: Check out Westwood Sharing below for more reviews of Westwood! More info about this is given in there but in short it's a temporary measure put in place if there is an excess in incoming students and not enough accommodation.
(Westwood, Hampton, 2009-10)
: Excellent communal atmosphere. Largest rooms on campus by a long shot, due to be refurbished this summer. Fair proportion of internationals who keep to themselves. Most people per kitchen of any halls. Other side of main campus to the rest of halls.
From a social point of view, westwood is different to most halls. It is intermediate in terms of quietness, depending who exactly you live with. You're unlikely to have 2am fire alarms every week, but because you share a floor with so many others there's normally someone around in the kitchen/common room even in the wee hours of the morning. Aside from some international students, who often isolate themselves from the main group of people and stay in their rooms, the large hall means you tend to get large social groups, especially if you mix the three floors together. The area around each hall is very quiet, so leaving the window open at night is not a problem and rooms are fairly soundproof to boot.
: Firstly the rooms. It is no exaggeration to say they are the best sized rooms on campus, its easily 1.5 larger than the average and you have room to move your bed around, sleep 4+ people on the floor and even fit such luxuries in as beanbags, drying racks or even an electronic drum set with room to spare (all things people have done in my hall). Massive window as well so lots of light/ventilation if wanted, currently let down by being single glazed but this will be fixed by next year. Rooms have their own washbasin and you get a massive desk (approx 2m long!), chest of drawers, bedside table and big wardrobe, so theres a ton of storage space.
Westwood is close to tesco and cannon park shops, has its own post room as well. Each hall has its own washing machine (£2 a go, not cheap) and drying room (dead useful) on the 1st floor, and a common room on the ground floor. Also closest halls to the learning grid, which is essentially a mini computer heavy library open 24/7. Preferred haunt of students pulling allnighters for essays/exam cram sessions. Westwood society has been fairly active in my year, and we've had at least two free meals! Theres plenty of green space around each hall, and although the sports centre is on main campus, westwood is right next to the athletics tracks and tennis courts if that floats your boat.
: The walk. This is the first thing you will hear about westwood, but its far exaggerated from the truth. Westwood is between 10-25 mins away from campus depending on where you need to go and how fast you walk. Slow walkers heading to the far side of campus (SU, arts centre) will need 20-25mins, but for lectures in maths & stats/science concourse, a moderate pace can get you there in 10-15. Admittedly its not rootes or whitefields close to the union, and most girls on my floor have given up heels due to the walk there, but on the plus side the walk back can help sober you up before you hit the sack!
The other main problem with westwood is the kitchen/bathroom facilities. Generally ~25 people are sharing the kitchen, less on the ground floor but they also get a much smaller kitchen. This means it can get pretty messy pretty quick, depending on who exactly you live with. Toilets and showers there are 3 of each for the same number. Although I have never had to wait for a toilet or shower, it can mean that they get slightly dirty between cleaning (2* per week). If you're an absolute clean freak your better of looking for somewhere ensuite first, and a different halls second. Cleaners sort the kitchen 3 times a week, and the bathroom twice, rooms and corridors are not touched. A couple of times this year have had someone unlocking my room without warning to check its occupied, don't panic if this happens at an inappropriate moment, just make a noise and they'll leave!
(Westwood, Hampton, 2009-10)
'Westwood' Consists of 8 blocks (Bericote, Compton, Dunsmere, Emscote, Gosford, Hampton, Knightcote and Loxley), each block containing 60-70 rooms. So it's small enough for you to foster some real loyalty to your hall, and actually get to know everyone in your hall. But large enough to ensure you'll definitely find someone you'll get along with. The mix of students you get is partially down to luck, and partially down to what you wrote about yourself on your accommodation application. Personally I found it quite a good mix. Some nights we'd go out til 4am, and my halls went into Leamington Spa and Coventry for nights out regularly, they'd usually go out at least 3 times a week, so if you're into that, you'll have loads of fun. But there are quite a lot of more 'down to earth' people who just like a pint now and then and don't go nuts. That's the beauty of it really, when you're in rootes you're surrounded by self-professed 'partay animals' and when you're in Arthur Vick you're surrounded by people taking their education seriously. Westwood has a really comfortable mixture.
* Mega huge rooms
: The rooms are 5 metres long and 3 metres wide, so easily the biggest rooms on campus (apart from those delicious double-storey rooms in benefactors, but those are few). One of my favourite features about the rooms last year was the windows, they were three meters wide (the width of the entire room) and 2 meters tall, so you got LOADS of lovely natural light and usually a pretty nice view outside as well. They're all double glazed as of 2010.
* More Furniture and storage
than other halls: You get a whole load of furniture. Including a massive 2-metre long desk (I miss that desk so much, it was absolutely huge!), a wall-mounted bookshelf, a large chest of drawers AND a full-sized wardrobe AND a bedside table with drawers, so plenty of storage. And two noticeboards (Plus your standard sink and mirror) - (My friends in rootes got a tiny 120cm wide desk, only one noticeboard and no chest of drawers)
* Another thing you will get that many halls don't is a large common room,
(I think some had vending machines and pianos in them?!, just hearsay, ours didn't) which is a great area to socialise.
* You also have your own barbeque
(one per hall) that you can use in the summer term for big barbeques on the green. Also you won't have to walk to the laundry rooms outside Rootes to do your Laundry, as each hall has its own washing machine, tumble dryer and airing cupboard.
* Being slightly isolated from main campus has its benefits: you don't feel so 'trapped in the bubble', and Westwood students are usually the first who dare venture off campus for shopping and nights out.
* Also, the 'Westwood campus' has it's own costcutter
, and music rooms
(complete with it's own drum kit).
* You're the closest to tesco, literally a five minute walk away, great for those midnight-runs for nibbles and drinks.
* I suppose the famous 'downside' to Westwood is the distance
, although ex-westwooders will all furiously defend the distance. One thing that really annoyed me was the 'lololo you're in westwood, gutted you is soooo far away' comment you will inevitably get from some lucky git from Rootes: the reality is, you're a 10-15 minute walk away, the same distance as Lakeside and Heronbank. Compared to Rootes and Tocil, which are practically built on top of the SU, it's far, but compared to student halls all over the country, you're still pretty close. The way I always saw it: when I was in sixth form, taking my A levels, it was a 40 minute walk to school, and I thought that was pretty close! 10 minutes is nothing.
It's a fairly pleasant walk too, past the sports fields and the Learning Grid, there's a short video of the walk:
: I'm not going to lie, I was gutted when I first found out I was in Westwood - I was hoping for AV for Sherbourne. I was worried about the distance, sharing a kitchen with so many, sharing a bathroom... but honestly, I love it here. I've been to all the other accommodation buildings and they just don't suit me at all!
- Probably the best "community" spirit
of any of the halls. A lot of my friends elsewhere don't even know all the people they live with. We do seem to have three "main" groups, plus a small group of internationals that keep to themselves. But even the shyest internationals here smile and say hello, ask how your Christmas break was. You'll definitely find people you fit in with, and everyone is friendly to everyone. Nobody is left out, though we have had two people drop out despite our best efforts to get them involved. Most of us leave our doors unlocked pretty much all of the time, nothing has been stolen. And everyone is always happy to help other people out.
- Massive rooms
! Seriously, our rooms are huge, it's no exaggeration. I have a clothes horse in my room, a hard bass case and guitar, games piled up under the desk... I actually have more room than I need, which made it much easier to feel at home. Some of my friends have beanbags in their rooms, too. I'll regularly hang out with 5+ people in one room and it's perfectly comfortable. Sometimes you get a lot more when we get together to play CoD, still really comfortable. There are two "smaller" rooms, which are cheaper. One of my friends actually transferred to a room downstairs because it annoyed him - but they're knocking the dividing wall between them down next year apparently, and may be making it into an extra kitchen! So don't worry about that. There is also one giant room on each floor.
- The desk
. My desk is easily 2m long - I currently have most of my law books (16 atm), my laptop, a monitor, my xbox and a huge printer/scanner combo with room to spare living on it. We also have a million power sockets along the back, so don't worry about how much you can use. I currently have 2 spare. You also get 2 ethernet ports.
. Need I say more?
- Sink in bedroom
. Don't underestimate the importance of this. Sharing a bathroom isn't actually a problem at all, I promise, but having to share a sink would be such a pain.
- Bedrooms aren't cleaned
. This is so annoying for some of my friends in different buildings. They avoid going back between classes when they know their room is being cleaned, and they have to pick everything up off their floor all the time.
- The community staff
. The "head" of Loxley is just the nicest guy. Always really friendly and helpful - very concerned that we're all happy and have what we need, and really understanding. He lets us use the back firedoor in the morning even though we're not supposed to ;P
- The walk
. I'm putting this as a pro because it really isn't a problem. You've heard it takes 15-30 minutes to get to campus? No, that's just a lie, sorry. I do this walk every day
. It takes 5 minutes to get to the Maths and Stats buildings. Social science takes about 10... obviously longer today though because of the ice! I never leave before 8:45 for a 9am. You learn the shortcuts VERY quickly. (Hint: Walk through Milburn house!) Going out really isn't a problem. We also have few pubs that are closer to us than central campus, including one with amazing food that I don't remember the name of :P Though, if you're doing medicine, I suppose it would be a long walk. I can't really comment.
- Close to Tesco
. Much more convenient when you have a craving for pretzels at 2am, or need to get a birthday card for someone in the first term.
- Walls are practically soundproof
. I have the noisiest room in the building. Next to the stairs, the washing machine, and above the common room. I still manage to get all my reading done, sleep fine. My neighbour and I actually tested what noises we can and cannot hear - he can only JUST hear my music if I put it on full blast. You can't hear people talking/moving around at all, ever. The doors are thin, though, so if someone is outside your door you can hear them... that's pretty unusual though.
- Squirrels everywhere!
Just for the "aww" factor.
- Cafe and postroom on your doorstep
. Only having to walk 30 seconds to get to the postroom is brilliant.
- The kitchen is cramped
. Apparently they're doing something about this next year, so that's good. We manage fine, but in the first few days it was difficult. We have 1 fridge drawer or shelf each (plenty), 2 shelves in the cupboards (also plenty), but the freezer is a free-for-all. It gets messy quickly if you don't keep on top of it. You cannot have anyone leaving dishes out or it just gets too messy to use. We just put stuff in the trunk room if it gets in the way.
- Common room is tiny
. We have less than 10 seats between 70ish people. Not much you can do about it, not a huge problem but not ideal.
- Deliveries from Domino's are confusing
. Doesn't seem to matter how often we tell them, we always end up on the phone for five minutes trying to explain that it's carpark 14, not 1... taxis have no problem with it.
If you do end up in Westwood, do bring an extension lead. You get a socket at the foot of your bed, but nothing near your bedside cabinet. Helpful...
(Westwood - Loxley - 2012-13)
(Referred to by 'Loxlians' as 'Loxley Castle' - Robin Hood anyone?)
Like many others, I was quite apprehensive at first when I got allocated Westwood - it was my 4th choice! - (1. AV 2. Sherbourne 3. Bluebell 4. Westwood 5. Whitefields. As a sidenote Arthur Vick and Sherbourne were probably the halls in highest demand this year due to the perceived niceness, price, age and ensuite) First impressions, well - after I eventually found the 'arrivals reception' hidden in the poorly signposted Westwood Cafe - was that Loxley had a bit of a resemblance to a block of council flats (sorry if it sounds like I'm being classist - I lived in a private house in a seaside town!). However, the rooms (except for a few corner ones) are very big at 5x3 metres and in a practical rectangular shape. More to the point, I've really enjoyed my time at Westwood and I consider it the halls with best value for money in Warwick. Ensuite is nice but as the bathrooms and toilets are cleaned regularly, there little to worry about and if compared to the equivalent ensuite halls (Sherbourne), the £1000 saving is certainly worth it.
-There are eight blocks with over 400 rooms in Westwood. 'Z' shaped blocks, Loxley, Hampton, Knightcote and Gosford are the biggest with 70 rooms across three floors. 'House' style blocks Compton, Bericote, Emscote and Dunsmere are slightly smaller (not sure how much as I haven't been in them) but still have three floors and some of them have vending machines and pool tables in the common rooms.
- As far I'm aware of, Westwood has the biggest rooms in campus accommodation. It's not easy to come by a 5x3 (metres!) room costing around £3500 a year including Christmas and Easter vacation. They are also rectangular-shaped making it very practical. Most rooms have a large 3m (wall to wall) window that lets in plenty of light.
-Good storage. Three level bookshelf, 2 metre long rectangular desk with 4 metre-wide drawers, wardrobe just over a metre wide and up to ceiling height, bedside table with 2 drawers and a 'hole' in between. Don't forget there's space under the bed also. All rooms have at least 6 power sockets plus a shaver outlet on sink light. (I have 10 in my room)
-From reading the main thread earlier, it seemed to say that Westwood doesn't have sinks in bedrooms. I can certainly say that (at least in Loxley, Hampton, Knightcote and Gosford) that they DO have sinks in bedrooms.
-Corridor arrangement makes it easy to make friends. If the ones on your floor aren't for you then you can always go to another floor.
-Surroundings (and the block itself) is a lot quieter than Rootes, which is the same price. Quiet in a good way though - very few disturbances at nights during weekends! Don't have to worry much about fire alarms either - I've encountered about two or three (excluding the fire drill) which is considered next to nothing in comparison to other halls, especially Rootes!
-Close to Cannon Park Shopping Centre (5 min walk), which has the likes of Tesco (24hrs), Iceland and Wilkinson so much more choice, convenience and cheaper than the Costcutter (more like Costadder) in central campus.
-Westwood Games Hall, the sports centre on the Westwood Campus site has a running track, rugby and astro pitches, an indoor hall with 3 marked badminton courts (also where the archery club takes place) and both indoor and outdoor tennis courts.
-For those who love their cooking, Westwood kitchens have gas cookers.
-Bathrooms and toilets are quite clean. (Kitchens cleaned Mon Wed Fri, Bathroom/Toilet usually Tue Thurs) As Westwood is 'quieter' (or maybe the students are more mature and sensible!), I've only come across puke-ridden toilet once or twice throughout my entire stay.
-Westwood's warden, Matthew Scott is also the Accommodation Manager for the university. He's very helpful and understanding about student life. Also as manager, if you have any problems he can sometimes sort them out quicker!
-Literally a minute away from the post room. Feel free to order as big a package you want without having to worry about how to carry it back.
-Integral launderette. £2 a pop for the washer and £1 for dryer. However I don't think the washer does a great job removing stains - make sure you add plenty of powder and stain remover!
-Some blocks have locking bike sheds. (Loxley doesn't but there is a shelter at the back and unsheltered racks at the front, but I strongly recommend not using the latter as there is no CCTV coverage at that part and the view of those racks are obscured by the boiler hut. (Make sure you get a solid D lock).) Note - Cities are full of thieves.
-Many will respond by saying "Oh, you live in Westwood? So far!", in reality it's not. (Okay, unless you do biomed where you will be in Gibbet Hill sometimes :P) It's slightly further away from the SU, Arts Centre, Ramphal, WBS and Social Sciences but it's actually one of closest to the Millburn House for Film Studies (3mins), Maths/Stats and Compsci building (5 mins), not to mention the 24 hour Learning Grid. (Library is only 24/7 during Term 3). Engineering (my subject) is 10 minutes away. A bike cuts journey times by at least a half.
-Up to 26 to a kitchen (Loxley, Hampton, Knightcote, Gosford 1st and 2nd floors), but I've been told the two smaller bedrooms in the corner of the blocks will become a second kitchen. You'd think the kitchen would be crazy as it's only about 6x5m but most people tend to cook at different times anyways. Even during 'busy' times it's still manageable. Due to the number of people to the kitchen it can be considered quite small and it takes only a few people to leave their stuff on the table to cause a problem.
-If you happen to get a room adjacent to the toilet, I feel sorry for you. I endured a whole term in one of these rooms and it wasn't nice getting woken up by sound from water pipes. However I can almost guarantee (harsh, but realistic) that someone will move out during the first term, and when this is the case, try and contact the warden or resident tutor who will tell you to arrange a transfer.
-Possible traffic noise if you live in Gosford or Knightcote as they are next to Kirby Corner Road, the main entrance road to the uni campus.
Photos thanks to screenager2004
Westwood (Hampton) by screenager2004