YHA Castleton at Loosehill Hall in the Peak District is one of the hostels re-opening

YHA Castleton at Loosehill Hall in the Peak District is one of the hostels re-opening

Youth hostels in England will begin a limited re-opening in mid-July as Covid-19 restrictions are eased.

The network of properties run by YHA (England & Wales) were closed on 23 March as the government-ordered lockdown began.

Shared dormitories will not re-open, and some hostels will only be available by those booking the whole building exclusively.

A spokesperson for the organisation said: “In line with the latest government guidance YHA is unable to offer beds in shared dorms following the re-opening of the network. Additionally, in youth hostels offering private and en suite rooms, shared facilities such as kitchens, drying rooms, laundry facilities, locker rooms and lounges will remain closed for the time being.”

YHA said 63 of its 153 properties will be available for exclusive hire, including the remote Black Sail hostel at the head of Ennerdale in the Lake District.

In other buildings, people will only be able to stay in rooms with en-suite or non-shared showers and toilets. Pods and cabins will also be available at some sites, with camping pitches also being offered in the near future.

YHA (England & Wales) said it will start a limited re-opening its hostels from 17 July. “Enhanced cleaning and safety procedures will be in place at every hostel and guests are encouraged to maintain social distancing and use contactless payment wherever possible,” the spokesperson said.

Chief executive James Blake said: “It’s tremendously exciting that we are able to open our doors again.

“Like so many other organisations, the coronavirus pandemic has hit YHA hard. But 90 years of history has shown us that YHA will recover and play a key role in helping people reconnect with each other.

“Our focus is on making sure everyone feels safe in our spaces when we open our doors again, and to follow the latest government guidance. For once in our 90-year history we are encouraging people not to be overly social when in our hostels however I do hope that people will make use of the fabulous outdoor space surrounding our properties to connect with nature, heritage, family and friends.”

St Briavels Castle can be hired for exclusive use

St Briavels Castle can be hired for exclusive use

For the first time, properties that are usually only available for exclusive hire in the quieter winter months are being made available this summer, including the grade-one listed St Briavels Castle in Gloucestershire, Black Sail, and YHA Tintagel in Cornwall. Buildings have between three and 20 bedrooms.

The youth hostelling charity said it was mindful of people’s financial situation following the coronavirus pandemic and has tried to ensure prices remain as affordable as possible. Private room hire starts from £29 per night and exclusive hire of properties over the summer from £299 per night, with a minimum two-night stay.

YHA said, when it was forced to close its hostels in March it offered all customers with bookings made before 17 April for arrivals up to 16 July a full refund.

The charity said it is now taking bookings for re-opening hostels via its website.

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