Wanderer January 2014
The Wanderer - Issue#13 - January 2014

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The Wanderer - Issue#13 - January 2014
UK map Eco Edition Dear member,

Happy New Year! We hope 2014 is going well so far. As January is traditionally a time for making resolutions we thought we'd add one more to the list - enjoy a guilt free sustainable getaway. This month we're going green and highlighting properties that are eco-friendly by design, easy to get to by public transport and close to some of England and Wales' most remarkable natural habitats. From biomass boilers to Blue Flag beaches, rail networks to nature reserves, you'll find all the information you need to plan a trip that's as good for the planet as it is for the soul.

Missed anything last year? You can take a look back at all previous editions of the Wanderer here.
YHA National Forest
Eco-adventures in a wonderful woodland YHA National Forest
Welcome to our most impressive eco-hostel yet, YHA National Forest. Designed and built with the environment's best interests at heart, this property boasts energy-saving and carbon footprint-minimizing measures throughout, including solar panels, a biomass boiler and a rainwater harvesting system.

Just a ten minute walk from the Hostel you'll find Conkers, an award-winning attraction with over 100 interactive exhibits that will keep little eco-warriors busy all day. The Discovery Centre houses the Enchanted Forest tree top adventure as well as a number of exhibits demonstrating the beauty and majesty of British woodlands throughout the seasons. Go outdoors to explore the site's 120 acres, challenge yourself to the 18-stage assault course or give your feet a sensory treat with the 450m Barefoot Walk.

We're not suggesting you hug any trees but, should the moment take you, there are more than 8 million in the 200 square miles of The National Forest. The Forest's 700 miles of path are ripe for exploration on two feet or two wheels. You can hire bikes, follow way-marked trails or join guided walks from Rosliston Forestry Centre. This woodland is also home to a variety of winged creatures including kestrels, kingfishers, owls, bats and butterflies.

For more animal magic, visit Twycross Zoo. With more than 600 animals from 150 species, there's plenty to see here. The specialist primate zoo houses a wide variety of apes and monkeys and with a number of breeding groups in residence, you might be lucky enough to see babies and toddlers rough and tumbling in the reserve.

Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Andy Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Andy
YHA Penzance
Escape to England's Eden Leave the car at home as the Cornish coast boasts some of the best coastal train rides in the country. Catch the train from Penzance to St. Ives and within 25 minutes you'll be within a hop, skip and a jump of two beautiful Blue Flag beaches, historic streets and an abundance of art galleries. Alternatively, opt for the area's scenic open-top bus tour and take in local highlights like St. Michael's Mount, Geevor Mine, Land's End and Cornwall's famous open air theatre, The Minack.

Closest to home, St Michael's Mount is a must visit. Steeped in Cornish myth and legend, the tidal island offers day-trippers a plethora of things to see and do. History lovers are in for a treat at the medieval castle whilst the horticulturally-minded will marvel at the rare exotics of the sub-tropical gardens.

Whilst we're on the subject of flora and fauna, no trip to Cornwall would be complete without a visit to The Eden Project and the world's largest indoor rainforest. The project's latest triumph is the installation of an aerial walkway allowing visitors to stroll among the treetops and enjoy incredible views across the biome. The walkway integrates a number of fascinating exhibits that will leave you passionate about the rainforest and inspired to do your bit for the environment.

After all that, return to the beautifully-restored Georgian manor house of YHA Penzance for a spot of rest and relaxation. Just 15 minutes from the seafront, this conveniently located and well equipped property is the perfect place to experience a little slice of idyllic Cornish life.

Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Paul Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Andy
YHA Penzance
walking on the beach Reach new heights with Cotswold Outdoor This season, Cotswold Outdoor are getting active outdoors. Whether you're already at home in the outdoors, looking for a new challenge or want to ditch the gym for the outdoors this year, now is the time to try something new. You can also enjoy free in store boot and rucksack fitting services to ensure walks, hikes and treks are completed in comfort and ease.
YHA members receive 15% off* hundreds of top outdoor brands including: Berghaus, Rab, Merrell, Craghoppers and many more. Shop online or in stores nationwide.
YHA Sheringham
All aboard for a green getaway YHA Sheringham A 5-minute walk from the Rail Station, YHA Sheringham is a great destination to soak up some seaside nostalgia on the Norfolk coast. If you're visiting from mid-February, don't miss the opportunity to travel in style on the North Norfolk Railway. Operating both steam and diesel trains along stunning coastal routes, this service offers you a wonderful way to see the sites.

The local Coast Hopper bus, running between Cromer and Hunstanton, links our Sheringham, Wells-next-the-sea and Hunstanton properties. There are plenty of quaint coastal villages to visit along the way and the service is particularly convenient for weary walkers as it picks up and drops off along the North Norfolk Coast Path.

Lovers of beautiful views will love the vantage point offered by Sheringham Park's viewing towers; there you can look out over beautifully landscaped gardens and out to sea. The Park's 1000 acres encompass various habitats including woodlands, parklands and cliff tops and are home to many species of wildlife including deer, birds and butterflies. We also recommend a trip to Priory Maze and Gardens, where the gardeners have exploited North Norfolk's unique microclimate to grow an unusual collection of rare and exotic plants.

If you'd like to discover more about the area's inhabitant wildlife, you're welcome to borrow one of our free Family Explorer Kits. For an extraordinary excursion, take to the water with a boat trip on the Norfolk Broads or seek out seabirds and seals with a ferry trip to Blakeney Point. After an exciting day out and about, you'll welcome the tasty evening meal and comfortable night's sleep offered by this Hostel.

Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Adrian Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Andy
walking on the beach
Vote YHA We're over the moon to be shortlisted for the prestigious 'MAA Best Consumer Campaign' 2014!
As it's voted for by the public, we need you (and friends and family) to vote for us!
It only takes a minute to vote at bit.ly/YHAaward Please select the "Live More YHA" option at the bottom – that's us.
Voting closes on 31 Jan 2014, and - rest assured - that our winning this award will allow us to reach out to more young people and continue to make a positive difference to real peoples lives.
YHA Arnside
Birds, butterflies and a beautiful bay Thinking of exploring the Lake District or Yorkshire Dales? What better place to make your base than YHA Arnside. The large Edwardian house above Morecambe Bay offers a peaceful rest stop in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and ready access to some of the best rambling routes around; journey south along the Lancashire Coastal Way or head west along the Cumbria Coastal Way from Silverdale. Whichever way you turn you'll be treated to a view of a remarkable landscape – limestone hills, deciduous woodlands, salt marshes and reed beds await.
Though quiet and uncrowded, this seaside town is well-connected with good bus and rail links. For something a little out of the ordinary, take the train to Carnforth station; used as a film set for the classic Brief Encounter, the station's refreshment room has been restored to its 1940s glory and is a lovely place to enjoy a cuppa. While you're there, don't miss the opportunity to take a picture under the iconic station clock.
The area's many nature reserves are accessible by public transport - and one even rewards the eco-minded; travel to RSPB Leighton Moss by bike or bus and admission to its nature trails and hides is free! This popular reserve has a sensory garden and a variety of wildlife to spot, including more than 100 species of bird. Renowned for its butterflies, the National Trust-owned Arnside Knott is an internationally significant area for wildlife and a fantastic place for a woodland walk. If Geology rocks your socks, take a trip to Warton Crag Nature Reserve and explore its 330 million year old limestone pavements.
Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Ken Insider tips from Hostel Manager, Andy
YHA Arnside
YHA green spirit plan Our commitment to the environment We're determined to continue to reduce our impact on the environment and safeguard the world around us for future generations. If you'd like to know more about our efforts, take a look at our Green Spirit Plan.
Photography competition winner
Drum roll please… The results of November's photography competition are in. Congratulations go to Alan Burton for his photo of Glaramara in the Lake District. This beautiful image, taken on a snowy day in March last year, received the highest number of votes from our Facebook followers and will appear on new YHA membership cards soon. Thanks to all who submitted entries and to everyone who voted. Photography competition
Inspired to get out and about? Join us on 13-16 February at London's ExCeL Exhibition Centre for The Telegraph Outdoor Adventure & Travel Show. You'll find all the latest outdoor clothing and equipment at discounted prices, free have-a-go attractions, special guest speakers and much more. The Telegraph outdoor adventure and travel show
Next Month:
Best of British Next month we'll be flying the flag in celebration of all the things that make these Isles great, and tipping our Bowler hats to the curiosities that make England & Wales quaint.
Union Jack flag
Find out how we're changing 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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