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We spoke to three outdoor enthusiasts to get their thoughts on dorms, dinners and day-walks

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Derek Hickman (pictured above)

‘Born Again Hosteller’

Countryside, city or coast?
Coast – but I have just come back from YHA Port Eynon where I walked the coastal path to Rhossili.

Favourite hostel?
YHA Wilderhope Manor – checked in recently and was asked, “Have you stayed here before?” I replied, “yes, but not for forty years!” Go outside, the stars are beautiful!

Earliest YHA memory?
Cutting my hand open on a can of corned beef when I was 14 at YHA Windermere. The Warden told me off for “bleeding in the Members’ Kitchen!”

Ideal overseas destination?
Luxembourg. Beautiful country. I stayed in a hostel there once and completely baffled the Warden by asking to be assigned ‘duties’ in the morning!

Perfect hostel dinner?
One that my son and I cook together after a good day out. Duck at YHA National Forest after a day at the National Memorial Arboretum was superb.

An item to pack?
Your son or daughter. We need to introduce YHA values to young people or they will be lost.

A book for a rainy day?
Anything by the Bronte Sisters – YHA Haworth: believe me, it rained, but the local Tourist Information Office sells classics for £2.00!

Favourite day-walk?
The summit of Snowdon. YHA Llanberis is very comfortable. Combine it with a visit to Dinorwig’s ‘Electric Mountain’ and a look at the Slate Museum.

Luke Bamforth

Luke Bamforth

Staff member at YHA Youlgreave

Countryside, city or coast?
It has to be countryside, but coast comes a close second.

Favourite hostel?
YHA Ilam Hall. I made some really good friends there. And hey, it’s a gothic manor house – what’s not to love? I’m a dedicated horror film fan.

Earliest YHA memory?
My first ever YHA fried egg, 90s-style, on a school trip to visit Hadrian’s Wall.

Ideal overseas destination?
I really want to go to Canada. I’ve spent a fair bit of time overseas, but have never made it there.

Perfect hostel dinner?
For me it would be the classic bangers and mash, probably followed by a nice peach crumble, without oats in the topping. Sorry oat-lovers!

An item to pack?
A bottle of golden syrup, especially if I’m camping…it makes even the worse porridge edible. Maybe I just need to get better at making porridge!

A book for a rainy day?
Some type of historic fiction by Simon Scarrow or Bernard Cornwell. I only read Joseph Conrad on sunny days.

Favourite day-walk?
Lathkill Dale is one of my favourite parts of the country, so I’d have to say that. The mix of terrains as you walk further up the river is amazing.

Bel Clarke

Bel Clarke

Nine-year-old adventurer

Countryside, city or coast?
I like staying near the coast because it is easy to go straight out to play in the sea! I like to build dams and play in the sand with my brother, Sam.

Favourite hostel?
YHA Boggle Hole, because there are great treasure hunts to do, a lovely playroom just for kids and fossils to find on the beach.

Earliest YHA memory?
I went to stay at YHA Slaidburn for my cousin’s birthday. We had a whole corridor to ourselves and we had a midnight feast of chocolate.

Ideal overseas destination?
I would love to go to Rio in Brazil to see the Olympics and also to see what they make for breakfast there.

Perfect hostel dinner?
At the coast I would have mussels with garlic butter and crusty bread. In the city I would have ham and pineapple pizza with chips.

An item to pack?
If you are planning to go crabbing, some bacon (crabs just love bacon!) and a sturdy bucket are really important.

A book for a rainy day?
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone would be my choice. I know it really well but it always makes me feel magical.

Favourite day-walk?
Boggle Hole to Robin Hood’s Bay and back is a brilliant walk. My favourite part is walking along the cliffs and looking down to the beach and the sea.

Written by Ruby Higton

Here is Ruby and she is a digital marketer at YHA. She looks after all things social media, as well as content writing for livemore.yha.org.uk and SEO. Her favourite YHA is YHA Perranporth.

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