurant or at a pop-up shop dedicated to pancakes. There’s a special Shrove Tuesday menu available where you can choose from savoury favourites such as the Classic American, or keep it simple with sweet pancakes topped with lemon and sugar. And if that wasn’t enough, there’s even three-legged pancake races taking place!

The Breakfast Club
Fancy free pancakes? If you’re feeling competitive (and hungry), head to one of The Breakfast Club’s restaurants in London and take on their Pancake Day Challenge. If you manage to eat 12 pancakes in 12 minutes, you win and they’re free. But if you don’t, you’ll have to pay full price. However, The Breakfast Club will be donating the profits to their volunteering program Good Day Productions, so even if you lose you’re still helping a good cause.

The Diner
On a normal day at The Diner you’ll find delicious pancakes such as Blueberry, Banana and Choc-Chip to enjoy. But if that wasn’t enough, you can enjoy some special additions to the menu just for Pancake Day. From Oreo cookie pancakes to peanut butter and jelly pancakes, you’re in for a real treat down at The Diner.

And if you thought Pancake Day is just about eating pancakes, you’re wrong. There are a number of pancake races taking place across the city too. You can join in the fun yourself or watch as others – including MPs, Lords and political correspondents, compete to be best flipper.

How to be more productive in 2018

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With a New Year here, it’s the perfect time to ditch any bad habits and make 2018 an even more productive year. So, whilst attending all of your lectures is great, how productive is it if you sit through them without taking any notes and leave the lecture empty handed? Can you really remember all of the important information off the top of your head? Or what if you spend hours and days writing an assignment and then your computer breaks? That’s a lot of wasted time and effort, that you’ll have to redo all over again.

Although not everything can be prevented and you will likely come across set-backs and times of misfortune where hours are lost and you’ve not got done things done as well or as quickly as you’d like, but there are some tools you can use that will certainly help to make your life at university more organised and productive this year.

Task Manager
A class presentation, two assignments, research questions to answer, recommended reading and writing up your lecture notes are just some of the things you’ve got to do!

Keeping track of all of your tasks and to-dos can be tough, especially when more get added to the list before you’ve even had chance to cross off the current ones. With so many things to do running through your mind, it’s no wonder you forgot to buy the milk on your way home from uni.

So, to help you remember everything, why not use a task manager or to-do list app? It’ll allow you to get all tasks out of your head and in a place where you can clearly see them all together. Many apps such as Todoist, Any.Do, Remember The Milk, Asana and Trello allow you to prioritise tasks, set due dates, reminders and add notes. And when you’re done, there’s no greater satisfaction than checking off a task as complete!

Calendar
It’s always good to know what’s on the horizon so you can plan your workload and be sure not to double book yourself! From exam dates and assignment deadlines, to family visits and party nights, having them all in a calendar will mean you never miss a thing!

And in this day and age, keeping track of your social and academic life couldn’t be easier with calendar apps pre-installed on your smartphones and a whole range of other calendar apps available to download. You’ll be able to set reminders and add additional information to calendar events, so they’ll be no excuses for missed deadlines!

Note Taking
Attending lectures is great, but sometimes if you sit there without taking notes you may as well have not been there, as you probably won’t remember what you’ve been told or shown.

It’s important for your own reference and revision that any key information, dates, facts or figures, and useful websites or resources are jotted down so you can refer to them at a later note. And while good old pen and paper is fine for taking note, if you’ve got a mobile, iPad or laptop with you, why not use an electronic note taking tool such as Evernote or OneNote to type in notes during the lecture?

It’ll save you typing up any notes later, and you won’t have to try and decode any rushed or messy handwriting, as it’ll all be clearly typed up. You can easily edit your notes, and you can even add links, images and attach documents to them. An electronic tool allows you to save your notes to the cloud, so they’ll be no misplaced sheets of paper, and being online, you can easily access them and share with others too.

Storage
Having your work backed up is a must as a student. If your computer breaks or it gets lost or stolen, you don’t want to have to rewrite those essays all over again. One of the best ways to keep your work safe is to use a cloud based app such as Google Drive or Dropbox.

Working online and saving files online will allow you to access your work whenever you like, wherever you are. So even if your computer breaks, you can login to your online account from another computer and your work will still be there – phew!!

Communication
Working on a group project with your classmates? Make the way you communicate with each other even easier by setting up a group chat. Apps such as WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger allow you to invite members to the same group, where you can all chat together in one place.

Having a group chat will save time as you won’t have to send separate messages to each team member, it will save repeated conversations and help to avoid any misunderstandings. Everyone will be on the same page and will be kept in the loop with what’s going on.

We hope that some of the tools and methods mentioned will help make your life easier at university this year!

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for 2018, look no further than The Hive. For more information please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550 or email thehive@host-students.com

5 must-dos before you head home for Christmas

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Whether it’s your first or final year at university, it’s probably been a quick and busy term with a mad last-minute rush to get those final assignments in on time. And now term is finishing, all you can think about is packing your bags and making your way back home for the holidays. But before you leave your student accommodation, there are a few things you should remember to do:

1. Lock up
It might seem an obvious one, but if your hands are full as you juggle bags and presents, and your mind is set on getting home, it’s surprising how easy it can be to forget to shut the windows and lock the door behind you. So, remember to double check everything is locked and secure on your way out.

2. Switch off
As you finish university for the holidays, it’s the perfect time for you to switch off and enjoy a well-earned break. But you should also remember to switch off any electrical appliances such as laptops, TVs, and chargers, as well as turning the lights off in your room before you leave.

3. Clear out
Before you leave, it’s worth checking your fridge and throwing away any perishable food – the last thing you’ll want to come home to is a fridge full of mouldy food. And if you’re throwing it in the bin, don’t forget to empty the bins and take your rubbish out – unless you want to return to a stinking kitchen in the New Year.

4. Keep it clean
If you’ve got a basket full of washing piling up in the corner of your room, it’s best to get it all washed and cleaned before you go. They’ll be nothing worse than having had a relaxing couple of weeks at home and the first thing you’ve got to do when you arrive back at your accommodation is washing because you’ve got nothing clean to wear. Plus, the smell of dirty, damp clothes won’t be the most welcoming upon arrival back to your room. Alternatively, you could always take your dirty washing home!

5. Say goodbye
Ok, so it’s not forever, and you’ll be back soon enough, but you should still let your fellow residents and friends know when you’re heading home. You’ve spent the past few months together seeing each other day-in, day-out – it’s going to be a little weird without them there every day. Say goodbye and let them know when you’re back so you can plan a get together to catch up on all the gossip.

And most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy your break and take time out to recoup, so you’re ready and raring to go for the next semester in the New Year.

If you’re looking for student accommodation in London for 2018, look no further than The Hive. For more information please contact us today on +44 (0)20 3551 2550 or email thehive@host-students.com

5 Quick & easy snack ideas for students

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Student life can be hectic. Lectures, assignments, exams, part-time work and socialising can leave little time to experiment in the kitchen. Fortunately, there are lots of recipes out there which mean you can cook up some tasty snacks in no time at all…

Pizza bagels
If you love pizza, you’ll love these. All the great taste of pizza, with less calories and less time to wait to enjoy. These pizza bagels are quick and easy to make, and a very low-cost option compared to ordering in pizza!

Ham and egg baskets
When it’s time to rise and shine, enjoy some hearty eggs. Packed with protein, these crispy ham and egg baskets are not only a healthy way to start your day, but they’re super quick and easy to make too.

Microwave mug cake
Long gone are the days where baking a cake took an entire morning. If you’ve got a microwave, you can whip up a delicious chocolate cake for one in less than 5 minutes. The perfect treat to indulge in after a busy day at university.

Flapjacks
A great sweet snack to grab on the go and keep you fuelled for the morning or afternoon. And by following this simple recipe, you’ll have enough flapjacks to keep you going all week.

Pancakes
Knowing how to make pancakes is a must. Not only can you have them as a sweet treat with sugar, syrup or lemon, but they make a tasty savoury snack too – top with ham, cheese, mushrooms, etc. and try for yourself. Pancakes aren’t just for pancake day!

 

International students: travelling in the UK

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Although travelling in a completely new country can seem scary, the UK is very well connected and offers various forms of transport, which makes getting about quick and easy. Below are just some of the ways that you can travel in and around London…

Taxi
For shorter journeys, you can travel by road in a taxi. Taxis are a convenient way to get from A to B, such as from a station to The Hive or back to The Hive after a night out. In London, you’ll see a lot of the iconic black cabs. These can be hailed in the street. If the yellow TAXI sign is illuminated, it means the cab is available for hire.

Bicycle
To get around the city and local area, you can travel by bike. Haven’t got a bike? Don’t worry. You can hire bikes in London with Santander Cycles from as little as £2. A lot of roads in the city have dedicated cycle lanes or special cycle routes so you can ride your bike safely.

Bus
Travelling by bus is often one of the cheapest ways to travel around the local area. You will find bus stops located in various places around the city centre, with many universities having dedicated bus stops and bus services running to the university campuses.

The Underground
Living and studying in London, you’ll more than likely use the London Underground rail network (or The Tube as it is also known). The tube is a quick and easy way to travel in and around London. You can pay to travel on the tube by buying a ticket or buying an Oyster card which you top up with money. Plus, as a student studying in London, you can apply for an 18+ student Oyster card which gives you 30% discount.

Train
When travelling out of the local area and on longer journeys across the UK, you can travel via train. The UK rail network is very well connected and most towns in the UK have a train station, and popular tourist attractions are usually located within easy access of a train station. Travelling by train is a quick and convenient way of getting around the UK, and it can be a great way to see and experience some of the beautiful sites and scenery of the country.

Coach
Even though it can take longer, coaches can be a much cheaper alternative to travelling by train. Megabus and National Express offer coach services with many arrival and departure points from London and all around the UK.

So, whether it’s to university, to visit friends or simply visit places you’ve never been before, there are lots of options for you to travel to your destinations and explore the country.

The Hive student accommodation London is ideally located close to Bethnal Green underground with surrounding districts of Shoreditch, Brick Lane, Whitechapel and Aldgate only a few stops away.  If you would like to find out more about living with us here at The Hive, please contact us today on 020 3551 2550.

Staying fit as a student in Bethnal Green

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If you like to keep fit and be active, don’t let coming to university stop you. Just because you’ve moved away from home and left your local sports club or gym behind, doesn’t mean the exercise has to stop. Here in Bethnal Green, there are lots of activities and facilities for you to enjoy and take part in. And if exercise isn’t something you’ve given much time to before – now’s the time to give it a go! Below are just some of the things you can do to keep fit.

Running
Running isn’t for everyone, but you don’t know until you try, right? Running is a great way to zone out and de-stress after a busy day at university. Or, if you’re more of a morning person, it’s the perfect way to start the day and energise yourself for a productive day of studying ahead. From a fast-paced run to a gentle jog, and a long distance to a short loop, put your headphones in and take in the sights of your local surroundings.

If you’re still not convinced, why not take part in a parkrun? Every week, parkrun organise free 5km runs around some of the local parklands and surroundings. People of all abilities can take part and with other people running alongside you, it could be that extra motivation you need. It’s also a great way to meet new people in the city!

Gym
If you’d prefer to exercise inside, or perhaps you’re after a bit more variety than just running, why not join a gym? At a gym, you’ll find it all. From free weights and resistance machines, to cardio machines and classes, there’s something for everyone. And if you’re staying with us here at The Hive, you couldn’t be much closer to some great, low-cost gyms.

Conveniently located just around the corner and only a 2-minute walk away from us is ènergie Fitness. For just £22.99 per month you’ll have unlimited usage and access to cardio, resistance, free weights, functional, boxing and stretch equipment as well as a variety of classes.

Alternatively, you can head to Fitness4Less for your workouts. It’s located slightly further away but still only a 14-minute walk away from The Hive, and it’ll cost you slightly less each month. From just £17.99 per month, you can sweat it out on the cardio machines, pump some iron in the free weights area or get your heart racing in the spin bike studio. If you don’t want to commit to a monthly membership, day, weekend and week passes are also available.

Bootcamps
Are you looking to combine the motivation of a group class with the freshness of the great outdoors? Then look no further than an outdoor bootcamp session. Get together with your friends and experience a workout like no other. From team games, circuits, body weight exercises, cardio and strength training, it’s a fun and challenging way to work out! Try the Tough Girl Bootcamp session just down the road at Weavers Fields (for free), or join the British Military Fitness community at Victoria Park for a Bootcamp class.

If you would like to find out more about our student accommodation at The Hive, please contact the onsite management team who will be happy to help.