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HI - YHA Wilderhope Manor Hostel

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Description


Hostelz.com's Review
HI - YHA Wilderhope Manor Hostel is just that, a sixteenth century Elizabethan manor house set against rolling green and forest. Located in Shropshire, this hostel tests the limits of a good map, a keen driver, and local knowledge as to its actual location. It isn't easy to find. However, once found, the hostel lends itself to romantic ideas of BBC dramas and the like. The friendly staff, spacious rooms, and well-prepared (paid) breakfast makes Wilderhope a go-to retreat for anyone looking to escape any sense of urbanization.

The Location

Longville in the Dale isn't much on any map, and it's better to say Shropshire if one were asking for directions, which you'll eventually do! There are few if any landmarks to guide a first-time traveler, and we stopped on many occasions at pubs, chip shops, and random strangers to ask for directions. Only the eldest of sages knew of Longville in the Dale, and most had absolutely no clue to its whereabouts, though they did know of nearby Shrewsbury (Darwin's birthplace). Driving is essential as there is only one bus that operates once a week. Beyond getting there, Longville in the Dale is a sprawl of wide-open countryside meadows, tree-lined passages, and occasional wildlife. It is far removed and isolated from any real civilization.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Dorm rooms are mixed-sex double-bunks -- clean, comfortable, and well-lit. Large and spacious, most rooms have exceptional views over the rolling green pastures. The dorm rooms remain unlocked throughout the day and there are no lockers. Bathrooms are clean and showers are hot with good pressure -- though rather small (privacy may become an issue when the hostel is at capacity). Be warned, dorm rooms are not wheelchair accessible and climbing the large spiral staircase may be difficult for those with limited mobility.

Common Spaces

Sparse is the word to describe the common spaces. This is mostly due to the property belonging to the National Trust, which prohibits alteration inclusive of decoration of the manor house. This means walls are bare and rooms seem rather empty. There are a few common reading rooms, but not very sociable places. There are no televisions (or television room), computers, or internet access.

There is no self-catering kitchen, though the dining area is spacious and clean. The dining rooms is where most socializing takes place, and breakfast is well worth the additional fee, consisting of a proper cooked-to-order full English -- eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, hash browns, baked beans, roasted tomatoes, cereal, oatmeal, fruit, toast, croissants, cheese, coffee, tea, milk, and juice.

Summary

It's not luxury, it's not easy to find, it's rather drab and empty, but the historical building, idyllic beauty, and friendly staff certain breath life into this well restored Elizabethan manor house. Wilderhope is an escape from the rush and runaround of urban living. Whether taking a light stroll through the woods and pastures, enjoying some self-organized recreation or spending time with a good read, Wilderhope is sure to accommodate those lazy days. This is not the place for anyone looking for active nightlife but rather a retreat, perfect for group outings and social occasions (reunions/weddings), as well as a place of meditation and self-reflection.

Exclusive Hostelz.com Review
September 2009

Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
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Location/Contact
How is HI - YHA Wilderhope Manor Hostel rated on other websites?
 OverallCleanlinessStaffLocationAtmosphereSecurity
HI Hostels  
89%
88%
88%
96%
88%
84%
Hostelworld  
Not listed on Hostelworld.
Hostels.com  
Not listed on Hostels.com.
HostelBookers  
Not listed on HostelBookers.
HostelsClub  
Not listed on HostelsClub.
Average  
89%
88%
88%
96%
88%
84%
Hostelz.com Guest Reviews
1   No lock on door, no electricity, terrible customer service. We chose to stay in Wilderhope Manor due to its beautiful location; indeed, the scenery is stunning, but we were bitterly disappointed by the hostel and the poor service we received. So much so, that after one night we decided to cut our holiday short and go home. I was traveling with my partner, and we specifically booked -- and paid in advance for - a private double room, as opposed to a dorm (in which beds cost significantly less). However, upon arrival we were disappointed to be shown to a large dormitory with bunk beds (enough to sleep seven). Furthermore, the "double" bed that we had paid for was in fact a bunk. When we queried this, we were offered another, smaller dormitory, but still sleeping in bunk beds. The next issue -- although we booked a "private" room, ours had no lock on the door. When we queried this, we were told that none of the rooms had locks on the door. Apparently there were lockers, but none were available during our stay, and so we had to carry valuables around with us throughout the trip. Our room was off a main corridor and had a large hole in the door, the size of a tennis ball -- anyone walking past could clearly see in -- definitely not the "private" room that we booked. When we went to bed, we discovered that there was no electricity in the room -- none of the lights or sockets were working, so we were unable to read or to charge our mobile phones. The next morning we asked about the electricity, and we were told that they were aware of the problem in that room, and that an electrician would be looking at it sometime in the future (obviously of no benefit to us!). We were offered no apology, however, and I was appalled that we were given this room, when they acknowledged that there was a problem. After complaining to Youth Hostel Association, and requesting a refund, we were told that we could not be refunded since they had offered us a different room (but this was, as mentioned above, another dormitory bunk bed dormitory room). We paid significantly more to stay in a private double room, and so were incredibly disappointed by this. We were offered no apology. I have stayed in hostels all across the world, and am used to staying in basic accommodation, but have never experienced such shoddy service. I will not be returning.  , age 27, United Kingdom ()

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