I’ve generally used hostels as a cheap and cheerful night’s accommodation on my travels – making sure I pack my earplugs and expecting them to be a bit drab and dirty. The perk for me has always been that hostels don’t break the bank, and are a great way to meet new people, especially if I’m travelling solo.
When YHA reached out to me to invite me to stay at their hostel in Castleton in the Peak District, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’m starting to feel a little too old for hostels, with my bedtime of approximately 9:30pm and the fact it takes 2 glasses of wine for me to feel a little too drunk nowadays. Did I really want to spend the night with a bunch of people I don’t know, secretly wishing I was at home?
I decided to go for it, packing my earplugs just in case. Anxiety started to settle in when I realised this was going to be all about meeting new people, something that fills me with nerves. Because us Brits are an awkward bunch aren’t we. We sit 5 feet opposite each other on the Tube and don’t make eye contact, God forbid talk to each other! What if this hostel experience was the same?
My awkward British-ness was left at the door as I arrived at YHA Castleton Losehill Hall. Friendly staff greeted me at the door and made me feel welcome – but it was their new campaign that brought everyone together.
If you’re a seasoned traveller, you might remember the days of everyone grouping together in the evening to make dinner together, each person mucking in to help put, or donating ingredients for the group meal. I’ve felt this culture a little when I’ve stayed in hostels abroad, particularly in New Zealand, but I’ve not yet managed to find it in the UK.
YHA’s Supper Club is an informal way to connect with likeminded travellers staying at the same hostel as you. It bridges the awkward gap of not knowing how to start a conversation, and kind of forces you to connect with others – but only if you want to, of course.
And the great thing is, it’s such a simple concept. Travellers have the option to enjoy a group meal together in the evening, comprised of two courses., and are seated together so they’re able to connect with others. It’s simple food from a set menu – but it’s good, hearty food; exactly what you need after a day out exploring. You can request the Supper Club reservation when you reserve a room online or when you check in.
We were treated to pie and mash, or a vegan curry; dessert was a choice of different cakes with ice cream or a fruit salad.
The YHA Supper Club campaign is rolling out across a number of their hostels in the UK. I had the opportunity to be a part of the launch at YHA Castleton Losehill Hall, which is located in the heart of the Peak District.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know I’ve been to the Peak District heaps of times already, sometimes staying in hotels or B&Bs, sometimes camping – but YHA Castleton Losehill Hall is somewhere I’d recommend for everyone.
It’s located in the very heart of the Peak District – in one of the most beautiful areas of the park, and is prime location to get out and about exploring the hills. It’s also in a great location for all your other amenities and needs, close to local shops and the railway station too.
Room options range from 6-bed dorms to private ensuites, and it’s perfect for families, couples and solo travellers as well as groups of friends. Whilst YHA hostels aren’t dog friendly, their campsites and cabin accommodation will be happy to accept your furry pals!
YHA Castleton Losehill Hall is the perfect place to get away for the weekend (for me, it’s a 2.5 hour drive from home) and feels a world away from normality, with rolling hills as far as the eye can see. In autumn the colours were simply stunning.
YHA are a long-standing brand who have hostels all over the UK. Their hostels are beautiful, historic buildings – far from the noisy, dirty places I mentioned in the start of this post. Formed in 1930, YHA is a charity that aims to help those in need through a number of programmes and initiatives, meaning that everyone is able to travel and have adventures no matter their circumstances. They are one the most reputable accommodation brands in the UK.
The reason I chose to work with YHA is because I believe their values align very much with my own. They take the lead on social responsibility, providing opportunities for young people from every walk of life to learn, have adventures, and stay physically active. Their focus is on health & wellbeing and developing young people. As well as volunteering and employment opportunities, they provide a range of activities for young people to get involved in: they host free family activities, run summer and winter camps for teenagers, partner with schools and work with people from disadvantages areas or communities.
I truly believe it’s important to support companies who have long-term social responsibility at the heart of what they do. For that reason, I choose YHA.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post, but opinions are, as always, my own. This post contains affiliate links which help to run this site.