2018 the year of the hostel
Winter is a time when it would be easy to tuck yourself away and hibernate until the weather gets warmer and days longer but why wait? Why not get out and enjoy the fresh winter air and see new places? Start 2018 as you mean to go on.
The last couple of weekends we’ve headed for the outdoors choosing longer or shorter walks depending on the time we had and then stayed in a nearby YHA hostel. We’ve always been keen campers but hostels offer an alternative option at this time of the year, when many campsites are closed and sitting in a tent from 4 o’clock, when the sun starts to sink below the horizon, might not be your idea of a good time.
The YHA have over 160 hostels, shepherd’s huts, bunkhouses and camping pods around England; many situated in picturesque locations or nestled amongst the hubbub of vibrant cities. The hostels are often in buildings that have a historic presence and, with the recent injection of money that the YHA have invested, they have been refurbished to a high standard.
Our two recent stays have been in Edale – somewhere we have visited often and enjoy returning to for walks in the Peak District – and then, more recently, Coalport, near Ironbridge – somewhere new that we had never visited before. For both of these weekends away we took our walking boots and plotted walks on our OS maps during the day before returning to the hostels for the evening. We’d then spend a few hours sat in the lounge, with other fellow rosy-cheeked residents, playing board games and chatting. Even though the hostels have self-catering facilities, we opted to eat in the cafes (to make packing as light and simple as possible). There is a small but good variety of meals on offer plus a filling English breakfast to set you up for another day in the outdoors.
We’ve enjoyed our recent YHA experiences and are already looking for other nearby hostels that we can visit for future weekends away.