Wanderer September 2014
YHA The Wanderer
YHA The Wanderer
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The Wanderer, Issue 21, September 2014
 
 
The Urban Edition
 
Last month we took you on a whistle-stop tour of four incredible international cities, we hope you enjoyed it; this month we’re back on home turf and ready to explore some of our most dynamic domestic destinations. We’ve pounded the pavements in search of superb city breaks and bring you four of the best that England has to offer. From the best hostelries to heritage sites, playhouses to points of interest, whatever the weather, here’s all the information you’ll need to plan an awesome urban adventure.
 
If you missed last month’s International Edition, or want to peruse any previous edition, you can access The Wanderer archive here.
Map  
 
 
YHA CAMBRIDGE
 
 
YHA Cambridge
 
  Art, academia and amazing architecture  
 
 
Stroll along quaint ancient streets, wander the wonderful warren-like city centre, or simply stand and stare at the architectural marvels that contribute to this time-honoured university town’s appeal. Whether on foot, by punt or by pedal, you’ll discover a different pace of life as you explore Cambridge and its rich cultural offerings.
 
 
 
YHA Cambridge
 
YHA Cambridge
 
Follow in the footsteps of centuries of influential academics, authors and artists and walk around the University of Cambridge’s college quads, gardens and grounds. Downing, Pembroke and Christ’s are all free to visit but access is limited during exam periods. The Wren Chapel at Pembroke is particularly interesting; consecrated in 1665 it was Christopher Wren’s first building and one of the first English churches in the Classical style.
 
“Whether on foot, by punt or by pedal, you’ll discover a different pace of life as you explore Cambridge and its rich cultural offerings.”
 
Some of the best views of the colleges are to be had from the Backs, the parklands on the banks of the Cam. Many of the Backs’ footpaths are college-owned however and access is limited, so why not take the leg work out of your visit and opt for a guided punt tour along the river instead.
 
Cambridge has many free museums. The Fitzwilliam’s impressive exterior houses a vast array of ancient artefacts, medieval manuscripts and a priceless period-spanning art collection. Alternatively, The Whipple Museum of the History of Science is chock-full of intriguing instruments, models and ideas. Finally, the Polar Museum, at the Scott Polar Research Institute, with its fascinating collection of clothing, journals, maps and photographs is sure to inspire an appetite for adventure.
 
Once you’re all cultured out, return to the recently refurbished hostel with its brand new social spaces, Scholar’s café bar and renovated bedrooms to discuss the day’s discoveries and enjoy a very comfortable night’s stay.
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Natalie:
 
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Whether you’re a quiz champion or universally challenged, pit your wits against the locals at The Empress Pub’s quiz night on a Tuesday or the Blue Moon’s on a Wednesday; the latter has a particularly fine craft ale selection.
 
 
  2  
You’ll find plenty of free live music venues around but our favourite is The Anchor which hosts regular jazz and open mic nights. Apparently Syd Barratt, of Pink Floyd fame, played drums for the house band in the 1960s.
 
 
  3  
The ADC theatre is Britain’s oldest University playhouse and home to the world-famous Cambridge Footlights. Take in a performance while you’re here – you may just discover a future star.
 
 
 
 
YHA BRISTOL
 
 
YHA Bristol
 
  Cosmopolitan style and cutting edge creativity  
 
 
The Harbourside location of this restored grain house couldn’t be more convenient for those looking to explore the many and varied attractions of the West Country’s cultural capital. A thriving and edgy visual arts scene, a diverse live music offering and fascinating (and free) museums combine to make this a superb city break destination.
 
 
 
YHA Bristol
 
YHA Bristol
 
Bristol is steeped in maritime history and many of its buildings were reputedly funded by the profits of piracy. Britain’s most notorious pirate Edward Teach, or Blackbeard, was born close to the harbour. To explore seafaring on the right side of the law, visit the SS Great Britain. Brunel’s authentically restored ship is one of Bristol’s premier attractions. Alternatively, The Matthew – a replica of the 1497 ship that made the first voyage to North America – is docked in the harbour and it’s free to go aboard.
 
“Bristol is steeped in maritime history and many of its buildings were reputedly funded by the profits of piracy.”
 
To learn everything you could possibly want to know about the city, visit the state-of-the-art £27 million museum M Shed. More than 3000 exhibits are spread across three categories: Bristol Places, Bristol People and Bristol Life. It’s free to enter, as is Bristol Museum & Art Gallery. If you’re bringing the children, be sure to visit At-Bristol; it’s one of the country’s best interactive science centres and offers hours of hands-on edutainment.
 
Finally, Bristol is regarded as the street art capital of the UK. With more than 100 street and graffiti artists working in the city, it’s become an outdoor canvas for this popular sub-culture. Take the street art walking tour to discover how Bristol became a hotbed of creativity. Once you’ve built up an appetite, enjoy a taste of independent Bristol at The Canteen. Located in The People’s Republic of Stokes Croft, it’s surrounded by amazing street art and serves great beer and award-winning homemade food.
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Dan:
 
  1  
Once you’ve taken in the awe-inspiring Clifton Suspension Bridge, walk a few hundred yards to the spectacular Ashton Court Estate. It offers excellent mountain bike trails, a deer park and some very special views of the city.
 
 
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Located on the Harbourside, the Nova Scotia Hotel is a firm favourite with the locals. Whether it’s the themed décor, hearty pub grub or section of the bar reserved exclusively for sea captains, this one’s nautical but nice.
 
 
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The Old Duke is a brilliant pub with live jazz played every night of the week. Every summer, the pub takes over King Street to host a New Orleans inspired jazz festival.
 
 
 
 
  Tell your friends  
 
 
If you recommend YHA Membership to a friend and they join, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win £100 worth of overnight vouchers. To qualify, your friend must call 0800 0191 700 quoting MGM and your membership number. After all, any friend of yours is a friend of ours.
 
 
 
 
 
YHA Liverpool
 
 
YHA Liverpool
 
  Roll up for the history tour  
 
 
2008 European Capital of Culture, Liverpool is bursting with places of interest, character and charm and, with locals famed for their friendliness, you need look no further when planning a fantastic UK city break. The large, well-equipped and welcoming hostel puts you at the heart of the action with the Albert Dock just 500m away.
 
 
 
YHA Liverpool
 
YHA Liverpool
 
Built between 1841 and 1846, the construction of the Albert Dock demonstrated a huge leap forward in engineering; the warehouse complex was the first British structure to be built entirely of iron, brick and stone and is the largest group of Grade I listed buildings in the country.
 
“Fans of the Fab Four will find room after room of memorabilia and replicas of the Abbey Road Studio and the Cavern Club.”
 
Many of the city’s best attractions are located at the Dock, or very close by, including the Tate Liverpool, Merseyside Maritime Museum, and the award-winning landmark Museum of Liverpool which is free and tells the fascinating history of the city. You’ll also find the award-winning Beatles Story here. Fans of the Fab Four will find room after room of memorabilia and replicas of the Abbey Road Studio and the Cavern Club.
 
Though not the original, which closed in 1973, the new Cavern Club on Mathew Street has inherited the bricks, the character and the lively atmosphere of its predecessor. Nearby you’ll find the Cavern Pub featuring a wall adorned with the names of all artists who’ve played the Cavern Club since its opening in 1957. If your tastes are more contemporary, enjoy a cocktail or two at Hannah’s Bar which regularly hosts live bands and is a favoured local nightspot.
 
The YHA Liverpool reception is open 24 hours so your night out ends when you want it to and not a minute before. Our staff are always on hand to help you discover the best bits of this incredible city and, with so much on offer, you might just appreciate a few pointers.
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Michelle:
 
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Liverpool Marina’s Watersports Centre offers all manner of craft for hire and is a great place to both get active and see the city from a different perspective. Why walk round the Albert Dock when you can canoe round it?
 
 
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Visit the incredible and award-winning FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) to take in a free exhibition or watch the best in independent and mainstream cinema.
 
 
  3  
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city and visit one of Merseyside’s excellent beaches. See Anthony Gormley’s sculptures on Crosby Beach; visit the multi-million pound entertainment complex at New Brighton; or simply relax with a stroll along the clean sands of West Kirby.
 
 
 
 
YHA Brighton
 
 
YHA Brighton
 
  Flair and flamboyance on the famous seafront  
 
 
We’re beyond excited about the upcoming opening of YHA Brighton on 17 November 2014. The brand new hostel is located right across the road from the Palace Pier and Brighton’s famous pebble beach, making this a great base for exploring all that this unique city has to offer.
 
 
 
YHA Brighton
 
YHA Brighton
 
Eclectic, extraordinary and often eccentric, Brighton is bursting with things to see and do. Simply wander its narrow streets and around every corner you’ll find something weird and wonderful. North Laine is a shopper’s dream, populated by innumerable independent shops. Don’t miss Snooper’s Paradise; it’s packed to the rafters with row upon row of cabinets full of the kitsch and the collectable. It’s possible to lose an hour browsing and it’s a great place to pick up a unique gift.
 
“Every May, the city’s many arts venues, parks and public spaces are taken over by Brighton Festival, an annual celebration of cutting edge dance, theatre, circus and music.”
 
Acquaint yourself with the history of Brighton in the cultural quarter. Visit the Prince Regent’s seaside palace, the Royal Pavilion, and wonder at its bizarre but brilliant Indian, Chinese and Islamic-inspired design. Next door, the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery houses an interesting collection of artefacts and exhibits ranging from the historical, through fashion and to the performing arts. Admission is free.
 
Brighton’s arts scene is amongst the best in the country. Every May, the city’s many arts venues, parks and public spaces are taken over by Brighton Festival, an annual celebration of cutting edge dance, theatre, circus and music. Alternatively, Brighton Dome and Theatre Royal Brighton offer a full programme featuring well-known performers and West End touring productions year-round.
 
Incredible shopping, diverse countercultures, superb Regency architecture, art aplenty and a peerless nightlife… Brighton has it all. And where better to stay than the brand new YHA Brighton. We say book today, and perhaps even treat yourself to one of the Premium rooms complete with sea view and roll top bath!
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Becky
 
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Visit Sea Life Brighton. Right next to the Pier it’s the world’s oldest operating aquarium and fantastic for all the family. This year, it added the brand new Rainforest Adventure complete with mystical ruined temple, Water Dragons, Piranhas, and Poison Dart Frogs.
 
 
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Surround yourself with Brighton’s best dressed at The Mesmerist. This ultra-chic bar hosts regular swing and jazz nights and is the perfect place to dance the night away.
 
 
  3  
Street performances, markets selling produce from around the world, activities for kids, craft fairs, waterfront sailing trips… there’s always something going on at Brighton Marina.
 
 
 
Cool places
 
  Cool Plece  
 
 
The Cool Places website showcases the best places to stay and things to do around Britain. Now, we think the network is chock full of ‘Cool Places’ but it doesn’t really matter what we think, it matters what you think. As our members are our greatest ambassadors, we’d like to ask a favour; please help us spread the word about YHA by registering on the Cool Places site and nominating your favourite hostel. Thanks! Your support means so much.
 
 
 
 
  Want to write The Wanderer?  
 
 
Time is running out and we need your submission for the December edition of The Wanderer. If you’re a budding travel writer, a spare-time blogger or a keen hosteller with a hankering to get your reviews out to a wider audience why not write for us? The December edition will feature 4 blogs written by people who have stayed with us. You’ve only got until 1st October to win a spot. All you need to do is submit 250-300 words about a YHA (England & Wales) hostel. For further details please see our website. Good luck!
 
 
 
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.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cotswold
 
The days are longer so you can go further
 
YHA members receive 15% off* clothing and equipment, shop online or at nationwide stores.
 
 
Cotswold  
 
 
 
Next month:
   
 
  Costal Edition  
 
 
Next month we leave the bright lights of the big city and go off the beaten track in search of hidden gems for Exclusive Hire. Join us in October as we explore secluded rural idylls and cosy coastal cottages to discover the very best places to get away from it all with you and yours. Want the place to yourself? You’ve got it!
 
 
 
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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