A hostelling charity will hold its first ever national day to show off the changing face of its venues and activities.
YHA (England and Wales) has been on the go for 82 years, but is taking the opportunity to showcase its £19.5m investment in its network of youth hostels across England and Wales.
YHA Day next month will see its hostels throw open their doors and offer guided tours as well as putting on family friendly activities such as treasure hunts, live musing, film screenings and cream teas.
The multi-million pound investment in YHA’s hostels over the past five years has transformed many of the venues.
YHA said many now boast private en-suite rooms, camping facilities, restaurants and some even have honeymoon suites. It pointed out you don’t have to be a member to stay with YHA.
“Today youth hostels play a vital role in many of the communities in which they are based, providing many local groups, such as toddlers and Scouts, with premises for their weekly meetings and on-site activities for children during term time and school holidays,” a spokesperson said.
Chief executive Caroline White added: “We want to double the number of young people who experience YHA, its sense of sociability and community, and all that it can offer them and their families.
“Where better to start than in the local community and with our first ever YHA Day?
“Youth Hostels are increasingly popular with young families, with outdoor groups and school groups. We play a special part in many communities and in the lives of young people and we’re really proud of the work we do with volunteers and with partners, including the National Citizen Service.”
The YHA Day will take place on 15 September at hostels across England and Wales.
Youth hostelling started in Germany, with the first British hostel established at Llanrwst in 1930.
Visitors no longer have to carry out ‘duties’ and are allowed to arrive by motor vehicle, a practice frowned upon in the early days of the movement.