Wanderer December 2015
YHA The Wanderer
YHA The Wanderer
 
 
 
The Wanderer, Issue 36, December 2015
 
 
The Culture Edition
 
This edition shines the spotlight on four cultural capitals and the anniversaries, exhibitions, festivals and events with the hottest tickets in the year ahead. Because we don’t want you to miss a thing in 2016, we’ve changed the format for this theme. At the end of each hostel overview you’ll find a link to our (not exhaustive but pretty thorough) list of dates, destinations and details for your diary.
 
So, if you manage a little me-time in the midst of the festive fray, curl up with the Culture Edition and plan for happy holidays in the coming 12 months.
Culture not your cup of tea? Take a look in the Wanderer archive for something more to your taste.
 
Map  
 
 
YHA Stratford-upon-Avon
 
YHA Stratford-upon-Avon
 
  The stays the thing  
 
 
Next year, 23rd April marks 400 years of Shakespeare’s legacy and there are a whole host of events, performances and exciting projects planned. From the reopening of Shakespeare’s school to the complete reimagining of New Place, his home for 19 years, the town’s visitor attractions are set to become a bigger draw than ever before.
 
 
 
YHA Stratford-upon-Avon
 
YHA Stratford-upon-Avon
 
Stratford-upon-Avon has a surfeit of selling points whatever the season. Whether it’s the Museum of Mechanical Art & Design (MAD), Tudor World or the costume displays in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre tower, there’s an exhibition to suit all interests.
 
No visit is complete without a trip to at least one of the Shakespeare houses. Hop on the City Sightseeing bus for a convenient way to get round them all or stay central and plump for the characterful and more budget-friendly walking tour.
 
If you go to an RSC show, follow up with a drink in the Dirty Duck. In years gone by this was a favourite post-performance haunt for actors. It still holds some of the old magic with pictures of celebrated patrons past adorning the walls in the bar.
 
The hostel is just 2 miles from the Bard’s birthplace. Grade II listed Hemingford House underwent a £1.2 million refurbishment in 2013 and its 3 acres of private grounds gained three large deluxe camping pods in April 2015. Simply put, there’s no better value place to base your visit to Shakespeare country and, with so many special events coming up, you’d be wise to book your 2016 stay soon.
 
 
book now
 
whats on
 
 
 
 
 
 
Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Stephen:
 
 
  1  
Take a stroll along the river. Start at the Butterfly Farm and walk towards the Avon to take in views of the theatre and walk along the waterfront. Look across the river for fantastic views of Trinity Church, where Shakespeare’s grave can be found.
 
 
  2  
James, our events and activities manager, has scoured the streets of Stratford-upon-Avon in search of the best afternoon tea. Hobsons Patisseries, just off Bridge Street, offers a delightful cream tea, lovely cakes and great tasting tea and coffee.
 
 
  3  
A top tip that gets missed by many visitors: when you walk around the town centre, be sure to take a good look at the architecture. Lift your gaze above the shop fronts off Bridge Street and you’ll see what the town might have looked like in Tudor times.
 
 
 
 
 
YHA Bath
 
YHA Bath
 
  Ancient civilisation, architecture and Austen  
 
 
A quick scan of the sheer variety of literary and musical events scheduled for this year and it’s crystal clear why Bath makes the grade. The city boasts World Heritage status on account of its beauty and baths. So, let’s dip into what makes it quite so special.
 
 
 
YHA Bath
 
YHA Bath
 
In the heart of the city you’ll find the world-famous Roman grand bathing complex. Visit to walk on ancient pavements and soak up the sight of steam ascending from The Great Bath, with majestic Bath Abbey rising behind. Explore the site’s interactive museum to discover ancient artefacts and treasures.
 
Talking of museums, Bath has more in one square mile than most other cities in the world can boast. Walk between a whopping seventeen sites of historic interest in the city centre. Highlights include the museum at No.1, in the ginormous Georgian Royal Crescent, the Holburne Museum and the Jane Austen Centre.
 
If that doesn’t sate your appetite for historic gems, the surrounding area is studded with stately homes and landscape gardens such as Longleat and Prior Park. Incidentally, Capability Brown - whose 300th anniversary is celebrated next year - designed both.
 
A city known for its stunning architecture needs accommodation to match. And we’re confident that YHA Bath is up to scratch. Your home-from-home for the night is a grand Italianate mansion conveniently located for the centre in a peaceful residential area.
 
 
book now
 
whats on
 
 
 
 
 
 
Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Amy:
 
 
  1  
Get your skates and your groove on for Bath Pavilion’s Family Roller Disco. Sessions every Monday and Thursday evening.
 
 
  2  
Stylish, à la mode and always beautifully turned out, Bath is fantastic for fashionistas. Be sure to check out the city’s independent retailers to pick up some special pieces.
 
 
  3  
The Bell, a music pub and historic free house on the edge of the city centre, is the kind of pub that dreams (about pubs) are made of. It has live music three times a week, a choice of nine ales, a real fire, table football, bar billiards, chess and backgammon!
 
 
 
 
 
 
Give new life to an old legend
 
  Give new life to an old legend  
 
 
YHA Tintagel is less than a mile from King Arthur’s legendary castle and a short coastal stroll away from the pubs, eateries and attractions of Tintagel village. Perched on a cliff top, it enjoys unspoilt views over the Atlantic. It’s easy to see why guests love it here. Unfortunately the building is now a little worn out. We’re therefore planning a sympathetic renovation in 2016 to improve facilities for the present and safeguard this little gem of a property for the future. We’d love to tell you more about this place so please visit us online and consider donating to the YHA Tintagel Appeal today. Thank you.
 
 
  Make a donation  
 
 
 
 
YHA Cambridge
 
YHA Cambridge
 
  Leading lights and Footlights  
 
 
Make recently refurbished YHA Cambridge your destination and be inspired by a city that’s nurtured some of the world’s greatest imaginations. Follow in the footsteps of centuries of celebrated academics, artists and comics with a stroll around Cambridge’s ancient college quads; admire architectural splendours from the Backs or take a punt on a river tour; wander the warren-like city centre or hop aboard a bike to navigate “cycle city”. Cambridge is crammed full of culture and has an events calendar to match.
 
 
 
YHA Cambridge
 
YHA Cambridge
 
The University of Cambridge’s museum collections hold some of England’s most internationally important artworks and artefacts. And many of these museums are free to enter. There’s something to pique all interests. The Museum of Classical Archaeology houses one of the world’s largest collections of Greek and Roman statues. Alternatively, the Fitzwilliam is home to a centuries-spanning art collection.
 
If you prefer living exhibits, the University Botanic Gardens are a hidden treasure. The site’s 40 acres include large glasshouses with tropical plants and outdoor displays of domestic species cultivated with the seasons in mind. With many and various sections and collections, it’s beautifully designed and there’s something to see all year.
 
Comedy greats such as Peter Cook, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, half of Monty Python, David Mitchell and Robert Webb made their first foray into the spotlight as members of the Cambridge Footlights. Today, the University-based comedy troupe continues to produce cutting edge stuff. With four main shows a year plus the fortnightly sketch-based ‘Smokers’ evening, the scene is still alive and kicking.
 
 
book now
 
whats on
 
 
 
 
 
 
Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Christoph:
 
 
  1  
Stroll through the meadows and along the river to the little postcard village of Grantchester where the Orchard Tea Garden awaits you. Getting to Grantchester is part of the fun, a worthwhile 3-mile walk or, in the warmer months, a good punt down the River Cam.
 
 
  2  
Explore one of the largest and most opulent Jacobean houses in England: Audley End House. Meander through the magnificent state apartments, glorious great hall and 1880s service wing to discover the workings of this gargantuan mansion.
 
 
  3  
A day trip to Duxford will make an aircraft enthusiast out of anyone (even if only for the day!). Explore military, First and Second World War exhibits filled with impressive collections of iconic aircraft including the legendary Spitfire, Lancaster and Blackbird spy plane.
 
 
 
 
 
YHA Liverpool Court
 
YHA Liverpool
 
  Land of Hope Street and glory days  
 
 
Merseyside is a mixing pot of the old and the new, the multi-media and the multi-faceted. Liverpool’s cultural offering is as much a celebration of the global as it is a platform for the home-grown. Whether you come to revel in the city’s glorious pop heritage at the Cavern Club or to appreciate the contemporary art of the Liverpool Biennial, the city is bursting with creativity and energy.
 
 
 
YHA Liverpool
 
YHA Liverpool
 
YHA Liverpool is a large, well-equipped hostel that’s a mere 500m from the historic Albert Dock and its must-visit attractions. There you’ll find the Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, Museum of Liverpool and the Beatles Story. And on a bright day it’s a brilliant place to simply sit out, relax and enjoy refreshments from its restaurants and bars.
 
Next stop: the Hope Street Quarter. It’s home to two cathedrals, Liverpool Philharmonic, the Everyman Theatre, Unity Theatre, a couple of listed pubs, the College of Art and the Institute of Performing Arts. So, as cultural quarters go, its credentials are pretty sound.
 
Beyond the centre, Lark Lane’s cafes, bars and independent shops are a hive of activity. The area is great for an afternoon or evening out. Nearby Sefton Park has a natural looking landscape, a lake and the beautiful glass Palm House as its focal point. It also plays host to a number of events throughout the year including the Gin festival and the Liverpool Food and Drink Festival.
 
 
book now
 
whats on
 
 
 
 
 
 
Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Cat:
 
 
  1  
We’re located in the Baltic Triangle. Rather than heading north to the city centre and Liverpool One, head south and you’ll stumble across fabulous bars such as the Camp and Furnace, Baltic Social, and the Liverpool Gin Garden. Home to the old Cains brewery, there is something hidden around every corner!
 
 
  2  
Liverpool boasts one of the most beautiful Chinese Arches and a lovely compact Chinatown. With a couple of fabulous Chinese supermarkets and brilliant bakeries, it’s brimming with culinary treats.
 
 
  3  
Based above OhMeOhMy in the former Bank of West Africa on the waterfront, you’ll find Goodness Gracious. This rooftop terrace enjoys views of the Liver Birds and over the water. So grab a cocktail or a beer and watch the ferries cross the Mersey.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  What could we do better?  
 
 
If you’ve yet to fill out your membership survey then please do before 6th January 2016. Help us shape the future of YHA Membership. Complete the survey to make your opinions heard. It’ll take no longer than ten minutes and you’ll be entered into a prize draw for your pains. You could win an iPad Mini, £100 of YHA overnight vouchers or £50 of Love2shop vouchers. Thanks!
 
 
  Take the survey  
What could we do better?
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cotswold Outdoors
 
 
Give more than a gift this Christmas
 
Nothing beats time spent in the great outdoors. From tackling a new summit with your friends, to entertaining the kids on a weekend away, or enjoying solitary moments of calm, the right gift can open up a whole world of adventure. Grab that inspiring gift you’ve been looking for all along, visit us in store or Click & Collect any product from our full range online or at nationwide stores.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Winter Wonderland Edition  
 
 
Thanks for wandering with us this year. Wishing you fantastic festivities and all the best for 2016.
 
The YHA Team
 
 
Merry Christmas
 
 
 
 
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.
 
Find out how were changing the lives one stay at a time
 
 
 
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