5. Wales

Former youth hostels of Great Britain

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Creative Commons Licence [Some Rights Reserved]   Text © Copyright March 2017, Stephen Craven; licensed for re-use under a Creative Commons Licence.
Images also under a similar Creative Commons Licence.


Hostel name: Bala (Plas Rhiwaedog)
Grid reference: SH947348
Nearest town: Rhos-y-Gwaliau, Gwynedd

Open as a YHA hostel from 1932 to 1995

Hostel name: Bangor
Grid reference: SH590722
Nearest town: Bangor, Gwynedd

Open as a YHA hostel from 1965 to 2009
Notes: replaced an earlier hostel on a different site 1937-1964

Hostel name: Bryn Hall
Grid reference: SH633693
Nearest town: Llanllechid, Caernarvonshire
SH6369 : Did you ever stay at Bryn Hall YH? by Eric Jones
Bryn Hall was originally the home of the owner of the nearby Bryn Hafod-y-Wern Quarry, which was operated in the second half of the 19thC by the Royal Bangor Slate Company. In the 1970s the house was owned by the YHA and served as a youth hostel. The house, with its fine arched entrance, is now a private residence.
by Eric Jones

Open as a YHA hostel from 1946 to 1970

Hostel name: Bryn Poeth Uchaf
Grid reference: SN796439
Nearest town: Llandovery, Carmarthenshire
SN7943 : Bryn Poeth Uchaf Youth Hostel by Stephen McKay
This remote and lonely youth hostel was one of the YHA's most basic establishments; there was no road access and no electricity. The warden lived at Hafod-y-pant, about half a mile down the valley. It served as a hostel from 1969 until its closure in 1998.
by Stephen McKay

Open as a YHA hostel from 1969 to 1998

Hostel name: Caerblaidd
Grid reference: SH704427
Nearest town: Ffestiniog, Gwynedd
Open as a YHA hostel from 1938 to 1995
Notes: Still standing as "Caer Blaidd Country House"

Hostel name: Capel Curig
Grid reference: SH726578
Nearest town: Capel Curig, Conwy
SH7257 : Plas Curig Hostel by Gerald England
The Plas Curig Hostel LinkExternal link describes itself as a 5 star premium budget hostel. The former YHA hostel which opened in 1945 became a family-run hostel in 2010.
by Gerald England

Open as a YHA hostel from 1946 to 2010

Hostel name: Capel-y-Ffin
Grid reference: SO250328
Nearest town: Llanthony, Monmouthshire
SO2432 : Youth Hostel at Capel-y-ffin by George Tod
This lovely Youth Hostel in a beautiful setting has now sadly closed.
by George Tod

Open as a YHA hostel from 1958 to 2007
Notes: replaced several earlier temporary hostels in the area

Hostel name: Corris
Grid reference: SH753079
Nearest town: Corris, Macynlleth, Powys
SH7507 : Corris Youth Hostel, 1981 by Nigel Thompson
This was a YHA youth hostel from 1962 to 2005, and then became an independent youth hostel. In 1981 it was classed as "simple grade".
by Nigel Thompson

Open as a YHA hostel from 1962 to 2004
Notes: now an independent hostel

Hostel name: Cynwyd
Grid reference: SJ057409
Nearest town: Cynwyd, Denbighshire
SJ0540 : Cynwyd Youth Hostel by John Brightley
Photo taken in 2003: sadly the hostel has now closed.
by John Brightley

Open as a YHA hostel from 1932 to 2005

Hostel name: Dan-y-Graig
Grid reference: SO388209
Nearest town: Grosmont, Monmouthshire
SO3820 : Old tractor at Dan-y-graig by Philip Halling
According to research Dan-y-graig was briefly a youth hostel with 30 beds in 1946.
by Philip Halling

Open as a YHA hostel from 1948 to 1948

Hostel name: Dolgoch
Grid reference: SN806562
Nearest town: Tregaron, Ceredigion
SN8056 : Dolgoch Youth Hostel, Ceredigion by Roger  D Kidd
Opened by the YHA in 1972, and about to be closed by them....what a tragedy!! However, there is hope if you want to stay in this fabulously located place after autumn 2007. No electricity, gas lit, but because of instructions from the insurance company it no longer has the only publicly usable phone link at this end of the valley. LinkExternal link

Update Nov 2008: Elenydd Wilderness Hostels Trust LinkExternal link have bought the hostel from the YHA and are operating it as usual, with huge improvements planned. Bookings can still be made through the YHA.

Update September 2009: The roof, has been renewed, and further structural weaknesses fully restored. The track has been upgraded by the forestry commission. Solar panels and new washroom/toilets and showers are to be installed in after the temporary closure of the hostel in mid October.

Update April 2011. There is now a horse paddock for visitors riding in, and facilities for hanging saddles and tackle. The open (and inefficient) open fire has been replaced with an excellent wood burning stove, so the place is much warmer, especially in winter.

Update late summer 2012. Solar heating still not operating properly. Gas lighting removed - failed to pass Health and Safety regulations!
by Roger D Kidd
Shared Descriptions

Open as a YHA hostel from 1976 to 2014
Notes: Bunkhouse leased by YHA until 2014, now independent

Hostel name: Gerddi Bluog
Grid reference: SH619308
Nearest town: Harlech, Gwynedd
SH6130 : A View of Gerddi Bluog by Chris Andrews
The Farmhouse has parts dating to the mid 17th century. It sits above the Afon Atro.
by Chris Andrews

Open as a YHA hostel from 1976 to 1982

Hostel name: Glascwm
Grid reference: SO158532
Nearest town: Llandrindod Wells, Powys
SO1553 : The Village of Glascwm by Bill Nicholls
View you get as you come to Glascwm village
by Bill Nicholls

Open as a YHA hostel from 1947 to 1997
Notes: former school, in the centre of the photo.

Hostel name: Ivy House
Grid reference: SO217183
Nearest town: Crickhowell, Powys
SO2118 : House in Crickhowell by Graham Horn
This building, which looks Georgian but might be fake, is at the junction of High Street and Tower Street. Was it really a Youth Hostel, as it appears on one map I have seen?

Update August 2021. Yes it is Georgian (dated 1719) and it was a Youth Hostel (see this link to a Francis Frith photo LinkExternal link
by Graham Horn

Open as a YHA hostel from 1938 to 1982

Hostel name: Lledr House
Grid reference: SH749534
Nearest town: Dolwyddelan, Conwy
SH7453 : Lledr House self catering hostel by Christopher Hall
Lledr House is an independent hostel which was previously Lledr Valley YHA hostel. On older maps it is marked by a red triangle indicating a Youth Hostel but it is marked by a red square on modern maps. The A470 passes in front.
by Christopher Hall

Open as a YHA hostel from 1944 to 2001

Hostel name: Lower Treseny Farm
Grid reference: SO408241
Nearest town: Grosmont, Monmouthshire
SO4024 : Lower Treseny Farm, Grosmont by Philip Halling
For a short time in the 1930s this was a youth hostel.
by Philip Halling

Open as a YHA hostel from 1934 to 1934
Notes: temporary replacement for Grosmont Town Farm

Hostel name: Maeshafn
Grid reference: SJ208606
Nearest town: Mold, Flintshire
SJ2060 : Maeshafn YHA from garden by John Lawson
June 1980 view of rear.
by John Lawson

SJ2060 : Former Youth Hostel at Maeshafn by Oliver Dixon
This unusual building was the first purpose-built youth hostel in the country (indeed there were very few purpose-built hostels). Known as the Holt Hostel in honour of the Holt shipping family of Liverpool who funded its construction. The building was designed by the architect Clough Williams-Ellis (1883-1978) who also designed Portmeirion village. Grade 2 listed on account of its historical and architectural interest.

In early years a popular weekend hostel as it was within easy cycling distance of Merseyside. Latterly, as hostellers acquired cars and could readily get to Snowdonia for weekends, the usage of the hostel declined. I spent a week here as volunteer warden in 1997 towards the end of its existence as a hostel. It closed permanently in the winter of 2004/5.

Now privately owned and has undergone substantial refurbishment. Compare with SJ2060 : front of Maeshafn YHA.
by Oliver Dixon

Open as a YHA hostel from 1931 to 2004

Hostel name: Marloes Sands
Grid reference: SM778080
Nearest town: Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire
SM7708 : Marloes Sands Youth Hostel by Oliver Dixon
The upper floor of the near building is the "Hayloft" - warden's quarters - as occupied by me on a couple of occasions in the distant past.
by Oliver Dixon

Open as a YHA hostel from 1978 to 2015

Hostel name: Monmouth Priory
Grid reference: SO508130
Nearest town: Monmouth, Monmouthshire
SO5013 : Monmouth Priory by Philip Halling
Monmouth Priory was found around 1080 as a Benedictine Priory. The priory continued until the Dissolution in 1536. Between 1814 and 1971 the surviving building was used as a primary school. I recall staying here in the spring of 1987 when it was a Youth Hostel.
by Philip Halling

Open as a YHA hostel from 1978 to 1998

Hostel name: Mounton Road
Grid reference: ST522934
Nearest town: Chepstow, Gwent
Open as a YHA hostel from 1946 to 1992
Notes: replaced several earlier temporary hostels. Probably still standing

Hostel name: Nant-y-Dernol (Tan-yr-Allt)
Grid reference: SN900754
Nearest town: Llanidloes, Powys
Open as a YHA hostel from 1951 to 1987
Notes: still standing as a private house

Hostel name: Newport
Grid reference: SN066382
Nearest town: Newport, Dyfed
SN0638 : Last house in the village, above Newport / Trefdraeth by Christopher Hilton
This cottage is the uppermost in a run of scattered houses that climb the hill south-east out of Newport / Trefdraeth. In the 1970s Newport Youth Hostel was up this lane, a long and unforgiving climb from sea level after a day on the coast path, and this may have been it: confirmation one way or another would be welcomed.
by Christopher Hilton

Open as a YHA hostel from 1972 to 1976
Notes: the hostel was in a house called Maen Llwyd; the warden’s home, housing the office and a small shop, was a hundred yards away at Fountain Hall (grid reference SN067382). Both are still standing as private homes.

Hostel name: Pentlepoir
Grid reference: SN116059
Nearest town: Saundersfoot, Pembrokeshire
Open as a YHA hostel from 1972 to 1999
Notes: still standing

Hostel name: Pen-y-Garth
Grid reference: SH581308
Nearest town: Harlech, Gwynedd
Open as a YHA hostel from 1938 to 1989
Notes: now a B&B

Hostel name: Trefin
Grid reference: SM840324
Nearest town: Trefin, Pembrokeshire
SM8432 : Trefin, Pembrokeshire by Deborah Tilley
The youth hostel is situated in the old chapel on the left.
by Deborah Tilley

Open as a YHA hostel from 1968 to 2006
Notes: now an independent hostel

Hostel name: Tyncornel
Grid reference: SN750534
Nearest town: Llanwrtyd Wells, Ceredigion
SN7553 : Ty'n-y-cornel Youth Hostel by John Brightley
Roger Kidd has already submitted many photos of this location, so please see his excellent descriptions for more details - but this is a record what the hostel looked like in 2003.
by John Brightley

Open as a YHA hostel from 1967 to 2006
Notes: independent hostel since 2006 but affiliated to YHA until 2014

Hostel name: Tyndwr Hall
Grid reference: SJ231413
Nearest town: Llangollen, Denbighshire
SJ2341 : Llangollen Youth Hostel, Denbighshire by Roger  D Kidd
The hostel has been closed since 2007 and Ty'n Dwr Hall now operates as an outdoor pursuits centre, now described on websites as, "University of Central Lancashire - Llangollen Campus".

Ty'n Dwr is a Grade II listed Victorian House dated circa 1866-70 and set in seven acres of ancient woodland in the vale of Llangollen.

The image has been scanned from an Agfacolor transparency, date probably May or June 1972 or 1973.
by Roger D Kidd

Open as a YHA hostel from 1939 to 2007

Hostel name: Ty'n-y-Caeau
Grid reference: SO073288
Nearest town: Brecon/Aberhonddu, Powys
SO0728 : Ty'n-y-Caeau Youth Hostel, YHA by John Martin
A long-established and favourite youth hostel for exploring the Brecon Beacons, Ty'n-y-Caeau ('house in the fields') was a Victorian country house and one-time small monastic centre. It opened as a YHA hostel in 1944 and still flourishes as such.
by John Martin

Open as a YHA hostel from 1944 to 2014

Hostel name: Ystumtuen
Grid reference: SN735786
Nearest town: Ystumtuen, Ceredigion
SN7378 : Capel Ystumtuen by Bill Boaden
Now occupied by Ebenezer Methodist Church. The building beyond is a youth hostel. This is the main street in Ystumtuen.
by Bill Boaden

Open as a YHA hostel from 1960 to 1999


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