Newsletter > Newsletter archive > June 2023

June 2023

More YHA hostels to be sold off
The YHA (England and Wales) is continuing to divest itself of large parts of its hostel portfolio. The organisation has announced that it will be relinquishing a third of its network within two years. In the past week or so twenty more YHA hostel properties have been put on the market, including ones in iconic places such as Patterdale in the Lake District, Minehead on the Bristol Channel, and others like Dufton in Cumbria that are on major long distance paths.

The YHA has confirmed that it will be selling properties to the highest bidder, which could mean that they cease to be run as hostels. However ideally it would like to find new owners and lessees who will take them on as private businesses and remain in some way linked to the network, or at the very least run as an independent hostel.

The YHA will continue to support those choosing to retain a franchise with the organisation. Many owners of hostels sold by the YHA in the past have also found useful help and guidance from Independent Hostels UK, the publisher of a well-regarded hostel guidebook and booking platform. You can read their blog about this latest opportunity for a change of lifestyle by taking on an old YHA hostel.

Want to brush up your map skills?
We have still got places on our July 8/9 and August 5/6 outdoor navigation weekends, taking place in Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria. The Saturday workshops are focussed on essential map and compass skills, with practical learning in the countryside around the town and, during the afternoon, on a nearby fell. The Sunday workshop takes on to 'proper' hillwalking navigation, over a full day on one of the higher fells. You can either come for one day that suits your start level, or progress through the whole weekend.

The workshops are run by qualified Mountain Leaders who are current or past members of the local Mountain Rescue Team. Group size is a maximum of four. Individual days are £65 and the weekend is £120. If you are interested please find out more information and place your booking on the Walkingworld blog.

Walkers are Welcome in the Vale of Glamorgan
The Vale of Glamorgan Walking Festival takes place between the 5-10th September, with a very full programme of guided walks and themed strolls on offer. The region includes the market town of Cowbridge, around twelve miles west of Cardiff. There are over 30 individual walks, with varying lengths and areas of interest, including Nordic Walking taster sessions, visits to local churches, rivers and the seaside. Fees are £5 a walk and booking is advisable.  More information on the Festival website.

Satmap route planning software lives on
Satmap GPS devices are no longer available and that company is no longer trading. However the platform that provided online route planning for the Satmap devices continues under the brand Xpedition2, along with apps for following your routes on smartphones. It's possible to plan routes in quite a straightforward fashion for free on international 'open source' mapping and there's an annual subscription for Ordnance Survey mapping in the UK for those who want it. Routes can be imported and exported using GPX files.