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 →

Bonny in its best

The youth hostels at Maeshafn and Holmbury St Mary had proved too expensive for the new YHA, and its executive committee determined it would lease or buy property rather than build from scratch. The experience and expense did not end architect-designed, purpose-built hostels, not for a few years anyway. But those that followed haven't always... Continue Reading →

Power stations, motorways and ultra-modern hostels

Purpose built hostels showed that the youth hostel movement was new, bold and contemporary, aligning its supporters with other modern movements. But a movement is a coalition that relies on many different supporters and when the costs of purpose built hostels became obvious, against the cheapness of using existing empty properties, the desire for new,... Continue Reading →

One for the hills, and history

Idwal Cottage in Snowdonia is a favourite of mine. Its location is perfect, its facilities great and its history unrivalled. It’s located among marvellous hills. They’re big - technically mountains - and the challenge of climbing them rises in your face, with no long treks to get among them. They’re big and ugly and they... Continue Reading →

His busy month

History’s a living thing. YHA archivist John Martin gets out and about a lot, researching the history of hostels, looking for old hostel sites and finding people with memories of hostels as they were. He gets to celebrate all that is rich in YHA’s history. As well as spending hours searching and cataloguing papers and... Continue Reading →

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