Among the beautiful Yorkshire Dales, in the wide valley of the river Wharfe, nestles the tiny village of Conistone with some 25 houses, St Mary's Church and Conistone Hostel & Chapel a solid stone built Methodist chapel, built in 1885 by the local Methodist Society, which until then had worshipped in one of the village houses.
In 1980 the Chapel was put up for sale and the District Chair urged the District Education and Youth Committee to purchase it for use by young people.
The challenge was taken up with enthusiasm. Planning permission was obtained for the building's use as a hostel and, after much fund raising and hard work by leaders, young people and others in the District, the Hostel was opened in 1983. Since then it has been in constant use by groups such as Uniformed Organisations, school groups, colleges, Methodist youth Groups, other youth groups, family groups, etc. on midweek or weekend visits. It is also available for quiet days.
In the beginning the Hostel was very basic but over the years it has been extended and improved and now consists of spacious lounge/worship area, dining room, small but adequate kitchen, 4 dormitories - one upstairs to sleep 10, 3 downstairs to sleep, 8, 4 and 2 (maximum 24). The beds are all bunk beds, and the Hostel is entirely self-catering.
The charges are modest - £9.50 per person per night with a minimum charge of £95.00 for fewer than 10 people (w.e.f. January 2017). There is parking for 4 or 5 cars in front of the building. Amenities available in the surrounding area include hill and fell walking, pony trekking, trout farm and opportunity for field studies.
For more information you can download the current Conistone brochure. Alternatively a brochure is available from the booking secretary Mr Malcolm Atkinson, 26 Middleton Road, Ilkley, LS29 9EX ( please enclose SAE) or telephone 01943 608479.