Youth Hostel revamp helps visitors understand the Forest

Yha burley launch

Published Tuesday 10 October 2017

YHA New Forest, the latest youth hostel to have the magic wand treatment by the leading youth charity, has been declared open by YHA Ambassador and British athlete and adventurer Sarah Outen MBE.

The 57-year-old hostel has had a £700,000 facelift which has resulted in new bedrooms, bathrooms and communal spaces throughout as well as the addition of three luxury camping pods in the grounds of YHA New Forest. The interior has been updated and given a fresh, contemporary look, while the bedroom layout has been reconfigured to create rooms better suited to modern families and school groups.

Thanks to more than £31,000 of funding from the New Forest National Park Authority (NFNPA), YHA New Forest, which is based in the village of Burley, now also boasts fantastic cycling facilities and inspiring displays. Together, these will encourage visitors to travel to both YHA New Forest and the New Forest National Park by sustainable means in order to ease congestion and support the National Park to become a more tranquil, enjoyable place to visit.


Even more young people and their families will be able to enjoy YHA New Forest following the investment. Thanks to a reconfiguration of bedrooms and the addition of the heated camping pods in the grounds, the youth hostel now boasts an additional 14 beds which can be used all year round. Individual accommodation starts at £15 and a four-bed family room starts from just £39 a night.

The much-loved hostel already attracts thousands of guests each year and is a popular location for schools from throughout the region taking part in residential learning experiences.

YHA New Forest’s transformation is part of YHA (England and Wales) ongoing investment programme, which has seen more than £37 million invested in its network since 2011 – bringing brand new youth hostels to life and refurbishing others.

James Blake, Chief Executive of YHA (England and Wales) said: “The newly refurbished YHA New Forest exemplifies the modern YHA of today – offering world-class accommodation in rural, coastal and city locations right across England and Wales.

“As one of our smaller, rural properties, I am delighted that we have been able to make such a significant investment in YHA New Forest. This demonstrates our commitment, as a leading youth charity, to ensuring that young people and their families can access life enhancing experiences that we know a stay at a youth hostel can bring.

“In YHA we have a saying that where you stay changes who you become. We believe that encouraging young people to stay in the Park – as well as to visit – will help them re-connect with the natural and social landscapes of the Park. By investing in our hostels, we are investing in future generations, and look forward to connecting with more young people in the future.

It is with the generous support of the NFNPA that we have been able to develop such fantastic facilities at YHA New Forest that will help us all attract more young people and their families to visit this beautiful part of the world.”

Speaking at the official opening event Alison Barnes, Chief Executive of New Forest National Park Authority said: “We are delighted that our Family Cycling Experiences fund has been able to support YHA in providing improved cycling facilities at YHA New Forest.

“This is the very first youth hostel I stayed in as a child on a school trip and I like to think that it played a role in building my love of the countryside. Our partnership with YHA helps to ensure that these experiences remain available to young people and their families.

“We hope our support for cycle storage and improved interpretation at this hostel will help guests understand and care for the National Park while travelling around more sustainably.”

The partnership between YHA and the NFNPA will allow thousands more young people every year, some of whom will never have seen the countryside before, to visit, stay in and learn about this unique part of the countryside.

YHA New Forest is one of 160 youth hostels that YHA operates throughout England and Wales, operating at the heart of all of the communities in which that are situated in, providing a place to stay, social spaces for guests and local communities, employment opportunities and work with volunteers as well.

YHA New Forest is open to all guests throughout the year and bookings can be made at or by calling 0800 0191 700.

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About the New Forest National Park Authority

Protect - Enjoy - Prosper

The New Forest National Park Authority’s statutory purposes are to:

  • Conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the Park - Protect.
  • Promote opportunities for understanding and enjoyment of its special qualities – Enjoy.

We also have a duty to:

  • Seek to foster the social and economic well-being of local communities within the Park – Prosper.

The New Forest National Park was designated in March 2005. Its unique landscape has been shaped over the centuries by grazing ponies, cattle and pigs which roam free. Majestic woodlands, rare heathland and a spectacular coastline provide fabulous opportunities for quiet recreation, enjoyment and discovery.

Visit to find out more.

About YHA (England and Wales)

As a leading youth charity, YHA’s purpose is to harness the transformative power of travel, adventure and discovery for young people. It seeks to create an environment that ensures those involved have equal opportunities to explore, learn, share and grow.

YHA provides inspiring opportunities for young people with the principal belief that where you go changes who you become. It reaches over one million young people each year.

With more than 160 locations throughout England and Wales, YHA offers a unique range of affordable and accessible accommodation, including Youth Hostels, camping and cabins in rural, coastal and city locations, often benefitting from spectacular buildings or scenery.

More than simply a provider of accommodation, YHA encourages people to get involved through staying in one of its locations, on a school trip, a summer camp, work experiences, volunteering, donating or taking part in one of YHA’s challenge events like the London Marathon.

YHA has more than 70 Learning Outside the Classroom (LOtC) accredited sites, more than any other provider. As part of its commitment to quality outdoor education, YHA is championing Learning Away’s #BrilliantResidentials campaign, encouraging more young people to experience residential school trips with an overnight stay. Residential school trips can lead to meaningful, life-enhancing outcomes such as increased resilience, self-confidence, acquisition of new skills, better social relationships and educational achievements.  

To help promote the work YHA does with young people, YHA has appointed a number of inspirational people as ambassadors, including young adventurer Alex Staniforth, British athlete and adventurer Sarah Outen MBE, Britain’s most famous mountaineer Sir Chris Bonington and the only Briton to have climbed all 14 8000m peaks Alan Hinkes OBE.

In 2016:

  • YHA reached a record 1,176,297 young people.
  • 141,520 primary and secondary school children stayed on school trips with YHA (England and Wales).
  • 8,952 trips, funded by YHA’s bursary scheme Breaks for Kids, were provided to help young people take part in educational or recreational visits with their friend or classmates.
  • YHA’s life-changing residentials welcomed 4,158 schools and youth groups in 2016.
  • Nearly 8,000 young people, aged 10 -19, took part in YHA Summer camps at flagship activity hostels.
  • With an increase this year of 1.4%, YHA now has 169,608 members.   
  • YHA recorded its fourth consecutive year of growth with a record number of 1.8 million overnight stays.

Further information about YHA can be found at or by contacting

Media contact

Anna Melton
In the Works PR

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