Youth hostel retro experience

CORRIS HOSTEL left the youth hostel association years ago and even when it was a youth hostel it was something extra special.  An independently owned youth hostel, artistic and quirky, in the less trod area of  South Snowdonia.  Now known as just Corris Hostel it is still run by the same owner Michael Parish, and remains a remnant of all the best things about  youth hostels in the past.

In the words of Michael, “Don’t expect sleek glamour with packaged courtesy gestures, here you will find old fashioned fellowship and a real welcome,  warmth and peace”.

Welcome sign at Corris old youth hostel
Welcome sign at Corris Hostel

Situated in Corris Village high in the Welsh Mountains,  not far from Tal-y-llyn lake and Cader Idris mountain,  the youth hostel was opened to provide holidays of fresh air and exercise.   The youth hostel was converted with input from the Centre for Alternative Technology,  giving guests a green experience in the days before environmental awareness was much talked about.   The youth hostel was was originally an old school and Corris Hostel is in the centre of the village  with quiet streets and pubs on the doorstep for an evening stroll.

Greeting guests at Corris old youth hostel
Greeting guests at Corris Hostel

We came on holiday to Corris Hostel and experienced an evening frozen in time.  As soon as we walked through the door we were welcome.  Jackie (the warden) introduced us and I could tell immediately that everyone in the building felt they belonged.  There were children playing board games.  A visiting dog was quietly bedded down by the fire.  Conversation sprouted up between strangers and fell into a comfortable ease.  Within minutes of arrival each new guest felt a valued part of the whole group.  As the evening moved on food was shared, as if this was the most natural thing.  Warmth and plenty spread though the room.  One person announced there was live music in the village and a group of friends, who were strangers just hours before, left together to enjoy it.  The rest of us continued by the fire, until in dribs and drab we found our ways to bed.

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I woke in the morning to a similar sense of peace, a few people up and chatting around the still-warm fire.  Jackie, in the kitchen,  making porridge for anyone who wanted it.  A group of lads leaving for a day on the mountains.  While others slept on until they were ready to join the conversation by the fire, then off out to explore the mountainsides.

Breakfast at Corris old youth hostel
Breakfast at Corris Hostel

Corris youth hostel,  now Corris Hostel  has been owned and run by Micahel Parish for over 20 years.   If you want to experience the fellowship of an old fashioned youth hostel holiday you should  visit  Corris Hostel soon.  Michael is moving on and Corris Hostel is due a new life under new ownership.  Perhaps as a mediation centre with yoga and lifestyle skills, perhaps not.  Whatever its new guise I hope the old Corris youth hostel will continue to provide hospitality and fellowship.

Guestbook at Corris old youth hostel
Guestbook at Corris Hostel

Some excerpts from Corris Hostels  guest book:-   “Fabulous chilled out amazing hostel”;  “Great escape,  keeping it real” ; “Met with great friendship and warmth”; “Very hard to return to city life, there is magic in the fibre of this place.”

If you have memories of happy times spent at youth hostels in the past, then grab this chance to relive them  with a visit to Corris Hostel in the Welsh mountains.