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Youth Beat

London's Hostel World

August 02, 1987|LUCY IZON | Izon is a Canadian travel journalist covering youth budget routes.

Young travelers can get a private, single room in London at the same rate that is charged for dormitory lodgings in most of the city's youth hostels.

The Youth Hostel Assn. of England and Wales has arranged for supplementary hostel accommodations during summer and Easter vacation periods at the Wood Green and White Hart Lane residences of Middlesex Polytechnic. They are a 30-minute subway ride from the center of the city.

The Wood Green hostel on Brabant Road has 157 single rooms. You can reach it by going to the Wood Green stop on the Piccadilly Line of the subway.

The White Hart Lane hostel with 170 single rooms is on White Hart Lane. Go to the Wood Green subway stop and take the W3 bus.

The Going Rate

The rate charged for these facilities and most London youth hostels is 5.85 (about $10 U.S.). Other hostels that offer dormitory lodgings and charge this rate include Hamstead Heath at 4 Wellgarth Road, Carter Lane at 36 Carter Lane and Highgate at 84 Highgate West Hill. The fee includes tax but does not cover the cost of a sheet sleeping bag. If you don't have one of your own, you can rent one for 60 pence ($1 U.S.) a night.

The one youth hostel in London that charges a higher rate is Holland House at Holland Walk, Kensington. The cost for dormitory lodging is 7.70 a night and includes breakfast.

The association hopes to add about 1,000 beds to its London youth hostels over the next three years. Because space is tight, it's wise to make a reservation or at least telephone a hostel before you carry your luggage to it. For a short time next winter, Earl's Court Youth Hostel will be closed for renovations. The following winter, Carter Lane Youth Hostel will follow suit.

You can make reservations for youth hostel lodgings (including the single-room accommodation) by contacting The Youth Hostel, 4 Wellgarth Road, London NW11 7HR. You may use a credit card to guarantee a telephone reservation.

If you intend to go to Scotland during a budget trip, you might want to consider programs its youth hostel association has arranged. The Scottish Youth Hostel Assn. offers escorted cycling, hiking, golfing, riding, sailing and canoeing holidays ranging from two to seven days.

The association also offers do-it-yourself packages, including transportation and accommodations for travel within Scotland or to Scandinavia or the Netherlands.

For example, independent travelers can buy Highland Wayfarer Holidays, which include unlimited second-class travel for seven or 14 days by rail, bus and ferry within the Highlands and Islands area. The package includes transportation to and from Glasgow or Edinburgh and the travel pass area, vouchers for accommodations in youth hostels for six or 13 nights, a hostel handbook, touring map, timetable and guidebook.

Package prices start at 55 for seven days or 99 for 14 days, during April, May and October. During June, July, August and September, a seven-day package costs 74 and the 14-day package 125.

Packages bought from the association for independent travel in Scandinavia include ferry transportation and a voucher for seven nights at youth hostels. Meals are not included. Rates depend on the dates you sail and the accommodations you choose on board the ship.

For example, packages to Norway begin at 86 for "sleeperette" accommodations. The rate rises to 102 between June 12 and Aug. 15. During July and August, high-season rates apply for travel to Denmark and Sweden. For four-berth accommodations, the package to Denmark costs 142; during other months the rate is 104. For four-berth accommodations to Sweden the low-season rate is 119. The high-season rate is 162.

You can get details about all Scottish youth hostel programs by contacting the association at 7 Glebe Crescent, Stirling, Scotland FK8 2JA. If you're in Edinburgh, you can find an association office at 161 Warrender Park Road. In Glasgow the office is at 12 Renfield St.

Need an inexpensive place to stay in Paris? This year the AJF (Accueil des Jeunes en France) is helping to organize the more than 8,000 beds that are available to young travelers.

The AJF has several offices around the city that can help you make a reservation when you arrive. There is no fee for this service.

This summer the average rate for a single room with breakfast is 75 francs to 100 francs ($14 to $18) a night. The rate for sharing a room with two or three persons is 72 francs to 86 francs ($14 to $16) per person a night.

This year you can find AJF offices at 119 Rue St. Martin (facing the Pompidou Centre); in the Latin Quarter, 139 Boulevard Saint Michel (nearest Metro stop is Port Royal); near Hotel de Ville Metro stop, 16 Rue du Pont Louis Philippe, and at the Gare Du Nord (the north railway station) arrivals hall.

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