Issue 13

Hostellers Q&A 

Ellie Quinn Travel blogger at The Wandering Quinn

Countryside, city or coast?

Coast! I love being by the ocean in summer and in winter. Watching the sunset by the coast is my favourite thing to do.

 Favourite hostel? 

Great Hostel Backpackers in Banos, Ecuador. I stayed there in 2015 – I met so many amazing people and the atmosphere was so good.

Earliest YHA memory?

My first stay was this summer in Cardiff which I really enjoyed – it was a great way to start my Wales trip.

Ideal overseas destination?

Peru. It has a huge coastline, mountains, deserts, rainforests and of course Machu Picchu. Plus it’s easy to get around, and pretty cheap!

Perfect hostel dinner?

I’m not that picky when it comes to the meal, but the perfect hostel menu has to have vegetarian and vegan options so everyone can enjoy something.

An item to pack?

I recently purchased a LifeStraw Bottle so I don’t have to buy water bottles when I travel. It was pricey but I’ll save money and I’m reducing my plastic use.

A book for a rainy day?

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts. I’m re-reading it before I visit India for the first time. It’s so captivating, and it really makes you want to head out there.

Favourite day-walk?

After staying at YHA Snowdon Pen y Pass this summer I’d have to say Snowdon! It was a tough walk but I had incredible weather and it was very rewarding.

Ian Weighill, Manager at YHA Cotswolds, part of New Brewery Arts

Countryside, city or coast?

I love the New Forest Heathlands. I have very strong memories of being there on holiday as a child. There are so many beautiful walks.

Favourite hostel?

YHA Oxford. My partner and I stayed there recently with our son, who was three at the time. It was central, friendly and clean – you couldn’t ask for more.

Earliest YHA memory?

A school trip. I’ve no idea which YHA  it was, but we had a fantastic time and the staff were exceptionally friendly and wonderfully patient with unruly school children.

Ideal overseas destination?

Southern Spain is a favourite, and I don’t know if it could be called a destination but I’ve always wanted to sail through the Panama Canal.

Perfect hostel dinner?

Something with seafood and a generous glass of white wine.

An item to pack?

Always a book. And maybe some clothes too.

A book for a rainy day?

I started Welcome to Night Vale recently by Jeffrey Cranor and Joseph Fink. Very odd, but entertaining. Or anything by Hakan Nesser.

Favourite day-walk?

A walk with my son through the woods on the outskirts of Cirencester. We stop for a picnic half way through and it’s always a big adventure!

Olly Hicks-Pattison, a walker on a mission

Countryside, city or coast?

I’m currently walking all parks in London, as well as England’s south coast, so it’s hard to choose. I’ll go coast, for the sea views, and fish & chips.

Favourite hostel?

Sticking with the coast theme, I’ve got to say YHA Swanage – the location above the town, with sweeping views across the bay is amazing.

Earliest YHA memory?

I’ve only recently properly discovered YHA to be honest – so YHA Lulworth Cove earlier this year. It’s small, but a perfect walking stopover and has sparked a love of YHAs!

Ideal overseas destination?

I’m a big fan of city walking – Budapest, Tallinn and Oslo stand out. But ideal is New Zealand: it has everything for outdoor adventure. 

Perfect hostel dinner?

You can’t beat a huge portion of fish and chips at the end of a long walk – if the hostel has views over the sea then it’s a perfect dinner.

An item to pack?

I can’t go anywhere without my camera! More practically a battery pack for my phone – without my OS maps app I’d definitely be lost!

A book for a rainy day?

A rainy day is no excuse to not get out exploring – there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing. Wrap up and get outside! 

Favourite day-walk?

The climb up Cadair Idris – it’s got everything, from a wooded start to a gentle climb, a stunning ridge walk to the summit and a perfect lake to dip your feet in. 

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