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  the wanderer
in this issue the city breaks edition

Dear Member, we’re delighted to welcome you to the first edition of our exclusive members’ newsletter.

Every month we’ll be scouring the UK for the best the country has to offer, from unforgettable walks to undiscovered beaches. If it’s out there, you’ll find it in here. Each edition will also feature valuable insider knowledge and top tips from hostel managers, as well as fantastic members-only offers you won’t want to miss.

This month, we’ve mined our network to bring you four great city breaks – perfect for when the weather’s poor.

in this issue
Keep your eyes peeled for original works by local boy Banksy

bristol A former waterfront grain house, this hostel has been sympathetically restored to offer relaxed cosmopolitan surroundings, and is a perfect base for exploring what's undoubtedly the beating heart of the West Country.

The cobbled streets of the old town are well worth a wander, while Bristol's long maritime history is in evidence all along the waterfront. You can even experience life aboard SS Great Britain, the authentically-restored ship of the city's most famous adopted son, Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Be sure to also see his still-spectacular Clifton Suspension Bridge above the Avon Gorge, and keep your eyes peeled on your travels for original works by another local boy, Banksy.

For more traditional art and antiquities, the collections at the City Museum and Art Gallery are a must, while lovers of the avant-garde will enjoy the Arnolfini, which showcases the finest in visual arts. Come the evening, you can sample the city's huge array of bars, pubs and restaurants, or take in a production at the historic Old Vic theatre, which has been thrilling audiences for over 200 years.

Hostel Manager Dan's top tips
1. Walk down Gloucester Rd - The longest stretch of Independently owned shops in Europe.
2. See Bristol's best live music at Hamilton House
3. Take one of Bristol's world-famous Street Art Trails


A home from home
Theatre lands on your doorstep, so be sure to catch a play or a musical

Since its £1.4 million refurbishment and reopening in March 2011, this modern backpackers' hostel has been ranked the No.1 hostel in England six times in 2011/12, and voted the No.10 hostel worldwide by hostelworld.com. Customer recommendations have soared, and it now boasts ratings of 4 stars from Visit England and 90% from hostelworld.com.

The hostel offers comfortable yet great value accommodation in London's West End, with an incredible mix of eateries, watering holes and entertainment venues all within a 15 minute walk. Among the most famous are Gordon's, London's oldest wine bar, and chic Japanese restaurant Nobu Berkeley St, where celebs such as Madonna and Victoria Beckham are frequently spotted. (But if you're on a budget, you'll find our self-catering kitchen equally as impressive!) Major attractions like the London Eye, Madame Tussauds, the London Dungeon and the Tower of London are also easily accessible, and you can even buy discounted tickets at reception.

If shopping's your thing, then the hostel's only a block away from Oxford Street – Europe's largest high street. Theatreland is also practically on your doorstep, so catching a play or a musical is a must during your stay. If you're on a budget, there are plenty of free museums and art galleries to enjoy, while you'll stumble across a famous monument or historic site at almost every turn.

Hostel Manager Becky's top tips
1. Regent's Canal - A dramatically different way to see London
2. Columbia Road Flower Market on Sundays
3. Saturday at the Kings road market and the Saatchi Gallery


A home from home
city Stay snug in the city with Cotswold OutdoorCotswold Outdoor offers an extensive range of brands such as North Face, Rab, Helly Hansen & Merrell to keep you warm and dry as you walk the streets. And don't forget, as a YHA member you benefit from a 15% discount!*   Cotswold check it out right-block
the wheel of manchester backpackers

This buzzing backpackers’ hostel is within easy reach of some of the best shopping, nightlife, museums and entertainment in northern England. It’s also recently been refitted, making a break here more relaxing than ever. Plus its canal-side location means you can enjoy a pre-dinner drink in the bar and then people-watch from the restaurant window or terrace over a tasty evening meal.

That’s of course after you’ve investigated Manchester’s world-class attractions, which range from old favourites like the Royal Exchange Theatre and Whitworth Art Gallery to newer additions such as the Imperial War Museum North and the Lowry.

For music fans, there’s a wealth of venues and gigs to get stuck into, while classical buffs should head to Bridgewater Hall, home of the world-famous Hallé Orchestra. Shoppers too are spoilt for choice, with the boutiques of the Northern Quarter, King Street’s designer outlets and the labyrinth of market stalls and vintage shops that is Affleck’s Palace to explore. And that’s not forgetting the mammoth Trafford Centre, just 15 minutes away and bursting with big-name stores.

Olly’s top 3 things to do in Manchester
1. Browse history at John Rylands Library
2. Find vintage heaven in the Northern Quarter
3. Take a tour of underground Manchester


the wheel of manchester backpackers

Following a £2 million renovation, this grand Victorian mansion is grander than ever. When it reopens on 29 March, you'll be able to relax in the new conservatory and courtyard, dine like a king in the restaurant, and sleep tight in your tastefully refurbished bedroom. Better still, if you book before 28 February, you'll receive a 20% discount – just use the code NEW20-002.

From the hostel it's a picturesque walk along the River Ouse to York city centre, within whose Roman walls lies 2,000 years of history. Major attractions such as the York Dungeon and the Jorvik Viking Centre vividly bring this turbulent and often bloody past to life, while the Yorkshire Museum houses local artefacts ranging from Viking swords to a meteorite that nearly hit the city in 1881.

Also not to be missed are the magnificent York Minster – the biggest Gothic cathedral outside of Rome – and The Shambles, a quaint street full of small, charming shops that was voted Britain's prettiest thoroughfare by fans of Google Street View. And when your feet need a rest from the cobbles, you can sit back in style at Betty's Tea Rooms, whose opulent interior was designed to match that of the Queen Mary cruise liner.

Hostel Manager Tim's top tips
1. Walk The City Walls for some great rooftop views
2. No visit is complete without taking tea at Betty's
3. Climb The Tower at York Minster


virgin london marathon

A unique way of seeing the capital is running the 2013 Virgin London Marathon, which will take place on Sunday 21 April.

YHA has a number of guaranteed places available, and for a registration fee of just £50 we'll provide you with free accommodation and food at YHA Thameside.

All we ask is that you raise £1,000 for YHA Breaks for Kids. For more information, or to request an application form, please call Karen Goddard on 01629 592696 or email [email protected]


Our brand new mobile app puts all the YHA information you need in the palm of your hand. It lets you:

> Search for hostels where you are and across England and Wales
> Search for activities such as climbing, mountain biking, rambling and water sports
> View photos and descriptions of our hostels
> Get maps and directions from your current location to our hostels
> Call the hostel to make a booking

The App will be available to download from 31st January.

adventure edition
marathon More thrillseeker than sightseer? Then keep an eye on your inbox for our February Newsletter. In this next edition, we've curated our most exciting UK locations, with opportunities for such exhilarating exploits as white water rafting or parasailing down the country's most picturesque cliffs. right-block
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