Hostels, Interviews, Issue 9

Hostellers Q&A

Claire Daniels

Staff member at YHA St Davids

Countryside, city or coast?

It has to be the coast, although I enjoy any opportunity to ramble in the Brecon Beacons or take in some nightlife in Cardiff and Bristol.

Favourite YHA Hostel?

Of the ones I’ve visited, YHA St Briavels Castle had a big wow factor and YHA Bristol is really modern and well situated.

Earliest YHA memory?

I worked at the now-closed YHA Marloes Sands in Pembrokeshire – it was a great introduction to YHA and to some of the many volunteers who give up their time.

Dream overseas destination?

Anywhere hot and sunny. It rains a lot in Wales! Now my children have completed school I have plans to visit many places, including Thailand and Peru.

Perfect hostel dinner?

I’ve indulged in one of YHA Broad Haven’s pizzas, which are delicious.

An item to pack?

I’m a very practical person and travel light, but I always make sure I have a good fitting warm hat with me on a walk and a packet of extra strong mints.

A book for a rainy day?

I really enjoy a book with a bit of romance and some good humour. PS I Love You was my last gripper. It’s highly recommended – some proper laugh-out-loud moments.

Favourite day walk?

Usually along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path which I’m so lucky to live and work on. A good day’s walk often involves a pub at the end with a view. I’d recommend Nolton Haven to Broad Haven.

 

Sam, Ben & Patrick Rose

Young explorers

Countryside, city or coast?

It would have be the countryside, as we love walking in the outdoors, although the coast comes a close second – sea and sandcastles!

Favourite YHA hostel: 

YHA St Pauls – it was in the middle of the city and we got to play table tennis and over-sized Connect 4 in the square!

Earliest YHA memory: 

Our first one was YHA Thameside in London. After stepping through the gates there was a pool table in reception and the bunkbeds were great.

Dream overseas destination:

New Zealand, as Sam was born there and we all want to see kiwis and the Land of the Long White Cloud.

Perfect hostel dinner: 

Breakfast has got to be the one – it beats dinner hands down.

An item to pack:

Books or comics, and sweets for the evening feast!

A book for a rainy day:

Asterix! Any of them will do – for all of us.

Favourite day-walk:  

The National Trust Estate at Croome. We have been walking there or being pushed around since we can remember, and we drag all the family there whenever we can.

 

Alison Powell

Writer, yoga teacher and trainee paraglider

Countryside, city or coast?

I live near Bristol and I love this city. It’s vibrant, accepting and colourful. But for time out, it has to be the seaside for me. There’s nothing so refreshing as a cliff walk.

Favourite YHA hostel: 

It has to be YHA Port Eynon on the Gower Peninsula – it’s so close to the sea it’s like actually being out on the water at night!

Earliest YHA memory: 

My first YHA experience was at the age of 16. I was part of an exchange with a school in Germany and we took our visitors to the Brecon Beacons.

Ideal overseas destination:

I have a soft spot for California. I love the wildness of the west coast: the sweet smell of redwoods and the opportunity to see migrating whales spurting up out of the ocean.

Perfect hostel dinner: 

In the old days I would have said pasta, but I stayed at YHA Poppit Sands this summer and the kitchen was better than the one at home, so I made fancy couscous and roast veg.

An item to pack:

Always pack a notebook and pencil. You never know what gems of conversations you’ll overhear in a YHA – perfect material for writing.

A book for a rainy day:

Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is bound to cheer up a wet and windy day. Alternatively, really sink into the gloom with Richard Yates’ Revolutionary Road.

Favourite day-walk: 

I love the Dorset coast. Walking west from Lyme Regis, away from Durdle Door and the crowds, offers a challenging cliff hike that’ll blow the stink off anyone!

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