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 Once you wouldn’t have spoken of hostels without calling them old fashioned and out of date.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

Lakeland changes

"Wet suits fitted", the sign said. We had just arrived in Ambleside. The rain blew softly around us as it often does in that town. We might have wanted to keep dry but the sign declared some thing else. River, lake and wild swimming have become a British fashion as we rediscover water is a... Continue Reading →

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