A life changing experience

“How does a life-changing experience start? With some, it’s a single event; with others it creeps up on them over time.” Sir Chris Bonington has been a long time supporter of youth hostels. He’s one of those who found adventure through youth hostels and never looked back, and youth hostels were one of the events... Continue Reading →

Youth hostels and the Road to Wigan Pier

Rudyard Lake in 1935, a year before Orwell's visit, photo courtesy YHA Archive I’ve always admired George Orwell. His beautiful prose is like a window pane. I studied his essays in sixth form and bought his collected essays and journalism that same year. I still have copies of those four volumes. Who couldn’t help but... Continue Reading →

Hostel work, Gwen Moffat and Rowen

Rowen - photo by Gwen Moffat, courtesy YHA Archive at the Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham. While qualifying as a mountain guide, the first British woman to do so, Gwen Moffat worked at the youth hostel at Rowen in North Wales in 1952. I wrote about her experience in my history of YHA, Open to... Continue Reading →

The hostel guide: review

If you thought hostels weren’t for you, this might inspire and change your mind and I can think of no better reason for reading it. Hostels are all over the world. They’ve been around for more than 100 years and follow a trend that’s even older than that. But for some they’re still a mystery.... Continue Reading →

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