The YHA have sold many hostels over the last twenty years and some of these have been rescued from closure by private individuals or local interest groups. There are now over 70 former YHA properties in the independent hostels network including many hostels, bunkhouses and camping barns. Some of these affiliate back to the YHA to become private youth hostels. However the hostels are being marketed it is the individuals who have rescued these buildings who must be praised. They have enabled these former youth hostels to continue to provide great value self catering accommodation to help all, especially those of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside.
Past and present youth hostels
Click markers to view hostels and bunkhouses
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Great Glen Hostel
Located between mountains and lochs 20 miles north of Fort William and 10 miles south of Loch Ness, the Great Glen Hostel is your ideal base. Perfect for touring the Highlands, bagging Munros or paddling rivers and lochs. It's only a short walk to the Great Glen Way. The hostel provides comfortable, well appointed accommodation in twin, family and dormitory rooms and has a shop where you can buy your essentials.More details
Kendal Hostel, a Georgian townhouse in the historic market town of Kendal, is next to the well known Brewery Arts Centre and only a stone's throw from the town centre. Facilities include 13 bedrooms for up to 66 guests, kitchen, lounge, dining room, bike shed and FREE WiFi. Single/double/family/group rooms plus mixed & single sex dorms.More details
Hawse End Centre
Hawse End Centre sits at the head of the magnificent Borrowdale Valley on the shores of Derwentwater with easy access to Keswick via launch or lakeside walk. The house is a large, comfortable, country mansion, ideal for large groups, while the Cottage is more suited to smaller group, families and individuals. For the more adventurous there are two yurts with stunning views and transparent domes for star gazing. Catering & outdoor activities with instruction can be booked in advance.More details
Saddle Mountain Hostel
Saddle Mountain Hostel is a small and friendly 4* hostel in Invergarry, between Loch Ness and Fort William and at the junction with the road to Skye. The comfortable hostel sleeps 24 people in 5 rooms. It has a large kitchen, dining room and lounge, free WiFi, a purpose-built drying room and bike storage. A great location for Munro bagging, walking, cycling, scenic tours, water sports, fishing, and wildlife watching.More details
Derwentwater Independent Hostel
Family run and friendly, Derwentwater Independent Hostel is a Georgian mansion in 17 acres of grounds with stunning mountain views. Just 2 miles from Keswick, close to the Coast to Coast route and the delights of Borrowdale it makes a great base for individuals, families, groups and conferences. The hostel has plenty of space in and out for you to use and relax. Home made food is available.More details
Lawrenny Millennium Hostel
Once a Victorian village school, the Lawrenny Hostel is superbly placed for exploring South Pembrokeshire. Warm, clean and comfortable, with modern facilities, the accommodation is ideal for individuals or groups, training courses or events. The adjoining village hall is also available to rent and there is a community shop, pub and an award-winning tearoom nearby.More details
Surrounded by magnificent scenery, the Hoy Centre is ideally situated for a peaceful and relaxing holiday and is also an ideal venue for outdoor education trips, weddings, workshops, clubs or family gatherings. Offering high quality, four star accommodation, the centre has a well equipped kitchen, comfortable lounge area and a spacious dining hall. All rooms are en suite with twin beds and one set of bunk beds. Hoy is an RSPB reserve comprising 3,500ha of upland heath and cliffs with a large variety of wildlife including arctic hares.More details
Glenprosen is the most intimate of the Angus Glens on the southernmost edge of the Cairngorms National Park. Two Munros; the Mayar and Driesh link Glenprosen to the Cairngorms plateau. Prosen Hostel is also close to the upgraded East Cairngorms footpath network. Converted to the latest and greenest specification, the 4* hostel offers cosy, quality accommodation for 18. With 4 rooms, sleeping 4, 4 and 6 in bunks and a family room sleeping 4. You can also hire the nearby village hall.More details
The Long Barn
Penrhiw is an organic farm with views over the Teifi Valley. The stunning Ceredigion Coast and the Cambrian Mountains are an easy drive away and the busy small town of Llandysul (1.5 miles) has all essential supplies. The farm's location is ideal for exploring, studying or simply admiring the Welsh countryside. Local activities include fishing, swimming, climbing, abseiling, canoeing, farm walks and cycling.More details
The Barrel Store
Located in the heart of Cirencester, the newly converted Barrel Store provides stylish self-catering accommodation for up to 43 guests in 14 rooms. The rooms are designed to be simple but stylish and almost all are en-suite. Within easy reach of many well-known Cotswold attractions and accessible to transport links, the Barrel Store is perfect as a base from which to explore this fantastic area. Exclusive hire available, get in touch for details.More details
Borth Youth Hostel
With 4 miles of stunning beach just 20 metres from the front door, Borth Youth Hostel is perfect for a beach holiday. This Edwardian house has 9 bedrooms with sea views and is a great base for visits to the Centre for Alternative Technology, Aberystwyth or the beautiful Dyfi Biosphere. Snowdonia National Park is just a short drive away making Borth perfect for both mountain biking & surfing. With two classrooms, Borth YHA is idea for school trips too. There’s free WiFi, a games & TV room, bike storage & drying room. Breakfast, packed lunch & a licensed bar are available.More details
Kirkby Stephen Hostel
Former Methodist Church with a range of accommodation for individuals, families and groups amongst beautiful authentic features; stained glass, arches and panels. There's a large dining room & kitchen and a quiet lounge in the gallery. Kirkby Stephen is a market town in the upper Eden valley. On Wainwright's Coast to Coast path with easy access to the Pennine Journey, the W2W cycle route, the Howgill Hills, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District.More details
Spruce Cottage Bunkhouse By Forest View
A former forestry worker's cottage in the centre of Byrness on the Pennine way and on the edge of Northumberland National Park. Ideal for exploring Northumberland, Kielder Forest and the Scottish Borders. It is perfect for groups, individuals and families accomoodated in full sized single beds (not bunks) plus a Z bed Both the large living and dining (seats 10) rooms have open fires. The kitchen is well equipped. The multi award winning Forest View Inn is opposite with real ale & food if booked in advance.More details
In secluded, native woodland on the eastern edge of Dartmoor, the cabin has been a hostel since the 1930s. Friendly and peaceful, with a homely living room, wood burner, self-catering kitchen, picnic tables, BBQ and fire pit. Walk straight from the door to Heltor and Blackingstone Rock or along the river to Fingle Bridge and Castle Drogo. Cross stepping stones to Dunsford village. Moretonhampstead and Chagford are nearby. On the LEJOG cycling route.More details
Ingleton Yha Greta Tower
On the edge of the Yorkshire Dales, surrounded by magnificent countryside with caves, waterfalls and mountains, Ingleton is dominated by Ingleborough, the best known of Yorkshire's Three Peaks (this is a great base for The Challenge). Known for its walking routes and waterfall trail, there is plenty here for walkers, climbers, mountain bikers and cavers. Licensed and serving tasty meals there is also a self-catering kitchen. Perfect for families and school trips.More details
Alston Youth Hostel
On the very eastern edge of Cumbria, nestled in the North Pennines and within the historic town of Alston, is Alston Youth Hostel. Not only is the hostel about halfway on the very popular Coast to Coast (C2C) cycle route but it is also located directly on the Pennine Way! You'll receive a warm welcome (as warm as our large drying room!!) and hopefully see the resident red squirrels!More details
Hunstanton Backpackers & Yha
This family run, family friendly licensed hostel is ideal for schools (classroom available) & groups as sole use or for families & individuals in private rooms. Close to the beach, town centre, Sealife sanctuary, cliff walks and buses serving the Norfolk Coast. Perfect for walking, cycling, birding and fun on the beach. Food served or self-cater in the kitchen. Enjoy sea views from the garden patio.More details
Skiddaw House Hostel
The highest hostel in Britain! Escape the crowds at this remote mountain hostel. No roads, no other buildings, no phone signal; just views of beautiful mountain wilderness. But there’s no need to compromise on comfort, with wood burning stoves, hot showers, a well-stocked bar and full bedding provided. An easy walk or mountain bike ride from Keswick or Threlkeld.More details
Harlow International Hostel
Harlow International Hostel is in the centre of a landscaped park and is one of the oldest buildings in Harlow. The town of Harlow is your ideal base for exploring London, Cambridge and the best of South East England. The journey time to central London is only 35 minutes from the hostel door and it is the closest hostel to Stansted Airport. National Cycle Route 1 passes the front door. Meals can be provided for groups. There's a children's zoo, orienteering course and outdoor pursuits centre in the park.More details
Cote Ghyll Mill
In a beautiful and secluded valley in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park, this converted linen mill is a perfect base for exploring the moors, dales & coast. Osmotherley has pubs, tea room & shops. Explore the stream & woodlands or take part in organised activities for children and groups. Next to Cod Beck reservoir, Cleveland Way, Coast to Coast and the start of the Lyke Wake Walk. All refurbished, en-suite bedrooms.More details
Old School Hostel Formerly Yha Trefin
Escape to this wonderful rugged corner of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park. Old School Hostel is in Trefin, a pretty village which has a pub and a café, just a quarter of a mile from the world famous coast path. Circular walks from the door take you to stunning wild beaches & harbours. The cathedral city of St. Davids and the popular Whitesands Bay are 20 minutes by car.More details
Experience the peace of the remote Tywi valley in an era before electricity at this 17th century farmhouse. Dolgoch is a traditional simple hostel owned by the Elenydd Wilderness Trust. It has hot showers, log burner, self-catering kitchen, dormitories & private rooms. The Lôn Las Cymru and the Cambrian Way pass nearby and there are many mountain tracks to explore. Ideal for bird-watchers and lovers of the solitude of the scenic Cambrian mountains.More details
Elmscott Hostel is surrounded by unspoiled coastline with sea views of Lundy Island. Great for walking, cycling, surfing and bird watching. The South West Coast Path is just a few mins' walk away. The hostel is well equipped for all your self-catering needs and has a games room and shop. In winter it is only available for sole use bookings.More details
The Lochside Hostel
Perched right on the banks of Loch Ness, the Lochside Hostel has amazing views up and down the loch and can give you direct access to the water's edge. Why not go for a dip in Scotland's largest water body? Take a walk to watch for wildlife? Or even hunt the elusive Nessie!? The Great Glen walking route passes the front door and the End to End cycle route is nearby. Drumnadrochit is just 12 miles away by boat. Recently opened by MacBackpackers, an award-winning tour company who also own 3 hostels in Edinburgh, a great stay awaits!More details
Edmundbyers YHA at Low House Haven
Edmunbyers hostel lies in moorland, close to the Northumberland/County Durham boundary, with fine views and just two miles from Derwent Reservoir, for sailing and fishing. Ideal for walking holidays, it's also on the Coast to Coast cycle route and is close to Hadrians Wall and the Beamish outdoor museum. Cosy and comfortable with optional home cooked evening meals and breakfasts.More details
Bridges Long Mynd Youth Hostel
Tucked away in the tranquil Shropshire hills, close to Long Mynd & Stiperstones, Bridges Hostel is an ideal spot for walkers with the Shropshire Way passing close by. It is also handy for the End to End cycle route and good mountain biking routes. The hostel has a good kitchen, lounge with wood fire, drying room, shop and a large garden. Home cooked, home grown three course evening meals are available. Camping is available and there is a pub nearby.More details
Perfect for group and family gatherings, Corris hostel is a renowned haven from the stresses of the outside world; with its homely atmosphere, friendly staff and cosy wood fires. Outside there are landscaped hill gardens with barbecue and campfire areas. Situated in the Dyfi Biosphere and southern Snowdonia National Park, the hostel is close to Cadair Idris and Centre for Alternative Technology. A walkers and cyclists paradise in addition to many other attractions.More details
Cholderton Stonehenge Youth Hostel
Situated on a delightful family owned farm, this 4* youth hostel provides family/child friendly accommodation for groups or individuals. The hostel is located 8 miles from historic Salisbury with its cathedral, and only 5 miles from Stonehenge. Cooked breakfasts are available from the Ewe Tree Café and packed lunches & evening meals can be pre-booked. Guests get free admission to Charlie's rare breeds farm and large indoor play barn, just next door. Or why not explore the tree top trail, zip wire and woodland walk in the grounds.More details
Alnwick Youth Hostel
This family friendly 4* hostel has en suite rooms, cosy lounge, games room and a spacious dining room. Located in the centre of town it is ideal for Alnwick Castle, of Downton Abbey and Harry Potter fame and Alnwick Garden. The coast, with castles at Dunstanburgh and Bamburgh, Farne Isles, magical Holy Island and glorious sandy beaches is just a 15 drive. While inland there's the Cheviot Hills & Hadrian's Wall.More details
Bretton Hostel is surrounded by meadows on Bretton Edge, near historic Eyam in the heart of the Peak District. With glorious far-reaching views, the sense of space & tranquility is immense. Duvets, pillows and bed linen provided; well equipped kitchen; secure bike store. Lovely timber studio for additional space and workshops. A perfect place for relaxing or enjoying outdoor activities.More details
Situated in the village of Greenhead on Hadrian's Wall, the bunkhouse is ideal for walking the Pennine Way or The Wall or for exploring the nearby Roman heritage sites. It has self-catering kitchen big enough for large groups. The flexible accommodation can be booked by the bed, the room or for sole use. Greenhead hostel/ bunkhouse is run by Greenhead Hotel just over the road.More details
Wern Watkin Bunkhouse
Wern Watkin Bunkhouse (also known as YHA Llangattock) sits high up on Mynnedd Llangattock in the Brecon Beacons National Park. There is direct access on foot to the mountainside and a flat mountain road to a National Cycle Route. The Llangattock Cave complex is within easy walking distance and the scenic Wye and Usk river valleys are just a short drive away. Instruction in a range of outdoor activities can be arranged.More details
Birsay Outdoor Centre
Birsay Hostel in the northwest corner of the Orkney mainland offers comfortable accommodation for up to 26 in 5 bedrooms. An ideal venue for outdoor education trips, weddings, clubs or family gatherings. It has a well equipped kitchen, dining area, drying room, disabled access and all bed linen is provided. There is a campsite in the extensive grounds. Close to spectacular coast, RSPB reserves and the remains of early Christian, Neolithic and Norse settlements. UNESCO heritage sites.More details
Court Hill Centre
Just 2 miles south of Wantage, and only a few steps from the historic Ridgeway National Trail, Court Hill Centre enjoys breathtaking views over the Vale of the White Horse. Reclaimed barns surround a pretty courtyard garden. Providing accommodation to families, groups and individuals, the centre offers evening meals, breakfasts and picnic lunches. There is a beautiful high-roofed dining room which retains the atmosphere of the old barn. A meeting/class-room camping and self-catering available.More details
Lledr House nestles in Snowdonia National Park. Once a YHA and now newly refurbished, guests delight in the luxury mattresses, modern bathrooms, well equipped kitchen and extended car park. Individuals, groups and families. enjoy the clean, cheap, comfortable accommodation. Betws-y-Coed, Llyn Elsi and Tree Tops high rope course close by.More details
All Stretton Bunkhouse
All Stretton Bunkhouse offers comfortable, cosy, self-catering accommodation for individuals and groups of up to 10. It has easy access to the Long Mynd with walks and bike rides for all levels. It is within easy reach of the busy town of Church Stretton and just 10 minutes' walk from the local pub. There's a well equipped kitchen, a shower, two toilets and a tumble dryer. Sole use bookings may bring dogs.More details
Nestled in the beautiful College Valley, North Northumberland, Mounthooly Bunkhouse is a perfect stop off on the Pennine Way and St Cuthbert's Way. Dogs are welcome by arrangement. There is a well equipped kitchen and living area with log burner. Bedding is supplied. Cars need a permit to access the private valley which is provided on arrival. A haven for wildlife with red squirrels, otters and a thriving population of feral goats in the valley. The perfect wild get away from it all.More details
Thorney How offers clean, comfortable accommodation in Grasmere. Family-run and welcoming it provides en suite, simple B&B and self-catering. Close to the Coast to Coast path, local village and lake.Your perfect Lake District base. A bar, restaurant and spacious grounds complete the experience.More details
Morags Lodge Loch Ness
A multi-award winning 4* hostel with a range of rooms to meet all needs and budgets in the bustling village of Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness. Your perfect base to explore the Loch Ness area and an ideal stop off on the Great Glen Way. Surrounded by stunning mountain scenery and set in wooded grounds the hostel boasts 24 hour self-catering facilities, excellent home-made cheap meal options, a rustic bar, free WiFi, bike hire and ample car parking.More details
Kyle of Tongue Hostel & Holiday Park
Kyle of Tongue Hostel is a stone lodge, magnificently situated on the romantic shores of the Kyle of Tongue on the north coast of Scotland. It has supreme panoramic views of Castle Varich, Ben Hope and the queen of Scottish mountains - Ben Loyal. Beautifully furnished, like a boutique hotel, but with all the friendliness of a hostel. There are comfortable private bedrooms, roomy shared dormitories and relaxing communal areas. Full camping services are also availableMore details
Demesne Farm Bunkhouse
This bunkhouse is on a working hill farm in the centre of Bellingham and near to Northumberland National Park. Situated on the Pennine Way, Route 68, and the Reivers & Sandstone Way cycle routes, it is an ideal base for exploring Northumberland, Hadrian's Wall, Kielder Water and many climbing crags. The bunkhouse is very well appointed with quality bunks, a well equipped kitchen, a farmhouse table to seat 15 and a large comfortable communal area.More details
Broadford is well connected for enjoying the Isle of Skye and Broadord Backpackers is a clean, cosy, child-friendly hostel with helpful staff for advice and information. There is a large kitchen for self-catering and a pleasant dining room overlooking the garden. The communal area has a TV and comfortable seating with plenty of board games and tea or coffee. Put in a lovely house cat and you've got yourself a home away from home.More details
The Rose Award winning Kettlewell Hostel is a stylish Independent Youth Hostel in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales. Serving hearty, great value homemade meals & local beer in our large dining room. There's a cosy lounge with woodburner, a lovely garden, self-catering kitchen & big bike shed! Sleeps up to 42 in 11 bedrooms. Great walking and cycling routes on the doorstep.More details
Tyncornel Hostel previously YHA Tyncornel Bunkhouse
Tyncornel is a former farmhouse set in stunning Cambrian mountain scenery at the head of the beautiful Doethie Valley. It is one of the most remote hostels in Wales, favoured by walkers, cyclists, and bird watchers. It is on the Cambrian Way long distance footpath. The hostel has 16 places. There is a cosy common room with wood-burning stove, two dormitories with built-in bunk beds and a self-catering kitchen.More details
Kirk Yetholm Friends of Nature House
Kirk Yetholm Friends of Nature House is perfectly located at the start/end of the Pennine Way. It is also close to St. Cuthbert's Way, the Borderloop Cycle Route and Sustrans Route 84. It's a great base too for local day hikes, ideal for individuals, families and small groups. Recently upgraded, the house offers a comfortable, friendly and peaceful retreat. Evening meals and breakfast are available in the adjacent hotel.More details
Old Red Lion
The medieval walled town of Castle Acre is on the Peddars Way, ancient track/long distance path. This former pub, continues to serve travellers who seek refreshment and repose. Stay in private rooms or dorms (bedding/linen supplied). There are quiet communal areas and 2 large areas suitable for group activities.More details
Set in the scenic coastal village of Helmsdale, the hostel (which was completly refurbished last year) offers spacious en suite accommodation including a fully equipped kitchen and comfortable lounge area with log burning stove. On the NC500 and Lands End John O’Groats route, the hostel is popular with ‘end to enders’ and walkers exploring the Far North Marilyn Hills. It is also a perfect stop on the way top Orkney. Dogs welcome on request. Groups welcome, discount for sole use.More details
Arnside Independent Hostel
This large, family run Edwardian house hostel overlooks Morecambe Bay with great views of the Lake District mountains. The Lakes, Yorkshire Dales, Arneside Knott and Leighton Moss are all easily accessed. Enjoy spectacular summer evening sunsets in the garden with fire pits and BBQ or winter evenings relaxing by the fire in the lounge, playing board games with a local ale from the bar. Self-cater in the large kitchen or book a delicious home cooked supper in the restaurant.More details
Wooler Youth Hostel
Wooler Youth Hostel & Shepherd's Huts are on the edge of the town and offer an ideal base for exploring the Northumberland National Park, the Cheviot Hills, local castles and fine sandy beaches. For walkers there's St Cuthbert's Way and for cyclists, Wooler cycle hub routes, Pennine Cycleway and the Sandstone Way. There are bridleways perfect for mountain-biking and lots of bouldering and climbing.More details
Sheen Bunkhouse is in a quiet corner of the Peak District, close to the beautiful Dove and Manifold valleys. It offers a large TV lounge, well equipped self-catering facilities, two bunkrooms with wash basins and separate toilets & showers. The Manifold Track, Tissington Trail and High Peak Trail give easy access to beautiful countryside, ideal for families and cyclists. Dovedale, the Upper Dove Valley and the remote moors around Flash and Longnor offer stunning walking. Buxton (8miles), Leek (10 miles) and Bakewell (12 miles) & Alton Towers (20 mins by car) are all easily accessed.More details
Ninebanks Youth Hostel
Book a bed, a room, a Chalet room or the whole hostel. Ninebanks 4* Hostel, in stunning rural Northumberland, has en-suite bedrooms, a sitting room with log-burner and a spacious dining room. In the Chalet are two high quality studio rooms, fully self-contained and separate from the hostel. Dogs welcome with prior notice on sole use or in the chalet. In the North Pennines close to Hadrian’s Wall, on Isaac’s Tea Trail.More details
Loch Ness Backpackers Lodge
This 18th century Highland farm house provides warm & friendly hostel accommodation. Ideally situated within walking distance of Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, on the Great Glen Way and with pubs, restaurants and supermarket close by. Residents only bar offers over 70 Scottish beers and 25 Scotch whiskies. Horse riding, fishing, watersports and mountain biking can all be arranged locally. Free parking and free WiFi. Bike storage available except in Jul/Aug.More details
Wee Row Hostel
Located in the heart of New Lanark World Heritage Site and just one hour's drive from either Glasgow or Edinburgh Wee Row is the perfect base for your holiday. The award winning New Lanark Visitor Centre is on the doorstep; step back in time and rediscover life in this working mill village. The hostel sleeps 62 in 18 private rooms (all en suite) and has terrific views over the River Clyde and surrounding countryside. Facilities include bike storage, laundry and drying room. Breakfasts and evening meals are available at the New Lanark Mill Hotel.More details
The historic town of Inveraray, on the western shore of Loch Fyne, is a superb location for exploring Scotland's Southern Highlands and Islands. Inverarary Hostel is perfect for independent holidaymakers who enjoy socialising with other guests from many different backgrounds. The hostel offers simple, comfortable accommodation in private rooms & shared dorms, an excellent self-catering kitchen, communal dining area and a cosy wee lounge.More details
Earby Friends of Nature House
Reopening in Spring 2019, Earby's newly refurbished Independent Hostel (Friends of Nature House), welcomes individuals, families and small groups to this historic, cosy cottage with picturesque garden. A perfect stop for Pennine Way walkers and great base for local day hikes, cycling or discovering the countryside and local heritage. Featuring comfortable lounges, wood burning stove, a well equipped kitchen and dining areas that seat 18. Real ale pub and meals nearby. Adults must accompany U16s.More details
Private youth hostels affiliated to the YHA or SYHA
Many former YHA properties are now operating as private youth hostels in the Independent Hostels network. These are displayed on the map above and are listed below the map with a photo and short description. The independent hostel network works with over 70 former YHA properties. There are nearly fifty past and present youth hostels in the Independent Hostels network and over twenty former YHA camping barns which are shown on our camping barns page. Some of these hostels have affiliated to the YHA marketing scheme as private youth hostels and will show a YHA symbol on their full features (click show more to see their full feature).
With the YHA’s policy of closing down rural Youth Hostels, many communities have seen their local youth hostel close after many years. These homely establishments have quietly provided shelter for walkers, cyclists and tourists over the years. There presence has often brought income and new faces into isolated rural communities. For a few lucky places this is not the end of the story. These youth hostels have been bought by private individuals or re-leased by community groups and opened their doors once more as private hostels. Some hostel affiliating to the YHA marketing services as private youth hostels and others relying on there own resources and the Independent Hostels UK Network.
New privately owned former youth hostels are joining the IHUK network all the time, so check back to this page from time to time to see which closed youth hostels are being preserved as private hostels.
YHA Hostels that have received a new lease of life as private youth hostels
With the YHA’s policy of closing down their rural Youth Hostels, many communities have seen their local youth hostel close after many years of use. Most recently in February 2017 the YHA has ceased their support of all the former YHA Camping Barns. Here are details of some of the hostels and Bunkhouses sold by the YHA that have been part of the IHUK network in the years since 2010, with a brief history of how they got their new lease of life.
Blackboys Youth Hostel.
Blackboys Youth Hostel joined the independent hostel guide when it was sold by the YHA in 2008. Known as The Glade the hostels continued to provide traditional hostel accommodation until 2014. Now it is sadly completely closed.
Old School Hostel formally Trefin Youth Hostel.
This youth hostel belongs to a local church and had been leased by the YHA since 1968. The YHA performed a major refit in 1992 when the two large high ceiling school rooms were graced with an internal upstairs floor and the large dormitories were replaced with six bedrooms each with between 2 to 6 beds. This design is perfect for families and couples and also performs well for groups. The hostel is in the centre of a sleepy village just minutes’ walk from the cliff tops and the Pembrokshire Coast Path.
The YHA bought their way out of the lease in 2006 and the hostel was saved by Sue Whitmore and Chris Clements who have taken on the lease with the aim to provide comfortable, eco friendly accommodation. Sue and Chris made a lifestyle choice when they took on the hostel and they plant a tree for every booking they receive. Ideal of you’re looking for a coastal holiday with a conscience
The Court Hill Centre, Previously the YHA Ridgeway Centre.
This hostel has always been owned by the local community as a private youth hostel and was built and developed with advice from the Youth Hostel Association. It has a fantastic location close to the Ridgeway national trail in rural Oxfordshire. The private youth hostel was once a flag-ship hostel for the YHA and was run under their franchise scheme for over 10 years. The centre made the break with the YHA in July 2007 because they felt the YHA was moving away from their core customers and restricting the private youth hostels own enterprise. Since becoming independent the centre has been able move in exciting new directions by adding tearooms, a function room, a venue for local film society and Tipis for overnight camping. Ideal for somewhere to stay where there is plenty to do and close links to the local community.
Tyn Cornel Youth Hostel and Dolgoch Youth Hostel, also known as Ty’n Cornel Bunkhouse and Dolgoch Bunkhouse. These two YHA simple hostels in the Elenydd Valleys had a loyal supporter base of Youth Hostellers when the YHA put them up for sale in 2007. Upset at the loss of these remote simple hostels the supporters set up their own trust “ELENYDD WILDERNESS HOSTELS TRUST” with the aim of buying the hostels. In January 2007 they began operating Ty’n Cornel as a private youth hostel under a lease, and in autumn 2007 they bought Dolgoch. A third hostel in Blaencaron was sold before the trust was able to get their funds together and is now a private house. For the following 7 years Dolgoch and Tyn Cornel hostels remained affiliated to the YHA as private youth hostels and renovations took place to improve comfort at the hostels whilst maintaining the character and eco credentials of the buildings. During this period the YHA renamed them as bunkhouses and in 2017 they excluded both these private youth hostels from their marketing scheme. Despite many appeals and national publicity these two hostels were forced to rely on their own marketing and the Independent Hostels Network for all their publicity. The good news is, that in Oct 2017 Tyn cornel Hostel topped their over night stays for the calendar year compared to 2016, with 3 months still to run. So it looks like they are going to do well without the YHA.
KIRKBY STEPHEN HOSTEL – previously Kirkby Stephen Youth Hostel. This old Methodist church has been a youth hostel for over 20 years. It is on the route of four Long Distance Walkers’ paths including the Coast to Coast. It is ideal for walkers, cyclists and those who want to tour the Dales and the Lakes. Sold in 2006 it immediately started its new life as an independent hostel. The current owner is committed to providing a warm welcome and comfortable low cost accommodation for outdoor enthusiasts.
LAWRENNY MILLENNIUM HOSTEL- previously Lawrenny Youth Hostel. This old school was converted to a private youth hostel by a local community trust with the aid of a grant from the Millennium fund. It is situated on a quite river valley in Pembrokshire and is a great location for visiting romantic castles. It ran as a private youth hostel for a few years, but left the YHA in 2005 and remains an Independent Hostel. It is still run by the local community trust who also maintain a small village shop.
Skiddaw Youth Hostel. Skiddaw House is the highest hostel in England. Situated high on a Lakeland moor the hostel has no electricity or mobile phone coverage and is accessible only by footpath. Owned by a farming family in Cumbria it was leased by the YHA for many years. When the YHA gave up the lease it was taken on by Martin and Marie with the backing of the “Skiddaw House Foundation” and its trustees. This private youth hostels is affiliated the the YHA and is also part of the Independent Hostel network.
FOREST VIEW WALKERS HOSTEL- previously Byrness Youth Hostel. This private youth hostel has undergone a major Green refurbishment since Colin and Joyce bought it from the YHA . It is now an Eco-Hostel affiliated to the YHA and Joyce will bend the ears of fellow eco-warriors if you ask to see the boiler & solar panels. It is situated right on the Pennine Way and is used by walkers and cyclists. UPDATE: 2015. The original hostel building is now a guesthouse and pub, still run by Colin and Joyce, who have also opened a bunkhouse SPRUCE COTTAGE BUNKHOUSE in a nearby house which continues to provide youth hostel style accommodation.
HELMSDALE HOSTEL- Helmsdale Youth Hostel. This hostel was sold by the SYHA (Scottish Youth Hostel Association) and is now run by Irene Drummond as an independent hostel affiliated to the SYHA as a private youth hostel. Set in a small village between Inverness and John O’Groats it provides ideal accommodation for families and outdoor enthusiasts.