Cosy cabins and hidden huts: Why the YHA is the place to remain for a really British break

The UK’s Youth Hostels Affiliation (YHA) provides self-contained cabins, tents and American Airstreams for much less.

Transfer over ‘vanlife’, there’s a brand new pattern on the town. ‘Hutlife’ delivers the off-grid expertise of holidaying on the street – with out the stress. It immerses you in nature with out the shortage of mod cons. And it enables you to check out tiny home life, with out the dedication.

Huts and cabins are nothing new, however the pandemic spurred demand for self-contained getaways within the nice open air. Seasonal cabins sprang up within the Alps, shepherd’s huts appeared on English farmland, and Berlin-based startupRaus planted angular bunkers on metropolis outskirts.

Nevertheless it isn’t simply progressive newcomers on the scene.

Impressed by Germany’s introduction of youth hostels, the Youth Hostels Affiliation (YHA) introduced hosteling to the English and Welsh countryside within the Twenties with a view to “join folks…to nature and the outside” and make “journey and journey accessible to everybody”. Nearly a century later, the YHA is now not about shared dorms, bringing your personal bedding and signing up for chores on a rota.

Cabin fever noticed the YHA open extra self-contained cabins, tents and even iconic American Airstreams throughout COVID, offering the very best of communal residing with out sacrificing private area. Now a dozen of its hostels dotted round England and Wales supply a style of hutlife, with some even boasting en suite bathe rooms and log burners.

For those who’re after a quirky cabin or a homely hut for a UK getaway, the YHA is your go-to for a budget-friendly break. Learn on for my choose of their greatest self-contained stays.

The place’s nice for a YHA cabin keep?

YHA Stratford-upon-Avon for a gaggle getaway

Visiting Shakespeare’s historic birthplace? Spend the night time in a deluxe tenting pod on the YHA’s Stratford-upon-Avon hostel. Set in a sheltered gated backyard, the pods have two double beds every and may simply sleep 4. Additionally they have their very own kitchenettes and a bathe rooms.

Like so many different cabin converts, I like to search out new and distinctive websites to discover – however I discover myself coming again to this one again and again.

Since my first, surprisingly toasty keep in January 2016, I’ve visited in all seasons with my household, booked a number of pods to meet up with household mates, and brought my uni greatest good friend for a ladies’ weekend away. We appreciated having a fridge and a veranda to get pleasure from a relaxing glass of wine.

4-person tenting pods begin at £99 (€114) per night time.

YHA Brecon Beacons for complete quiet

When the primary lockdown was lifted in 2020, me and my household have been fortunate sufficient to remain in a landpod at YHA Brecon Beacons. The property sits on the foot of Pen y Fan, the best mountain in South Wales. It was the quietest and darkest place my sons had ever been.

We danced across the hearth pit and celebrated being alive in such a particular spot after such a unusual yr. Because the season modified from summer season to autumn, the banks of the effervescent stream flowing down the slopes have been bursting with blackberries, ripe for the selecting.

4-person tenting pods begin at £49 (€56) per night time.

YHA Ninebanks for a {couples}’ retreat

Final yr, my household and I took an early summer season journey to Hadrian’s Wall, staying in a former miners’ dormitory at YHA Ninebanks. The beautiful little chalets set into the hillside would make the right cosy {couples}’ retreat.

Self-contained two-person chalets begin at £75 (€86) per night time.

YHA Canterbury for spacious cabins

I’ve bought my eye on the ensuite hexagonal, five-person cabins at YHA Canterbury for my subsequent journey. Totally insulated with two double glazed home windows, the partitions of the cabin slope outwards for a extra spacious feeling.

5-person cabins begin at £79 (€91) per night time.

What are the professionals and cons of hutlife, YHA-style?

For some, the truth that you’ve gotten a separate sleeping area away from the primary hostel constructing, however can nonetheless use all of the communal amenities for cooking, washing and stress-free is a serious plus.

But when the thought of sharing your area sends shivers down your backbone, go for a cabin that’s totally self-contained, with its personal bathe room and kitchen. Then you definately may not have to step foot inside the primary constructing in any respect.

Plenty of hostels supply a restaurant and a bar for individuals who don’t really feel like cooking. The YHA breakfast is an effective way to start out the day, particularly if you happen to’re staying with kids, as they typically eat free. It means not carrying your provisions if you happen to’re backpacking or mountaineering between hostels.

Choose to eat alone? A tenting barn may very well be the reply. They’ve operating water, electrical energy, cooking amenities and bedding, however not a lot else. You’ll want to deliver a torch and heat garments.

For those who’re searching for an low season break and do not just like the chilly, take a look at whether or not there’s heating and insulation earlier than reserving. A lot of the YHA’s tenting choices aren’t accessible within the winter, however cabins with log burners or heaters can typically nonetheless be booked.

These days the YHA offers bedding for friends, so there are many duvets and pillows to snuggle up with. Simply keep in mind to deliver your personal towels.

The historical past of the YHA

Having to adapt to pandemic restrictions is actually not the primary time the YHA has been formed by troubled instances.

Born out of concern for the welfare of Britain’s rising city inhabitants within the early twentieth century, the charity refers to itself as “a baby of the Nice Melancholy”. Its supply of reasonably priced lodging was conceived as an antidote to the poor air high quality, cramped housing and harsh situations of inside metropolis life.

The YHA’s objective was to present younger working folks the chance to expertise recent air and countryside – irrespective of their earnings. Its mission stays “To encourage all, particularly younger folks, to broaden their horizons, gaining data and independence by way of new experiences of journey and discovery.”

Choosing a hut hideaway at a hostel is a novel approach to get an awesome British staycation with out breaking the financial institution, whereas supporting a contemporary motion to grant everybody entry to the good open air.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top