Our story

On 10 April 1930 YHA was established on a shoestring by a band of passionate volunteers. Our founders gave ordinary young people to escape to the countryside and enjoy leisure pursuits on a scale only previously possible for the wealthy.

In the early years, clusters of hostels sprang up regionally. And, as the decades rolled on and our membership expanded, more hostels were added to create a large, varied network. Hostels in towns and cities opened, democratising access to centres of culture and heritage. Standards improved. Opportunities grew.

Over the last ten years, we have transformed the sustainability of our charity. By operating on the principles of social enterprise, we continue to offer everyone affordable access to the countryside, our coasts and the culture of towns and cities.

Today, YHA is in impressive shape. We have a stable financial base. We top the Hostelling International list for customer satisfaction. Our operational standards are at their best. And our 150 uniquely characterful properties are well placed to enable us to tackle some of the most pressing social issues of the day.