Alfriston Youth Hostel to close

YHA Alfriston
YHA Alfriston

Alfriston Youth Hostel is about to close after more than 60 years.

The historic building, Frog Firle Manor, is in the process of being sold.

It was on the market with the Stiles Harold Williams Partnership at an asking price of £650,000.

A spokesperson for the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) said the closure decision had not been taken lightly, but the Grade II Listed building was in need of “substantial refurbishment”.

They said, “YHA constantly reviews the quality and the locations of our accommodation to ensure that our members and guests are getting the best experience when they stay with us.

“YHA has always opened new sites and closed them, adapting and investing in our network. During the last three years YHA has invested £17m in our Youth Hostels and we have made significant plans to continue to do so.

“Our Youth Hostels at Ambleside, York, South Downs, Pen-y-Pass, Cambridge and the iconic Black Sail in the Lake District have all been substantially renovated during the last 12 months.”

The spokesperson continued, “YHA’s Board of Trustees has made the decision to announce the sale of YHA Alfriston this year because it needs substantial refurbishment to bring it up to current standards required by today’s guests. The money will be used to invest in others.

“Decisions like hostel closures are never taken lightly. But YHA Alfriston will be welcoming guests until at least the end of February and we will review this date as necessary.

“We recently opened our state-of-the-art centre on the South Downs and opened a new Youth Hostel in Brighton in November 2014.”

Occupying an idyllic rural location overlooking the Cuckmere Valley in Seaford Road, Alfriston, Frog Firle Manor was where Edward Austen-Leigh, the last descendant of writer Jane Austen’s family, lived until 1950. YHA Alfriston opened there two years later.