Shropshire is blessed when it comes to youth hostels. Whether you want to stay in a restored water mill, Elizabethan manor or a former art school, you'll have plenty of choice here.
Ratlinghope SY5 0SP; 01588 650656
This youth hostel opened in 1931 in a former schoolhouse, making it one of the Youth Hostel Association’s first places to stay. It’s in quiet Ratlinghope, near the Long Mynd and just behind the Bridges pub. Private en-suite and dorm rooms are available, plus camping facilities. The cosy lounge has an open fire, cycle storage and space for muddy boots. Evening meals and breakfasts are served in the homely dining room for an extra charge, often using homegrown veg.
YHA Clun Mill
The Mill, Guiden Down, Clun SY7 8NY; 0345 3719112
Here’s your chance to stay in a restored water mill in Clun. This youth hostel has plenty of original character, and space to accommodate up to 23 people in a combination of dorms, private rooms and en-suite rooms. The kitchen and social area has a cosy wood-burning stove. The 20 camping pitches are ideal for groups and families.
1 Paradise, Coalbrookdale TF8 7NR; 0345 3719325
This impressive blue-brick building once served as a ‘Literary and Scientific Institute’. It was built in the mid-1850s with funding from the Coalbrookdale Company to further the learning of its workers. Later it was a school of art. Now, still with original flooring and well-tended grounds, the grade II-listed building is managed by the Youth Hostel Association and specialises in group bookings and exclusive hire.
John Rose Building, High St, Coalport TF8 7HT; 0345 3719325
Located in the light and airy John Rose Building, the earliest surviving part of Coalport China Works (built in the late 18th century), is the Youth Hostel Association’s Coalport accommodation, offering 82 beds across 21 rooms. It’s next to the Coalport China Works and a short canalside walk from Jackfield. As well as conference facilities, the youth hostel has a clean and welcoming licensed café.
YHA Wilderhope Manor
Longville, Much Wenlock TF13 6EG; 01694 771363
A famous Shropshire Civil War story is that of Major Smallman of Wilderhope Manor, a Royalist who rode his horse over the precipice of Wenlock Edge to avoid being captured by Roundheads. You can stay in Major Smallman’s gabled grey stone Elizabethan manor for a bargain price, as it’s run by the Youth Hostel Association. It even has a bridal suite with a four-poster bed – and would make a wonderful exclusive-hire venue for a private party. Many walking opportunities surround Wilderhope Manor – and you can be up on Wenlock Edge within minutes.
Discover more of Shropshire's secrets in our Slow Travel guide: