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!

Guests’ needs are evolving… But so are we!

People’s expectations of hostels might be evolving but that does not mean we have been left behind. In fact, all the hostels in the Independent Hostels network do a pretty fantastic job of catering to 21st-century needs and expectations while still retaining that authentic hostelling charm.

“Hostels are not affordable anymore”

Independent Hostels are still committed to giving everyone affordable access to the countryside. Some hostels have amazing amenities and therefore, higher prices, but according to our 2022 data, an average overnight stay in an Independent Hostel is only £20 per person. Take a look at our camping barn and bothies page for some of the cheapest hostel stays available. Alternatively, look at our special offers and late availability pages for amazing deals.

Alstonefield Camping Barn sleeps 12 people for £123 a night. That works out as £10.25 per person.

“Hostels are not modern and don’t have Wi-Fi”

Needs may have been evolving over the last couple of decades, but guess what? So are we! Over 80% of the hostels in the Independent Hostels network have super-fast Wi-Fi! We have plenty of high-tech hostels that are fitted with super-fast Wi-Fi and eco-technology.  Though, if you prefer to take a step back from the rat race when on holiday, there are still plenty of off-grid hostels which are the perfect place to switch off and unwind.

Cwtsh Hostel in central Swansea has modern sleeping pods, super fast Wi-Fi, customisable rainbow lights and electric bike hire.

“I don’t like sleeping in dormitories”

Dormitories are the most hotly debated topics when it comes to hostels. Love them or hate them, it actually doesn’t matter! Independent Hostels caters for both lovers and haters. We have hostels with dorms for those who love to share, and we have hostels with private and en-suite rooms for those who prefer some privacy.

Ogwen Valley Bunkhouse sleeps 16 in a variety of dorms and single beds for £17 a night.

“You can’t travel between hostels like you used to”

Do you miss the days of the when you could walk from hostel to hostel? Luckily for you, we have over 50 long-distance routes punctuated with independent hostels to choose from. Walk, cycle or skip between hostels and rejoice in the convenience of having many independent hostels at your fingertips. You can even have a discounted stay at some hostels if you arrive by bike, foot or public transport.

Laurie, our resident blogger recently cycled the Hebridian Way and stayed at 5 Independent Hostels along the way!

“Hostels don’t take individuals anymore”

You might think that hostels are moving away from taking individual bookings, however Independent Hostels is here to fill the niche in the market, in fact, we have been fulfilling the niche for over 30 years! 75% of the hostels in the network welcome individuals.

“As a single traveller, there’s nothing so lonely as a hotel room and a breakfast table for one. I love the sharing of space and friendships that I get in hostels.”

Bunkorama overlooks arguably one of the most beautiful places in Wales – The Mawddach Estuary. Explore by yourself or with others.

Long live Independent Hostels

Hostels are a special and unique way to travel, they are run by passionate and hardworking people. Help us preserve their legacy and ensure they continue to thrive for many more years to come by booking a stay and beginning a new adventure.

Rookhow Bunkbarn is set within its own 12 acres of glorious oak woodland. You can’t get an experience like this anywhere but at a hostel.

About Bronia Kidd

Bronia was digital media manager at the Independent Hostel network until Autumn 23 and she still helps out from time to time. Bronia loves crochet and her dog called Toastie.