puffin wrote: I was too old for YHA's
Or too well off.
Youth hostels have a range of advantages over say a Travelodge (the company of other cyclists/walkers, drying room, cycle shed, comfy common room, kitchen, good location perhaps etc etc). These might appeal to anyone other than those staying in four star hotels. But their chief advantage is (or was) their low cost. And this depends I would have thought almost entirely on sharing a room with several strangers in close proximity.
Even at my stage of life I find it difficult to fund a longish trip using own-room accommodation, whether that be YHAs with own room, B and Bs or even early bookings in Travelodges, especially if travelling alone. While it's still possible to find it cheaper, £60 per night may be the going rate and over just 5 nights that's £300 - and still no kitchen for a cheap self-cooked meal.
I think sharing a dorm is good character-building for anyone but it's my least favourite aspect of a hostel - the comfort factor isn't so important. In fact, there are other problems with sharing with strangers and that includes niggles over security and losing odd socks. So it isn't just other people's snoring. In other respects most hostels these days are superb (where they exist).
So I've taken more to cycle camping in the summer to solve both problems (privacy and cost) and in the winter a mix of B and Bs, kindly relatives and the odd hostel (if you can find one).