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“The definitive history of YHA”

Two books, Richard Schirrmann - the man who invented youth hostels and Open to All - how youth hostels changed the world.  Both are available from Amazon. The biography of Schirrmann is available as a Kindle book £2.50 or paperback £3.99. Open to All is available as a paperback (£9.98) and kindle (£4.99). Youth hostels... Continue Reading →

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Changing youth hostel democracy

Heading to London on a weekend set to be one of the hottest on record seemed to be a mistake, or an act of stupidity. Especially as it meant leaving my home in the lovely Derbyshire Dales, a garden that needed watering and that wanted to be sat in, under a shady umbrella, accompanied by... Continue Reading →

Street – Britain’s oldest

I first went to Street youth hostel nearly 40 years ago, for an interview for the job of manager, or warden as we were called then. When I was offered the job at Steps Bridge, in Devon, I went there instead.  I loved the time I spent at Steps Bridge but, ironically, it's no longer... Continue Reading →

Castle Hedingham

Self help and an Essex village The story of the youth hostel at Castle Hedingham, and how it came about, is a story of self sufficiency and self-help, typical of early pioneering youth hostels. In a village on the Essex border in pretty countryside, for those who liked cycling on lanes and quiet by-ways, Castle... Continue Reading →

Youth hostel values

Youth hostels conquered the world. When travel was beyond the pockets of many and impossible for many young women, even if they could afford it, youth hostels opened the world. Youth hostels taught the world to travel, to journey, not to have a holiday, not to tour, but to travel using your own resources. Youth... Continue Reading →

Escape the past

Youth hostels have grown up. Once you wouldn’t have spoken of hostels without calling them old fashioned and out of date. Now hostels have thrown off their shackles and appeared afresh and new. I love the way a new generation has discovered the idea. You can read a contemporary take on youth hostels below, where... Continue Reading →

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