About Us

Independent Hostels UK ( IHUK ) is UK’s network of independently owned bunkhouses and hostels. With over 350 members it is the largest hostel network in the United Kingdom.  IHUK is larger then the Youth Hostel Association ( YHA ) and Scottish Youth Hostel Association ( SYHA ) added together. Take a look at our Independent Hostels UK map to see all our accommodation.

English Maps: London | South | West Country | Peak District | Central and Shropshire | East | Lake District | Yorkshire | Pennines | Northumberland
WELSH MAPS: Snowdonia & North Wales | Mid Wales | South Wales
SCOTTISH MAPS: South Scotland | Trossachs | Mull Arran & Oban | Cairngorms & Moray | Loch ness | Highlands | West Coast | Skye & Hebrides | Orkney
LONG DISTANCE: Coast to Coast Walk | The Pennine Way | C2C Cycle | Great Glen Way | West Highland Way | Beacons Way | White Peak Loop | Lon Las Cymru Cycle Route | South West Coast Path  | Scottish North Coast 500 | Mountain Bike Coast to Coast| The Dales Way | Issac’s Tea Trail | Hadrians Wall | The Rob Roy Way | Offa’s Dyke


Independent Hostels UK was established in 2004, with government funding, from the network of accommodation featured in the Independent Hostel Guide. Members include backpackers hostels, camping barns, bunkhouses, independently owned youth hostels and group accommodation centres.  IHUK continues to provide marketing through the Independent Hostel Guide website and guidebook, social networking, leaflets and attendance at shows and events.  Members of  IHUK are given access to the member’s message board where hostel and bunkhouse owners swap advice and members discounts are available.  Find out more about what IHUK offers here.

IHUK works closely with other hostel networks worldwide including Independent Holiday Hostels of Ireland, Swiss Backpackers, Scottish Independent Hostels, the German Backpacker Network, Backpackers Hostels of Canada and BBH New Zealand. IHUK also shares information with national organisation such as the Sustrans National Cycle Network, Ifootpath and the Long Distance Walkers Association.

If you are looking for accommodation for a group you can use our free online group enquiry service.

To find a hostel use the Find By: filters above.  You can search by Location, by Activities (eg cycle routes), by Requirements (eg  private rooms), or if you know your dates, by Availability.   Using one filter after another combines the results, so you can search for hostels near  Ambleside which are close to cycle routes and have private rooms.   The results are displayed on a map with links to the full information about each hostel.   You will find a wide choice of accommodation all offering great value with self catering, convenient sized rooms and flexible lengths of stay.  As well as using the filters to create custom maps of your perfect accommodation you can also use the Regional Maps and Search icons to the left of the top bar to view ready made maps or search for a hostel by name.  The Search icon also searches our blogs for Holiday Ideas so watch out for some nice surprises.

While you are exploring  you can add favorites to your Short List  by clicking on the Star by the hostels name.   You can view your shortlist anytime using the Star button on the top of this website.  You can  send a message to all the hostels on your shortlist, or send your shortlist to your friends.

Our team of bloggers update the  Independent Hostel Guide website weekly with articles about great places to visit and holiday ideas around the UK.   The hostel owners add special offers and news to the homepage every day and these are circulated via our Facebook and Twitter profiles.  For those who like to leaf through a book all the details of the hostels in IHUK are available in the networks annual handbook, the long established Independent Hostel Guide, available to buy for £5.95.