Who says youth hostelling is just for youths? Judging by the weekend I’ve just had, no-one. Because there wasn’t a youth to be seen.
Well, I suppose a lot of it depends on how you define a youth. To me it’s someone between 17 and 24, lost in that strange place between childhood and adulthood when you venture out in the world not quite sure about what to expect from it, muck up heinously, start again and learn.
And you do it with 20 or so friends in tow, all getting horribly drunk while experiencing cooking spaghetti for more than one and how to cope with group hangovers.
This kind of adventure was certainly not happening in the hostel where I stayed in Beer, Devon, where you could cut the age brackets in three equal ways.
One was under-10, one was over-60 and the rest of us were parents aged 35-45. As I said, not a youth in sight.
Frustrated by having three children and a husband and limited accommodation options which suit my budget (that’ll be a tent, or a tent), I wanted to have just a smidgeon of comfort without having to spend a fortune on two rooms.
Booking for five people is a nightmare. I suspect the level of difficulty increases with the number of people. In the end, in hotels it was two rooms or nothing – except of course, for youth hostels which do family rooms and are relatively cheap.
So that’s what we did – and it was okay. We didn’t have the luxury of an ensuite, but sharing facilities was all right (maybe because of the lack of youths).
It was clean and spacious, apart from the double bed which was built for dwarves.
The fact that we had one child in a bunk above it hastened the mattress’s descent on to the floor – much more comfortable and less perilous, especially when said child announced her tummy hurt in the middle of the night. There were no chores to do, except making the beds with the linen provided and washing-up if you self-catered.
The food was okay, the surroundings were awesome and the price was decent. Just take your PJs for midnight corridor trips to the loo.