Wanderer January 2015
YHA The Wanderer
YHA The Wanderer
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The Wanderer, Issue 25, January 2015
 
 
Fundraising edition
 
Happy New Year and welcome back to The Wanderer! As this month is synonymous with self-improvement and planning for a brighter future, this is the perfect time for us to focus on the major fundraising projects that are helping to ensure the sustainability, vitality and relevance of the organisation in the present and for the future.
 
We kick off with a nationally-significant addition to the network before touring three iconic YHA properties that have been transformed by the generosity of our members and partners. And as this is The Wanderer, you can expect a lightbulb factory’s worth of bright ideas about how to make the very most of your visits.
 
If you’re a regular reader, you’ll have come across a few of these properties before. If you’d like to look back, you can access all past editions in the archive.
Map  
 
 
YHA Hadrian's Wall (The Sill)
 
 
YHA Hadrian's Wall
 
  Accommodation fit for an Emperor  
 
 
The £13 million landmark development of The Sill is expected to transform visitors’ experiences of Northumberland National Park. Combining a fantastic new 86-bed hostel and a Landscape Discovery Centre, this incredible building – inspired by Great Whin Sill bedrock – will accommodate and orientate visitors within this majestic and fascinating landscape.
 
 
 
YHA Hadrian's Wall
 
YHA Hadrian's Wall
 
Just a few metres from Hadrian’s Wall, minutes from the Roman fort of Vindolanda, and a short stroll from Sycamore Gap with its iconic solitary tree (made famous in the film Robin Hood), there’ll be no better base from which to explore the sights and highlights of the National Park.
 
The new development will offer doorstep access to miles of unspoilt scenery. Escape from it all and walk the river valleys, forests, mires and crags of this lightly populated region. Alternatively, head to nearby Hexham to enjoy this charming market town’s cobbled streets, medieval abbey, boutique shops and quirky cafes. You’ll find plenty to do – visit the racecourse, sample local produce at the regular outdoor markets or combine fun and fitness at the town’s many leisure facilities.
 
When the day is through, return to state of the art facilities to explore the exhibition spaces, enjoy a bite at the café or relax in the landscaped outdoor areas that will accommodate regular live music and theatre performances.
 
We’re keen to start work as soon as possible and are busy fundraising for the YHA Hadrian’s Wall at The Sill Appeal. If you can help us achieve our target, please do!
 
 
 
  donate now  
 
 
 
Our top tips:
 
  1  
Only 4 miles or so from the new site, The National Trust’s Allen Banks and Staward Gorge offers a perfect picnic spot and a great family day out. Take a walk along the river and through one of the largest areas of ancient woodland in Northumberland.
 
 
  2  
Talkin Tarn Country Park is less than 30 minutes away by car. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the lake, have a go at watersports, let the kids run free in the play area, then round off with coffee and cake in the tearoom.
 
 
  3  
Hunt out a little history with a visit to the nearby Augustinian monastery of Lanercost Priory. Founded in 1169, it has withstood a wild and turbulent past; the Priory was even attacked by Robert the Bruce himself during the long Anglo-Scottish Wars.
 
 
 
 
YHA Boggle Hole
 
 
YHA Boggle Hole
 
  A sparkling future for a coastal treasure  
 
 
This longstanding favourite on Yorkshire’s Heritage Coast is gaining a new lease of life with a major redevelopment project. Reopening in May, the hostel will have a brand new annexe building, a new layout and a multi-functional events space with cracking sea views.
 
 
 
YHA Boggle Hole
 
YHA Boggle Hole
 
Thanks to your votes winning us Hostelling International Sustainability Funding, we can afford to install photovoltaic panels on the new annexe roof to help safeguard the environmental and financial sustainability of this little gem for generations to come. The remainder of the work has been made possible by the generosity of members who have, so far, contributed £30, 000; funding from a number of charitable trusts; a generous donation from a major donor; and £165, 000 of support from the Coastal Communities Fund.
 
This cosy little treasure trove of a hostel opens out onto the beach, meaning you can spend hazy days combing the coast for driftwood and fossils, hunting for crustaceans in rock pools and paddling in the sea. Alternatively, turn left from the hostel and walk a mile along the beach to the gorgeous hillside village of Robin Hood’s Bay. With its winding streets, traditional pubs and small shops this charming place draws visitors back year on year.
 
Whether you’re a walker completing Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, a rambler home from a wander along the scenic Cleveland Way or a family back from a grand day out at nearby Whitby, our new beachside café is sure to prove a welcome sight. So sit down, relax with a drink and watch as the tide draws in.
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Peta:
 
  1  
Walk south along the cliff tops to the old Alum works, the site of one of the first chemical industries in England. There’s a fantastic story attached to the site which involves barrels of wee, a curse from the Pope and a floating egg!
 
 
  2  
Visit Ravenscar, the holiday resort that never was. In the late 19th century plans were drawn up to turn the village into a coastal resort to rival Scarborough. Roads, houses and sewers were built but the project collapsed and the development abandoned. A fascinating day out.
 
 
  3  
The beach and the rocky shore to the north contain the remains of shipwrecks. You’ll find the wreck of the Trawler SARB-J under the cliff. It’s a super spot for beachcombing and collecting driftwood.
 
 
 
 
Cotswold Outdoors  
Cotswold  
 
 
Make Christmas easy with Cotswold Outdoor
 
Wherever your adventures take you this winter, make sure you are protected from the elements. Cotswold Outdoor has over 60,000 products from some of the very best outdoor brands. Visit cotswoldoutdoor.com or one of our stores nationwide and stay outside for longer this winter.
 
YHA members receive 15% off* clothing and equipment, shop online or in stores nationwide.
 
 
 
 
 
YHA Black Sail
 
 
YHA Black Sail
 
  One truly amazing space  
 
 
Back in October 2014, England’s most remote hostel featured in George Clarke’s Amazing Spaces on Channel 4. It’s long been a star in our eyes and so it was great to discover that our recent renovation met with the approval of the show’s architect presenter.
 
 
 
YHA Black Sail
 
YHA Black Sail
 
Thanks largely to a members appeal, which raised £110,000 for Black Sail and Ennerdale, we were able to add a number of eco-friendly features to make this beloved place more sustainable. Photovoltaic and solar panels were added to a new living green roof, for example, to light the building and heat water for the site.
 
Returned to a wild state, this gloriously tranquil part of the Lake District is free from traffic, internet and phone signal. It’s a place to find peace, to relax, and unwind with mile upon mile of sensational scenery. Located on the Coast to Coast and surrounded by Wainwright’s Western Fells, it’s a paradise for walkers and climbers.
 
For a memorable day out we heartily recommend you walk the High Level Horseshoe at the eastern end of the Ennerdale Valley. Encounter wonderful views over Wastwater as you progress to the far side of Great Gable’s Western face. Alternatively, spend a superb day in the saddle and cycle the gentle route down the quiet southern side of the valley to Ennerdale water.
 
Once you’ve rambled, climbed or cycled your cares away, return to the hostel to gather round the new wood burning stove and raise a toast to an amazing space in a magnificent place.
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Wouter:
 
  1  
If you’ve a head for heights, summit Pillar and walk along the Black Sail Pass to enjoy an amazing view of England’s highest mountain, Scafell Pike.
 
 
  2  
Love to bag high peaks? Great Gable is a must. There are loads of tried and tested routes but a staff favourite is to follow Loft Beck and Moses Trod along to the ridge facing Kirkfell and onto the cairned path.
 
 
  3  
For a gentler route, make the short ascent up Scarth Gap, which starts just a couple of hundred yards west of the hostel. Enjoy glorious views of Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater in the distance as you carefully descend the rocky path to Buttermere shoreline.
 
 
 
 
YHA Snowdon Pen-y-Pass
 
 
YHA Snowdon Pen-y-Pass
 
  A makeover for a majestic mountain lodge  
 
 
Because of its climber-friendly location, 1000 ft above sea level on Snowdon’s eastern slope, there has been guest accommodation on this site since at least 1871. And we think that, following a £1.4 million refurbishment, this place has never been better.
 
 
 
YHA Snowdon Pen-y-Pass
 
YHA Snowdon Pen-y-Pass
 
Thanks to support from a number of organisations including Visit Wales, Snowdonia National Park and Welsh Water; a significant legacy from Tony Drake MBE, an avid walker and campaigner for public access to the countryside; and Hostelling International Sustainability Funding secured by your votes, to install a CO2 emission-busting biomass boiler, the hostel now has first-rate environmental credentials, more beds and a brand new café bar, Mallory’s.
 
With two walking routes starting outside, more than 500,000 people climb Snowdon, Wales’ highest mountain, from here each year. And now Mallory’s Café is open from lunchtime, to residents and non-residents alike, it offers both a convivial atmosphere and a great place to toast your success once you’re back from the summit.
 
Admittedly most venture here for the climb but Snowdon Pen-y-Pass is more than a one trick pony. The scenery is astounding for a start. And if you fancy taking the leg work out of your trip then make the short drive to Snowdonia Riding Stables and explore the foothills on horseback. Also within a 15 mile radius of the hostel are Zip World, the longest zip wire in the Northern Hemisphere, and Greenwood Forest Park, an award-winning eco-theme park. Fab fun for all the family!
 
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Mathew:
 
  1  
Accessible from the hostel, the Glyderau make for a fantastic alternative to Snowdon if you want to escape the crowds. Make your way up Glyder Fach to marvel at the huge Cantilever Stone and the shattered spikes of Castell y Gwynt.
 
 
  2  
Caernarfon Castle is one of Wales’ most imposing and impressive. The World Heritage Site is only 13 miles away by car and easily accessed by bus so take the time to visit and enjoy stunning views over the Menai Strait and Anglesey from Eagle Tower.
 
 
  3  
Jump around in the world’s first subterranean playground. Bounce Below is a series of huge trampoline nets connected by slides, the longest of which is 60 feet long, and all suspended from the walls of an abandoned slate mine.
 
 
 
 
 
Give a small gift that'll make a big difference
 
“For some, it was the first time they’d seen (and paddled in) the sea, the first time they’d eaten in a restaurant and the first time they’d eaten a stick of rock. For many, the opportunity to sleep in a bed with bedding, have a warm shower and eat as much as they like for breakfast was a highlight. I can’t express enough the impact that the experience has had on my class. If only for two days, they were allowed to be children.” Teacher, Ryecroft Primary Academy
 
We believe that every child should experience their school or youth groups’ trip away with YHA, whatever their financial means. YHA offers up to 50% funding to cover accommodation and food costs for around 7,000 less advantaged young people each year.
 
This is only possible thanks to thousands of donors who give generously to Breaks for Kids.
 
If you can, please give just £3 by texting ‘YHAK15£3’ to ‘70070’ to donate and make a difference today. Thank you.
 
Give a small gift that'll make a big difference
 
Give a small gift that'll make a big difference
 
 
 
 
AGM 2015
 
  AGM 2015  
 
 
YHA Castleton Losehill Hall, 11 July, 9am – 3.30pm
 
There are 38 additional member places available at this year’s AGM and we’d love you to join us!
 
Your YHA needs you to add a broader perspective to discussions to ensure we go from strength to strength for years to come. There’ll be plenty of opportunity to find out what’s happening in YHA, talk to senior staff, meet the Board and vote on motions that will affect the future direction of the organisation.
 
Delegate places will be decided by ballot so if you’d like to put your name forward please visit us online to find out more and register your interest.
 
 
 
 
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Next month:
   
 
  Cycling Edition  
 
 
It’s a return to one of our most popular themes next month as we take a spin around four properties that are just perfect for pedal-powered adventures. Whether you crave the freedom of the open road, the thrill of the forest trail or the scenery of the coastal track, grab your helmet and high vis, pack up your panniers and join us as we explore England and Wales on two wheels.
 
 
 
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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