Hostelling is in better health than it’s ever been. There are more hostels now than at the height of the youth hostel movement, in the 1950’s . And while the YHA closes more hostels, the independent sector is blooming.
In June 2023 the YHA announced that it is taking a step back from the management of a third of its properties in England and Wales. 20 of these youth hostels are now for sale, each one presenting a golden opportunity for those wanting to escape the rat race.
Many hostels and bunkhouses try to keep their prices lower on their websites than on Booking.com or Expedia, so you’re more likely to get a better deal when booking directly, which you can via the Independent Hostels website.
The Stackpole Centre is a National Trust group accommodation center and cottage in a unique landscape on the stunning south Pembrokeshire coast. We spent a family holiday here at the beginning of the summer holidays and found so many brilliant things to do.
The pandemic has brought together youth hostels and independent hostels across the UK. With their emphasis on social interaction hostels have been uniquely hit and are vital for the recovery to come.
Scottish hostels have been supported with a £2.3m fund from the Scottish government. But what about the rest of the country?
It has been a tough summer for all accommodation businesses, but the worse effected are hostels and bunkhouses. This unique style of accommodation needs support from the Government to get them though the winter. There is a motion in Parliament and we need your help now. Read on to find out how.
We all go to booking sites for accommodation, however I add another step and I think you should too… I use the booking sites to find suitable available accommodation, then I google the accommodations name, look past all the Ads and I place my booking direct. This has led to some startling results over the years.
Outdoor education centres are closed and hostels are missing out on a significant client in schools. These closures are due to the Government preventing schools from undertaking any overnight trips now and throughout the current academic year.
Reading, dreaming and planning holidays with your friends has got to be good for the spirits. Read on to claim your copy of the Independent Hostel Guide (available free during the Coronovirus lockdown).
Adelina Patti made Craig Y Nos Castle into her lavish home. Although nearly forgotten now, in her time Adelina was the worlds first celebrity. Latter the castle became a TB hospital. It is now an idyllic wedding venue and has a great value bunkhouse in the old nurses accommodation. A history tour of the castle is run every morning and if you are staying in the bunkhouse you can join the tour for free.
Here is the story of Tip the dog, who stayed for 104 days with the frozen corpse of her master on the hills above the Derwent Dams. Joseph Tagg, the shepherd who got caught out on the moors, used to stay occasionally in a lean-to at the end of the old barn on Lockerbrook Farm. The barn was demolished in the 1970s, but last month one of Lockerbrook’s volunteers rescued a little stone drinking trough and returned it to Lockerbrook to mark the 65th anniversary of the discovery Tip alive and by her masters side. If you bring a group to stay at Lockerbrook Outdoor Centre you can visit Tips grave and sleep in a room named after the loyal collie.
Ty’n Cornel hostel has welcomed walkers, cyclists and other visitors since 1967. Since 2007 it has been operated entirely by volunteers through Elenydd Wilderness Hostels, a charitable trust.
A story of a local landmark and the attempt to save it. The Lonely Tree was an iconic part of the community and the fact it was horizontal was not stopping anyone! It was entered into the competition to be Welsh Tree of the Year in the October after it blew over, and won! Then in 2015 it was entered into the European Tree of the year competition. This is a story of community endeavour, tenacity and wishful thinking. It only needs a Hollywood ending to finish the tale.
The Gower Peninsula juts out of the south Wales coastline, westwards from Swansea. It was the very first Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and is well know for the many beaches along its coastline. I have also discovered a handful of glorious castles , much less well known, but brilliantly adapted for visitors. This combination of good facilities and emptiness make these castles feel like a personal discovery, set as they are in atmospheric rural locations.
The North Norfolk Coast belongs to the sky. It is filled with coastal wildlife, salt mashes and picaresque villages with ancient roots. There are stunning seascapes, seaside towns and not much evidence of the hurley burly of modern life. That is why Deepdale is such a useful find, unusual in rural North Norfolk, there is tourist information, shopping with great food available, camping and hostel accommodation all in the authentic relaxed village of Deepdale.
Mull is a Hebridean island with few settlements and large areas of open wilderness populated by both rare and common wildlife. During our few winter days on the island we spotted Otters playing in the bright waters of a sea loch, Whooper Swans, Deer, a Hen Harrier, and a Heron, not to mention the free roaming sheep and Hairy Coos.
In 1660 the village of Eyam was stuck by the plague and went into isolation. When the plague was at its height villagers buried their dead in the gardens of their cottages and four of these grave remain at Bretton Hostel, surrounded by the meadows and moors of the dark peak. Bretton Hostel and the plague village of Eyam are a ready made holiday, with a world of interest and education in the very fabric of the village, gorgeous countryside to explore and comfortable self-catering accommodation.
I first heard of the Lincolnshire Wolds as a member of the YHA, hearing talk of the iconic Woodys Top Youth Hostel. It took another 20 year to get around to visiting this quiet and beautiful area, by which time Woodys Top hostel had closed. However I soon found, hidden amidst the beautiful countryside, other remnants from the historic era of rambling that founded the YHA.
Following the successful Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival this spring, it’s now time to get your boots on for the return of the popular South Lincolnshire Walking Festival in October.
Stopping off overnight at Corran House Hostel, on my way to the Isles, it struck me what a simple solution they provide for breakfast, (read on to find out more). Part of a grand Victorian terrace on Oban’s waterfront, Corran House provides great value accommodation in private and shared rooms.