The Wanderer - Issue#04 - April 2013
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The Wanderer - Issue#04 - April 2013
UK map The History Edition Dear member, with the pace of modern life it's sometimes hard to think about what happened last week, let alone hundreds of years ago. That's why a break is the ideal time to get your heritage fix.

Britain is jam-packed with history. And we've squeezed as much of it as possible into your exclusive members' newsletter. Read on and you'll find four of our favourite hostels, all ideally located to help you step back in time and discover our country's illustrious past. So get ready; literary figures, mythical heroes, ancient civilisations and iconic landmarks await. And don't forget, you can also check out our previous newsletters here.

The YHA Team
YHA Eyam, Derbyshire
A retreat back in time
Eyam Youth Hostel Eyam hills Eyam is brimming with life Eyam sculpture Eyam youth hostel This captivating Victorian folly is an ideal location for families. Resembling a tiny turreted castle perched on the hillside overlooking historic Eyam, it's a perfect place from which to explore the Peak District.

With its vibrant community and beautiful scenery it's hard to imagine the fascinating, yet tragic, story that Eyam has to tell. For while Eyam is now credited as the most visited village in the Peak District, back in 1666 a visit would not even have been possible.

That was the year when the village took the heroic decision to quarantine their plague-infested population. Their action prevented the deadly virus from spreading any further, but some 260 villagers — an estimated four-fifths of the population — succumbed to that final, virulent outbreak of the black death in Britain. Yet their brave, selfless action may well have saved many thousands of lives in the north of England.

Look around today and you'll see that their valiant story has not been forgotten: plaques, place names and the Eyam museum ensure that the memory of their sacrifice lives on throughout the village. Trace the tale as you wander around, or venture further afield to enjoy the excellent cycling routes or walks that start from the hostel doorstep and lead to the surrounding White and Dark Peaks. Either way there'll be delicious home-cooked meals upon your return to this warm and friendly, fully licensed hostel.

Tips from Rob and Terri, Eyam's hostel managers Discover more
YHA Grinton Lodge, North Yorkshire
Dramatic location in the northern dales
Grinton Lodge celebrating 65 years Northern Dales Not just the gateway to the Yorkshire Dales Northern Dales Grinton Lodge Enjoy spectacular views from this impressive 200-year-old former shooting lodge set amid purple heather on the moors above Swaledale. Choose from cosy rooms or YHA's first ever camping pods, situated in the wooded paddock with views over the surrounding moorland.

Looking out from this impressively well kept Grade II listed building it would seem that you were in the middle of (a very beautiful) nowhere. However, despite the apparent peaceful solitude, the warmth of the nearest pub is just a 15 minute wander downhill. Keep going and you'll find the historic town of Richmond, with its cobbled alleys and castles, just 10 miles away.

Founded in 1071, Richmond proudly shows its age: Georgian homes, a 12th-century Franciscan friary bell tower and a Norman castle all jostle for your attention. With breathtaking views of the Yorkshire Dales, Richmond Castle dominates the town to this day. Originally built in the 11th century, it is one of the greatest Norman fortresses in Britain and possibly even the oldest stone-built castle in England. According to legend, it serves as the resting place of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. One can only commend their good taste.

Elsewhere there are striking landscapes to explore in every direction. Traditional limestone barns and wildflower meadows contrast with the rugged beauty of the old mine workings, while the wilds of Swaledale — with the highest concentration of quality bridleways and trails anywhere in the Yorkshire Dales — await the adventurous.

Tips from hostel manager Ian Discover more

Cotswold outdoor shop Experts in the outdoors for nearly 40 years
Starting life as Cotswold Camping in 1974, Cotswold Outdoor is now an award-winning retailer of top quality outdoor clothing and equipment, with over 250 brands in 67 stores nationwide and online. Use your 15% YHA discount in store, online or over the phone today.
Cotswold outdoor Check it out
Bivouac Camping Barn, Masham, North Yorkshire
The height of eco luxury
Bivouac's bunk barn Miles from your average hostel Bivouac's bunk barn Bivouac's bunk barn Bivouac's bunk barn Stylish yet sustainable, Bivouac's bunk barn is located three miles from Masham in the sweeping landscape of the 20,000 acre Swinton Estate. A picturesque spot, just on the edge of the moorland Dales, it offers the perfect place to rest after a long day spent discovering the Yorkshire Dales.

Just a short walk from the Bivouac café, the Druid's Temple stone circle (actually a 19th-century Victorian folly) makes a fantastic starting point for your excursions. It's a particularly quirky attraction, dubbed "Yorkshire's Stonehenge" by some. Marvel at the ingenuity of creator William Danby (the squire of Swinton) and the great views of lower Wensleydale with its rolling hills and farmland.

The picture postcard town of Masham is a mere three miles away, with it's splendid Georgian architecture and a fine Norman church whisking visitors back to an earlier time. Home to one of the oldest markets in the UK, Masham was granted a market charter in 1250 as it became a centre for the Dales sheep industry during medieval times. Visitors today can still see the market in full swing every Wednesday and Saturday in the impressive central market square.

Thirsty for more? You're in luck. Masham also happens to be known as the brewing capital of Yorkshire. With a fine heritage in producing quality ale, the village is home to two of the most famous Yorkshire breweries: Theakstons who began in 1827 and their younger offshoot Black Sheep. Take a tour, pick up a souvenir and meander (or perhaps stagger!) back past the rivers, woodland, moorland and dales in some of the most unspoilt countryside in the U.K.

Hostel manager Linda's top tips Discover more
YHA Canterbury, Kent
YHA Canterbury celebrating 50 years Canterbury The perfect blend of city, coast and countryside. Canterbury catherdral YHA Canterbury A fantastic city hostel, located on the main road into Canterbury, which makes an excellent base to explore the delights of this historical city. Popular with groups, individuals and school trips alike, a recent £580k refurbishment has breathed new life into this classic YHA accommodation that we've been in for 50 years.

The Roman-walled city of Canterbury is packed with fascinating history, as the centre of English Christianity since 597 AD this heritage city is full of beguiling, and sometimes grizzly, discoveries. Get the full World Heritage experience with visits to St Martin's Church, St Augustine's Abbey and the gothic splendour of one of the most famous religious structures in the world: Canterbury Cathedral. Then make a pilgrimage to the Martyrdom, where the four knights murdered poor Thomas Becket in 1170.

Walkers with itchy feet will be tempted by the Crab and Winkle Way — the first ever scheduled passenger railway line in the world and now a fantastic walking route to the thriving coastal town of Whitstable. Whilst those looking for a more sedate way to take in their surroundings can opt for a guided historical river tour; the perfect way to discover the city if you'd rather avoid the hustle and bustle.

Like to step a little further back in time? Head to the Roman Museum or the Norman Castle. Alternatively, head to the shops and battle it out for a bargain to take in some of Canterbury's more modern charms.

Hostel manager Niki's top tips Discover more
Next Month:
The Coastal Edition Lighthouses, basking sharks, dolphins, panoramic sea views: look hard enough and you'll find them all along the British coastline. We've been lucky enough to do just that in our search for our favourite seaside gems. It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it! Make sure to check your emails this time next month to find out our top picks; the jewels in Britain's coastal crown.
The jewels in Britain's coastal crown.
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