A Lake District foundation

On a lovely autumn day in England's Lake District, we visited Wray Castle, overlooking Windermere. Under blue skies, views of the surrounding hills were clear, not a cloud in sight. The castle, now open as one of the National Trust’s many properties, was busy; families, couples, children, and cyclists, setting out to explore the grounds,... Continue Reading →


Orchard House, near Ninebanks in Northumberland, has been a hostel for 75 years, and for 31 years of those years has been run by its owners. They are now planning to sell the hostel, creating an opportunity for someone else to own this hostel in the beautiful North Pennines. The sale of a privately owned... Continue Reading →

High hills and holidays

S.P.B. Mais was another prolific writer and promoter of walking and travel. Like Morton, Mais was a journalist, and had also worked on the Daily Express newspaper, as a book reviewer and leader writer. Mais claimed to have walked over most of England. He wanted people to stuff their pockets with maps, “to wander about... Continue Reading →

Health, fitness and funds

Since 2020 the government’s Culture Recovery Fund has awarded more than £2 million to support YHA’s recovery from the impact of Covid. The funding marks the widespread support for youth hostels and their importance to communities. Government support for youth hostels is not new. Amidst increasing concern for the health of the nation with war... Continue Reading →

In Search of England

Tours, travel writing and youth hostels In the 1920s people were flocking to the countryside in greater numbers than ever before, laying the foundations of the youth hostels movement in Britain. One popular journalist blamed roads, coaches and the cheap motor car for the growth in travel. Throwing open to ordinary people regions which had... Continue Reading →

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