Few things in life beat a trip to the seaside, and more than 35 of our hostels sit on – or within strolling distance of – the endlessly varied shoreline of England and Wales. These include classic options like YHA Brighton and YHA Boggle Hole, as well as a whole host of lesser known but equally special properties, here’s 9 hostels for coastal getaways.
Seekers of big-city thrills and banging nightlife, avert your eyes. The small but spectacular YHA Perranporth occupies the kind of cobweb-clearing clifftop eyrie that more or less defines the concept of getting away from it all – and a recent refurb makes it’s plum location on the North Cornwall coast all the more enticing.
YHA Broad Haven
Family-friendly YHA Broad Haven is a mere scamper away from one of Pembrokeshire’s best Blue Flag beaches. It’s called Broad Haven for a reason – at low tide, a mighty expanse of sand stretches across the bay. Bring buckets, spades and rock-pool dipping nets. A popular pick for a coastal getaway.
Dangling off the Dorset mainland at the end of a mile-long causeway, the Isle of Portland grants deep views back towards the Jurassic Coast. The 32-bed YHA Portland provides a handsome red-brick base for climbers, divers, sailors and more. Bell tents cater for glampers.
YHA Port Eynon
There’s a lot to love about the Gower Peninsula, Britain’s first (and some would say foremost) Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As well as crashing surf, ranging cliffs and wide beaches, it also boasts no less than three YHAs, including this 28-bed gem in a former lifeboat station.
Set in what was once a 17th-century water mill – and a mile and a half from the centre of town – the riverside YHA Scarborough offers a calming crash-pad from which to explore a prime stretch of North Yorkshire coastline. Other draws include a piano and woodburning stove.
“I’m spending summer in LA.” “Wow! Really?” “Yes – Little‘ampton.” The joke is well worn, which shows how long the harbour town’s traditional seaside charms have been winning over visitors. The four-star YHA Littlehampton is within walking distance of beaches and an amusement park.
Sitting pretty in the Exmoor Hills, with the North Somerset coastline just minutes away, the 32-bed YHA Minehead has long been a magnet for bikers, hikers, families and plain old pleasure-seekers. The epic South West Coast Path has its start/end point close by.
YHA Lizard Point
Another great pick for a coastal getaway is YHA Lizard Point. The English coastline doesn’t get much more impressive than on Cornwall’s element-bashed Lizard Peninsula, where mainland Britain’s southernmost hostel occupies an old Victorian building with large grounds, salty-aired panoramas and four-star facilities.
YHA Poppit Sands
Sitting at the start (or end) of the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, the endearingly named Poppit Sands is a sweeping, dune-backed beach looking out across the open waves of Cardigan Bay. The hostel makes the most of this dramatic location – bring binoculars to spot dolphins.