YHA (England and Wales) is making the most of its fabulous locations and has invested £1 million in camping, glamping and cabin facilities at 63 of its Youth Hostels.
Already known for its 160-strong network of Youth Hostels across England and Wales, the investment in camping and cabin facilities is designed to make YHA even more accessible to people and capitalise further on the increase in Staycations in the UK.According to Visit England, foreign trips and holidays are 16% lower than they were before the recession and there has been a 15% increase* in families taking glamping holidays over the last year.
Last year the camping pods in the grounds of YHA South Downs were endorsed by Her Majesty the Queen who toured them as part of a visit to the £5 million Youth Hostel.
As well as camping pods, YHA offers an unrivalled range of alternative accommodation at its properties, including:
Six-sided timber cabins available at YHA Canterbury and YHA Hawkshead that evoke images of The Shire. These fully insulated cabins sleep 4 – 5 people and boast double glazed windows, a double bed with a single over the top and a set of bunk beds. The cabin at YHA Canterbury even comes in a deluxe en suite bathroom option. Prices from £75.00 per night.
Available at 7 locations, YHA’s camping pods sleep up to 4 adults and boast electrical sockets, radiators, and a small decking area for disposable BBQs. For true camping luxury, however, the Large Pod Deluxe comes with bedding, a wet room with WC and shower, double bed and double sofa bed as well as a kitchenette area with fridge, sink, kettle, crockery and microwave. Prices from £45.00 per night.
Camping huts are caravan-like shelters that offer a real back-to-nature experience. They provide cosy but remote accommodation for up to 7 people at two YHA locations. Although basic, the traditional wooden structures boast mod-cons like electric lighting and heating as well as table and chairs to plan your next day’s adventures. Prices from £36.00 per night.
Camping facilities are available at 31 YHAs across England and Wales. Families can pitch up their tent in the hostel grounds and reap all the benefits of the Youth Hostel facilities. Prices from £10.00 per night.
Perfect for families who like camping but don’t like roughing it, YHA’s solar powered luxury bell tents are available at six YHAs in the South West. The bell tents come fully kitted out with bedding and are furnished with basics like bean bags, a double bed with three singles; perfect for a comfortable night’s sleep under the stars. Prices from £70.00 per night.
YHA’s camping barns or ‘stone tents’, offer a more substantial shelter from the elements than a tent. Families and large groups can enjoy the remote, minimal nature of camping but under a sturdy roof at 18 locations across England and Wales. Prices from £8.00 per night.
Caroline White, Chief Executive of YHA (England and Wales), said: “We have so many properties with great outdoor space, acres in some instances, that it made absolute sense to utilise this to entice more people to stay with and experience YHA. We acknowledge that not everyone wants a home from home experience when on holiday, however guests who choose to camp or ‘glamp’ with YHA have access to our great self-catering facilities, bars, cafes, restaurants and indoor communal areas should the weather be truly awful.”
Since 2010 YHA (England and Wales) has invested £31 million in its network to create comfortable, contemporary-styled accommodation. Today’s Youth Hostels boast licensed bars and restaurants, and more private en suite rooms. The new-look YHA network, together with the investment in camping and cabin facilities, means YHA is now appealing to a new generation of traveller and holiday maker.
Recent sales figures for the 85-year-old charity show that 2014 was its best year ever. Occupancy across YHA’s 160-strong network was up 3.5% yielding an 8.1% growth in accommodation income and smashing the charity’s budgeted revenue increase by 200% and earning it a number of industry awards.
Caroline White added: “The capital investment programme at YHA has left the network virtually unrecognisable. Key to dispelling myths about Youth Hostels in the 21st century is getting people through the door or into their grounds to see how fantastic they are.”
To take a virtual tour of a modern YHA Youth Hostel visit www.yha.org.uk/hostel-virtual-tours
To find out more about YHA’s Cabins and Camping, visit: http://www.yha.org.uk/places-to-stay/camping-and-cabins