Holland Park Youth Hostel RIP: the end of an era.

Yes, it has finally happened… the unthinkable, the unimaginable, a truly sad event. The closure of one of London’s most loved and beautiful old Youth Hostels.

Located in the middle of Holland Park, between Notting Hill Gate and Kensington High Street, the youth hostel has provided affordable hospitality for generations of students from all over Europe and the UK, as well as providing a safe, happy space for wandering back-packers such as myself.

Without it, London will never be the same again and I am so sad.

Holland Park Youth Hostel. Never to be forgotten.

Holland Park Youth Hostel. Never to be forgotten.

One may ask the question why? The answer is confused, but probably down to political skullduggery of some kind involving the YHA (Youth Hostel Association) and the local mafia (oops did I allegedly say the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea?).

Well, I’m sure you can guess. A combination of vulgar free market ethics and a spineless YHA management has taken away this sanctuary, an oasis in the most expensive Borough in the British Empire, and turned it into a new private (wouldn’t Mrs Thatcher have loved that?) hostel with very high prices indeed.

A viking cannot fight this kind of thing, for removing its head would surely allow another to grow in its place, such is the nature of local politics and money; a sewer from the depths of Mammon. No, this time just a good party and a thank you to all the wonderful staff has to be sufficient.

A good party with the staff was all we could do.

A good party with the staff was all we could do.

Keeping positive and smiling through adversity is a major part of the Viking Way. We do what we can… we even fight if we have to, and then we move on. I for one, will never forget the fun of meeting other wayfarers, or the smile of Sally and Patty when they welcomed this tired and weary viking as she walked the beach between voyages.

Hostelling is a great way to meet amazing, eccentric, real people from all nationalities and walks of life and to make wonderful friendships, even if only for a few days. For me it has been an honour to sleep in dormitories with seven others, and listen to their incredible stories.

Standing with Sally and Patty at the reception for the last time. Thank you so much.

Standing with Sally and Paty at the reception for the last time. Thank you so much.

So, it is farewell to Holland Park Youth Hostel, to all those who graced her, on either side of the reception desk.

May the Gods be with you all…


About Viking Queen

I am a sailor and I live on my boat 'Free'. I have no home but originate from Tyneside. I have no allegiance, just a desire to do no harm and live with courage and an open heart.
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14 Responses to Holland Park Youth Hostel RIP: the end of an era.

  1. Hariod Brawn says:

    Such a great shame. I used to work in Princedale Road just across from the park. A lovely tribute Poppy – well done!

  2. Ben Corstens says:

    When are you start writing a book about your findings and voyages.Please gif me a sign when it is in the book store 😊.
    Greatings Ben Corstens.

    Date: Thu, 13 Nov 2014 13:53:06 +0000
    To: bencorstens@hotmail.com

  3. Liz Poole says:

    Poppy, we are back on Cadogan and I will be in touch soon to make a date. We need a few days to catch up with things. See you soon, Liz

    Sent from my iPhone

  4. Jan Willem says:

    How nice poppy you are a bit in holland, and feel good there. Is there a relation with Holland it self beacause the houses look äs the amsterdam houses.

    • Viking Queen says:

      Yes Willem, it is beautiful, but very different from Amsterdam, which is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I don’t really know the history. Maybe it was connected to King William of Orange?

  5. Hi Poppy Thanks for doing this write up, many thanks to all the staff and good luck to you all in your new lifeadventures. The hostel has quite a history here is a link for the curious .. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holland_House

    • Viking Queen says:

      You’re welcome Stephen. Thanks for the link! We do what we can but in the end all is in transition. Let us always celebrate wonderful people and special moments!

  6. Ah, that is sad. Another one bites the dust. It’s a beautiful building in the poshest of posh areas in London, it’s a miracle to have survived this long! xx

  7. Harald pobloth says:

    I had no idea the house hosted a youth hostel, sad indeed that it ended. When a student in London, Holland Park was a refuge from stones and parks that looked just like a big lawn. The area around gave an illusion of what was there to reach one day studies were over and the big money was made. The who,e place makes it easy to believe the party depicted on the paintings im the Orangeri happened just a few days ago, this impression amplified by the detail and real look of the paintings. As far as I am concerned things are still pretty much unchanged, Holland Park gives peace, even though the lawn around the sports field could be in better condition but this is a little worry compared to what you describe, the area around is just as unreachable as it used to be. Still a pleasant fantasy to imagine if I was to live in London this is a place I could accept, the idea is not to be the big house owner on the top floor but to have a place in the basement allowing for a mix of being an observer and local.

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