An artists' impression of the new-look hostel at York

Think of youth hostels and what comes to mind? Rickety bunkbeds? The smell of sweaty feet?

Well, in recent years, the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) has been working hard to change that image and some hostels even have honeymoon suites these days.

Now, plans are on the table to build two ‘world class’ hostels in North Yorkshire.

Almost £2.5 million is being invested at York and Malham to provide hostels with “unrivalled facilities” for families, groups and tourists.

The two sites are closed for the refurbishment and are due to reopen in February and March next year.

At YHA York, £1.95 million is being spent on extension that will increase from 37 to 45, providing accommodation for up to 205 guests. Educational parties will benefit from secure zoned areas for child and group safety and security while on-site, as well as an educational and conference rooms, each accommodating up to 80 people.

The hostel at Malham will also be entended to house educational facilities,being paid for by the Yorkshire Dales Millennium Trust on behalf of the national park authority. Other improvements at the site include a licensed café with lakeside views, which will be open to non-residents as well as guests, and a separate refurbished block for families and groups looking for self-catering holiday accommodation.

YHA Chief executive, Caroline White, said, “We’re continuing to invest in our hostels to make sure they continue to offer the great welcome and friendly stay of which we are rightly proud.

“We want to make sure that we continue to have world class hostels in fantastic locations and to make sure that as many people as possible know about what a great time they can have when they stay with us.”

For further details of facilities in England and Wales, or to make a booking, visit www.yha.org.uk

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