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A circle in Lakeland

Youth hostels often seem like an urban idea but the origins of youth hostels in the Lake District show us something very different. They began in the Lake District in a haphazard and unorganised way after a schoolteacher, on the eastern Pennine fringe of the region, opened one hostel. Another opened on the edge Windermere... Continue Reading →

Duties, chores: a dusting down

"Each member is required to carry out hostel duties as directed by the warden"* What do you remember about youth hostel chores? Washing up or dusting down? The daily chore was the centre piece of staying in a hostel from 1930 until at least the 1980s. Everyone swept, mopped, polished, scrubbed, or did any one... Continue Reading →

The first youth hostel Christmas

Pennant Hall, photo courtesy YHA Archive  On a bright December day in 1930, Connie Alexander was walking down Lord Street in Liverpool. She was happy and carefree. Christmas was coming and bright days in December can be few. On a street corner she bumped into two friends in the middle of an animated discussion. Her... Continue Reading →

The circuits of Snowdon

A group of enthusiasts on Merseyside claimed for itself a foremost place in youth hostel history, being the first to use the title of “Youth Hostels Association” and first to use the term youth hostel. Having set themselves “to promote Youth Hostels” they set their hearts on establishing “a chain of hostels in North Wales”... Continue Reading →

Simple friendly chains

Youth hostels are about travel and, at their start, that was travelling on foot, from place to place, from one hostel to the next. A chain or chains of youth hostels had been the dream of many when they first entertained the idea of hostels; the dream of leaving the place where you lived and... Continue Reading →

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