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Student Accommodation

Take a look inside Britain’s biggest student house

Got over a million quid going spare? Yeah, us neither (sigh). But for those that somehow do, they could get their hands on the UK's biggest student house.

Britain's biggest student house with a shocked emoji in front of it

Credit: Rightmove

When Britain's biggest student house went up for sale, the listing price suggested you'd need to stump up a cool £1.2 million to become its next owner.

Regent House, on Gordon Terrace in Plymouth, was made up of four Victorian houses knocked into one mansion-like property. It had 32 bedrooms (mostly with en suite facilities) and four kitchens – we said it was big.

When the property was listed for sale in 2017, the estate agent explained that the building used to serve as a nursing home. It closed in the 1990s. In 1999, it was converted into communal accommodation for students.

It used to cost around £100 a week (less than the national average!) to rent a room in the house, and its convenient location means residents can easily walk to the University of Plymouth campus.

This article was originally published in 2017. However, in early 2022 the house was renovated into four separate student houses, each with en-suite rooms and large social spaces.

Inside Britain's biggest student house

biggest student house interior plan

Credit: Rightmove

As well as chilling out in one of the many, many bedrooms, residents were able to spend time with housemates in two spacious lounges.

Student Thomas Riggs said he managed to keep on top of his studies during his three years of living at Regent House, despite the occasional chaos. Speaking with him at the time, he said:

[We] go on several nights out a week and pretty much every night we have a drink in the house – so it pretty much feels like one big party.

The house is crazy and intense but at the same time it's a lot of fun. We're like one very, very big family.

pool table in living room

Credit: Stratton Creber Commercial

You’ll never get bored here, as the house used to have a pool table and a darts board. Factor in the short walk from the university campus, and the house has a lot of appealing characteristics.

There are white goods aplenty too. The house held four washing machines, five fridges, five freezers and four ovens, so there are unlikely to be any arguments or queues.

In fact, the only aspect we'd criticise is that there was only one bath. Residents will need a seriously organised rota, or have to settle for one of the seven showers available.

Check out the best and worst places for student nightlife. You might be surprised by the town that tops the list...

Living in Britain's biggest student house

britain's biggest student house lounge

Credit: Rightmove

When added up, it's thought the Regent House residents spent 320 hours a week at lectures, followed closely by 311 hours partying.

A whopping 3,111 hours were spent watching TV and 900 hours on the PlayStation. But they didn't just stare at a screen in their downtime – they also spent about 224 hours playing pool.

In an average week, the 32-strong household got through:

32 students under one roof – they may need to follow our tips for getting a deposit back in full.

Is it cheaper than other student homes in Plymouth?

bedroom in uk's biggest student house

Credit: Rightmove

So the question is, would you save any money living here compared with more typical student accommodation in Plymouth?

If you want to live on campus at the University of Plymouth, the cheapest rooms cost £118 a week.

Choosing university accommodation with an en suite would set you back over £180 a week. Some of these buildings will, of course, be closer to the university campus than Regent House.

But halls aren't the only option open to students, as many will opt for private accommodation. Our latest National Student Accommodation Survey has found that students at the University of Plymouth spend an average of around £110 a week on rent.

However, as you'd expect, factors like distance from campus and facilities provided will affect the price of the property. It seems to depend on whether proximity to campus is a deal-breaker for you.

What's more, in a 32-person household, you're likely to pay a far smaller share of the bills than you would in a bog-standard three- or four-bed house.

That said, the University of Plymouth's halls offer students shorter contracts which only last as long as the university year. It's unclear whether a stay in Regent House used to be on a full-year contract, so this is something potential residents would've had to consider when comparing costs.

And, perhaps most importantly, they needed to weigh up whether living with 31 other people would suit them. If you value your privacy or quiet surroundings, it may not be the best place for you!

Looking to cut the cost of your uni accommodation? Check out these ways to save money on renting.

Lucy Skoulding

WRITTEN BY Lucy Skoulding

Lucy Skoulding specialised in student news reporting while writing for Save the Student, sharing the latest data and top stories affecting our readers.
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