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The Journey: spring 21

Hello

…and a very warm welcome to the first issue of 2021 of The Journey. The past year has been a challenge unlike any other, but it’s also been a time of resolve, and as chinks of sunlight continue to shine through the clouds, we want to join you in facing the future with enthusiasm and hope. One of our central tenets – that everyone is welcome – has never felt more important. Friend, it’s really good to see you. 

The landscapes and cities of England and Wales are as full of drama and spectacle as they always have been. Our National Parks still rumble out to the horizon. Our coastal cliffs still tower over the sea. Our forests still sprawl, our rivers still flow and our walking trails still wind across the countryside. And we’re still here too, now a full 90 years to the good, determined to continue our work in bringing adventure and opportunity to the people who need it most.

Back in January of this year, when the national lockdown was announced, the temporary closure of our hostels meant we were left with £11,000 of pre-ordered food and no hostellers to serve it to. When our supplier suggested we donate it to food charity FareShare, it felt 100% right.

We share this story here as a way of showing that, when there are problems to be overcome, working together can be a powerful thing. The future still holds uncertainty, but we know that by continuing to find a common cause with our partners, our fantastic staff and volunteers, our donors and of course you, our much-missed members and guests, the months and years ahead can hold great things.

We’re enormously proud of our network of hostels, and the endless potential they hold for building memories and experiences. From Cornwall to Northumberland, Snowdonia to the South Downs, and the Peak District to the Lake District, we’ll continue to be here for you, offering escape and adventure at an affordable price.

In this issue you’ll find thoughts on the future, a range of inspiration for your coming travels, our regular Let’s Go! section for young hostellers, and an interview with Marian Spain, chief executive of Natural England. We hope you enjoy the read.

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The Journey Spring 2021 cover

​Articles for this edition of The Journey

The Journey: spring 21
YHA Liverpool interior
Facing forwards

Facing forwards

What does the future hold for YHA – and what makes it such a resilient organisation? We asked two of the people who know it best.Duncan Simpson YHA historian, writer and former hostel manager “When news of the pandemic first broke, I talked with friends and old...

The Journey: spring 21
Liberty water bottle
Tried and tested

Tried and tested

Outdoor items put through their paces by The Journey team.LifeSaver Liberty iconlifesaver.comTreating water from hill-streams is essential, and fortunately the technology has moved on considerably from the days of foul-tasting iodine tablets. There are really two...

The Journey: spring 21
Frosty fern leaf
Drying room

Drying room

This beautiful image of a frosty fern was uploaded onto Twitter by Amy Turner, as part of our online #YHANatureChallenge. Taken a great photo that might inspire other outdoor-lovers? Whether it’s captured in your own neighbourhood or further afield, we’d love you...

The Journey: spring 21
Ladybug on grass
Let’s go!

Let’s go!

We love… ladybirds! This is the time of year when ladybirds start emerging from their winter hibernation. But how much do you know about these colourful little creatures? There are 46 different species of ladybird in the UK – and 3,500 across the world! The most...

The JourneyThe Journey: spring 21