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Photo Montage & Competitions Backpacker Spotlight Travel Talk Travel Info & Tour Listings UK Map Activities Snowy Scotland - Ski Season Jobs Festivals and Events Route Planner London Hostels South East Hostels South West Hostels BLOG WINNER’S REVIEW Kipps Hostel Canterbury Central Hostels North Hostels Igloo Backpackers Review Scottish Hostels Rabbie’s Tours Review Welsh Hostels

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Welcome to the autumn/winter issue of our ‘oh so cute’ pocket-sized Backpax! Slip a copy in your back pocket as you make your way around the country. Please mention Backpax when you use something from these pages! Dip inside for hostel listings, employment opportunities, competitions, fun puzzles, reviews and much more. Like us on Facebook for prizes, special offers and news. Have a fabulous festive season and send us your travel stories for our blog...

Sharon Henshall Editor Unit 19, The Coach House, 2 Upper York Street, Bristol BS2 8QN

0117 924 1600 TO ADVERTISE IN BACKPAX MARCH – MAY 2013 EDITION, email:

Editor/Sales Sharon Henshall Sub-Editor Rebecca Day Artworker Heather Murphy Printers Warwick Printers

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Competitions If your face is circled, contact us to claim your prize. Prizes range from a tour with Discover Dorset, to a few free nights accommodation at Clink Hostels in London. Head online for our regular exciting Backpax competitions - win free nights accommodation in fabulous hostels, tours around Great Britain, Backpax souvenir posters... and much more. Like us on Facebook to be kept up-to-date! Appear in our next issue of Backpax; just email your travel pics to:


Win a Kindle - the perfect travel companion... Once you’ve read Backpax from cover to cover, don’t forget to complete our fun BACKPAX CROSSWORD on the final page and email us the ‘star’ word to win an ‘oh so wonderful’ Kindle. You need never be bored on a journey again! Full terms and conditions can be found at

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Backpacker Spotlight Name: Krista Gust Age: 29 Nationality: American Who are you travelling with? A group of loud Americans (the rumours are true!) How long are you travelling for? 1 year Favourite country so far? New Zealand What do you like about Britain? The accents (meow!) & that anytime can be beer o’clock What do you miss about home? Private bathrooms & mexican food (awkward combo...) LOVE or HATE? Marmite: If I liked wet clumps of salt, I’d still say no! Fish & Chips: Fried anything = delicious Ale: Yep! Black pudding: Sure Fry up: You bet!

Name: Tommaso Tamburini Age: 31 Nationality: Italian Who are you travelling with? I’m travelling alone How long are you travelling for? Looking for work Favourite places in Britain so far? So far... some of the pubs! Favourite British hostel so far? Igloo Backpackers, Nottingham What do you like about Britain? The weather (Ed. is he being sarcastic?!) What do you miss about home? Mama’s food & clean clothes LOVE or HATE? Marmite: Never tasted Fish & Chips: so-so Ale: so-so Black pudding: Never tasted Fry up: Even a fried sock is good! Favourite British sayings? “Cheers, mate!”

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Newcastle hits the big screen with both thrillers and Bollywood!

Make waves west of the border – explore the best windsurfing spots!

Kick up your heels and celebrate the festive season in style! From swimming in Cornwall to boozing in Scotland, Abby Pickles fills us in on how to make this holiday season a memorable one!


Fancy spending a weekend in one of Europe’s capital cities? Catering for cashstrapped backpackers, PLUS hostels offer lowbudget accommodation with a touch of class and style. Conveniently located with fantastic facilities and a great atmosphere... PLUS is the place to stay for an elegant break away. Becky Day snuggles up by the fire at Argyle Hostel, Edinburgh’s charming idyllic abode with an olde worlde vibe.

Cat Ford introduces us to the UK’s only floating backpacker’s hostel - The Wandering Duck! This quirky narrowboat is a real one off with bags of character. So... all aboard to take in the spectacular views.

Jake Procter tickles our taste buds with a couple of recipes. Add these to your repertoire and you’ll never resort to beans on toast again!

Katrina Slisane’s got her foot on the gas as she urges us to hit Europe’s wintry roads this season... in a homely Wicked Camper.

Pick up some real festive delights at Winchester’s Christmas Market.

Travel Talk

Head to our Travel Talk page at to read articles in full!

Travel & Tours From buses to trains, hiring campervans to sharing lifts, there are lots of transport options available to explore the unknown both in the UK and overseas (see pg 50 for some useful websites). But be sure to book in advance if you’re on a budget, it’s much cheaper! Tours are a great way to have fun, meet like-minded people and venture off the beaten track.

Yo! Tours - Greece +30 2103229492 Tours of ancient Greece, island hopping, plus much more!

Spaceships Campervans UK & Europe

Budget Holidays

0208 573 2300

The ‘Swiss army knife’ of campers - more useful features than a normal campervan, from £20 per day travel into Europe & UK. Discover Dorset Tours

01202 557 007

Go off the beaten track & embark on a Dorset adventure. From the Jurassic Coast to the Isle of Purbeck, it boasts some real gems! Rabbie’s

0131 226 3133

Small group tours of the UK and Ireland from London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Dublin. Guaranteed departures all year. Small, friendly and fun! Fiestavals A new exciting festival company that’s ready to fiesta with you across Europe. Oktoberfest, Germany: 20th–25th Sept. Pamplona, Spain: 4th–10th July. 10

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pax The beauty of being a backpacker is that you can easily avoid back m .co peak time travel, spend less and have the opportunity to travel in unconventional ways. Travelling off-peak means that you not only beat the crowds, you save yourself quite a bit of money as well.

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Coach... Train... Book online at Go online to browse all UK destinations: The trick to getting cheap travel with trains is to book your off-peak ticket as soon as possible! or for off-peak bargains. Also check Megabus for some mega deals on their intercity routes –!

Camper Rental... If you fancy an unusual way to travel then why not try renting a van? Options range from vans that provide fold-out double beds to full-blown luxurious kitchen equipment. The open road awaits...

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Embrace your winter wild side this season! Whether you fancy skiing down the snowy slopes of Scotland or surfing through Cornwall’s chilling waves, this season has some thrill-seeking activities that will surely keep you on your toes!

Tuscany on a Budget

Wine tours, walking tours, horse riding and more! Backpax: LIKE US on FACEBOOK...

Tuscany, ITALY

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Articles about activities around UK and Europe. Glenshee Ski Centre - Scotland




01339 741 320

UK’s largest ski resort stretching across 2,000 acres of stunning scenery; spanning over four mountains and three valleys. A true winter wonderland! Xscape: Indoor Snow Centres - Milton Keynes/Glasgow/Yorkshire Xscape has the country’s biggest indoor REAL snow slopes! After a ski or two, relax at the cinema, bowling alley or bars and restaurants. Snowgoose Mountain Centre

01397 772467

Head for the hills in the Scottish Highlands! Adventure seekers can take a winter mountain course, available for all abilities! Blue Wings Surf School Learn to surf on Cornwall’s finest beaches! BSA qualified coaches means surfing lessons for all abilities; fun and excitement for all ages. 14

01637 874 445

Snowy Scotland... Looking for some winter fun? Katrina Slisane uncovers a sport-filled Scottish winter wonderland... grab your snow boots and head north! If snowy winters are all about traffic mayhem and soggy shoes for you, perhaps it is time to change your perspective. Visit Britain’s snowiest spots, where you can ride it, crunch it or even eat it – snow can be fun in more ways than you’d expect! In Northern Scotland, which sees an average of 52 days of snowfall and sleet each year, you can gorge yourself with winter activities. The Highlands unveil a universe of pistes to tempt all thrill-seekers, no matter how high or steep they crave to go. Scotland is home to five ski-centres, all offering skiing and snowboarding tuition and equipment. Ski, board, sledge or even bike on Scotland’s eighth highest mountain, Aonach Mor (1190m) at the Nevis Range Mountain Resort. With a network of red and black runs and an off-piste expanse called the Back Corries, this mountain’s cascading slopes are a challenge even for experienced skiers. For true daredevils, Glencoe – home of the UK’s steepest black run – is the

place to go. Fear not, ski-novices, the resort’s large plateau with its own snow cannon is guaranteed to provide a cushioned landing! Cairngorm resort has the country’s only funicular railway, championing breathtaking views of the highest, coldest and snowiest plateaux in the British Isles. For a more Alpine feel visit Glenshee, the largest ski resort in the UK, which provides everything a winter sports enthusiast might need from ski classes to hot chocolate. Dare to let loose this winter and head to the Lecht for an uncontrolled downhill ride in a snowtube, or enjoy the half-pipe and fun park. Finally... leave a little space for the traditional Scottish Apple Snow dessert or a slice of Arrowroot Snow Cake - a tasty end to a snow-filled adventure!


Jobs 4 Backpackers Darwin’s Deli Part time employment & Full time enjoyment Fancy a career as a live-in care assistant? Now recruiting responsible, caring & motivated individuals to start a career in care work. Receive great training, good pay & work around the UK. 0845 702 3873 or Seasonal Jobs 365 A directory of paid jobs in the UK, Europe & abroad. Find summer / winter jobs, working holidays, ski jobs, hotel / hospitality jobs, care work & more. Heat London – Chef Recruitment: require chefs, chef de partie level and above, for flexible/casual work. Chefs needed for exciting Pop up Restaurant, Event Caterers and 5* Hotels. Contact: with up to date CV Looking for experienced farm workers to fill permanent, temporary and seasonal roles in the agricultural sector here and abroad. 01284 747292 or Anywork Anywhere Travel, earn, gain experience & meet new people! We’re the No.1 resource for work and travel throughout the UK, Europe and worldwide. 16

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Who’s hiring this season? When the ‘cash well’ starts to run dry, it’s time to get some seasonal work! The coming season is the perfect time to unload that rucksack and settle in for the chillier months. Fancy getting fit? If cycling and cities are your thing, earn some pounds and shed a few by pedalling around the busy streets of London delivering tasty sandwiches; a great way to stay in shape and see all the big city sights! If you crave the heady heights of a mountain range, make a move to Scotland for the snow season. There aren’t that many jobs around as they

get snapped up quickly, but it’s worth contacting all the ski-resorts on the off-chance. If you’ve a working visa valid in the European Union, Europe’s ski-season has a wide variety of jobs available, such as chalet work, hospitality vacancies, childcare and ski-tutors. Free-time fun and frolics will be aplenty with the ‘work hard, play hard’ ethos running rife. The ads on these pages are all from reputable agencies and you can also browse the web for seasonal openings. So, get job searching and top up your bank account in the coming months...

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festivals & events Don’t pack away those welly boots just yet! Britain’s forthcoming events include everything from the bright lights of Blackpool to the picturesque peaks of the Scottish highlands. Prepare for chillier climes with some foot-stomping gatherings. Brisfest £31 / 2 days 22 – 23 September Brisfest is top of the charts when it comes to Bristol’s eclectic and vibrant music scene. Boasting 11 stages of banging beats, unique cabaret and all-round entertainment.          Ashton Court Estate, Bristol London Summer Jam £18 / 1 day 29 September Bop along to brilliant bands and sensational solo artists in the wilds of Brixton. With acoustic sets, sing-along sessions and open-mic, all you have to do is remember to send your RSVP! Brockwell Park, Brixton Shakedown £40 / 1 day 6 October 10,000 people, 20 acts, 1 day... shake your booty on down to Brighton this October for a pulse racing line-up. Acts include Dizzee Rascal, Chase & Status and Zane Lowe. Stanmer Park, Brighton Victorian Festival £13.50 daily 30 Nov - 2 Dec of Christmas Prepare to be Christmas-crackered after a weekend at Portsmouth’s Victorian Festival! Chimney sweeps and sweet treats galore – step back in time at this merry festive delight. Portsmouth Docks Showzam! £Varied / 9 days 15 – 24 February Nine days full of magic and theatrics swarm the streets and sites of Blackpool every February. Get your glad rags on and join the parade…Abracadabra alaka-SHOWZAM! Blackpool 18

Hogmanay Scotland 31st of December, the night Edinburgh hosts the year’s biggest party! An evening of thrilling festivities, musical frivolities and a celebration that’ll brighten up those ‘wee’ hours counting down to the New Year. You’ll be kicking off 2013 with some truly top-notch memories to front your travel photo album. With a sparkle of Scottish flair and a few feisty fireworks, this festival vows to turn up the volume for this year’s event. The night will be a momentous occasion that’ll be seared onto the memories of every one of its 100,000 visitors... followed by a hangover well worth the headache! Dance through the streets and worship the burning fires, which promise enlightenment for the following New Year. The century old festival reaches its peak after the 12th chime of the church bell, when old and new friends gather together, whilst the ‘Auld Lang Syne’ echoes throughout the neighbourhoods.

31st December 2012 Abby Pickles hits the sizzling streets of Scotland to see in the New Year in true Celtic style... it’s time to partaay! Hogmanay’s incredible fireball swing and torch lighting theatrics should be topping this year’s to-watch list. Check out the Stonehaven Fireball Festival on the coast of Aberdeenshire, intensifying Hogmanay and sending December out with a bang. As well as traditional music influencing the revelry in Edinburgh, the celebration’s recent expansion into Glasgow will warn off winter darkness with a glowing welcome to see in the New Year. With old stories to be told and steak pie to be devoured, Glasgow has the ideal concoction to cure those winter blues. When the sky’s clear and the colourful fireworks make way for the stars, head to the Highlands with a chance to check out the real Northern Lights - an enchanting way to start the year following Hogmanay’s hullaballoo.


Route Planner compiled by Kara Lewis

Windsor Castle is one of the Queen’s three official residences. Tour the castle, try out windsurfing at Bray Lake or head to the Royal Windsor Racecourse and watch the horses run! Sip tea in the Crooked Tea House and count your winnings. Climb aboard the HMS Victory, docked in the UK’s only island city of Portsmouth. As the oldest commissioned warship in the world, this impressive piece of Maritime history currently serves as a museum for the Georgian Navy. Stroll Southsea’s vast promenade for some fresh sea air.


For London hos


Fancy a few places off the tourist trail? Take a tour of Eltham Palace and Gardens. This 1930s Art Deco designed palace is truly enchanting. Wander through the ‘enclosed garden rooms’ filled with beautiful sequences of bulbs, shrubs and plants. Make your way over to Brick Lane in London’s East End – an eclectic area bursting with hip bars and second hand shops. Each weekend hosts a lively international food fair and clothing market.

Arundel makes the perfect day-trip. Have a roam around – check out Swanbourne Lake, swing by the Castle, and poke around quaint shops and art galleries tucked away in this quintessentially English town.


Brighton is the funky city of the South East, filled with cute coloured houses and pebbled beaches. A shopper’s delight, The Lanes area is crammed with independent shops and boutiques, live jazz musicians and buskers, and plenty of restaurants to refuel. Renowned for its gay scene, hot nightlife and its thrill-packed pier.



Portsmouth Gumber Bothy Camping Barn, Slindon (National Trust): 01243 814484

Portsmouth Backpackers: 20 ‘like’ backpax on facebook 20

Kipps Hostel: www Brighton Youth Hos St. Christopher’s In Smart Sea View: w

Home to a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the legendary Canterbury Cathedral and the Saint Augustine Abbey, this is one picturesque city! Punt down the canal and learn about Canterbury’s historical past. Two universities and a large student population guarantee a lively nightlife scene.

stels see pg 22-24 Dating back to 1119, this historic landmark is often referred to as “The Loveliest Castle in the World”. This moated castle is nestled in 500 acres of stunning parkland on an island off the River of Len – once a home to six medieval queens as well as Henry VIII!

Kipps Hostel:

Canterbury Leeds Castle

The remains of William the Conqueror’s first castle still stands in Hastings today – reminders of the Battle of Hastings. Mosey along the narrow streets and ‘twittens’ (the local word for passageways) of the old town brimming with cosy restaurants and cafes.


Famous for the White Cliffs of Dover, this seaside town is the ferry boat gateway to Europe. Hike the four-mile wildlife walk edging these majestic chalk cliffs, where butterflies, wildflowers and interesting insects colourfully congregate!


• Bus: London to Maidstone: £10.70; + Bus: Maidstone to Leeds Castle: Nuventure no.13: £5.50 return (*check bus timetable for availability)

• Train: Maidstone to Canterbury: £14.90 • Bus: Canterbury to Dover: £5.40 • Train: Dover to Hastings: £19.60 • Train: Hastings to Brighton: £13.10 • Bus: Brighton to Arundel: £5.80 • Bus: Arundel to Portsmouth: £6.50 • Train: Portsmouth to Windsor: £29.40 • Train: Windsor to London: £9.00 stel: nns: follow @backpax on twitter

*Prices at time of print

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Celebrate Christmas in London this winter – from twinkling lights to stunning sites, you’ll love the capital’s festive vibe

NEW HOSTEL SYSTEM 020 7834 9689 Revolutionary new system for hostel industry which will: Increase profits • Optimise brand and in-house advertising • Improve reviews • Make running of hostel easier • Proven in Travel Joy Hostels Travel Joy Hostels 020 7834 9689 Be part of a small family in the big city and settle straight in at Travel Joy Hostel. King William IV, 111 Grosvenor Rd, SW1V 3LG Dover Castle Hostel 020 7403 7773 London Bridge location. Breakfast/kitchen/late bar/ TV lounge/internet & bags of fun. Flatshares available! 6A Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4XW Globe Trott Inns 07940 136417 / 07712 537222 Globe Trott Inns is home to the cheapest rates in town... beds from just £7.99!! 1 Barking Road, London, E6 1PW (above Boleyn Tavern)

Swiss Cottage - London

+44 (0) 20 7483 8470 An independent chain of award winning boutique hostels

020 8459 6203 On a budget? Short & Long term stays available. 15 mins to Central London. Friendly staff. Free Wifi. Over 300 fully furnished apartments all within Zone 2 22

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Bayswater Hostels

Close to Hyde Park, Kensington Gardens, Marble Arch, Oxford Street and Notting Hill

Smart Hyde Park View Hostel

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Smart Hyde Park Inn Hostel

48-50 Inverness Terrace, London, W2 3JA +44 (0)20 7229 0000

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16 Leinster Terrace, London, W2 3EU +44 (0)20 7402 4101

Smart Royal Bayswater Hostel

121 Bayswater Road, London, W2 3JH +44 (0)20 7229 8888

Smart Russell Square Hostel

Close to British Museum, Oxford Street, Soho and St. Pancras International for Eurostar

70-72 Guilford Street, London, WC1N 1DF +44 (0)20 7833 8818

Smart Camden Inn Hostel

Home of great Celebrities, a cultural melting-pot of Modern Art, Music and contemporary Clothing and Style

n• Ectio d ate tra oc At lly Lurist a r t Cen to To Close

55-57 Bayham Street, London, NW1 0AA +44 (0)20 7388 8900



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The Backpackshack - run by a backpacker for backpackers...

Based in Acton Town - ideal for Central London & Heathrow


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South East

Enjoy the autumnal blaze of the rolling countrysides, but wrap up warm – the coast can get chilly!

01202 299 491 Small, clean, friendly & relaxing! Limited check-in times.

Bournemouth Backpackers

Gumber Bothy Camping Barn 01243 814484 Converted traditional Sussex barn on working sheep farm, in the heart of the South Downs. Car-free site! Gumber Farm, Slindon, Arundel, W. Sussex BN18 0RN


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9-12 St Catherines Terrace Hove East Sussex BN3 2RZ +44 (0)1273 227 497 ea V r F

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The town’s remarkable history and heritage, combined with its mouth-watering array of pubs, makes Canterbury an ideal destination to share a tale or two over a tipple of the scrumptious local ale. Centrally located in a beautiful 100-year-old townhouse, Kipps’ period style décor will have you stepping through England’s past with sheer delight.

Kipps Hostel – Can Pascale Mulder is the fabulous winner of this issue’s BLOG competition! Why not review your favourite hostel for us to get online or in Backpax? As Hotel California’s lyrics go, ‘’You can check out, but you can never leave’’. Many people leave Kipps Hostel in Canterbury always wanting to come back for more. Last March, I came to visit Canterbury on a university trip from Holland. A little while later, my boyfriend and I decided to go back there for another week. We were delighted that the staff remembered us from before. You’re given sweets on arrival, and no matter how big your suitcase is, the staff will take it off your hands! We’ve travelled a lot and have never experienced that anywhere else. 26

If you’re a Facebook addict like me, there’s free Wi-Fi. Also, the Kitchen is huge with fantastic facilities: whether it’s a large meal you’d like to cook, or to re-heat a takeaway. Cleanliness is a top standard. If you’re around between 11am and 2pm, you’ll see how serious these guys are about cleaning! The garden is astonishing, with beautiful flowers that are arranged with whole-hearted passion. There’s a pool table and a chill out area where you really can’t beat the peacefulness! The interior walls are adorned with portraits of kings, armoury and paintings. The staff even give you

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a free history tour around the town itself during summer time – the Cathedral is extremely impressive!


A pub, which was a personal favourite of mine, was The Phoenix. You can relax to the sound of live music on Friday nights or take part in their quiz night on a Wednesday. There are many beautiful country walks and cycle paths around Canterbury. One in particular is the Crab and Winkle Way, where you can ride for a few miles to the seaside town of Whitstable. There, you’ll be tasting the best seafood in the whole of England!

perfect opportunity to meet other travellers. Kipps is special for so many reasons but especially because of the passion that all the staff put in - it makes you feel like you have never left home. Thanks Kipps, we WILL come back! Enter our BLOG competition: email a hostel review to

Kipps is more than just a backpackers’ hostel – Carmen and her team treat you like you’re a part of the family. There are events every night for guests, such as barbecues and pub crawls – most of them are free and provide the read more articles at


South West

End the year with a tipple of West Country cider... the South West is renowned for its traditional pubs

Full Moon Backpackers 0117 924 5007 Affordable rooms, 2 mins from centre, 2 bars, live music & DJs, organic food & drink & TV room. 1 North Street, Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3PR Rock & Bowl 0117 325 1980 Large, lively backpackers with a spacious kitchen/diner, 24-hour reception and free wifi. 22 Nelson Street, Bristol, BS1 2LA

Revolutionary Bristol... With its streets adorned with vibrant murals and Bohemian funksters, Stokes Croft is renowned as Bristol’s cultural capital. Whilst this independently driven area may not appeal to the prim and proper, it certainly accommodates for those seeking something out of the ordinary. Despite admirable attempts to remain a chain-free


neighbourhood, the arrival of a Tesco Express didn’t go down well with the locals. Stokes Croft prides itself on free shops, locally sourced cafes and bars, quirky museums and an underground music scene like no other. You’ll leave wanting to start a revolution!

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Communal lounge/TV room Free wifi & Xbox • Kitchen Patio area • Hot showers • Free tea & coffee • Baggage storage Wet suit drying room • Laundry • Free car park • Linen provided

Entire hostel available to hire at certain times

Book online at: 29 St James Place, Ilfracombe, Devon. EX34 9BJ

Falmouth Backpackers 01326 319 996 Relaxed, friendly, affordable hostel... just 5 mins walk from Falmouth town; Harbour & Station – Maritime Museum, Castle & only 2 mins from beach. 9 Gyllyngvase Terrace, Falmouth, Cornwall, TR11 4DL follow @backpax on twitter


The Old Chapel Backpackers 01736 798307 Converted chapel set in area of outstanding beauty, with cafe. 5 mins from seaside resort of St. Ives. Zennor, St Ives, TR26 3DA

Newquay & St Ives Int. Backpackers Newquay: 01392 21 55 21 & St. Ives: 01752 22 51 58 Well-equipped hostels in two beautiful towns. Fully equipped kitchen, TV, music and lots more!


01637 87 26 84 Headland Road, Fistral Beach, Newquay TR7 1HW

Matts Surf Lodge 01637 874651 Laid back, friendly & in Newquay’s bustling centre. Ensuite seaview and double rooms available. 110 Mount Wise, Newquay, TR7 1QP YMCA, Cornwall

01736 334820 International House, Alverton, Penzance, TR18 4TE

Penzance Backpackers 01736 363836 Your Cornish adventure starts here! Small friendly hostel close to sea front. Affordable & comfortable. The Blue Dolphin, Alexandra Rd, Penzance, TR18 4LZ Join backpax online ‘like’ us at: 30

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Follow the UK’s charming country trails... but be careful not to get in a daze at the criss-cross roads of Spaghetti Junction!

The home of rock & roll legends – get your air guitar at the ready as you welcome in the New Year with a headbanging night out...

07584 122614 The Overnight Canal Boat Experience (Mar–Oct)

Wandering Duck

Tips & facts:


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An ancient maze of caves dwells deep beneath Nottingham’s historic streets: secret passageways, as intricate as the reams of lace once manufactured in this city. Just like this medieval network of caverns and coves, Nottingham’s Igloo rocks – and after two nights with all creature comforts, we totally dug it. So, since it won’t leave a hole in your budget, a visit to Notts and the Igloo should be top of every backpacker’s agenda.

Igloo Backpackers -

Cat, our cracking travel writer, heads to Nottingham. After a fun day exploring the city, what better place to chill than the Igloo?... As our train glided into Nottingham the heavens opened. Deciding to cab it through the downpour, we managed to arrive at the Igloo only slightly sodden. It’s an elegant Victorian building with a bright red front door and unlike the weather, the welcome we received was warm and friendly. Manager Charlie (a seasoned traveller herself) filled us in on how best to negotiate the city’s sprawl, helpfully recommending we make use of the free Centrelink buses and giving us some great tips on where to find the coolest pubs. Nottingham’s fashionable lace district, thread with vintage boutiques and cocktail bars more than lived up to its 32

billing, whilst the Alley Cafe Bar (an itsy-bitsy, fully licensed hideaway) serves delicious organic food and drinks; playing chilled beats well into the evening. After exploring Nottingham’s famous castle and England’s oldest inn (Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem), we spent our first night at the Igloo in The Hut – one of several dorms filled with prettily antiqued bunks, lockers and a good deal of period charm. Needless to say, we slept like stones. As free coffee and tea is always available, the next morning we stoked ourselves with caffeine for the day ahead, chatting in the bright communal

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kitchen to our fellow guests as they buttered toast. Tapping into the Igloo’s free Wi-Fi gave us a

Nottingham quick internet fix before heading out. A little later Charlie gave us a tour of the Igloo’s recently renovated Annexe just across the road. Perfectly equipped to sleep couples and small groups; Annexe accommodation rivals what many hotels are offering in terms of style as well as price. Contemporary fixtures are complimented by local artwork, whilst every room has been fitted with a flat screen TV, sofa, and is fully Wi-Fi enabled. We spent our second night in The Hammock (a swish Annexe double), heading back over to the Igloo in order to make the most of its spacious lounge and games room. A great evening sharing beers and stories with a diverse range of

people followed – some staying for days and others for months but all singing the praises of their homefrom-home hostel. Not only is the Igloo perfectly placed and kitted out for a stay in Nottingham, it’s got a rare charm. So if you’re a bit of a rolling stone, I recommend you roam to Notts, rock up at the Igloo and chill.

For more details go to:

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Embassie Backpackers 0151 707 1089 Beautiful terraced house. Fully Remodernised kitchens & bathrooms. Free tea, coffee, toast & jam! Free Beatles tour each Thurs: leaves hostel at 8pm. 1 Falkner Sq, Liverpool, L8 7NU

Albatross Backpackers In! 0191 233 1330 City centre location, friendly, modern, Internet café, free WiFi, Games room. 51 Grainger Street, NE1 5JE

The Beatles... Liverpool certainly put themselves on the music map! Following the birth of British rock the city formed Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – the most popular group in music history. Whether it was their unholy haircuts, inconceivable number of hits, or their rifling rock ‘n’ roll roots, the band better known


today as The Beatles, created a musical past to be proud of. With John Lennon and Paul McCartney leading the four piece into unforgettable stardom, The Beatles paved the way for the North to become British rock music’s unmatched home.

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Both visually amd historically captivating – Scotland’s ready to welcome you with open arms, and a few mouthfuls of haggis!

Braemar Lodge

013397 41627 Glenshee Road, Braemar, Aberdeenshire, AB35 5YQ

Culdees Bunkhouse

01887 830519

A home-from-home bunkhouse in the Scottish Highlands - perfect for an outdoor adventure! Boreland Farm, Fearnan, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, PH15 2PG Argyle Backpackers

0131 667 9991

A friendly, clean 4* hostel! Free WiFi, a sunny garden + 10min walk to university and city centre. 14 Argyle Place, Edinburgh, EH9 1JL Smart City Hostels 0131 524 1989 Located just off the Royal Mile, Smart City Hostels Edinburgh redefines the hostel experience. 50 Blackfriars Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1NE Euro Hostel Edinburgh - 08454 900 461 Glasgow - 08455 399 956. Newcastle - 08454 900 371 Euro Hostels: we’re 100% confident you won’t find rooms like ours at a better price. Haggis Hostels

0131 557 0036

Clean, Comfortable, City Centre Accommodation at an Affordable Price... with a friendly welcome! 5/3 West Register Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2AA 36

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packeinrbusrgh BudgesttelsBinathce k centre of Ed Kick ass ho

ing ved from our swing Drinks & snacks ser ay in the eaw Hid r! ba van 60’s VW camper use chillout zone brand new treeho

* Fantastically Funky Interior h * Right in the centre of Edinburg /Bar * Kick Ass Cafe Customers * Voted Uk No. 1 by Hostelworld ls Craw Pub and Tour City * Free * Free Wi-fi ions * 5 mins from bus & train stat tlife Nigh City from * 1 min * Friendly, helpful Staff * Book Online

Rabbie’s Tours 0131 226 3133 Small group tours of the UK and Ireland from Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Dublin. Departures all year. Small, friendly and fun!

Bonnie Scotland...

Celebrate in style as the clock strikes twelve at Hogmanay (Pg. 19), slide down Scotland’s sublime slopes during the snowy season (Pg. 15),

impress the locals with your Scottish slang (Pg. 49) and visit our Area Guide online (www.backpaxmag. com) to discover more about beautiful bonnie Scotland...

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Founded in Scotland, Rabbie’s Small Group Tours takes its name from the legendary Scottish poet Robert (or Rabbie) Burns. Accommodating no more than sixteen people, Rabbie’s guarantees its guests an enriching and memorable experience like no other. Venturing off the beaten track and journeying amidst serene landscapes, the staff are hugely passionate about showing how sensational Britain truly is.

Rabbie’s Tours - 3 day Our bewitching Becky travels into lands of literature, mountains and myth. Stratford-upon-Avon – North Wales – Chester – Chatsworth House - fun times! Standing excitedly at London’s coach depot – along with the six other passengers – I was eager to get going. We piled aboard the mini-bus, all set to explore the historic heart of England and North Wales. First stop... Shakespeare’s Country. Stratford-upon-Avon is a Mecca for lovers of the literary genius – including myself – where hundreds flock to his birthplace every year. Anne Hathaway’s charming sixteenth century thatched roof cottage is nearby, adorned with authentic furniture and a rich, romantic history. Travelling through North Wales the next day, our tour guide, 38

Pete, spoke of the valleys’ myths and legends, which kept us entertained until we reached our first destination – Conwy Castle. The 13th Century, dark-stoned fortress is truly magnificent, casting a medieval and authentic atmosphere over Conwy’s cobbled streets. The scent of freshly made Welsh cakes seemed all too enticing. Whilst indulging in the country’s delicacy, I sat by the glistening waterfront in awe of the spectacular views of the castle. As we headed into Snowdonia National Park the sun shone brightly, reflecting over its astounding mountain range in the distance. Luck was with us! Pete stated that this

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was the first time he’d ever seen the peak of Mount Snowdon – it’s usually shrouded in mist.

y adventure Arriving into Chester for our second night’s stay, I got to experience the town in its full glory – the races had been on previously that day. Flocks of rather tipsy revellers filled the streets, enjoying the early evening sun against a backdrop of elegant black and white Victorian shops. As the sun began to set, the town’s bars and clubs came alive, with an assortment of music filling the air.

The small size of the group (and the mini-bus) allows you to share your experiences with like-minded travellers and enjoy the intimate ambiance the tour supplies. All within the space of three days, they successfully managed to squeeze in some truly captivating attractions. After exploring the heart of England and North Wales with Rabbie’s Small Group Tours, I’ve grown a new-found fondness of Britain. I’ve already started eyeing up their brochure for my next trip!

For details of tours throughout Britain, visit:

The next morning we ventured through the Peak District’s rolling hills, stopping by Buxton, a famous spa-town. Chatsworth House – one of Britain’s most cherished stately homes – was our final stop. Whilst I was unsuccessful in my search for Mr Darcy, roaming through Chatsworth House was breathtaking in itself. read more articles at



Lay low in the valleys, or ride high on the Welsh waves... there’s an array of exciting things to do and beautiful places to see

The River House 02920 399 810 Voted UK’s Best Hostel since 2008. Cardiff city centre. 5 mins to train & bus stations. Free WiFi & breakfast. 59 Fitzhamon Embankment, Riverside, Cardiff CF11 6AN

Scotland review

Nos Da 02920 37 88 66 On a budget, want to socialize, but want some ‘no frills’ privacy? Then this is the place for you! 53-59 Despenser Street, Riverside, Cardiff, CF11 6AG

Cardiff Backpacker 02920 34 55 77 Award winning budget hostel - Our philosophy is to create a haven, in a relaxed & sociable environment 98 Neville St, Riverside, Cardiff, CF11 6LS

NOMAD, Cardiff

02920 25 68 26 11 Howard Gardens, Roath, Cardiff, CF24 OEF

BREAK FOR THE BORDER For Brilliant Bunkhouses in the Brecon Beacons and Mid & South Wales For accommodation that’s fun and different, visit Pant-Yr-Athro 01267 241 014 Located in beautiful countryside 2 miles from Llansteffan beach & 6 miles from Camarthen Llansteffan, Carmarthen, South Wales, SA33 5AJ


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Backpackers cover from just 42p per day!

A comprehensive travel insurance policy designed especially for backpackers on a tight budget. perfect for... Backpacking Adventure holidays Gap year holidays

We will save you money! HN_AZ_50x71_4c_RZ_P.pdf 1 18.01.2012

visit our website for more details at or give us a ring on 01353 699 082










Chase the sun or submerge in snow, Europe’s vast landscapes and exquisite dishes make it an idyllic continent to escape to during the wintry season

HelloBCN Hostel Barcelona +34 93 442 83 92 Where budget accommodation doesn’t mean you have to go without! Hostel life has never been so good! Calle Lafont 8-10, Barcelona 08004, Spain

City Stay Hostel +49 30 23 62 40 31 Stay, where BERLIN happens. Multilingual staff, internet & café leading to a sunny private courtyard. Rosenstrasse 16, 10178 Belin-Mitte, Germany

Backpackers St. Pauli +49 40 23 51 70 43 Relaxed & cosy - in a quieter corner of Hamburg, In-house café and pub. Games & TV in the lounge. Bernstorffstraße 98, 22767 Hamburg, Germany

Eastern Comfort Hostelboat +49 30 66 76 38 06 Hostel houseboat on the river Spree with friendly crew, no curfew, wifi. A unique place to stay! Muhlenstr 73, 10243 Berlin, Germany

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Your 1st choice for Switzerland

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As soon as we walked out of Amsterdam’s Central Station I could feel the energy that encapsulates this capital city. Ringing their bells to warn incumbent tourists to get out of their way, fashionable cyclists speed by on their way home from work. Sitting on the tram we passed by tree-lined streets, dotted with hippy chic coffee shops and trendy boutiques. By the time we made it to the hostel I had fallen in love with the city.

The Flying Pig Uptown -

Our American beauty Kara steps into the cosmopolitan city of bikes, boats and smokes. She soon finds her feet by settling in at the Flying Pig. A friendly Frenchman greeted us upon arrival at the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel in Amsterdam. Speaking at a million miles per hour, we were filled in on the evening’s festivities. The ultimate party pub crawl was leaving at eight. Good value for money, this drinking fest took party-goers to six pubs, with a free shot and drink at each, for only 17 euros. Tired from the flight - and afraid of the hangover - we decided to give it a miss and explore the hostel. Housed in an old Amsterdam style mansion, the layout and interior screams funky fresh. Murals and psychedelic paintings cover the 44

downstairs bar and reception. The smoking area feels more like a homey living room. Scattered photo frames, a grand mirror and a well stacked bookshelf are all featured in this cosy ‘chill out’ den. Rooms stretch across four floors and in most of these brightly painted hallways you’ll find vending machines stocked with goodies to satisfy your late night munchies! Big bonus... breakfast is free and hearty. And not to worry sleepyheads, it never got cleaned up before 11am when we were there. After stuffing our stomachs with eggs, tea and toast, we made our way to the streets.

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The location of the Flying Pig Uptown is one of its key selling points. Vondelpark, often referred to

- Amsterdam as the Central Park of Amsterdam, sits in the hostel’s backyard. For culture vultures, Museum Square, home to the Van Gogh, Stedelijk and Rijksmuseum, is only a stone’s throw away. A 17th century canal circles Amsterdam’s historic quarter with snug houseboats lining the waterways. The hostel’s free walking tour leaves daily at 10:30am if you need a kick start.

was plenty of dancing to be done! Lone travellers... this is a great place for you; with a super social environment and smiling staff who are always willing to lend a hand, you’ll never be left in the dust. My final impression... the Flying Pig is a fun-loving hostel with a big heart.

Sipping on a couple of delicious Belgium beers later that evening, we chatted to the bar manager. Catering to the cash-strapped backpacker, the bar has nightly drink specials. A young, fun crowd stirred up a lively atmosphere on both nights during our stay and there read more articles at


Hostel Ruthensteiner +43 (1) 89 34 202 Eco-friendly art hostel close to city centre. Friendly atmosphere, with lovely gardens & cosy bar. Robert Hamerlinggasse 24, 1150 Vienna, Austria

Westend City Hostel-Austria +43 (1) 597 67 29 Central & stylish hostel, free breakfast buffet, en-suite rooms, common-room + TV & free internet. Fuegergasse 3, A-1060 Vienna, Austria

B&B Paris +33 (1) 40 26 83 08 Central B&B offering dorm rooms with TV, wifi access & breakfast included. No curfew. 42. Rue Poissonneire, 75002 Paris, France

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Sunflower Backpackers Hostels Rimini - Italy Italy’s funkiest liveliest hostels with the best location in Rimini Italy, your budget accommodation on the Adriatic coast. Visit our city & beach hostels! 46

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european festivals The summer may be over but festivals are still alive and kicking! Plan a European excursion this autumn and check out an underground, electronic music festival or wait till the snow starts falling and embrace the festive Christmas spirit...

Dimensions - Pula, Croatia 6th–9th Sept Berlin Festival - Berlin, Germany 7th-8th Sept Appelpop - Tiel, Netherlands 7th-8th Sept Oktoberfest - Munich, Germany 22nd Sept–7th Oct Time Warp - Milan, Italy 29th Sept Sacred Music Festival - Uppsala, Sweden 25th Oct–4th Nov Iceland Airwaves - Reykjavik, Iceland 31st Oct-4th Nov Pitchfork - Paris, France 1st–3rd Nov STRP Festival - Eindhoven, Netherlands 9th-18th Nov Winter Wonders - Brussels, Belgium 30th Nov–6th Jan Les Hivernales - Montpellier, France 1st–26th Dec BeJazz Winter Festival - Bern, Switzerland 17th–20th Jan September







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Scottish slang: Blootered/Pashed/Steamin drunk Chanking - Extremely cold Glesga - Glasgow Glesga kiss - Headbutt

& s ke ng nd Jo a rou K l a S U om e Fr th

Anyone who’s been in the UK for a while may have come across some of these already!

Jessie/Jessy - Wimp Numpty - A slightly useless individual West Country slang: Gert lush - Very nice • Me ol’ babber - My friend Zider – Cider • Mucker – Friend • Benny – Temper Where biz? - Where are you? • Werz it too? – Where is it? Scrag – Tear • Sownd – Good • Coupie – Crouch Cheerz drive – Thank you driver • Wazzock – Idiot Werz me daps? – Where are my shoes? • Ooh Arr – Oh yes! Alright my luvver? – Term of endearment (Are you ok?) Jokes from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival & beyond... Stewart Francis: “You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.” Chris Turner: “I’m good friends with 25 letters of the alphabet… I don’t know why.” Tim Vine: “I took part in the sun tanning Olympics – I just got Bronze.” And finally... “The past, the present, and the future walked into a bar. It was tense.” follow @backpax on twitter


get connected... These are a few websites (as well as ours, of course!) which come highly recommended by us to help you on your travels. Plus some smartphone apps for those of you who spend life surgically attached to your mobile... Compare prices for the cheapest train fares around Official rail site which helps you book without fuss First stop for cheap coach travel around the country Book very cheap bus rides to city-hop around the UK Match up with other travellers and car-share Take a stroll - get around with this handy route planner Fly anywhere for peanuts... finds cheapest flight options! Rent someone’s spare bedroom from just £20 per night. A great tool to find a specific type of employment, worldwide Stuck on where to go out in London? Help is at hand Keep an eye out for the snow through ski resorts’ webcams Decipher the oh-so-tricky British slang & euphemisms What’s brewin’? Browse a list of UK’s real ale breweries! Useful info on global geography & culture Help out on organic farms for fun, food & bed

The App Happy Traveller Book hostels in seconds with our FREE iPhone app


Hostel Hero - FREE Easily book bargain hostels whilst on the go – you can also view ratings & maps. What better way to get a bed for the night? Wikitude - FREE Point your smartphone camera and let little bubbles guide you to sights, ATMs, cafés + read articles, reviews & tweets as you go! Google Goggles - FREE Learn more about world-renowned landmarks, artworks, books, currency rates, logos & even languages; just point & shoot. Easy!

super sites Backpax’s sister publication... learn about sustainable & holistic living! Work, Volunteer, Teach, Study, Travel Worldwide Directory of meaningful travel opportunities including volunteer projects, gap year ideas, career breaks & year out projects.

Whether it’s meeting up for a pint or crashing on a spare futon, couch surfing is a great opportunity to see a city the local way! Growing in popularity, this site offers global homestays for FREE! Broke? Booking budget doesn’t mean you have to put up with bad lodgings! You can find hip hostels in the UK, Europe and Worldwide. Beds for less or your money back! Cheap travel insurance, holiday insurance and backpacker travel insurance! For travellers and holidaymakers living in the UK and European Union countries - offered to you by Globelink International. Our nifty little Backpax mag is a must-have travel companion but head online for even more articles, reviews, tips, information and more! Join our social media too: facebook/backpax & twitter/backpax


notes & emails

If you’re anything like us, the moment when you need to write something down is the moment that you don’t have even a scrap of paper to hand. Never fear, Backpax is here to help with a blank page just for you. Now all you need is a pen!


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Puzzles Crossword Clues

Keep your brain entertained! The sudoku is easy level and most of the answers to the crossword clues can be found simply by flicking through the mag. Rearrange letters in starred boxes to find the name of a country! Email answer to prizes@ Win a KINDLE!*

Across: 1. A short Personal Assistant... 3. It all adds up on our Travel Talk page (pg8) with this 1 2 3 4 5 low-cost stylish hostel 6 7 group in Europe. 6. A Scottish skirt for men. 8 8. Cat Ford had a warm 9 welcome at this icy home- from-home (pg32-33). 10 11 9. Opposite to ‘off’ 12 10. These campervans (pg11) are naughty but nice! 13 13. A heavy weight. 14. Backpacker Tomasso likes 14 www. .net Sudoku, Kakuro & Futoshiki Puzzles this about Britain (pg7). Down: Sudoku 9x9 - Easy (132333740) 1. This farm animal may fly (pg44). 1 3 7 6 2. Give (someone) permission to do 6 9 7 1 2 something. 7 1 2 8 4. Los Angeles gets smaller... 5. Becky Day saw the peak of this 3 8 6 4 mountain in North Wales whilst 6 8 5 on a tour with Rabbie’s (pg38-39). 7 2 8 9 6. Wills is 2nd in line to become ____! 7. The evening of the present day... 3 8 4 5 11. Head to the park and fly this high in 9 8 1 5 3 the sky on a windy day. 9 7 2 8 12. Past tense of eat.

*Kindle or Amazon voucher worth same monetary value. Entry close date 28th Feb 2013.




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Backpax Magazine Vol 37  

Pocket travel mag for backpacking in Britain & Europe. Hostel & tour reviews, jobs, activities and much more.