Monday, 12 September 2016

A look at Youth Hostels

Hello. I haven't been doing much Youth Hosteling lately, but as you are aware I am always a fan of cheap and affordable accommodation. I don't like paying silly prices in a posh hotel, and don't need all the trimmings. A comfortable bed with use of a clean shower and toilet is all I need. Breakfast I will have if it is included in a cheap B & B, or a reasonable price in a hostel, or I don't mind preparing my own food in a self catering kitchen. 
My recent stay at Helmsley was just perfect, the hostel wasn't busy so I was lucky enough to have a six bedded room to myself. No queuing for toilets or showers. I might mention that some hostels now have en suite facilities, they also have private and family rooms you can book, so if you don't fancy sharing a dorm there are other options. Prices vary, the cheapest being £10 a night, a bit more if you choose a popular month. 
I always find the wardens very helpful, and the people I meet are always friendly. It's the ideal place to stay if you are a single traveler.  Just to give you a taste of some of the hostels I have picked a few out to show you. 
Grinton Lodge is near Richmond in North Yorkshire. If you want to go this coming weekend it would cost you £10 a night on Sun/Mon/Tues. And if you are a member there is a reduction of £3 per night. You won't get cheaper accommodation than that unless you put a tent up in a field. Have a look here. 
Hartington Hall, near Buxton, Derbyshire.This is just the bees knees of hostels. A 17th century manor house with log fires and oak paneling. Have a look here.

Want to stay in a castle? This is St Braviels near Lydney in Gloucestershire. This is a grade 1 listed monument which is over 800 years old. It certainly does have the WOW factor. It's looking like beds are £20 for this month and next. Have a look here.

Fancy a bit of Shakespeare? This is the Youth Hostel at Stratford on Avon. A Georgian mansion set in three acres of grounds. Beds from £17. Ideal base for Stratford and Warwick. Have a look here.

This Victorian house is at Streatly on Thames in Berkshire. Lots of places to walk and cycle around here, close to the River Thames. Have a look here.

As my blog is about saving money I am not going to advertise a posh hotel at astronomical prices just because they have given me a freebie, I am telling you about some of the cheapest accommodation that is available. YHA is a charity, they rely a lot on volunteers to run things. Cheap doesn't mean they are tatty, they are continually updating their buildings. I don't get a freebie for this, I believe they provide an affordable service for low income households. Another thing to note is that you can get a breakfast at a hostel which does food, even if you are not staying there. Served between 7.30 and 10am.

I'll leave it with you. Consider hostels when planning your holidays, check out the web site and see the list of benefits they offer. Breakfast at a city hostel on a Sunday? No bother, just pop in before 11am.

I must get on. Thanks for popping in, we'll catch up soon.
Toodle pip

24 comments:

  1. When our kids were young (1970s-80s) hostelling is what we did because it was a way of affording a holiday. One year we even went to the Ardennes. DH, who'll be 80 in December, still uses hostels on his cycling trips.

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  2. When we took some guides to Europe a couple of years ago we stayed in a couple of youth hostels and they were brilliant. I would recommend them, my grandson used them in America and said they were alright.
    Lovely buildings of the ones in this country and so nice to see them used in thus way.
    Hazel c uk

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  3. I wouldn't even consider sharing a room with total strangers because A) I snore, loudly and B) my multiple nocturnal trips to the bathroom. I just don't think that's fair to the rest of the people in the room with me. A private room not far from the bathroom, I could do; an in-suite bathroom would be even better.

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  4. I've also stayed at universities. A lot of them used to hire out their empty rooms during the summer vacation. I don't know if this still happens but was super good value. My dad after ww2 went around Europe on various holidays, staying in youth hostels. Natalie

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  5. We stayed at Ambleside yha for a friend's wedding paying twenty five pounds a night each including breakfast whilst people were paying over a hundred per night just up the road the Ambleside one o's right on the edge of lake windermere. A beautiful place

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  6. I've stayed in several youth hostels and really enjoyed it particularly ones in remote areas. I stopped going when I got a dog as I didn't want to leve him behind. I did find a number of independent hostels that accepted dogs and these were also good value for money. Spending a week or more volunteering somewhere is alsonanothervway to get a cheap holiday with accommodation and food often included. Have a look at Wwoof uk. Kristel

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  7. We have just returned from the UK so I've see n my fair share of accommodation. Seven weeks is a lot of nights to stay away so we went for cheap and cheerful mostly. YHA can be a good alternative and some are in some rather nice places. We did have a couple of places let us down with how dirty they were but I won'y let them spoil my opinion of others. Shop around and read reviews is the best bet.

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  8. a little off topic, but I want to say that I love the picture of Rocky; he's crossed over rainbow bridge and waits for you!

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  9. Thanks very much, I didn't realise that hostels could be so grand! I'm going to bookmark the YHA page and consult next time I take a solo trip back to the UK.

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  10. Wonderful. I am another woman in her 60's who is a big fan of youth hostels. It means I can stretch my trips out for longer as my money will last longer and I will get lots of travel tips from the other guests. I am a lifelong member of YHA (now HIhostels) so I do like to stay at them when I can although there are a lot of private run hostels out there now too. I usually find a few oldies staying at hostels as I travel and they like the YHA hostels because they know they will not be the "party" hostels. The last HI hostel I stayed at was on the Upper West Side of New York City. That was US$65 a night....the most expensive hostel I have ever stayed in...but we are talking NYC prices and it was a lovely place. My favorite in the UK was a small hostel perched on the slate cliffs of Tintagel that I stayed at over 20 years ago. I also find, like you, that if you are traveling in the off season, there are not so many staying at the hostel and in the dorm room. I will be staying at a HI hostel in Bangkok next month for about US$8 a night. Aloha

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  11. I'm glad to see those beautiful and historic buildings are preserved and put to good use. Here in the U.S.and Canada, they're usually torn down and replaced with ticky-tack. R/Tim

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  12. My first hostel stay was in Dingle, Ireland last summer when I was studying abroad (at age 57!) I was shocked at how nice it was. The food was excellent, so much better than the horrible free breakfasts you get here in the states at the cheaper hotels. I'm a newer follower to your blog and I really appreciate all your tips for saving the moola.

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  13. Thank you! This is very useful information.

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  14. I wish there were places like that in the US! We try to stay at our favorite hotels when we can. I do check up on other places and read reviews to see how they are so we can save money. Spending $20 for a nite anywhere would be great and these places look nice. Thanks for sharing your ideas and websites to look and see the sights!

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    1. There are! See https://www.hiusa.org/hostels

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  15. I have some awful memories of youth hostels in the sixties, when we used them for school trips (smelly blankets, queuing for toilets, breakfast of camomile tea and stale bread). But this has totally changed during the eighties and nineties, and I can only agree with you, they offer good value for little money.

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  16. I agree volunteering is also good. I volunteered with the National Trust some years ago and we had a great time, changing the beds at Waddesdon Manor. At the time I applied I thought we were changing the beds in the manor ready for the winter period, but no it was changing the formal garden beds, taking up the plants and planting winter flowers and bulbs. Oh what fun we had.
    Hazel c uk

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    1. That's funny- changing the beds!!! JanF

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  17. I have never used a youth hostel, being a camper, then a caravanner for most of my adult life. Some of the prices quoted are more than a night on a Caravan Club certified location, though some of the CC certified locations only have water, a waste disposal and some have these, plus an electric hook up. The places in your photos look wonderful, Ilona. Glad you enjoyed your N Yorks break.

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  18. Never been to a hostel before but it all sounds great, I enjoyed your review!

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  19. I used to use Youth Hostels in the 60's as a student. Mostly in Europe. At that time one had to do a chore before leaving, cleaning up and so on. Is this still the case? JanF

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    1. No chores to do, Jan. You only have to clean up the kitchen after yourself if you have cooked a meal, and remove your bed linen on the morning of departure and take it down to reception.

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  20. I really fancy trying youth hostelling, but like to take my dog with us. I don't think they have got to letting dogs stay as yet. Maybe I will ask my parents to have the dog and have a stay in a castle. Really good review. Enjoyed reading this very much. Thankyou.

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  21. Hi Ilona, I have been away from blogland for ages, hope you have had a lovely Summer. I am going to catch up with your adventures now. Great info about hostels, we scrimp for a week away each year but if we had a little break I think I would give it a whirl, my son would love it. Take care. Twiggy xx

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