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.
When planning a holiday, most people think of staying in a hotel or a bed and breakfast. However, there’s another option that’s worth considering – a hostel. Hostels offer many benefits that hotels and B&Bs don’t and can provide a unique and memorable experience. The adventure begins with where you stay – so choose somewhere interesting!
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.
In light of the news about the YHA reducing their network by a third, we are here to say confidently and categorically that hostelling is not dead! Independent Hostels is a network of over 300 independently run hostels across the UK. That’s twice the number of hostels than the YHA!
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.
There are many reasons why hostels are AWESOME places to stay… but here are 5 reasons to whet your appetite.
Have you dreamed of working on a little homestead where peace and community are always prioritised, and the worries of the modern day seem to just float away? Puttenham Barn Bunkhouse has been looking for you as much as you have been looking for Puttenham Barn Bunkhouse!
We’re happy to see a few familiar names on the shortlists. It is always a joy to see people showing the benefits of getting outside in the fresh air, the awards have highlighted some of the people who’ve been doing just that.
Independent Hostels was founded in 1993 by Sam Dalley who realised that independent hostels across the UK lacked a unified voice that larger, YHA hostels had. As many independent hostels are in isolated places, she wanted to create a platform where hostels could feel part of a wider community. Independent Hostels provide a space where holidaymakers, families, groups, schools, travellers, and outdoor enthusiasts can find affordable accommodation in incredible locations.
After two years of Covid-related closure, a change of management, and a complete refurbishment Balmaha Bunkhouse is now open and taking bookings.
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.
I have nothing but good things to say about both the Kickstart scheme and Independent Hostels UK. I now work in a high tech office at Cromford Mills, a grade one listed World Heritage site, and coincidentally it’s the first grade one listed World heritage site I’ve ever been able to see the inside of!
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.
In 2014, Stephen, Carol, Richard & Suzanne Mackay purchased Tongue Youth Hostel from the Scottish Youth Hostel Association (SYHA) with a vision of transforming the undeveloped but prime land surrounding the Hostel into a campsite & caravan park.
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.
Perhaps one of your New Year resolutions is to live a greener life. If so we can help!!! Holidays in hostels or bunkhouses have great ECO credentials.