Owning a future

From its founding, the Youth Hostels Association (YHA) of England and Wales made great use of individuals and communities to open and run hostels on its behalf. These hostels, often known as adopted hostels, created vital links with local communities and rural life for hostels and their visitors. It's an approach that helps make YHA... Continue Reading →

Adopting an organisation

People were impatient for youth hostels in Britain by 1930. Germany had started its hostel movement in 1909. But in Britain, it was unclear how youth hostels would open, as different people in different areas took different approaches. A group on Merseyside was looking for hostels in North Wales while from London, the first secretary... Continue Reading →

Long sustainable youth hostels

“Hordes of hikers … people, wherever there is water, upon sea shores or upon river banks … stinking disorderly dumps of tins, bags and cartons bear witness to the tide of invasion…” Sounds familiar, the kind of complaint made about the visitors invading the countryside and coast today, demonstrating how unsustainable our ways of travel... Continue Reading →

A fashion for England

In 1932 YHA aimed to make touring affordable by creating circuits and chains of hostels especially for young people like Hilary Hughes and her friend Margaret who toured through Hampshire and the New Forest that year. [1] They were part of a fashion for travel, to discover Britain, which arose after the first world war.... Continue Reading →

Breaking a mould

The original idea of youth hostels had been for small groups in big cities to open chains of youth hostels stretching into the countryside. A group based in Oxford took that further by opening a hostel in its own urban base, reshaping the idea and origins of hostels. YHA’s first handbook in 1931 showed towns... Continue Reading →

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