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YHA Hostel of the Week Archive: YHA Ironbridge Coalport
    02/02/2016 04:01

Hostel of the Week Archive: YHA Ironbridge Coalport

Hostel of the Week Archive: YHA Ironbridge Coalport

The industrial revolution was "born" in Ironbridge over 250 years ago - the rest is history. YHA Ironbridge Coalport is housed in the oldest surviving building of the Coalport China factory, making it an ideal base to explore the surrounding World Heritage Site.

With top cycling routes and 10 award-winning museums (including Blist Hill Victorian Village) nearby, this hostel is perfect for family holidays.

The Hostel

YHA Ironbridge Coalport ties in beautifully with the history of the area and you can still find original features like decorative flooring on the first floor. Built in 1779 for John Rose's Coalport China factory, our extraordinary building sits in the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums. In fact, there's one literally on our doorstep if you fancy a go at making pottery over the school holidays. We became a Youth Hostel in 1997 and love making sure our guests have a great time exploring this iconic area - why not join us for a slice of homemade cake and get to know us better? Our charming Coalport Café is open every weekend from February half-term (and every day from Easter), serving tasty dishes like fish and chips, paninis and sandwiches. Remember to look out for amazing photos on the hostel walls of what our building was used for in its China-making days. When the sun comes out, there's nothing better than relaxing with a bottle of beer on our south-facing picnic benches. With fun half-term activities, movie nights and a friendly atmosphere, there's plenty to keep you coming back for more. You can even book one of our well-equipped meeting rooms; ideal for inspiring your workmates or lending a vintage industrial charm to hobby groups (steampunks welcome).

Ironbridge Gorge Museums

With the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site on your doorstep, you can easily spend a week exploring this fascinating area. Ironbridge is a cradle of industry and a YHA Ironbridge Coalport is surrounded by remarkable attractions, monuments and craftspeople. Want a really grand day out? Blist Hill Victorian Village is a huge draw for guests and sits only a mile away from our hostel. Step back in time to the Victorian era, walk around old-fashioned shops and workplaces, or get your cash converted into old money. We love heading to the pub for a sing-song with costumed characters around the piano, then stocking up on retro sweets. For something more modern, kids go crazy for Enginuity - an interactive centre packed with robots, locomotives and lots to inspire budding engineers. Or pop on a hard hat to go underground at the eerie Tar Tunnel; you can still see the treacle-like bitumen oozing through the walls. The Darby Houses let you experience the everyday life of an ironmaster (complete with costumes to try on), and the Jackfield Tile Museum lets you wander through an atmospheric Edwardian Tube Station. These are just half of the award-winning museums on offer and there are loads of things for families to do on a rainy day.

Outdoor Activities

Whether you want to peek inside a historic furnace or cycle for miles, you'll find excellent adventuring all around YHA Ironbridge Coalport. There are lots of good walking and cycling routes up the old railway lines and you can follow the River Severn upstream. If you're lucky enough you might spot a kingfisher, or according to one guest, a beaver! Don't forget to get a selfie on the world-famous Iron Bridge - you haven't really been to Shropshire until you've walked across it. There's a huge investment in cycling on its way to our hostel too, so look out for a new bike store coming soon to guests on two wheels. We've got a handy bike shop next door, or you can hire a bike from nearby Telford if you don't fancy bringing your own. How about having a picnic on the riverbank, using our self-catering kitchen to prepare a carb-filled feast? We recommend spending a relaxing day in the countryside, enjoying the 50 miles of accessible, family-friendly cycling routes around our hostel. Or if you fancy a longer journey, the scenic Silkin Way starts near us, passing through Telford and the lovely Apley Castle Park; a haven for woodpeckers, jays and grouse. You could even make a splash with watersports and discover the gorge in a canoe or kayak.

Explore Shropshire

It's easy to fall in love with Shropshire and Ironbridge itself is packed with quirky pubs, tearooms and shops. We're also just a 20 minute drive to Shrewsbury, a bustling town and the home of Charles Darwin. Catch his festival in February, or visit the museum for a brilliant Viking exhibition. RAF Cosford is only 7 miles from us too, boasting 70 aircraft and a great day out undercover. For an unforgettable look into the past, visit Wroxeter for one of the best preserved examples of a British Roman town. Or see Shropshire by rail on the Severn Valley Railway - vintage-lovers won't be able to resist its lively 1940s weekend.So what are you waiting for? Break the mould and book a stay at YHA Ironbridge Coalport!

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