Youth Hostels along the South Downs Way are being made more accessible than ever for cyclists thanks to a £5,000 grant awarded to YHA (England and Wales) from South Downs National Park Authority.
The grant will fund internal and external bike locking facilities for up to 15 bikes at three Youth Hostels - YHA Truleigh Hill, YHA South Downs and YHA Eastbourne, which are all on the South Downs Way.
YHA Truleigh Hill, near Upper Beeding, and YHA South Downs will also be fitted with bike pump stations and provided with repair tools which will be accessible to members of the public who are travelling on the South Downs Way.
The grant is part of South Downs National Park Authority’s wider investment in cycling routes in the National Park. Earlier this year, the National Park Authority was awarded £450,000 from the Department of Transport as part of a national investment in cycling accessibility.
The popular 100-mile long route, which stretches from Winchester to Eastbourne, is ranked as the fifth best thing to do in Brighton by TripAdvisor UK.
The investment in cycling facilities is part of YHA’s commitment to make Youth Hostels more accessible to cyclists. The Youth Hostelling charity is investing a total of £260,000 in cycling facilities at 25 YHAs in England and Wales.
Caroline White, Chief Executive of YHA (England and Wales) said: “We’re passionate about helping people broaden their experiences of adventure and discovery and are very pleased to have been able to access this funding from the South Downs National Park. The investment in cycling routes and facilities will help make Youth Hostels and the National Park more accessible and we look forward to welcoming new guests.”
Andrew Lee, Director of Strategy & Partnerships from South Downs National Park Authority said: “We are delighted that we have been able to help the YHA to make it easier for cyclists to come and enjoy the South Downs Way and all the National Park has to offer.”
The investment brings YHA’s investment in the South East to nearly £6 million, following the opening of YHA Brighton earlier this year and the opening of YHA South Downs in 2013.
Since 2011 YHA (England and Wales) has invested more than £25 million in its network of properties, creating comfortable, contemporary-styled accommodation, helping put further distance between the outdated public perception of Youth Hostels and the modern reality, which is proving particularly popular with young families looking for great value, child-friendly breaks.
To find out more about YHA Truleigh Hill, YHA South Downs, or YHA Eastbourne, visit: www.yha.org.uk
Report and picture contributed by Sophie Hill.