Wanderer July 2015
YHA The Wanderer
YHA The Wanderer
 

 

 
The Wanderer, Issue 31, July 2015
 
 
National Parks Edition
 
National Parks Week begins a week on Monday, so this month is the ideal time to tour four special properties located in ‘Britain’s breathing spaces.’ Today we’re so lucky to be able to roam the cliffs, coastline and countryside so freely, and this edition is dedicated to our forebears who helped make it possible.
 
Thanks in part to lobbying by YHA, the Ramblers’ Association, the Council for the Preservation of Rural England and the Council for the Preservation of Rural Wales, an Act of Parliament establishing National Parks was passed in 1949. We’re proud to have been in the vanguard, and will continue to create unique opportunities for young people to explore these extraordinary landscapes. Now here are four of our favourites.
 
Somewhere else on your summer holiday wish list? Let the Wanderer archive take you there.
 
Map  
 
 
YHA Edale
 
 
YHA Edale
 
  An adventure playground for all ages  
 
 
With the Great Ridge between Lose Hill and Mam Tor to the south and the Dark Peak moorland of the Kinder plateau to the north, not only is YHA Edale surrounded by stunning scenery but this area has a firm place in history.
 
 
 
YHA Edale
 
YHA Edale
 
On Sunday 24th April 1932, about 400 walkers trespassed en masse on Kinder Scout in direct action aimed at advancing the cause of the thitherto frustrated countryside access campaign. Protestors and gamekeepers came to blows. The immediate result was the arrest of six men. The legacy was the creation of the first National Park in 1951.
 
That hard-fought-for open-access land is our backyard and a naturally occurring adventure playground, making Edale a fantastic base for an activity break and a wonderful place for a walk. A variety of classic routes can be started from the site including the Pennine Way, the first National Trail, and the 21-mile Edale Skyline. The latter is spectacular and takes ramblers over a variety of terrain including rocky footpaths, grassy tracks, flagged sections, peat bogs and heather trods. And the view – wow!
 
The hills to the south are legally accessible to bikes and have steep descents that offer technically-gifted mountain bikers a real thrill ride. Prefer tarmac? You’ll find well-known hill climbs on our local roads. And there are family-friendly routes around Derwent Reservoir and the marvellous Monsal Trail.
 
With an adjoining activity centre, fantastic facilities, knowledgeable staff and proximity to peerless natural wonders, Edale is best placed to offer incredible adventures in the great outdoors.
 
  book now  
 
 
 
 
 
Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Nick:
 
 
  1  
In addition to its impressive peaks, this area boasts some rather remarkable troughs. Go underground to explore one or more of nearby Castleton’s four amazing show caves – Blue John Cavern, Treak Cliff Cavern, Speedwell Cavern and Peak Cavern.
 
 
  2  
Learn the ropes or improve your skills with a weekend course in climbing, caving, canoeing, kayaking and more. Too much to choose from? Try a few on a multi-activity weekend. You’ll find all these and much more online.
 
 
  3  
The classic circular route around the Kinder plateau is the one we use on our navigation courses, so just ask our staff if you’d appreciate a few pointers. Those who are less confident might prefer to join us for a fantastic weekend of fully guided walks.
 
 
 
 
 
YHA Borrowdale
 
 
YHA Borrowdale
 
  Go large in the Lake District  
 
 
This one’s a longstanding Lake District favourite, a recommended stop on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast and an ideal bolt-hole for anyone with their sights set on a stress-free high level activity holiday.
 
 
 
YHA Borrowdale
 
YHA Borrowdale
 
This is a landscape of epic proportions and pioneers; not only is the Lake District England’s largest National Park, it is home to the country’s highest mountain – Scafell Pike, and its deepest lake – Wastwater, plus Great Gable is believed to be the birthplace of British rock climbing.
 
Of the four main routes up Scafell Pike, the Borrowdale ascent via Sty Head and the corridor route is considered the finest. The high level walk traverses the lower slopes of Great End, Ill Crag and Broad Crag. As you climb you’ll encounter fantastic views over Great Gable and finally down over Wasdale Head towards Wastwater.
 
Just a 25-minute drive from the hostel, Whinlatter Forest is home to the Lake District’s longest purpose-built mountain bike trail. The red grade Altura Trail features long sweeping berms, jumps, rocky sections, cork screws and one of the best downhills in the UK. With the addition of a few black grade features, riders can reach an altitude of 500m above sea level.
 
All-in-all, with its exceptionally welcoming staff, well-stocked bar, great value meals, extensive grounds and campsite, YHA Borrowdale and the breath-taking beauty you’ll find outside make for a lovely Lakeland stay.
 
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Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Chris:
 
 
  1  
Swing through the trees of England’s only true mountain forest at Whinlatter Forest. This course is described as Go Ape at its most untamed. If you’re up for the challenge, don’t forget YHA members get 10% off.
 
 
  2  
On a seriously hot day there really is only one place to visit and that’s ‘Black Moss Pot’. The legendary local swimming spot is where brave souls can dive off 15-foot high rocks into the plunge pool or simply find a comfy patch of grass and do some quality sunbathing.
 
 
  3  
When the weather is bleak Castle Crag is the best place to walk. From our doorstep it’s possible to get up and down in well under two hours. And because it’s only just over 900 feet tall, you’ll get a great view from here when every other summit is stuck in the clouds.
 
 
 
 
 
We would love to get to know you better
 
  We would love to get to know you better  
 
 
So we can make sure we’re telling you about the stuff you’ll actually be interested in, we’ve created this little survey that asks a few questions designed to help us get to know our members a little better. If you’ve already filled it in, then thanks! If you’ve yet to fill it then please do and we’ll reward you with a 10% discount off your next overnight!*
 
Click here to tell us more about you.
 
 
 
 
 
 
YHA Ingleton
 
 
YHA Ingleton
 
  Water features you wont believe  
 
 
Explore caves and waterfall trails, conquer mountains and rock faces, splash around underground or take a dip in the open air – it’s all here. Sitting in a pretty village on the outskirts of the Yorkshire Dales National Park, YHA Ingleton is perfectly positioned for excursions into Ingleborough National Nature Reserve, the Lake District, Forest of Bowland Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and Morecambe Bay.
 
 
 
YHA Ingleton
 
YHA Ingleton
 
Nearby Chapel-le-Dale is the historical starting point of the Yorkshire Three Peak Challenge. So if you’re planning to take on Ingleborough, Pen-y-Ghent and Whernside, then YHA Ingleton is ideal. Of course, days in the great outdoors don’t have to involve feats of endurance; if you’d like to relax in rare surroundings, we emphatically recommend the village’s Waterfall Trails and their wondrous oak woodlands and cascades. Thornton Force is the most famous and it’s quite magnificent.
 
Beneath Ingleborough lies White Scar Cave and the longest show cave tour in Britain. Beyond the first waterfall you’ll discover a subterranean world of natural wonders and the awe-inspiring Battlefield Cavern. A little less well known but equally as visit-worthy, and a little more accessible, is Ingleborough Cave.
 
Above ground and just a stone’s throw from the hostel is Ingleton’s heated open air swimming pool. Run for three months over summer by local volunteers it’s delightful and open to the general public during the early evening on weekdays and for various sessions over the weekend. Last one in buys the first round back at your hostel home-from-home.
 
  book now  
 
 
 
 
 
Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Lisa:
 
 
  1  
Attend the public meet at Gaping Gill over August bank holiday weekend and be winched to the cavity floor. At 322 feet deep and boasting England’s tallest unbroken waterfall, Gaping Gill is quite a pothole! A truly unique and unmissable experience.
 
 
  2  
The rolling hills and virtually traffic-free roads around us make for superb cycling country while Gisburn Forest (20 miles away) has red, blue and green routes to suit all ages and mountain biking abilities.
 
 
  3  
Ingleton’s Indoor Climbing Wall is one of the best indoor venues in the region. From beginner to advanced climber, there’s a challenge for everyone whatever the weather.
 
 
 
 
 
YHA Minehead
 
 
YHA Minehead
 
  An idyll on the hill  
 
 
As National Park’s go, Exmoor is one of the most peaceful. A wander around its heather-clad moorlands, along its dramatic coastline or around its sheltered bays promises the ultimate distraction from life’s day-to-day woes.
 
 
 
YHA Minehead
 
YHA Minehead
 
Not only is Minehead a picturesque seaside resort with a cracking sandy beach, it’s also the northern gateway to the National Park, the area’s largest town and the start point of the South West Coast Path (SWCP) – the nation’s longest long-distance walking trail. Exmoor’s coast boasts England’s highest sea cliffs and a great way to get acquainted with this incredible scenery is to walk the challenging but rewarding route along the SWCP to Porlock Weir, and then get the bus back.
 
If you can’t quite muster the energy to walk all those miles, just start with the first few and climb up Minehead’s North Hill to St Michael’s Church for an unparalleled panorama. Then, with quaint cob-walled cottages either side, make your way down Church Steps and on to Toucan café to sample their delicious wholefood vegetarian dishes.
 
Alternatively, if you’re in the mood for a history tour, walk out from the hostel front door and up to Grabbist Hill for awesome views of Exmoor and the Somerset coast. Carry on over and visit the medieval village of Dunster with its National Trust castle complete with subtropical gardens and sensational sea views.
 
Enchantingly situated in a woodland hideaway, YHA Minehead has bags of charm. Could fairies live at the bottom of the garden? With grounds as magical as this, we wouldn’t put it past them.
 
  book now  
 
 
 
 
 
Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Andrew:
 
 
  1  
If you’re going west from Minehead, make the effort to stop off at Selworthy village and see its thatched cottages. One of them is a marvellous little tearoom.
 
 
  2  
If it all gets a bit busy in the bustling town centre, then do as the locals do and retreat to Blenheim Gardens to admire the fantastic floral displays and listen to live music on a Sunday afternoon.
 
 
  3  
The small harbour port of Watchet is a short but lovely steam train ride away. Get clued up on the town’s long history at the great little museum and then look out for Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner next to the marina.
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cotswold Outdoors
 
 
Find yourself outdoors this summer
 
Summer days are the perfect backdrop for life outdoors. Cut grass and flowers in bloom fill the fresh, warm air – maybe today’s the day you explore the far corners of a National Park. From meandering through enchanted forests or challenging steep hikes, we’ve got the kit covered, so sit back and let the memories make themselves.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  Help us protect our National Parks  
 
 
The Ramblers helps everyone, everywhere, enjoy walking, and protects the places we all love to walk. With the help of our members and volunteers we campaigned for the introduction of National Parks and we continue to work for their protection and extension.
Join the Ramblers today and together we can make sure they are safeguarded for generations to come.
 
Help us protect our National Parks
 
 
 
 
 
 
Next month:
 
   
 
  The Food Edition  
 
 
Have you taken advantage of your automatic Hostelling International Membership yet? Next month we’re jetting off on a global adventure to foreign lands and far-flung shores. Long-haul or short, you’ll find plenty of temptation as we flaunt four properties from Hostelling International’s 4000-strong portfolio. It’s going to be awesome!
 
 
 
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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