Youth Hostelling and Blists Hill (Victorian Town)

This week began the Easter holidays for lots of people in the UK (although Easter was the week before, so that was odd...) so me and my friend Hannah thought we'd go for a bit of an adventure (she's a teacher, I'm still studenting and working weekends). We picked a Youth hostel by process of elimination and Hannah drove us down to the 'Heart of England' - as the road signs romantically refer to the Midlands - for a couple of days exploring.

Wilderhope Manor - our dormitory was the middle window, far right.

I'd done Youth Hostels before with my family, but this was the proper experience - in a dormitory with an eccentric room-mate (the lovely Susan). We stayed at Wilderhope Manor, which is an old farmhouse bought up by the National Trust. It's all spiral staircases and creaky floors, very characterful. Plus it was only like twenty quid for bed and breakfast so that was a win. You need a car though  (as Susan discovered - and so did we. We ended up giving her a lift to the station.)

Left to right: View from our hostel room, Roman city, dressing up at Blist's Hill (as you can see, my dress was blue!)

We managed to squash quite a lot into our trip - Ironbridge, Shrewsbury and the ruined Roman city at Wroxeter (tongue twister much?), - but my favourite was Blists Hill. Me and Hannah had both been before, as kids, and we stopped on the way up. It's not an original town, but it's been done up as a sort of immersive museum experience. You can change your money at the bank, for shillings, farthings and sixpences, and it's mostly shops after that. The people in the shops (I think a mix of volunteers and professional bakers, leather-workers etc.) are all dressed like Victorians and play along with the whole thing. The man in the print-works struck up a conversation about whether we thought we'd be getting the vote soon - it was fun, but kind of awkward.

Left to right: Farthing (the back of one), threepence, 
farthing, penny (a lot bigger than pennies now) ha'penny and a sixpence! 

There's a horse and cart that drives round and you can pay for a ride, an old fashioned fairground for the kids and they can also have a lesson in the schoolroom with 'Mr.Stern'. I got two sugar mice in the sweetshop with my three-penny bit (which I realised was a bit of a rip off, once I got the hang of my old money) and me and Hannah went to the photographers to have our photo taken in Victorian clothes (see the top picture - I felt very Larkrise to Candleford. ) We tried the inn, but pubs obviously haven't changed much since Victorian times... They did have a sing-song in there though, which I was sad I missed. Anyway, it was fun, and worth a visit if you're in the area. I loved Blists Hill on my last visit (I was about 6 or 7 maybe?)  and even though it wasn't as magical this time around I enjoyed it in a different sort of way.So, verdict? Time to start planning my next Youth Hostel trip!

Shire horses, pulling the horse and cart.

Grocers, Chemists and the Inn.

Eyeing up bonnets in the drapers :)

The Printworks.

Hannah in the Chemists.

Bakery (it smelt like gingerbread in there. Gorgeous.) Leatherworker's and Ironworks (down the hill.) There's a pig in a sty behind that wall on the left.

Ever been to a Youth Hostel? Got any recommendations?


  1. oooh so pretty! I'm still getting to your tag (so sorry!)
    I loved this post as I'm possibly coming to the UK on a uni exchange so this was very helpful!

    1. Thanks, glad to help! :D Good luck getting on your exchange!

  2. This sounds like such a fun trip!!

    1. Yeah it was fun, thanks, and a bit different! :)


Post a Comment

Popular Posts