Our Trip

Near Dolgoch hostel, Mid Wales

This is a bit of a self-indulgent page and an excuse to show off some photos from our 'Grand Tour' of the UK that led us to The Old School Hostel here in Trefin. There are a couple of organisations mentioned though that you may not have come across and we thought might be of interest to you. They were integral to the trip and we think they're very special. See the links page for contact details.

In the spring of '06 we packed our trusty little Diahatsu city car with all we thought we'd need, hung our bikes on the back and set off from our home in Cornwall on a clockwise tour of Britain. We were looking to discover projects where people were trying to live sustainably and hoped we might find our 'niche' somewhere on the way, though we only had a vague notion of what and where that might have been.

On the trip we worked for bed and board on organic small holdings through the great little organisation called World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms ( WWOOF ). Mostly you don't need experience, just a willingness to get stuck in and help. We met some amazing and inspiring people and thanks to WWOOF were privileged to be able to experience life as far removed from the mainstream as its possible to find in this busy little island of ours. We also ran small youth hostels in Wales and Scotland as volunteer wardens. Amongst others, we looked after Dolgoch, a remote hostel in the Cambrian Mountains that is still gas-lit and spent a month on Raasay, a Scottish island where the hostel has an incredible view over to the Isle of Skye. In July we ran Trefin and were sorry to learn that it was closing down at the end of the season. We suspected that it would be sold off and before long a developer would be turning it into luxury flats or something, but no, it was leased from the church and, to cut a long story short, this is where our trip has ended. For the time being at least. YHA Trefin now lives on as The Old School Hostel and budget B & B. So whether you're on your own grand tour or you just fancy a weekend away from the big smoke come and pay us a visit. You'll be most welcome.

Here are a few photos of places we came across on the way.

Wwoofing in Wales and Scotland......

Shangri La in Wales Smallholding near Dolgellau whittling wood in Toms shed Weeding with the ducks in the rain bumper harvest On Cader Idris Building a wood store Uzo at Hockerton Housing Project Hats Smallholiding at Scoraig,Scotland Smallholding at Scoraig, Scotland Vegetable growing at Scoraig Our bothy at Scoraig nside our bothy at Scoraig Chopping wood, Scoraig Not our favourite accommodation break time Milking the Pit Bull Terrier

Hostels we visited and volunteered at.....

YHA Llanddeusant in the Black Mountain YHA Dolgoch, Mid Wales Lighthouse hostel north west Scotland
YHA LLANDDEUSANT
YHA DOLGOCH
RUA REIDH INDEPENDENT HOSTEL NEAR GAIRLOCH
Hostel on the island of Raasay near Skye Raasay sunset Uninhabitted east coast of Raasay
SYHA RAASAY
RAASAY
RAASAY

In winter as we headed down the east coast of Britain we stayed in some amazing Landmark Trust properties for a few days at a time. The Landmark Trust is a great little charity that restores special old buildings and rents them out for holidays. They're expensive in summer but are quite a bargain off season. See our links page for contact details......

Beamsley Hospital near Bolton Abbey,Yorkshire The Chateau, Lincolnshire Calverley Old Hall, near Bradford The Mackintosh Building, Scotland Sackville House, Surrey Sackville House, Surrey