Floods and common space

The changing places of youth hostels On a flying visit to Cumbria, we managed a night at the hostel in Keswick. We stayed in a balcony room with a view of the town's Fitz Park, and the river that, in recent years, has flooded twice. Twice the flooding river wrecked the hostel's ground floor and... 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 →

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 Once you wouldn’t have spoken of hostels without calling them old fashioned and out of date.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 →

The hazards of archiving… and a rare find

Here's the latest news from YHA’s archives, courtesy of John Martin, YHA’s honorary archivist. John writes in the following article that over the years YHA has been pretty good with its retention of important archival material. "The prime objective of a company’s or charity’s archive is of course to retain its governance records for consultation,... Continue Reading →

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