Open to All

A definitive history of youth hostels in England and Wales.

From their beginning in 1929 with no money, no leader and only a simple idea, they grew with phenomenal speed. In less than ten years, more than 200 youth hostels had opened.

The story of youth hostels in England and Wales and the people and ideas behind them takes the reader through years of tumultuous change, of boom and bust and revolution as they set young people free.

Today they boast bars, restaurants, and en suites, luxuries unimaginable at their beginning. You can find them in cities, in towns, in the wilderness, in castles, mansions, mills, and converted hotels.

Based on wide ranging research and original material, Open to all is the fascinating story of youth hostels, of how they grew up and how, having changed the world, youth hostels raced to catch up with the young people they had set free.

Duncan M Simpson worked for many years in and for youth hostels, as a seasonal assistant and manager. For ten years he was head of corporate affairs for YHA (England and Wales).

A new revised and illustrated edition of Open to All was published in October 2020, available from Amazon.

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