Staying in English independent hostels, bunkhouses and camping barns is a great way to tour England on a budget. Self-catering accommodation with stays as short as one night enable couples, individual travellers and families to experience landscapes as varied as the North Norfolk Coast, the Lake District and Cornwall right up to Northumberland. The cities are also well provided for with boutique hostel’s and backpackers providing great value city centre accommodation. English bunkhouses and hostels also provide ideal accommodation for groups, particularity those looking for outdoor activity breaks, with sole use of large kitchens and dining rooms. There are nearly 200 privately- run English hostels in the Independent Hostels UK network, providing accommodation in England’s classic countryside, National Parks and historic towns and cities.
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History of Hostels and Bunkhouses in England
The idea of Youth Hostel was first developed in England in the late 1920s with Youth Hostel Association (YHA) being formed in 1930. The YHA’s aim was to encourage access to the best of our countryside for young people from the industrial. The network of YHA hostels was designed to be a day’s cycling distance apart and the web of hostels developed by the YHA provided low-cost self-catering accommodation in some of England and Wales’ most iconic locations. Throughout the 20th Century the YHA developed into a countrywide network with links to SYHA in Scotland and Hostelling international. However the impact of the loss of visitors to the countryside as a result of the 2001 Foot and Mouth outbreak resulted in a change of direction for the charity and since then the YHA has concentrated on larger more accessible hostels in honeypot locations such as the National Parks as well as new hostels in cities.
Throughout this time the English Independent Hostel network, which began in the surfing towns of Cornwall and the walking areas of England, has grown. Independent hostels have sprung up where the YHA have left with many ex-yha hostel being taken on independently by management or local business people. The network now numbers nearly 200 hostels, bunkhouses and camping barns and now provides great value hostel and bunkhouse accommodation in all the prime English outdoor locations. There is a high density of independently run hostels and bunkhouses in the English National Parks including The Lake District, The Peak District, The North Yorks Moors, The Yorkshire Dales and The Northumberland National Park. Many of the English Cities including Newcastle, Nottingham, York, Manchester, Birmingham and London now have independent hostels, often boutique in style and always in prime city centre locations.
How to find accommodation with the facilities and location you require
To find the hostels and bunkhouses perfect for your holiday you can use the filters at the top of this website. You can search by Location, by local activities, by Facilities and if you know your dates, by Availability. Using one filter after another combines the results, so you can search for hostels in London which are close to cycle routes and have private rooms.
Accommodation for Groups.
All the hostels and bunkhouses in England are well equipped to provide accommodation for groups, with large kitchen pans and dining areas to accommodate the entire group. You can send an enquiry to a list of hostels and bunkhouses with exactly the facilities your group requires, using our group accommodation enquiry service
Touring England and independent travel.
There are now independent hostels in many tourist cities of England. Others are in wild areas of the National Parks or along Long Distance Trails, and are surrounded by stunning scenery. English Independent Hostels are a great resource for touring England by car, by bike or on public transport. Bunkhouse and hostels are unique in that they provide self-catering accommodation where you can stay for as short as one night. Ideal for touring on a budget with many facilities not available at hotels, B&B’s or self-catering cottages.
Look out for the Green Tourism symbol to see hostels which have embraced sustainable energy and recycling in their business. Or do a search of your own using the Requirements option on the toolbar at the top of this site to request your own search showing only the hostels with green ethos.