YHA announces roadmap to hostel network reopening

The youth hostelling charity YHA (England & Wales) has announced its plans for the phased reopening of its locations across England.

YHA’s network of more than 150 properties have been closed since October 2020 in line with government restrictions however will begin a phased reopening from 29 April 2021.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 22 February, detailing the easing of lockdown restrictions, YHA has now released its own roadmap to re-opening its accommodation in England and is encouraging people to book now to avoid disappointment.

  • 29 April- Small hostels suitable for single households will be re-opened to hire on an exclusive hire basis.
  • 17 May- Hostels with private rooms, hostels suitable for two households to hire on an exclusive hire basis, and some of YHA’s amazing camping and cabin facilities.
  • 21 – June More youth hostels will be opened (subject to group and social distancing restrictions being lifted).

In line with restrictions, self-catering kitchens and shared spaces/dorm rooms within youth hostels will remain closed until social distancing measures are lifted.

Ahead of the re-opening of the network, YHA has added vintage American Airstreams to its camping and cabins offering. The distinctive aluminium travel trailers, which have been manufactured in the USA since 1931 will be arriving at four youth hostels ahead of the summer holiday season.

Priced from £99 per night, Airstreams are available to book now at YHA Borrowdale and Windermere in the Lake District, YHA Manorbier in Wales and YHA New Forest for stays from 17 May.

With room rates starting from just £39 a night, the promise of summer adventures, and the excitement of reconnecting with friends, family and nature, YHA anticipates high demand for its affordable accommodation in amazing locations throughout England and Wales.

James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA (England Wales) said: “We are delighted to be reopening our hostels and adding to our camping and cabins offering in time for much-anticipated spring and summer holidays. In line with government’s roadmap, our proposed re-opening plan for the network is phased to allow us to get furloughed staff back to work and get the network ready to welcome back guests in a safe and secure environment.”

The hospitality industry has been hit hard by the Civid-19 pandemic. The enforced closure of YHA’s network of properties has led to a loss of 80% of the charity’s income over the last 12 months which, despite welcome support from both the UK and Welsh Governments, has resulted in a cash loss of over £10million for YHA so far this financial year.

To encourage people to book with confidence every booking with YHA will be covered by YHA’s Covid-19 Flexibility Guarantee.

YHA is urging people to book direct to ensure they get the best price. For all bookings or further information about YHA (England & Wales), visit www.yha.org.uk.

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About YHA (England & Wales)

YHA (England & Wales) is a leading youth charity with 90-year history of making travel and adventure accessible to all, especially young people.

Established in 1930, YHA’s charitable objective remains as relevant in 2020 as it was in 1930 – ‘To help all, especially young people of limited means, to a greater knowledge, love and care of the countryside, and appreciation of the cultural values of towns and cities, particularly by providing youth hostels or other simple accommodation for them in their travels, and thus to promote their health, recreation and education.’

As part of YHA’s 90th anniversary celebrations the charity has launched the Project90 fundraising appeal. Details of Project90 can be found at getinvolved.yha.org.uk/fundraising/appeals/project90/

YHA’s charitable purpose is at the forefront of its new 10-year strategy Adventure. For the first time and a lifetime. Our 10-year strategy for connecting people and places. It can be viewed and downloaded at yha.org.uk/about-yha/yha-strategy-2020

Operating more than 150 locations throughout England and Wales, YHA offers a unique range of affordable accommodation including youth hostels, camping and cabins in rural, coastal and city locations.

Many of YHA’s sites are in stunning heritage properties: including a medieval castle (YHA St Briavels Castle); an Elizabethan manor house (YHA Wilderhope Manor); a Victorian mock gothic mansion (YHA Castleton Losehill Hall) and a medieval friary (YHA Beverley Friary).

Through its social enterprise model, revenue from YHA’s hostel accommodation is directed towards its social purpose.

YHA prides itself on providing affordable, contemporary accommodation and a life-enriching, social experience which differs from a hotel stay.

Since 2010 more than £40million has been invested in YHA’s existing network of accommodation as well as the acquisition of new hostels. YHA’s most recent hostel acquisitions include YHA Newcastle Central (November 2019) and YHA Liverpool Central (November 2019).

Through access to travel, heritage, culture, outdoors and nature, YHA aims to improve outcomes related to health, wellbeing and life chances for young people and families, particularly those with challenging lives.

YHA’s partnerships are extensive and involve organisations and charities working at virtually every potential touchpoint in young people’s lives from schools and colleges, Movement to Work, The Duke of Edinburgh Award, Family Holiday Association and School Journey Association, amongst many others.

YHA is a leading provider of residential school trips, with more than 80 Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) accredited sites — more than any other provider. Committed to quality outdoor education, YHA champions the national #BrilliantResidentials campaign.

YHA delivers measurable impact, nurturing young people’s personal and social development through education, upskilling and work readiness schemes.

In 2019 – 2020

  • 1,049,522 people stayed with YHA and 408,027 guests were aged under 26.
  • Over 150,000 young people accessed an affordable residential learning experience through their school or group.
  • 4,875 young people and families with challenging lives received free or supported breaks.
  • 1,040 young people volunteered with YHA.

Further information can be found in YHA’s latest impact review at https://www.yha.org.uk/about-yha/impact

In the current coronavirus crisis, YHA is repurposing a number of hostels to support the national fight against the disease. For example, YHA Bath, Manchester, Oxford, Bristol, Brighton and Cardiff have all been licensed to local councils temporarily to support the most vulnerable.

YHA reopened partially to guests in July 2020 with a mix of Covid-secure hostels offering rooms, and opportunities to hire hostels exclusively for groups meeting the Government’s restrictions. The network has had to close down in England during the current lockdown.

To see the difference that YHA makes to the lives of young people and their families, visit YHA’s YouTube channel.

Further information about YHA can be found at yha.org.uk

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