Wanderer October 2014
YHA The Wanderer
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The Wanderer, Issue 22, October 2014
 
 
The Urban Edition
 
This month we leave the hurly burly of city life behind in favour of quiet countryside and coastal retreats. It’s back to nature to spot wildlife and wander untamed wilderness as we take in four of our remotest and most peaceful properties, all available for Exclusive Hire during the winter months. Acres of unsullied scenery without another soul in sight – sounds wonderful doesn’t it?
 
And while we’re on the subject of having a whole hostel to yourself, there’s still time to enter our competition to win an Exclusive Hire property for you and your friends this Christmas. Simply submit up to 200 words describing your perfect Christmas by 31 October 2014.* You’ll find all the details, plus tempting last minute discounts, on our new and improved Exclusive Hire website. Best of luck.
 
As ever, if you’re looking for an escape on another theme, you’ll find oodles of inspiration in The Wanderer archive.
Map  
 
 
YHA Woody’s Top
 
 
YHA Woody's Top
 
  Take a walk on the wold side  
 
 
The Lincolnshire Wolds offer peace, quiet and a leisurely pace of life. And the secluded, single story, 20-bed YHA Woody’s Top provides all the escape you could wish for. One of our quietest locations, within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the hostel is surrounded by rolling countryside that’s superb for cycling, walking and wildlife watching.
 
 
 
YHA Woody's Top
 
YHA Woody's Top
 
The local landscape is made up of woodland, grassland and abandoned chalk quarries that accommodate a wide variety of rare flowers and wildlife. You’ll find a number of nature reserves within an hour’s drive. Snipe Dales Country Park and Nature Reserve is closest and offers ornithologists opportunity to observe treecreepers, goldcrests, finches, bramblings and crossbills in the woods in winter.
 
Visible at low tide from mid-October, the 3,000-strong grey seal population at Donna Nook - just a forty minute drive from the hostel - is a sight to behold. Join wildlife enthusiasts from around the world in November and December to watch them venture across the sands to pup. Wrap up warm and bring your binoculars, it’s an event you mustn’t miss.
 
There’s an old fashioned charm to the Lincolnshire Wolds. You won’t find touristy overdevelopment here. Instead, enjoy excursions to Louth to sample local produce, explore the museum and relax in one of its traditional pubs; visit Alford for arts and crafts, the largest thatched house in England and a spot of tea in the Five Sailed Windmill; or head to Horncastle to browse its antiques, curios and junk shops.
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Kelly:
 
  1  
Lincoln, with its Castle, Cathedral and famous Christmas Market (4 - 7 December 2014), is less than 30 miles away.
 
 
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Enjoy a leisurely stroll on Mablethorpe’s award-winning soft golden sandy beach.
 
 
  3  
Start your engines! Cadwell Park Racing Circuit is just five miles away. And if you’re itching to get in the driving seat, go karting around the outdoor race track at chequered Flag Karting near Grimsby.
 
 
 
 
YHA Tanners Hatch
 
 
YHA Tanners Hatch
 
  Its the simple things in life  
 
 
Set in the centre of the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, this 15-bed cottage offers walkers and lovers of lovely landscapes the perfect escape. You’d never guess you’d be able to enjoy such seclusion just 30 miles from the centre of London.
 
 
 
YHA Tanners Hatch
 
YHA Tanners Hatch
 
With a network of paths in the vicinity, simply set out from the front door and explore. The North Downs Way, Pilgrims’ Way and Greensand Way are all well signposted. Denbies Hillside is just a short walk away; take to the nature trails, spot the World War II pill boxes and look out towards Leith Hill, the highest point in south east England.
 
For one of the best views in the area, visit Box Hill and its viewing platform - Salomons Memorial. A waymarked walk guides you up there and around quirky landmarks like the Old Fort, built in the 1880s to protect London from French invasion. Box Hill’s play trail with its rope swings, log bridges and tunnels is a huge hit with kids.
 
If you’re bringing the little ones, visit Bocketts Farm Park and let them feed the animals, watch the famous pig race and run wild in the all-weather play areas. And if it’s a grown-ups-only getaway, visit Denbies Wine Estate to learn about wine production or sample a tipple or two on a tour round the Surrey Hills Brewery.
 
At the end of the day it’s back to your woodland hideaway for a cosy night trading tales in front of the fire.
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Andy:
 
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The Regency mansion, and former playground of the rich, royal and famous, and the gorgeous Edwardian gardens of the 1,400 Polesden Lacey National Trust Estate make for a great day out. Though the house is closed Nov – Mar, the gardens are open year round.
 
 
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Just 10 miles from the hostel, you’ll find decorative gardens, glasshouses and a vast arboretum at the Royal Horticultural Society’s 240-acre garden at Wisley.
 
 
  3  
Wander along West Street in Dorking and pick up antiques dating from the medieval to the art deco. More than 150 dealers trade here, making this a place of pilgrimage for collectors.
 
 
 
YHAs Autumn and Winter Guider 2014 - Download your free guide now
 
 
YHA Pwll Deri
 
 
YHA Pwll Deri
 
  A perfect, picture postcard place  
 
 
Panoramic sea views await at this beautifully renovated cliff top cottage on the Pembrokeshire coast. Miles from the nearest shop, the hostel offers a truly remote getaway as well as sunsets and scenery that have to be seen to be believed.
 
 
 
YHA Pwll Deri
 
YHA Pwll Deri
 
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path passes just 500m from the hostel door, giving guests access to some of the best walking in the UK. Volcanic cliffs, undulating sections, rocky outcrops and blazes of wild heather characterise this stretch of the coast.
 
The National Trust-managed land behind the hostel, Garn Fawr, offers some rewarding rambling and a First World War lookout facilitating fine views in all directions. Nearby Strumble Head juts out into The Irish Sea and is one of the best places in Wales to watch migrating seabirds.
 
When you’re ready to explore the surrounding area, travel east to spend a leisurely day wandering around the picturesque coastal towns of Fishguard and Newport. A further five miles away you’ll find the fascinating Castell Henllys with its reconstructed Iron Age roundhouses.
 
If it’s beautiful beaches and watersports you’re after, then go west. The cathedral city of St David’s is simply stunning and its coastline is brilliant for beginners looking to give coasteering, kayaking or surfing a go. Alternatively, stay dry and enjoy a walk along Whitesands Beach to watch canoeists, surfers and body boarders compete to catch the best waves.
 
In the evening settle in front of the floor-to-ceiling picture windows in the hostel dining room and watch the sun set on the sea. Perfect!
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Stewart:
 
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Jump aboard an ex special forces jet-powered boat and go in search of dolphins, porpoises, seals and sea birds on a guided wildlife sea safari. These exciting one-hour excursions depart from Lower Town Harbour, Fishguard.
 
 
  2  
Visit Tregwynt Mill to watch as looms weave traditional Welsh woollens, browse work by local craftspeople in the shop and enjoy a cuppa and a slice of cake in the café.
 
 
  3  
Cycle the quiet, virtually traffic-free lanes of the glorious Gwaun Valley. The steep-sided valley runs inland from Lower Town Fishguard towards the Preseli Mountains and is home to an abundance of wildlife.
 
 
 
 
YHA Ennerdale
 
 
YHA Ennerdale
 
  Lovely location for a Lakeland adventure  
 
 
Escape to the fells, ridges and peaks of one of the quietest and wildest valleys in the Lake District for a tranquil retreat that’ll soothe away the everyday. No signal, no stress, just sensational scenery.
 
 
 
YHA Ennerdale
 
YHA Ennerdale
 
A two mile journey through a forest of larch, oak, birch, lime and hidden waterfalls brings you to your woodland home-from-home with its 22 beds, cosy lounge, log fire and gorgeous views.
 
Marvel at Pillar from the comfort of your dining room chair, stay at low level and wander the wilderness of the forest, or tackle high level walks and soak up the scenery from Haysatcks, Red Pike and High Stile; whatever your ability you’ll find a route to suit.
 
If you’re bringing the bikes, pick up the 10-mile surfaced Whitehaven to Ennerdale Cycle Path just beyond the glistening glacial lake Ennerdale Water. It’s a great way to explore the West Cumbrian Countryside and also forms part of the 140-mile C2C Cycle Route that starts at Whitehaven.
 
Whitehaven itself is a lovely little place to visit. Beautiful architecture, a pretty harbour and engaging museums combine to make this a worthy destination for a day out. Highlights include The Beacon, which offers an interactive journey through the history of the region, and The Rum Story, which recreates the sights, sounds and production steps of the eighteenth-century rum trade.
 
On your way home, stop off at The Fox and Hounds in Ennerdale Bridge to tuck into hearty pub fare and wash it down with some local ales.
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Wouter:
 
  1  
Various remains of the first Ennerdale settlers are still hidden around the valley. See if you can find the Smithy Beck Bloomery or the Gillerthwaite longhouses.
 
 
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The name Ennerdale derives from 'Einer', the old-Norse word for Juniper. The Juniper Spires can be found on a walk along Smithy Beck.
 
 
  3  
Robin Hood's Seat at Angler's Crag is a bit of a scramble to get to, but it gives the very best views over the Ennerdale Water and plantations.
 
 
 
 
Cotswold
 
The days are longer so you can go further
 
Start preparing for those chilly mornings and bitter evenings with the latest Rab® Hydrophobic down jackets. Wherever you find yourself this winter, stay protected from the weather with Cotswold Outdoor.
 
YHA members receive 15% off* clothing and equipment, shop online or at nationwide stores.
 
 
Cotswold  
 
 
2015 Rugby World Cup
 
  2015 Rugby World Cup  
 
 
September and October 2015 will see the Rugby World Cup play out in stadiums up and down England and Wales. And the great news is we’re all geared up to help fans make the most of it.
We have properties close to the venues, room enough to accommodate a coach load, TVs tuned to coverage, well stocked bars and a full English on the menu.
Prices start at just £21 so whether you’ve scored tickets to a match or simply want to be close to the action, book a great value stay with YHA. Find out more.
 
 
 
 
 
Next month:
   
 
  Costal Edition  
 
 
‘Tis (almost) the season! Soon shops will fill with sweet treats, the scent of mulled wine will waft through winter markets, and ice rinks will bring sparkle to city centres nationwide. Yes, Christmas will be here before we know it. Time to start making plans! Join us next month as we go in search of stocking fillers, Santa’s grottos and the very best of the festive season.
 
 
 
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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