Festival of Walking access position

As we run YHA's first Festival of Walking, we are working to ensure access for all.

Working to ensure access for all

Access is at the core of YHA’s Strategy: Adventure. For the first time and a lifetime. As we run YHA's first Festival of Walking, we are working to ensure access for all.

Accessible means different things to different people. 

Our approach

  • To give people as much information as possible to decide whether a route is accessible to them.
  • To provide as much information as possible on the amenities at each of our hostels involved in YHA’s Festival of Walking (such as accessible bathrooms, bedrooms, quiet space etc). Each hostel also has an access statement on their hostel webpage.
  • That our Contact Centre team can help guests and visitors explore any specific needs and adjustments that might be needed.
  • To provide a feedback process where people can comment on how access might be improved.
  • To set up a small, paid-for steering group of disabled people/people with disabilities to act as critical friends for YHA’s Festival of Walking programme for 2022, and develop it into 2023.
  • We are considering how people access the information about YHA’s Festival of Walking and the routes, including how we provide information in as many formats, and as simple a language level, as possible.

Routes and support

We have identified a number of ‘accessible’ walks from our hostels. In this context, we consider accessible to mean that someone with a pushchair or push wheelchair could get around the route on an accessible path, without having to manoeuvre obstacles such as stiles or going onto the road.

Each hostel involved in YHA’s Festival of Walking has an ‘easy route’ in our programme of self-guided walks. These are not all ‘accessible’ as we have defined above, but they may be a useful starting point for those who find longer or steeper routes challenging.

We have also signposted to several organisations that have curated a wider range of accessible routes, and those that can support, for example, kit and route guide loans.

YHA provides support and sponsorship to disabled people/people with disabilities attempting challenging routes. As in all areas of outdoor sports, some extreme athletes take on unprecedented challenges across difficult terrain.

Working together

As part of our wider work on access to the outdoors and hostelling, we invite community groups led by disabled people/people with disabilities to join our Outdoor Citizens Community of Practice.

Outdoor Citizens

Accessible routes near our hostels

In conjunction with Access the Dales, we have also identified a wider range of accessible routes that are not part of the Festival of Walking but are close to YHA hostels.

East Midlands

Castleton

Route: Mam Tor Landslip, Peak District National Park

Nearest hostel: YHA Castleton Losehill Hall

North West of England

Ambleside

Route: White Moss Common to Steps End, Lake District National Park

Nearest hostel: YHA Ambleside

Ennerdale

Route: Ennerdale Views, Lake District National Park

Nearest hostel: YHA Ennerdale

Hawkshead

Route: Hawkshead to Loanthwaite Lane, Lake District National Park

Nearest hostel: YHA Hawkshead

Keswick

Route: Friar's Crag, Lake District National Park

Nearest hostel: YHA Keswick

South West of England

Okehampton

Route: The Granite Way, Explore Devon

Nearest hostel: YHA Okehampton

West Midlands

Dovedale

Route: Dovedale, Peak District National Park

Nearest hostel: YHA Ilam Hall

Stratford-Upon-Avon

Route: Stratford-upon-Avon (PDF), Accessible Stratford-upon-Avon

Nearest hostel: YHA Stratford-Upon-Avon

Yorkshire and the Humber

Dalby Forest

Route: Staindale Lake, North York Moors National Park

Nearest hostel: YHA Dalby Forest

Malham

Route: Malham Cove (PDF), Yorkshire Dales National Park

Nearest hostel: YHA Malham