A List of former YHA hostels

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
Mike_Ayling
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby Mike_Ayling » 24 Oct 2018, 1:23am

robgul wrote:That brings back memories from when I was a member (and indeed Chairman for a couple of years) of Woodford & District YHA Group from 1962 - 69. Many of the Essex, Kent and Surrey hostels were regular weekend haunts ... and I was a volunteer helper at the Epping Forest hostel for a while.

To remember a few I stayed at : Cudham (my very first bed-night), Tanners Hatch, Ivinghoe, Holmbury St Mary, Kemsing, Crockham Hill, Houghton Mill, Ewhurst, Alfriston, Cambridge, Jordans, Idwal, Buttermere, Saffron Walden . . . those were the days.

Rob


Rob

I was a member ( and like yourself Chairman for a year) from 1968 to 1971 of the West London YHA Group and we visited most of those hostels that you mentioned.
I met my wife Mary in this group and we and four other couples married about the same time and are all still married. It did not do much for the club membership however!

Mike

LadgleOfTheNorth
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby LadgleOfTheNorth » 28 Oct 2018, 11:35am

PH wrote:
horizon wrote:The real destruction took place in the 2000s (mainly after Foot and Mouth) when the whole idea of a youth hostel network of simple accommodation was replaced by a marketing-led chain of higher-priced Travelodge style outlets targetted at the well-off.

The YHA has certainly changed and they're rarely my preferred option these days. I've enjoyed a good few on those now closed, around 30, some of them several times and many in the company of just a few other visitors. Even without Foot and Mouth they were dying.
According to the YHA the biggest single customer base is not the well off but school groups and the city hostels which make a profit to subsidise some rural ones attract a lot of foreign visitors. Not for me, but I'm not Y.


My mindset has changed on this. Compared to the SYHA the YHA has do a brilliant job keeping hostels open. And the north is still splendid for budget YHA accomodation, at least for cyclists. For walkers, independent hostels seem to fill the gaps.
At peak times you get around the expense by using the great facilities of YHA camping.

I also recall that working hours directive had an obvious negative impact so the YHA overall is still getting a lot right.

Zulu Eleven
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby Zulu Eleven » 28 Oct 2018, 12:36pm

Affordable & reliable accommodation in rural areas is, of course, a complex issue - but one that I think is particuarly important for cyclists.

I think the above comment about the marketing people trying to compete with travelodges is broadly right - certianly in the mid 2000’s there was a feeling of this, but I think even more of a problem was the trend towards rent-a-hostel, which meant that they were being leased out to groups and never available for independent travellers.

The recent push towards luxury B&B and Glamping is a problem too - and of course this ties in with planning permission allowing people to convert hostels for other uses.

Of particular note, I think, is the importance of affordable accomodation for cyclists, like hostels, to the functioning of National Trails and National Parks... so much so that sections 12 and 54 of the 1949 National Parks and Access to the countryside act included statutory powers to secure this accommodation

Some of you may wish to reflect on this and submit appropriate comments to the current government review of National parks -https://consult.defra.gov.uk/land-use/landscapes-review-call-for-evidence/

PJ520
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby PJ520 » 15 Nov 2018, 7:04pm

Didn't John Betjeman write a poem about all the closed hostels? Perhaps he went himself before they all closed.
You only live once, which is enough if you do it right. - Mae West

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Mick F
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby Mick F » 17 Nov 2018, 9:10am

The one at Great Malvern was called Malvern Hills YHA.
I stayed there JOGLE 1994.

The list just calls in "Malvern'.
Mick F. Cornwall

merseymouth
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby merseymouth » 17 Nov 2018, 11:27am

Hi there, List very short! What about Cyffylliog? TTFN MM

brynpoeth
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby brynpoeth » 17 Nov 2018, 11:45am

Bryn Poeth Uchaf
..
Bryn Poeth Isaf?
Bryn Poeth Ganol?

Obligatory translation/explanation:

BPU was a hostel near Cynghordy, no access by car, the name means 'Hill Warm Upper'
Usually when there is an upper there is a lower too (Isaf) and often one in the middle (Ganol)
Entertainer, juvenile, curmudgeon
Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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brynpoeth
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby brynpoeth » 18 Nov 2018, 6:06pm

YHA handbook 1975 printed on special paper like airmail paper

68 simple hostels
148 standard hostels
30 superior hostels
3 special hostels

Overnight simple, young member, 38p
Overnight standard, senior member 65p
Breakfast where provided 37p

Life membership GBP 16.20

Border & Dales Regional Group:
Acomb, Barnard Castle, Bellingham, Byrness, Edmundbyers, Grinton Lodge, Keld, Kielder, Langdon Beck, Ninebanks, Once Brewed, Saltburn, Westerdale, Whitby, Wooler

Stated at about six of those
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Slowroad
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby Slowroad » 27 Nov 2018, 8:22pm

Came across the 2018 book (for 50p) produced by these people: https://independenthostels.co.uk/
Lots for groups only, but lots not, and several former YHA places that I stayed in the in 80's and 90's. Also some interesting new places where farms are diversifying. I've enjoyed hostelling in Germany and other countries in Europe over the last few years, and this may tempt me to try hosteling in the UK again.
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brynpoeth
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby brynpoeth » 8 Jun 2019, 8:10pm

Mick F wrote:The one at Great Malvern was called Malvern Hills YHA.
I stayed there JOGLE 1994.

The list just calls in "Malvern'.

Malvern Wells?
Hatherley, Peachfield Road, +1!
Many towns had two or more hostels at various times, hostels only open one season, hostels were planned but not opened etc etc
Maybe there were hostels at Malvern Link, West, North, Little, &c
Hostels are run by 'warders'*, are there hostels that were once prisons?
..
Have you visited all the hostels + ex-hostels in Kernow?
* in Germany: Jugendherbergseltern, Youth Hostel Parents :wink:
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Cycling-of course, but it is far better on a Gillott
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Tangled Metal
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby Tangled Metal » 8 Jun 2019, 10:31pm

I remember the yha used to release stories locally (Lake District) about x or y hostel under threat of closure due to too few users. Then they'd suddenly become impossible to get into unless you book month in advance.

Such examples were Kendal, skiddaw, one of the ones in the borrowdale valley area. However they lasted for at least a decade after the first threat of closure.

We used to think of these announcements as the yha advertising quiet hostels. We also used to avoid those under threat because they'd become busy but others become quiet, we chose them.

BTW Kendal closed a year or so ago and is now run by the next door brewery. Very successful place users usual full at weekends.

Skiddaw was a joint venture hostel for a while between the yha and a private individual who to be polite was eccentric. That has closed.

The ones around borrowdale area are all still open.

Grasmere had two yha hostels but iirc one had closed or gone private hostel now.

Personally I didn't appreciate the yha fake closure threat announcements. I also found wild camping and tbh even preferred to camp in the commercial camp sites. Camping is more fun and has less snoring.

GPC
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby GPC » 11 Jun 2019, 7:21am

I came to hostelling pretty late, only having stayed at a YHA with the school back in the 1970s. But having met my wife on a CTC holiday managed to catch the end of the best of the YHA in the early years of this century. We stayed in countless tiny hostels in the Black Mountains in Wales, I cycled from home in London to see my then Scottish GF in Fife staying with CTC friends and YHA's so many have gone as you noted.

Now as a CTC leader I try to use YHA's as often as possible, and make it part of my tours offer. One of my LCC holiday groups stayed at the thatched hostel...forgotten the name now, in the midlands I think...and I took an LCC group to the Castle Hedingham one once for an overnighter from London.

Some lovely old, if impractical, buildings.

Gary Cummins

DaveReading
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby DaveReading » 11 Jun 2019, 8:23am

Does anyone remember Winchester City Mill ?

I seem to recall that the washroom involved taking some wooden steps down under the hostel to where you could throw a bucket on the end of a rope into the River Itchen for your ablutions.

Or did I just imagine that ?

mercalia
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby mercalia » 11 Jun 2019, 9:29am

Tangled Metal wrote:I remember the yha used to release stories locally (Lake District) about x or y hostel under threat of closure due to too few users. Then they'd suddenly become impossible to get into unless you book month in advance.

Such examples were Kendal, skiddaw, one of the ones in the borrowdale valley area. However they lasted for at least a decade after the first threat of closure.

We used to think of these announcements as the yha advertising quiet hostels. We also used to avoid those under threat because they'd become busy but others become quiet, we chose them.

BTW Kendal closed a year or so ago and is now run by the next door brewery. Very successful place users usual full at weekends.

Skiddaw was a joint venture hostel for a while between the yha and a private individual who to be polite was eccentric. That has closed.

The ones around borrowdale area are all still open.

Grasmere had two yha hostels but iirc one had closed or gone private hostel now.

Personally I didn't appreciate the yha fake closure threat announcements. I also found wild camping and tbh even preferred to camp in the commercial camp sites. Camping is more fun and has less snoring.


and you have less risk of catching any bugs from the many visitors from around the world

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Paulatic
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Re: A List of former YHA hostels

Postby Paulatic » 11 Jun 2019, 2:21pm

Lake District: Carrock Fell was a favourite with me. An early finish from work and I could get down there book in and get to Hutton roof well before closing time. :D
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