Hartington YHA @ half-term – Part 1 – Illumination

Posted by @ 10:28 pm on Sunday 28th October, 2012.

It was a fair Sunday afternoon when we arrived at YHA Hartington. The relatively-short drive up had been uneventful apart from a minor nav error when we missed a turn-off and had to make it up as we went along, but all was well in the end.

While Chris got us booked in I raced off towards our room, in need of a loo. We'd been assigned the "Short Horn" (no giggling at the back!) dorm in The Barn, and after crossing the courtyard and climbing the stairs I was pleased to find this promising sign on the corridor's fire-door:



Beyond that fire-door was a corridor with a locked private room, two dorms and then another fire-door, which I went through searching for the loo. I didn't find it, though, so I went back to the second fire-door and found that it bore this promising sign:



Of course, said loo wasn't in the corridor that time either. Seems that they'd changed the building layout but neglected to update the signs. Eejuts. In the nick of time Chris arrived with the dorm key and access to the en-suite, thus averting a colonic crisis and saving me an unpleasant evening in the laundry-room.

After we'd got settled into the dorm (about which there'll be more later) we dressed for an evening outdoors and met up with the Maynes in the main hostel building. Their plan was for us to head off to Matlock Bath to see the illuminations and the parade of illuminated boats. I'd invested in some A-Z Adventure Maps after the reading Alan's post about them, so we broke out the White Peak map to help us to get there:


Of course, most of Matlock Bath just had to be off the edge of the map  🙁


Anyway, Geoff did the driving and Sarah did the navigating using a proper atlas, so we got to Matlock Bath without getting lost or falling off the edge of the world. After a meal at the chippy there was time for the kids to have a session in the adventure playground down by the river:


The light from the illuminations made for some unusual pics, such as this long-exposure shot of some ghosts on the swings:




Theresa Green

After that we bagged ourselves a good spot at the riverside so as to get an uninterrupted view of the parade of illuminated boats.

The first offering was a simple affair in the traditional style with proper candles in glass jars:



The others had battery-powered lighting and greater levels of complexity:














 Not a boat


It started drizzling just as the parade ended so we called it a day and went back to the hostel.

Back in the hostel we chilled for a while. Well, the others did... I was busy getting annoyed at the state of the dorm. The window safety device had no lock and hence was useless for preventing the window from opening fully:


The window closures were also knackered, one good pull from the outside and the window would have opened easily:



This is the hook on the back of the toilet door:


That's the toilet door with the broken lock, BTW.


The towel-ring was holding on by the skin of its teeth:

It's a good job I don't shave, as this light didn't work:

The glass shelf was loose, sloping away from the wall at 20 degrees, and so was no use for items such as mouthwash bottles and stand-up toothpaste tubes:



 Accessing the top bunks meant risking a nasty burn from the stupidly-located and unshaded hot light-bulb:



Talking of lights, two of the four bunk-lights didn't work. I suspect that the lack of bulbs was part of the problem:



The bodge to the shower-mixer was pure pragmatic genius - a triumph of plastic strapping over proper safe repair work. I pity the poor bugger who's in the shower when this lot falls apart:



And last of all there was a surplus of apostrophes:


Apart from that lot and the dangerously-loose radiator, all was well.


To be continued...

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9 Responses to “Hartington YHA @ half-term – Part 1 – Illumination”

  1. AlanR says:

    It’s amazing how many times we travel off the edge of maps.
    Thanks for the mention.
    I was just considering staying at Hartington YH. I think i will give it a miss.

  2. BG! says:

    It's certainly an odd place, Alan. No matter which dorm you're in, you have to go outside to get to the members' kitchen... or the drying-room... or the laundry-room, as they all open only onto the courtyard. If it's raining you've no choice but to get wet. The wheelchair-access toilets in the main building are at the far end of the ~10ft wide games room, to reach them you'd have to run the gauntlet of kids playing pool and table-football, and/or the floor-hogging debris from the giant Jenga and giant Connect4 that the little darlings couldn't be bothered to put away when they'd finished . Oh, and the staff change the codes for the door-lock key-pads but don't bother to tell you.

    Don't let me put you off, though. You really should experience the place just the once.

  3. YHA says:

    We're very sorry you had some problems while staying at YHA Hartington - this is not the standard we expect at our hostels. We're getting all the faults fixed as a priority and I'd like the opportunity to talk to you about it further via email. The YHA Team.

  4. BG! says:

    @YHA - Feel free to contact me using my contact form, you'll find a link to it in my sidebar.

  5. alan.sloman says:

    In my experience, if the shaver light doesn't work, it is a guarantee that everything else about your stay will be a nightmare.
    Interesting that the YHA didn't get back to you. It speaks volumes.

  6. BG! says:

    Originally Posted By alan.sloman
    In my experience, if the shaver light doesn't work, it is a guarantee that everything else about your stay will be a nightmare.

    Good stuff at that link, Alan :mrgreen:

    I've long suspected that rooms are assigned on the basis of assumed facility-need... she's in a wheelchair so she'll need a ground-floor room and access-ramps, he has a beard so he'll not need a shaving-light, she's blind so she won't need any lights at all, he's anally-retentive so he won't need a working toilet... 😉

  7. BG! says:


    Jake from the YHA has been in touch via email, I won't divulge the content here.

    Perhaps Jake could return to post another comment here, explaining what's been done about the situation.

  8. YHA says:

    Since our last reply the new manager at YHA Hartington Hall has remedied all the problems BG! identified during his stay. To make sure similar issues were not found in other locations around the hostel a full hostel inspection occurred.

    Once this was completed a programme of maintenance was put in place to prevent any potential future issues from occurring.

    If any members or visitors ever have any issues we urge them to get in touch so that we can make sure our hostels meet their expectations.


    The YHA Team

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