Hostel & Bunkhouse accommodation in Wales

Pack the hair dryer, curling tongs and high heels, you're headed for a Welsh hostel. It might sound impractical for straddling the knife-edge peak of Snowdonia's mount Crib Goch. However, not all of Wales' hostels cling to the mountainside, the roof slick with moss and drifting mists. They all just share a sense of adventure travel.

Hostel breaks, not just for stag do's

Reception lounge at Bunk House, Cardiff City Centre

Bunk House Hostel, Cardiff

 by Bunk House

To go hosteling here you don't need to be on a group holiday, with a stag dressed in Laura Ashley, or even a hen with wings. There's a Welsh hostel for every mood. First and foremost, Welsh hostels are affordable; perfect for a cheap weekend break. You get tremendous value for money accommodation, with iconic settings before sweeping landscapes, budget digs at the heart of Cardiff city centre nightlife, or even a luxury barn with fragranced soap and fruit teas.

Perfect location for exploring the outdoors

Snowdon Ranger Youth Hostel

Snowdon Ranger Youth Hostel, Snowdonia

You can go walking, hiking, or even running up the mountains, depending on your granola bar intake that morning. There are more hostels in Snowdonia than anywhere else in Wales, with Pembrokeshire close behind. This means plenty of choice when it comes to getting off the grid, whether caving and gorge scrambling, coasteering, surfing and white water rafting, rock climbing, or canyoning.

If you've been backpacking in the Far East, you'll find the same ingredients backpacking in Wales. After a train, bus and a few hostel stays, you'll have the same simple, fuss-free travel popularised by the Hippie Trail; with stunning landscapes, opportunities to mingle with the locals, and new people at every turn with shared experiences round the table at the end of the day.

Family, double room or the traditional bunkbed

Side of Nos Da hostel, Riverside, Cardiff

Nos Da Hostel, Cardiff

 by hummingcrow

Rooms tend to be spartan, harking back to the wholesome, fresh-air ethos of the first hostels. However, the environment is no longer so institutional as it once may have been. Families can book family rooms, while couples might find a comfortable double room looking out over the valley. The foundations of every hostel are still in its bunkbed rooms, where you could have anywhere between four and eight people to a room. This is a great way of meeting people. Bunkrooms are sometimes single sex. Don’t forget your earplugs if you're a light sleeper.

The facilities have been upgraded too

Independent hostels often have less regimented regimes and no curfews or lockouts of the type sometimes found in hosteling association accommodation. But standards are generally high and you can expect a shared bathroom, lounge, kitchen and games room, as well as hostel lockers for valuables, laundry facilities, book and DVD sharing and WiFi access for uploading your Welsh travel blog.

Welsh bunkhouses are the most primitive of the hostel tribe, close to our mountains and built with utilitarian design intended for hikers, climbers, mountain bikers and other adventurers. The very best are of hostel standard, but the focus here is on the provision of a roof over your head in the wilderness, where for many the only luxury is a toilet, shower and cooking facilities.