Destinations, Hostels, Issue 7, Spring Guide

9 hostels for brilliant day trips

With the days getting longer, we’re taking the chance to highlight some of the many hostels ideally placed for top-notch activities and attractions – from cultural and historical treasures to adrenaline thrills in the great outdoors  

YHA New Forest for…

Beaulieu National Motor Museum

Beaulieu Stock Images 22nd June 2014.

This serene New Forest retreat is a perfect spot for a short break. The hiking, cycling and horse-riding are all first-class – and as if that weren’t enticement enough there’s also a cider farm less than ten minutes’ walk away. As a further boon, the hostel sits less than half an hour’s drive from the award-winning National Motor Museum at Beaulieu, where more than 250 vehicles from through the ages are on permanent show.   

YHA Rowen for… 

Surf Snowdonia 

YHA Rowen occupies a beautifully secluded Welsh farmhouse. It’s very much somewhere suited to unwinding – so stands in complete contrast to the pulse-quickening thrills on offer at the superb Surf Snowdonia, under five miles away. Built on the site of a former aluminium factory and open since 2015, it’s the UK’s only artificial surfing lake. 

YHA Milton Keynes for… 


A converted 18th-century farmhouse in Milton Keynes? Isn’t it all modern estates and concrete cows? Well, no (although the famous bovines are only a short walk away). The hostel sits in Bradwell, an ancient village that forms part of today’s city. It’s also just three miles from Xscape, where attractions include indoor skydiving, climbing walls and an indoor ski slope. 

YHA London Thameside for… 

The Tower of London

Tower of London Yeoman beefeater

Sitting pretty after a refurbishment, this modern riverside hostel is well placed as a family sightseeing base for forays around the city. It gives the chance to follow the Thames Path on a 40-minute stroll from the hostel to Tower Bridge, where you can cross to visit the Tower of London. The attraction runs events and activities during school holidays.      

YHA Beverley Friary for… 

Hull City of Culture 

Six centuries ago the magnificent YHA Beverley Friary was home to Dominican friars, and its medieval roots are so strong that the building was mentioned in the Canterbury Tales. It makes a great place to stay to enjoy nearby Hull which was named the UK City of Culture 2017. Beverley station is five minutes from the hostel, and has regular 15-minute trains into the city.

YHA Kings for… 

Coed Y Brenin Mountain Biking Centre

YHA Kings makes a great base for exploring southern Snowdonia. Castles, steam railways and the village of Portmeirion are all close by – and so too is the UK’s first dedicated mountain bike trail centre. A 25-minute drive from the hostel brings you to Coed Y Brenin, where an extensive network of single-track trails caters for all levels. There are hire facilities on site.         

YHA York for… 

Jorvik Viking Centre 

The Jorvik Viking Centre is an excellent reason to visit York this year. The attraction has benefited from a full £4m renovation, and uses real artefacts to bring to life the story of the Norsemen that once lived on the site. It’s located a half-hour walk along the River Ouse from YHA York.

YHA Cheddar for… 

Cheddar Gorge

This Victorian house in the Somerset Mendips enjoys a mighty fine location, with Cheddar Gorge on the doorstep. Britain’s biggest gorge has 120-metre-high cliffs and offers caves, hiking trails and rock-climbing. The 2017 South West Outdoor Festival takes place in Cheddar Valley between the 8th-10th September. And look, no cheese puns. Call us extra mature. 

YHA St Paul’s for… 

St Paul’s Cathedral

Hostels don’t get much more historic than YHA London St Paul’s, which spent almost a century as a choristers’ school. It even still has a wood-panelled classroom, complete with age-old graffiti. And those bells you can hear? St Paul’s Cathedral is barely 100 metres away. Staying so close gives the ideal chance to beat the crowds.       

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