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!
Grocers, Chemists and the Inn.
Eyeing up bonnets in the drapers :)
Hannah in the Chemists.
Ever been to a Youth Hostel? Got any recommendations?