UK Hostels - best UK hostels - Cool Places to Stay in the UK


Why stay in a hostel? Well, it's a whole lot cheaper for a start, with prices for a bed in a dormitory usually costing a fraction of even the cheapest hotel. They're sociable places, too, and you may not know this but many of the hostels in England, Scotland and Wales enjoy spectacular scenic locations and often occupy historic buildings that many a top-class hotel would kill for. If you're travelling as a couple or small group, most hostels have private rooms, and quad and triples too – again at a fraction of the price of a hotel room – and most, especially those in the YHA network, are extremely well-equipped, with free wifi, a cafe and bar, games and sports facilities and much more. We've included independent reviews some of the best hostels in the UK – both YHA and independent hostels – so you should be able to find exactly what you need. And when you've been, come back and tell us all about it!

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Best UK Hostels

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Town & City

Hostelling has changed, and you might be surprised to know that these days a youth hostel is often the best – and best-located – option for people taking a city break on a budget. Many hostels – especially official HI ones – occupy prime city centre spots that are the envy of the top hotel chains, and as well as the usual dormitory beds for single people, also have well-equipped en-suite private rooms that are usually a much nicer choice than a grungy one-star hotel – and cheaper too. Not only that, they are generally loaded with better facilities, with free wifi, a cafe and restaurant, and a kitchen if you prefer to self-cater,. They are also a particularly good choice for families – with triples, quads and large family rooms in all but the smallest hostels.


We're big fans of hostelling, not only because hostels provide reliable budget accommodation options all over the country. but also because hostels are often situated in fantastic locations, with some of the best British countryside right on your doorstep. They have private en-suite rooms as well as the usual dormitory accommodation, and are often homely places that are a delight to come back to after a hard day's fell-walking or a spot of muddy cycling – indeed many hostels expect people to come back dirty and hungry, so they lay on good food in an in-house cafe or restaurant and don't expect people to dress up to eat it. They also have other essentials like free wifi and a self-catering kitchen, making them a great alternative to a budget hotel or B&B – perfect for single travellers, families and couples exploring the countryside. Browse our collection of the best country hostels and plan your trip to the great outdoors.


The UK hostelling network includes many great hostels in lovely locations by the sea, from unique clifftop perches to more urbane venues in the centre of some of the country's biggest resorts. They are invariably the best budget choice if you want to holiday beside the sea, often with sea views and always with a mixture of dormitory accommodation and private en-suite rooms. Some of these are ideal for families looking for a budget seaside holiday; others are more like budget boutique hotels, and as such a very cool option for young single travellers looking for an affordable bed for the night. 

Official Hostels

Many of the best hostels in the UK are without doubt what some people call official H.I (Hostelling International) hostels, most of which have had a facelift over the years and are pretty much all cool places to stay these stays, often housed in stunning buildings and in great locations. They provide comfortable accommodation and excellent facilities throughout England, Wales and Scotland, and not just in dormitory beds (though they have plenty of those) but in private rooms too, making them perfect too for couples and families on a budget or people just looking for somewhere reliable in a good location; some even have places for tents and campsites attached. Many hostels are perfectly placed for outdoor activities and nature; others occupy prime positions in the heart of city centres. You might end up staying in a castle or a mansion, and many hostels make great venues for groups, birthdays and special occasions. Contrary to popular belief you don't need to be a member to stay in a hostel but it's a bit cheaper if you are, plus you qualify for all sorts of offers and deals. Find out more about how to join YHA (England & Wales) here or join SYHA (Scotland) here

Independent Hostels & Backpackers

We love hostels and hostelling, and the good news is that there are lots of independent hostels all over the UK providing budget accommodation in some great locations in England, Scotland and Wales. The accommodation they provide varies quite a lot, from the traditional hostel mix of dormitory beds and private rooms – great for families as well as couples – to bunkhouses, camping barns and more. The common denominators are often fabulous locations – close to nature, the beach or in the heart of city centres; enthusiastic owners, whose local knowledge can often hugely enhance your visit; great facilities – many hostels have cafés, shops, hire equipment and perform other useful functions; and of course the fact they are invariably excellent value. Some of the best places also have pods, glamping and camping facilities on offer too. Browse our collection of the best independent hostels all over the UK.

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What Customers say about Cool Places

Everything I needed for a stay

I'm already looking forward to going again and would highly recommend this hotel to anyone visiting the area. It definitely deserves a five star rating!

Nathan, Verified Customer

6 out of 5!!!!

This place was amazing… I could not recommend this place enough, I’ll be singing their praise for many years to come and we are going to book again soon.

Barbara, Verified Customer

Easy to navigate

Great site that offers a really broad range of places to stay across the UK. Easy to navigate and book holidays.

Patrick, Verified Customer

Such a great variety of properties

Found this website when looking to book a staycation for later in the year. Such a great variety of properties and the website is really easy to use. Already shared with my family and friends.

CT, Verified Customer

Great, simple, straightforward

Great, simple and straightforward. I will definitely be using Cool Places again.

SM, Verified Customer