Blog

Running Long Mynd from All Stretton Bunkhouse

I’m in my sixtieth year and am planning on climbing 60 summits to celebrate. There are no criteria about height, and I can do more than one in a day. It’s half way through the year and I’ve knocked off 50! Last weekend a small window of opportunity opened up to escape to Shropshire for a couple of days and I jumped at it.

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Summits in Shropshire.

The Lonely Tree of Llanfyllin

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.  

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Llanfyllin lonely tree sign close to llanfyllin Workhouse Bunkhouse

Farewell to Jaffa

Our many readers who have enjoyed reading about Alex and Jaffa’s adventures while testing out various of our dog friendly hostels will be saddened to learn that Jaffa is no longer at Alex’s side.

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Jaffa while staying at Star Bunkhouse Bwlch on the Beacons Way, Wales

Lincolnshire Wolds Walking Festival

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.

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Lincolnshire Wolds walking festival spring fields

Cycling on the Kintyre Peninsular and Arran

We make it to the ferry port just as the ferry is docking, we cycle onto it, lock up the bikes, and head into the passenger cabin to eat lunch! We were on the ferry from the tip of the Kintyre Peninsula to Lochranza on Arran.  After 30 minutes of eating, we cycle onto Arran for the next stage of the journey with our tanks refueled.

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cycling on the Kintyre to the arran ferry from campbeltown

The Bob Graham Round for Walkers.

For years I’d heard talk of the Bob Graham Round, and I was intrigued by it. I knew that it was impossible for me to travel 66 miles and climb 42 peaks (27,000 ft of ascent) in 24 hours. So I decided to do it my way, take it much slower and stay overnight in hostels along the way.

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A summit on the Bob Graham Round

Yorkshire Three Peaks Fell Race

Ever since I started fell running almost exactly 3 years ago it had been an ambition of mine to run the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Fell Race – the ‘Marathon in the Mountains’ and the blue-riband event of the fell running calendar. The races takes on three highest mountains in Yorkshire – Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough over 23.3miles and over 1600m of ascent, quite a daunting prospect!

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Yorkshire Three Peaks Fell Race

Running Hadrian’s Wall

Maria from Uruguay suggested running Hadrian’s Wall when we were at 4000m in Nepal. It had never entered my head. Anyway, as it was a chance for a reunion and 50th birthday celebrations with some runners we’d met in Nepal, I offered to organise it.

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Hadrians Wall. Hostel or Bunkhouse accommodation at Slack House Farm & Florries Bunkhouse

Gower Peninsula, Beaches and Castles

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.

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Rhossili Bunkhouse Gower Beaches

Fresh air holiday on the Isle of Mull

An opportunity for me and my family to spend five super days on a fresh air holiday on Mull, which is fast becoming my favourite island. We did see Eagles on three separate occasions but sadly, look as we did, the shy elusive otters evaded our attention. What better reason to come back.

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famous tobermory Cat Isle of Mull

Holy Island of Lindisfarne

On a summer holiday in Northumberland we were staying at The Hides in Seahouses and had taken our bikes across the causeway to Holy Island. The tide was coming in but the romance of the island was luring us to stay longer.

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Lindisfarne Causeway by bike

Falmouth Hostel Holiday

I plan on spending around 6/7 days on my Falmouth Hostel holiday. My intention is to explore this area of the Cornish Riviera by walking, assisted by various train journeys where and whenever required. My base is Falmouth Backpackers Hostel five minutes stroll from the town’s rail station.

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boats in the river harbour viewed on a Falmouth hostel holiday

North Norfolk Coast in a self catering bunkhouse

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.

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Deepdale Granary

A romantic getaway to Aberystwyth

Brian Shaefer-Dryer spent an afternoon and evening in Aberyswyth staying at Plas Dolou Country House Hostel. He found this seaside town full of interesting venues, great sea views and full of entertainment some even from the acrobatic displays of the local avian wildlife which all together added up to the perfect romantic getaway to Aberystwyth.

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getaway to aberystwyth

Greenhead to Bellingham: Pennine Way meets Hadrians Wall

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.

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Greenhead to Bellingham Pennine Way meets Hadrians wall

Wildlife at the Ross of Mull

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.

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whooper swans wildlife on mull

Floating accommodation in Bristol Harbour

On Kyle Blue floating hostel we enjoyed the views from the kitchen as the sun set above Bristol Harbour, so even washing the dishes became a highlight of the day. Often we couldn’t resist heading back out for a moonlit harbour-walk where jazzy tunes flowed out over the cobblestones. Returning home to our cosy cabin with lots of “big city impressions,” after a great day on and around the water in downtown Bristol.

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Bristol City Break - Street Art