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.
After a refreshing night’s sleep at Witherslacks Cycle Barn we (Alex and my dogs Jaffa and Banjo), ate breakfast and set out to find a route across the fells. Our destination was another dog friendly hostel in Kendal.
We all go to the large booking sites to look for accommodation, however I add another step and I think you should to. I use the booking sites to find suitable available accommodation, then I google the accommodation name and place my booking direct. This has led to some startling results over the years.
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 iconic era of rambling that founded the YHA.
If I could only say one thing in this blog, I would say beware of booking.com. Be aware that the minute you list a single bed with them, direct bookings from returning guests and word of mouth referrals will start to come to via booking.com. You lose 15% and booking.com gets the upper hand.
The Highland Haven feels like it is at the edge of the world right up on the Scottish North Coast. Brian Sutherland visited with his family and experienced a warm welcome to this newly renovated innovative hostel. A must visit if you are looking for Scottish north coast accommodation.
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.
Almost immediately after leaving Greenhead on the way to Bellingham, the Pennine Way path joins the ruins of Hadrian’s Wall. It continues along this extremely well preserved section of the wall for the next 8 miles. As soon as it turned away from Hadrian’s Wall I felt like I was back where I belonged. After 200 miles, I felt connected to the Pennine Way. It hadn’t always been kind to me but I didn’t take it personally, because this is part of what it means to walk any long-distance path.
We were lucky enough to be walking on a warm, sunny evening across the Lincolnshire countryside; the Ramblers Church made us feel right at home and gave a sense of walking the way that so many have walked before…I recommend that others also follow these ancient footsteps.
After walking my third day of the Pennine Way my destination was Hebden Bridge Eco-Hostel, and my friend decided to join me there. The hostel is located on the east end of town and up a hill, but this gave us the advantage of being able to pass by the artisanal shops, sidewalk cafes, and art galleries that lined the streets.
In Hull the thing that struck me was the Art, you just stumble on it walking down the streets. I had no idea that Hull was such a quirky place, with great outdoor spaces and amazing buildings. We really loved the atmosphere in the old town.
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.
Recently I spent a weekend in Hull. It’s a stunning little city with a Marina, fabulous architecture and excellent museums. We stayed at Hull Trinity Backpackers Hostel, handy for all the attractions of Hull. My particular highlight was The Antarctic Legacy of Shackleton at the Maritime Museum.
For the next Alex and Jaffa adventure we were invited to stay at The Star Bunkhouse in Bwlch in The Brecon Beacons National Park and joined a walk around Talybont on Usk lead by The Forest of Dean Ramblers.
The Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival runs from 19th May until 3rd June 2018 and offers 100 walks over 16 days in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The Wolds are one of the driest areas in the UK, with a golden rolling landscape of easy gradients and wide skies with stunning views. So if you enjoy walking the Lincolnshire Walking Festival is an ideal way to explore and discover what Lincolnshire has to offer.
If you like to walk from the door, and explore more thoroughly the stories behind the landscape, then you might be interested in an 8 mile circular walk which starts and finishes at Derwentwater Independent Hostel, in the heart of the Lake District National Park.
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.
Heading down the Roman Road in the moonlight night we turned off to Hurdlow and the Royal Oak Bunkhouse. The pub was a wintry scene with snow all around, warm coal fire and a full Derbyshire breakfast..
On a recent visit to Tarset Tor Bunkhouse and Bothies in Northumberland, I realised what a hidden asset a bothy at Tarset Tor is for two families who like to holiday together. Anyone who has ever had kids will know that the best times are had when the children have play mates and the adults can relax.
Today hostels cover the world. You can find them in cities, in the countryside and beside the sea, on every continent of the world. Official and unofficial, hostels, backpackers, bunkhouses, call them what you will, they’ve conquered the world. In the UK the history of independent hostels starts with the YHA but quickly sees the independent sector grow into the network we have today.