Welcome to Simply Hostels

Here you’ll find writing about youth hostels, their history and the people and ideas behind them, and two books, one a history of YHA in England and Wales, and one a biography of Richard Schirrmann, the man who invented hostels.

Open To All charts the story of youth hostels from their beginning in 1930. Written by an insider, who worked for the Youth Hostels Association of England and Wales for more than thirty years, the book offers a definitive history of the fascinating organisation that changed people’s lives.

Richard Schirrmann invented youth hostels. His idea grew through two world wars, the rise of the Nazis and economic depression to cover the world. He wanted the best for young people, and never built his idea into a brand, never sold it to anyone. He was a volunteer and an amateur in the best sense of the word. 

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