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    Visit some of our hostels... virtually!

The Wanderer - Issue#04 - April 2013
YHA has a big presence in Yorkshire - no matter where you want to go you won't be far from a YHA hostel. There are centres in the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors, as well as along the coast and in the popular tourist destinations of Leeds and York - something for every family!
Expert Views: 
<p><strong>&nbsp;Five free things to do on family breaks in Yorkshire</strong></p> <p><strong>The National Railway Museum<br /> </strong>Even if your kids aren't big train lovers - and let's face it, a good proportion are - being able to see colossal machines from every era of train travel and climb all over them is still pretty exciting. You can even see steam trains in action as well as children's favourite Thomas the Tank Engine.</p> <p><strong>Royal Armouries<br /> </strong>In the heart of Leeds is the Royal Armouries, home to the armour, swords, shields and weapons worn and used by soldiers throughout the centuries, with interactive exhibits bringing the history to life.</p> <p><strong>Walking<br /> </strong>Whether you're in the Dales or on the Moors, there are so many great walking routes that you'll never fit them all in, no matter how many times you come! Guided walks between towns are a great way to see the wonderful landscape.</p> <p><strong>Hit the beach<br /> </strong>Yorkshire has some fantastic coastline, and a day spent on the beach in Whitby or Scarborough is always a thrill for kids. The North Sea is pretty chilly - even in summer - but it's still enjoyable for a quick dip.</p> <p><strong>Yorkshire Sculpture Park<br /> </strong>The Yorkshire Sculpture Park near Wakefield combines vast stretches of open parkland with artwork, featuring a wide range of sculptures from top artists and a changing list of exhibitions from some of the leading names in the art world.</p>
East Midlands
YHA has hostels across the East Midlands, from Thurlby in Lincolnshire to Sherwood Forest, and a huge selection of accommodation offerings in the Peak District. Whether you want a self-catering camping barn or the comfort and convenience of a Victorian gothic mansion, we've got you covered.
Expert Views: 
<p><strong>Five free things to do on family breaks in the East Midlands</strong></p> <p><strong>Carsington Water</strong></p> <p>Located near Ashbourne, the reservoir is a beautiful sight and has a visitors centre with interactive displays to engage the kids. There are also safe cycle routes around the water, which not only provide a great view but also tire the kids out a bit!</p> <p><strong>Longshaw Estate</strong></p> <p>Owned by the National Trust, the Longshaw Estate gives you a chance to take the family on a walk through the wilderness - but with signposted routes meaning there's no chance of getting lost! Green fields and woodlands eventually take you Burbage Brook, which is a beautiful sight.</p> <p><strong>Chatsworth Park and Estate</strong></p> <p>Most of the parkland of the estate is open to the public, so if you want somewhere to enjoy some fun games or simply have a relaxing afternoon picnic, it's a great place to go. There is also a working farmyard for the kids to see and also the sight of sheep and deer on the hills.</p> <p><strong>Sherwood Forest</strong></p> <p>Let your kids enjoy the world of Robin Hood and his Merry Men with a trip to Sherwood Forest. Learn more at the visitors centre and then walk along the range of winding trails and imagine you're a bandit of the forest, or take some bikes along and add some adrenaline to the great views.</p> <p><strong>Shropshire Ruins</strong></p> <p>Acton Burnell Castle and Clun Castle are ruined remains of once key castles in the Shropshire region. Access is free and wandering around the remain you can still get a real sense of the history and learn about the many stories which took place here over the centuries.</p>
You might think London is an expensive place to stay, but not when you use one of YHA's excellent hostels. Located near some of London's best-known landmarks, the only problem with booking a stay at one of our London hostels is deciding which one to choose! One of the world's biggest, most diverse and most vibrant cities, there is so much going on in London, which is what makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Expert Views: 
<p><strong>Five free things to do in London</strong></p> <p><strong>Museums</strong></p> <p>London's list of museums rivals any from any city across the globe - and the best ones are free. Family breaks in London should feature a trip to the British Museum, learning about the world around us at the Science Museum or seeing some ancient artefacts at the Natural History Museum.</p> <p><strong>BFI Mediatheque</strong></p> <p>At the home of the British film industry is the Mediatheque suite, which provides free access to thousands upon thousands of archived television shows, films and documentaries - it's the ideal place to get lost in Britain's rich film and TV history.</p> <p><strong>Ceremony of the Keys</strong></p> <p>For something uniquely London, check out the ceremony of the keys at the Tower of London. It's a ritual that has gone on uninterrupted for over 700 years and there's nothing like it anywhere else.</p> <p><strong>All Hallows Church</strong></p> <p>A stunning church just next to the Tower of London, All Hallows features architecture which is over 1,000 years old and the crypt contains a wonderful insight into Roman-era London.</p> <p><strong>The National Portrait Gallery</strong></p> <p>There's no better place in Britain to enjoy artworks from throughout British history than the National Portrait Gallery, from great kings and queens to modern celebrities.&nbsp;</p>
North East
YHA offers quality, affordable accommodation all over the North East of England. As well as places to stay in the beautiful Northumberland National Park, YHA has hostels offering easy access to the region's historic towns and cities. Choose a YHA hostel for your next family break in the North East!
Expert Views: 
<p><strong>Five free things to do in the North East</strong></p> <p><strong>Durham Cathedral<br /> </strong>Overlooking the River Wear, Durham Cathedral is an unforgettable sight and surely one of the most magnificent in Britain, inside and out. It's a masterpiece of Romanesque architecture that has stood for almost 900 years, its ornate woodwork and stained glass windows attracting thousands of visitors every year.</p> <p><strong>Discovery Museum<br /> </strong>One of the North East's most popular museums, this destination in Newcastle has collections to keep the whole family entertained. From the first steam-powered ships and some of the world's earliest lightbulbs to an array of military artefacts from Northumberland's history, it's a fascinating and educational experience.</p> <p><strong>North Pennines<br /> </strong>This Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty is home to High Force, one of the tallest waterfalls in England, and Cauldron Snout, believed to be the longest! The North Pennines is known for its dramatic moorland scenery, and families on a walking holiday will find some amazing routes here.</p> <p><strong>Angel of the North<br /> </strong>You might have seen this celebrated sculpture by Anthony Gormley from a distance, but up close you can truly appreciate the scale of the work. Standing 20m tall with a wingspan of 54m, it has become an icon of the North East for a good reason and it's well worth the visit.</p> <p><strong>BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art<br /> </strong>This international arts centre, set in a converted flour mill on the banks of the Tyne, is a great place for people of all ages to get closer to the world of modern art. See contemporary exhibitions from world-renowned artists - there are also special family and toddler tours, so the whole family can join in.</p>
North West
If you're on holiday in the North West to enjoy the majesty of the Lake District, YHA has you covered with more than 20 hostels to choose from in and around the national park. We also offer great accommodation in the North West's towns and cities, including Manchester, Liverpool and Carlisle.
Expert Views: 
<p><strong>Five free things to do in the North West</strong></p> <p><strong>Skiddaw<br /> </strong>The fourth-highest mountain in England isn't too challenging to ascend, making it a great adventure for families. It's worth it for the stunning views over the Lake District countryside alone, and there's a variety of routes to the top to suit walkers of all ages and abilities.</p> <p><strong>World Museum Liverpool<br /> </strong>Make learning fun with a visit to this incredible free museum, packed with dinosaur casts, Egyptian mummies, meteorites from Mars and much more. Kids can take a trip through space at the Planetarium or get close to creepy-crawlies at the insect house.</p> <p><strong>Museum of Science and Industry<br /> </strong>Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry is one of the city's greatest attractions, housed in the remains of the world's oldest passenger railway station. Exhibits include a walk-through Victorian sewer, a recreation of a historic textile mill and a special look at the history of air, road and rail travel.</p> <p><strong>Carlisle Cathedral<br /> </strong>See the amazing stained glass windows and impressive barrel roof at this pint-sized cathedral, which has stood on the border with Scotland for nearly 900 years. Artefacts from the cathedral's history are displayed in the basement, and you can see some fascinating 15th-century artworks on the choir stalls.</p> <p><strong>Worden Park<br /> </strong>Located on the outskirts of Leyland, Lancashire, this Green Flag-winning park is a fantastic place for all the family to relax in. As well as a hedge maze and arts and crafts centre, there's a large area of woodland and numerous floral displays to discover.</p>
South West
Wherever you feel like going in the South West, you're never far from one of our great-value hostels. Whether it's on the beautiful rolling hills of Dartmoor or anywhere along the picturesque bits of coastline, we've got the ideal spot to base a family break.
Expert Views: 
<p><strong>Five free things to do on holidays in South West England</strong></p> <p><strong>Cornish Camels</strong></p> <p>One thing you might not expect to find in South-West England is camels - but you'd be wrong. Cornish Camels in Helston, Cornwall has a large number of the interesting animals, and a information centre where you learn all about them, along with caf&eacute; and picnic facilities and play areas for the kids.</p> <p><strong>Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange</strong></p> <p>If you're looking to indulge your artistic side, then Penzance is the place to be. Both the Newlyn Art Gallery and The Exchange are free to enter, and between them host a variety of works -old and new - from both international and local artists.</p> <p><strong>Hit the beach</strong></p> <p>The South West has so much coastline it's difficult to recommend just one spot, but from the beautiful beaches of North Devon to the craggy coves of the Cornish peninsula and the fossils of the Jurassic Coast, there's something for everyone.</p> <p><strong>Buckfast Abbey</strong></p> <p>This famous place of worship has been standing in this spot between Exeter and Plymouth for over 1,000 years. As well as marvelling at the stunning architecture, there are exhibitions which give you an insight into the lives of the monks - which includes making honey and wine - and beautiful gardens to explore.</p> <p><strong>House of Marbles</strong></p> <p>In Bovey Tracey, Devon you can see first-hand how the classic kids toy, the marble, is made. Watch skilled craftsmen blow the glass and see how those flashes of colour are added, and of course there are thousands of different marbles and games to enjoy.</p>
South East
The sunny South East promises a fantastic holiday in the countryside; even more so when you stay in one of our fantastic YHA hostels across the region. Whether you're seeking a rural holiday or a city break by the sea, you're bound to find the right accommodation for you and your family.
Expert Views: 
<p><strong>Five free things to do in the South East <br /> </strong> <br /> <strong>Explore the New Forest<br /> </strong>The perfect country escape for kids and adults alike, explore the New Forest for day after day of adventure. Look out for ponies and donkeys - and don't forget to stop in a caf&eacute; for tea and cake every so often!<br /> <br /> <strong>Head to the beach<br /> </strong>The pebble beaches of Eastbourne are a delight for those seeking a quiet seaside holiday, while the new sandy shores of Margate promise plenty of attractions and facilities, as well as a fantastic summery atmosphere.<br /> <br /> <strong>Visit Brighton<br /> </strong>Brighton is the perfect city by the sea, offering fresh air and plenty to see and do. Watch the street performers in the North Laines, have an ice-cream on Brighton Pier, or have a picnic in the gardens of the spectacular Brighton Pavilion.<br /> <br /> <strong>Walks<br /> </strong>The South East boasts an incredibly diverse ecosystem, ranging from the chalk cliffs of the Seven Sisters to the sand dunes of the South Downs. Pack a bag, pick a direction and head into the countryside!<br /> <br /> <strong>Discover the Isle of Wight<br /> </strong>From our YHA Totland hostel you can reach the Tennyson Downs, boasting some of the finest scenery in the Isle of Wight. You can even join a walking festival in spring or autumn to share the experience with other nature-lovers. &nbsp;</p>
From Swansea to Llandudno, YHA has a fantastic selection of hostels for comfy, low-cost accommodation all over Wales. Whether you're taking a city break in Cardiff, exploring Snowdonia or taking a seaside family holiday in Wales, we have welcoming hostels in beautiful locations ready to make your break unforgettable.
Expert Views: 
<p><strong>Five free things to do in Wales</strong></p> <p><strong>The Cardiff Story<br /> </strong>Learn all about the Welsh capital's heritage at this exhibition, learning how it went from a small market town in the 14th century to the bustling metropolis it is today. This fantastic array of photographs and historical artefacts is a fun and educational day out for visitors of all ages.</p> <p><strong>Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal<br /> </strong>Considered by many to be Britain's most picturesque waterway, the Monmouthshire and Brecon Canal runs for 35 miles through the Usk Valley from Brecon to Five Locks. It's the perfect place for a long walk or bike ride on a family holiday in Wales, and well worth bringing a camera along to snap the stunning surroundings.</p> <p><strong>Coity Castle<br /> </strong>Built by one of the legendary Twelve Knights of Glamorgan, this Norman castle near Bridgend remains a magnificent sight despite its ruined state. Kids will love taking a walk around the crumbling walls and towers, imagining the days it was filled with knights and soldiers planning heroic deeds!</p> <p><strong>National Roman Legion Museum<br /> </strong>Discover what archaeologists have unearthed from Caerlon in Gwent, which once served as the base of the second Augustan Legion. As well as the weaponry and armour on display, you can take a stroll through the beautiful Roman Garden and see the remains of the most well-preserved amphitheatre in Britain.</p> <p><strong>Llandudno Pier<br /> </strong>There's no better way to experience a seaside holiday than walking along a pier, and Llandudno has the longest one in Wales. The slot machines, ice creams and candyfloss may not be free, but you don't need them to enjoy this beautiful pier and its stunning coastal town.</p>

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