There are 400 hostels in the Independent Hostels UK network including, bunkhouses, backpackers, camping barns, bunkbarns and boutique hostels. They are in rural and city locations across Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Great Britain includes the countries of England, Scotland and Wales, each of them rich in tourist attractions, stunning landscapes and self-catering hostel style accommodation. The United Kingdom, UK, also includes Northern Ireland which also has a long tradition of providing friendly hospitality in Holiday Hostels. The UK, despite being a relatively small land mass, has a rich historical landscape, impressive mountain ranges and the 12th longest coastline of any country in the world. This makes it ideal for tourist and seaside holidays, and for mountain and coastal exploration. The Island is famous for its long distance paths, following ancient routes and the stunning coastline.
Explore the UK by map
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With over 400 hostels, bunkhouses and camping barns, the UK has one of the most extensive independent hostel networks in the world.
The first hostel network in the world was the Youth Hostel Association, YHA, which started in the early 1900’s as a network of youth hostels catering for city workers in industrialised Germany and Britain, who wished to go rambling or cycling in the countryside. The Scottish Youth Hostels Association, SYHA, developed alongside the YHA for England and Wales. The youth hostel network spread worldwide and is now called Hosteling International HI. Meanwhile back in the UK, and also in Ireland, independent hostels began to appear among the Youth Hostels.
Independent Hostels are small independent businesses, run by individuals, couples and families. They are often described as Holiday Hostels or as Bunkhouses in some rural areas. Independent Hostels in cities or tourist hot spots called themselves Backpackers Hostels as they catered for people who arrived with Backpackers. More recently there has been a trend of nicely decorated independent hostels being called boutique Hostels.
Independent Hostels sprang up all over Britain. Wherever there was stunning countryside to explore, mountains to climb or city centre attractions to visit, individuals set up their businesses providing self-catering accommodation ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and tourists. The independent hostels offer a wide choice of self catering accommodation in the best areas to visit and they all welcome group accommodation bookings.
As the Independent Hostel network grew in the UK the Youth hostels Association began to sell some of their hostels.
Many youth hostels were sold, particularly those used as stepping stones in the old cycle tourists network. To the great applause of local communities and regular guests, some of these ex youth hostels have been saved by individuals and became part of the independent hostel network. The Independent Hostel UK network is now larger than the Youth Hostel and Scottish Youth Hostel associations put together, so imagine what a resource is now available to those visiting the UK who use the three networks put together.