The cheapest network of hostels is YHA Youth Hostel Association. Among the best are London Central a new hostel between Great Portland Street and Oxford Street Underground, St. Paul’s a Victorian hostel near Paternostre where in slumber the hourly chimes of the cathedral are a pleasant backdrop to sleep. In the nightly deserted City of London, within reach of Leadenhall and intriguing public houses, wine cellars and churches, Holland Park, Rotherhithe, Bristol and Ilam. Ilam in otherworldly Upper Dovedale is a lodge palace in the Peak District. Avoid Cambridge. YHA shut hundreds of small remote cottage hostels, stuccoed and elegant London hostels Highgate and Hampstead also sold and YHA drifted towards commercialism. Future competition in this niche. The food is a throwback by 50 years. Staff are humane, caring and friendly especially in London hostels. England needs a network of new hostels with a new manifesto.
IlamApril 14, 2009