The result of a £1.5 million refurbishment has been unveiled at YHA Swanage in the South West, including an accessible bedroom. 

The extensive refurbishment has created 12 brand new en suite bedrooms – one of which is fully accessible ensuring that wheelchair users can have access to the youth hostel.

Arguably now the most opulent youth hostel, the sensitive refurb has protected the Victorian heritage and period features, resulting in beautiful and almost luxurious surroundings.

Images of YHA Swanage

Large, open plan communal social spaces where groups can play and eat together have also been created and all 25 bedrooms at the popular youth hostel have also been completely redecorated and refurbished throughout. Additionally, the youth hostel’s classrooms, which are regularly used by visiting schools studying the geology of the nearby Jurassic coast, have been upgraded.

The Victorian building has been a youth hostel for nearly 70 years after being gifted to the leading youth charity by the Ministry of Education in 1948. Since then, more than one million young people have visited YHA Swanage as part of a school group or with their family.

Today, YHA Swanage welcomes nearly 18,000 young people and their families every year. Following the refurbishment, visitor numbers are expected to increase by 2,000 more guests each year who will enjoy the newly installed refurbishments, including the accessible bedroom.

The refurbishment has been made possible thanks to generous donations from individuals, YHA members and organisations, including The Bernard Sunley Foundation. 

Images of YHA Swanage

Manager of YHA Swanage Garry Hayman added: “I am delighted that while we have modernised the building, we have been able to completely retain its Victorian heritage. Already the refurbishment has made a big difference to the school groups who stay with us. Prior to the investment we were unable to accommodate wheelchair users but now we have the fully accessible bedroom we are able to welcome even more young people to stay with us.”

“The team and I are all set to go. The bigger communal and dining spaces are great. It’s lovely to see groups get together at breakfast and in the evening to talk about their day’s adventures. Prior to the refurbishment they were split across a number of small rooms. The creation of open spaces has made such a difference to the youth hostel.” 

A stay in an accessible bedroom at YHA Swanage costs from just £15 a night and between October and February it is also available to book in its entirety as part of YHA’s Exclusive Hire scheme. To learn more and to make a booking, please visit

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