Newsletter > Newsletter archive > July 2022

July 2022

30th anniversary of UK's largest hostel network
This year marks the 30th anniversary of Independent Hostels UK (IHUK), Britain's largest hostel network. Informally defined as 'the inexpensive act of staying in hostels over the course of a journey', 'hostelling' is just one of the many niche forms of holidaying and travelling. Sam Dalley, the founder of IHUK, began the pastime when she was young and then made a career from it. Thirty years later, it is still thriving.

IHUK work to provide a network that supports and promotes hostels, so like-minded people can come together to enjoy the UK's countryside. The Independent Hostel's website offers a place where guests can readily search and reserve a hostel for long-walks and outdoor holidays.

From just 15 hostels in 1993, today the IHUK Guidebook is in its 30th edition and features over 360 hostels. Nothing, however, is ever accomplished without hardship. Hostels were the worst affected of all accommodation businesses from Covid-19. IHUK established a way to support the hostelling community through the pandemic. The 'Hostelling Together' initiative was undertaken to raise awareness for hostels and hostelling and was successful in getting both attention and funding.

IHUK sets out to be a small business with a big heart (a bit like Walkingworld then). Members of IHUK do not become faceless names but life-long companions in the sometimes challenging environment of sustaining and promoting hostelling. If countless thanks over 30 years from guests and hostel owners aren't enough, IHUK deserves a pat on the back for its efforts and hard work, especially over the last few years.

Inntravel Winter Holidays for Non-Skiers
When winter comes to central Europe, the landscape transforms into a magical world of storybook beauty. Take your time to explore paths devoid of the usual summer visitors, soaking up the spectacular winter scenery, returning to the roaring fires of warm and welcoming hotels.

Welcome to the world of Inntravel's winter holidays for non-skiers.

Slovenia's Boutique Bohinj
Set within the postcard-perfect Bohinj Valley, backed by the snow-capped Julian Alps, Sunrose 7 is an elegant boutique heritage hotel with excellent sustainability credentials and a reputation for exceptional food. Walk around iconic Lakes Bled and Bohinj, take a guided snowshoe hike (conditions permitting), and head out for a romantic torchlit stroll - just some of the highlights of a 7-night winter holiday in Bohinjska Bistrica.

Bavaria's Fairy-tale Füssen
A 7-night stay in the carbon-neutral comfort of Biohotel Eggensberger, in the glorious Bavarian Alps, offers stunning forest and lakeside walks, and the chance to take a cable car ride to the Tegelberg peak. The main attractions, however, are Füssen's fairy-tale castles - including the most famous of all, 'Mad' King Ludwig II's Castle Neuschwanstein, its Disney-esque turrets and spires visible just across the valley.

Book with confidence
Flexible amendment policy
Bonded with ATOL & ABTA for your complete financial protection
Timely, no-quibble refunds if Inntravel cannot operate your holiday

Are you prepared for hot summer walks?
Longer warmer days can make you want to get out hiking but it is just as important to be prepared for summer hikes as your winter ones. The team at Mad about Mountains offer some tips.

Light coloured, loose clothing is best on hot days. Natural fabrics, like the Salewa Alpine hemp clothing, wick moisture and help stop bacteria and smells. Don't forget sunscreen,sunglasses and a hat - the larger the brim the better. Carry some light additional layers in case the weather changes. Light walking boots like the Scarpa Maverick or even a trail shoe, like the Inov8 Roclite, will keep feet protected but cool. You may also find you tire more quickly in heat, so poles may be helpful even if you don't normally use them. A lightweight compact pole like the Komperdell Carbon FXP4 can be packed away and brought out if you need some support.

Carry enough water and make sure you're well hydrated beforehand. Depending on the distance and temperature you may need to replace electrolytes or take on some extra fuel. Hydration drinks made by TORQ, for instance, hydrate faster than pure water and flapjack is a tasty snack option.

Allow more stops and find shade whenever you can. Remember higher ground might be either cooler or hotter and more exposed. If possible go early and avoid the heat of the day. Always let someone know your planned route and inform them of any changes. If you normally take your four legged friend, consider if your walk is safe for them. Can they access shade and water? If it's too hot, leave them at home - they will only sulk for a short time!

Walks in La Rioja
Contributor Jim Arymar has been updating his portfolio of Walkingworld walks in La Rioja, so it's a good time to consider a trip there. La Rioja is one of the smaller self-governing provinces of Spain in the north of the country. Nestling between the Cantabrian Mountains to the North and the Sierras de Cameros and Demanda to the south and with the River Ebro running through the region from west to east.

The region has, for centuries, been acclaimed for wine making. Only by visiting can one truly grasp the scale of modern wine production and for those interested in learning more, a visit to the Bodega and Museum Dinastia Vivanco at Briones is a must.

The history of La Rioja is very much tied to the Pilgrims' routes, which pass through from France on their way to Santiago de Compostela. There are wonderful old towns, full of history such as Santo Domingo de la Calzada and LaGuardia where they are very keen on dried peppers! The Sierras Demanda and Cameros at the southern edge of the region are stunningly beautiful and provide some excellent walking at altitudes between 800 and 1400 metres.

YHA Festival of Walking
The YHA has a long history of welcoming walkers. This year they have launched their first Festival of Walking, with organised events, free downloadable maps to help you plan your own walk, and various offers and discounts. If you log your mileage during the Festival there's also a chance to win a £500 voucher for Cotswold Outdoor.