A group of cyclists outside Ballater Hostel

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.

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The Future is Bright for Hostelling.

5 Reasons Why You Should Try Staying In A Hostel

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!

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Latest YHA hostel sales present a golden opportunity

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.

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the lounge at holmbury st mary youth hostel showing the banner painted

Hostelling isn’t dead

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!

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Why Book Direct ?

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.

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New Ing Lodge where its best to book direct

Volunteer opportunities in the idyllic Surrey Hills

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!

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The 2024 Great Outdoors Awards are here!

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.

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TGO 2024 awards

The Guardian and Ethical Consumer celebrate Independent Hostels’ eco ethos.

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.

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A short history of independent hostels

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.

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How I Kickstarted at Independent Hostels

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!

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Support Our Hostels

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.

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support our hostels logo

Why you should Book Direct

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. 

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why should i book direct

Save Outdoor Education Centres & Support Hostels

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.

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coasteering Arete Centre

Adelina Patti, History Tours at Craig Y Nos Castle

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.

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Theatre built by Adelina Patti