Wanderer April 2015
YHA The Wanderer
YHA The Wanderer
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The Wanderer, Issue 28, April 2015
 
 
Run YHA Edition
 
On your marks, get set… As a warm up to this year’s Run YHA trail running festival at YHA Castleton Losehill Hall we’re picking up the pace this month with a race around four properties that are just perfect for runners. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or simply looking for somewhere to set yourself free, lace up your trainers and prepare for a PB as we bring you locations that will take your breath away. Let’s go!
 
Each hostel feature includes a route from the Run YHA Wild Running Guide so if this edition leaves you eager for more, you’ll find 10 awesome trails to tackle from 10 YHA properties here.
 
As ever, if you’re looking for inspiration on a different destination, you’ll find ideas aplenty in The Wanderer archive.
 
Map  
 
 
YHA Castleton Losehill Hall
 
 
YHA Castleton Losehill Hall
 
  All a runner could Hope for  
 
 
Surrounded by formal gardens and 27 acres of parkland, this majestic Victorian Gothic mansion in the Peak District National Park has to top the podium for runner-friendly properties. Whatever your age, ability or level of enthusiasm you can find a rewarding route to suit.
 
 
 
YHA Castleton Losehill Hall
 
YHA Castleton Losehill Hall
 
Castleton lies on the boundary between the Dark Peak and the White Peak. The wilder Dark Peak, with its open fells and gritstone edges, is suited to those seeking adrenaline-fuelled adventure, whilst the White Peak is home to gentler trails through flower-filled limestone valleys. And if neither appeals, keep things low level with a gentle jog around the woods and streams of the hostel grounds.
 
If you are a serious runner though and want to test your mettle around the Dark Peak’s most dramatic landscapes, here’s one for you. Download this tricky 12-mile route around the Hope Valley and along the trail you’ll take in the spectacular viewpoints at Hollins Cross and Lose Hill, climb to the top of Mam Tor, pass the tree-lined shore of Ladybower Reservoir and run through the pretty village of Edale - home to the start of the Pennine Way.
 
As we mentioned earlier, the RunYHA trail festival will transform YHA Castleton Losehill Hall into a runner’s paradise over the weekend of 8-10 May. Building on the success of last year there’ll be a packed programme of races, talks, socials and film screenings. Don’t miss it. Take a look at the festival website and be sure to secure your place.
 
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Alistair:
 
  1  
The best way to get a great view of Peveril Castle and the village of Castleton is to scramble up Cave Dale and look down on both. It takes no time at all and the view is amazing
 
 
  2  
Go fossil hunting! There are loads around and they’re easy to find. We’ll tell you the best places to look then give you something to cast them with when you get back to the hostel
 
 
  3  
Theme a walk, run or bike ride with a search for former YHA sites. A 900-year-old Norman manor house in the heart of Castleton was once a hostel and another is now hidden beneath the peaceful waters of Ladybower Reservoir.
 
 
 
 
YHA Penzance
 
 
YHA Penzance
 
  Chase your cares away on the coast  
 
 
Admittedly Cornwall is more famous for its leisurely pace of life and calorific cream teas than its enthusiasm for running. In fact, a local saying goes ‘it is best to miss the train than be seen running for it.’ However, with a section of the 630-mile South West Coast Path accessible nearby, YHA Penzance is perfectly positioned to offer some sensationally scenic routes.
 
 
 
YHA Penzance
 
YHA Penzance
 
Run to the sea front from the hostel and, once there, turn left for a 4 mile beach run to St Michael’s Mount, a tidal island that’s steeped in Cornish myth and legend and is home to a castle and a kaleidoscope of colourful sub-tropical flora and fauna.
 
Alternatively head right from the sea front and run to the fishing village of Mousehole, described by Dylan Thomas as the prettiest village in England. Extend your run with this challenging 16.5-mile route which continues through Mousehole, around the secluded cove of Lamorna and on to Land’s End. This is exciting, technical running with steep climbs and cliff top sections along the way. You’ll reach Land’s End exhausted but thoroughly exhilarated.
 
Rest your weary legs with a bus ride back to Penzance. And your home for the evening is a beautifully restored Georgian mansion complete with all the amenities you’ll need for a comfortable stay. Facilities include a café bar, laundry, drying room, games room and a BBQ area – perfect for dining al fresco on a balmy summer night.
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Paul:
 
  1  
Switch to a different sport and enjoy a spot of wild swimming from a remote beach. You’ll need some local expertise to point out which ones are safest so simply ask at reception and we’ll be happy to help.
 
 
  2  
People watch at Sennen Cove. Whether its tourists getting their feet wet from an incoming tide or surfers catching some serious waves, there’s always something to see here.
 
 
  3  
The Minack is an open air theatre built into the side of a cliff. Visit by day for incredible views out to sea or treat yourself to show tickets and watch a performance set against a unique backdrop.
 
 
 
Cotswold Outdoors  
Cotswold  
 
 
Run with kit that wont hold you back
 
Cotswold Outdoor can help you to get out and explore all the local trails with a wide range of specialist running clothing and equipment. From running shoes and breathable waterproofs, to nutrition and personal training tools, our range of running kit will have you pushing for your personal best. Shop now and read our kit recommendations and running guides.
 
 
 
 
 
 
YHA Coniston Coppermines
 
 
YHA Coniston Coppermines
 
  Fall in love with fell running  
 
 
The fells and trails of the Lake District abound with opportunities to take your running to new heights and achieve euphoria. And where better to base your experience than this remote retreat offering a 500ft head start on the ascent of the Old Man of Coniston.
 
 
 
YHA Coniston Coppermines
 
YHA Coniston Coppermines
 
If you’re up for the challenge, scale the Old Man to enjoy incredible views from the summit. On a clear day it’s possible to see much of the southern Lake District, Morecambe Bay, Blackpool Tower and out to the Isle of Man. For an extraordinary endurance test, download this demanding 8-mile classic loop and look forward to a stunning run along the tops of Wetherlam, the Old Man, Great How and Brim Fell.
 
Running is really celebrated here. Attend Coniston Country Fair on 19 July and cheer determined locals as they run from Coniston Hall to the top of the Old Man and back in under an hour. That’s no mean feat! The traditional Lakeland fair also features terrier racing, wrestling, stalls, archery and amusements.
 
Those favouring organised races over lone adventures are spoilt for choice in summer with a 10K, 15K, children’s trails and marathons happening throughout the season. Organised by Lakeland Trails, the marathon around Coniston Water (7 June) has been described as the most scenic trail marathon in Britain. Expect a carnival atmosphere here with race commentary, live music, food and drink.
 
As the sun sets on a superb day, return to the hostel to relax with refreshments and enjoy a comfortable night’s stay in this cosy mountain hideaway.
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Glen:
 
  1  
Take it easy and tour Coniston Water aboard the National Trust’s steam-powered Victorian yacht. This stately vessel looks like a cross between a Venetian vaporetto and an English houseboat, complete with cushioned saloons and polished wood seats.
 
 
  2  
A historic house, museum and vibrant centre for the arts, Brantwood is the former home of artist and social reformer John Ruskin. You’ll find a wealth of fascinating things to see and do here.
 
 
  3  
Since 1977 leading international artists have created sculptures in response to Grizedale Forest's unique environment, establishing the first collection of site-specific art in the UK. Walk or cycle the trails and use the sculptures to navigate this extraordinary landscape.
 
 
 
 
YHA Wells-next-the-Sea
 
 
YHA Wells-next-the-Sea
 
  Fun runs in the flat lands  
 
 
As East of England escapes go, this pretty north Norfolk fishing town gets our gold medal. With wonderful wildlife, winding waymarked trails, serene salt marshes and a sweeping stretch of sandy beach, you’d be hard pressed to find somewhere more picturesque.
 
 
 
YHA Wells-next-the-Sea
 
YHA Wells-next-the-Sea
 
Holkham beach is a highlight. It’s four miles long and has been described as one of the most unspoiled, beautiful stretches of sand in the UK. For a short burst of activity, run its length –either splashing through the shallow water at the North Sea’s edge or up and down the sand dunes that line it. For a really rewarding route, download this 9-mile circular trail which begins in the historic Holkham Estate.
 
Alternatively, acquaint yourself with the spectacular scenery of the Norfolk Coast AONB and run a section of the Peddars Way and Norfolk Coast Path. The stretch between Holme-next-the-sea and Stiffkey is renowned for its wildlife and is dotted by salt marshes, flint villages and small harbours.
 
Also using part of the Peddars Way, the 7-mile Great Eastern Pingo Trail loops through woodland, heathland and meadow. Run through the nature reserve and past the pingos - shallow pools formed during the last ice age that now teem with wildlife. The route is waymarked meaning you’re free to completely lose yourself in nature’s beauty.
 
Runner’s high achieved, it’s back to the hostel to kick off your muddy trainers, clean up, relax and refuel. Cook up some scrumptious sustenance in the self-catering kitchen or visit one of the town’s fantastic pubs.
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Mark:
 
  1  
Go seal and bird spotting with a boat trip to Blakeney Point. Excursions run every day between 1 April and 31 October.
 
 
  2  
Wells Carnival is a highlight of the summer season. Visit between 31 July and 9 August for family fun, events and activities. The week features floats, processions, fancy dress, a town-crier competition, history walks, workshops and live music.
 
 
  3  
Pensthorpe Natural Park is a showcase for British wildlife conservation and a super day out. With nature trails, bird hides and walk-through aviaries, this award-winning attraction offers a rare opportunity to get close to endangered and vulnerable species.
 
 
 
YHA Spring Guide
 
Happy Birthday Peninne Way!
 
  Happy Birthday Peninne Way!  
 
 
We’ve a few things in common with the Pennine Way you know; we each celebrate a birthday this month and we were both set up to get people out into the countryside. So we just want to say happy 50th Pennine Way!
 
The very first National Trail remains one of the most spectacular and well-loved of all the Trails. There are a host of celebratory events going on over 24th – 26th April and with many YHA hostels along the route this is the perfect excuse to get out there for a ramble. Find out more.
 
 
 
 
 
Next month:
   
 
  Run YHA Edition  
 
 
Following last month’s launch of YHA Camping and Cabins we’ll be packing up our tents, roll mats, head torches and provisions in May and going in search of super spots to bed down for the night. Whether you like the romance of roughing it under the stars or you’re more inclined towards high end ‘glamping’ luxury, you’ll discover some unique ways to get closer to nature next time around.
 
 
Next month
 
 
  Find out how were changing the lives one stay at a time
Find out how were changing the lives one stay at a time
 
Because YHA is a charity, when you stay with us you’re helping keep prices affordable, hostels beautiful and you’re even enriching the lives of young people. Find out more.
 
 
 
 
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