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Local Lives – Richard and Iku Adams, Harlow International Hostel


If you take a stroll down Park Lane close to the entrance to the Town Park, opposite the Greyhound Pub you will find an old Victorian property of character. Today this interesting building houses Harlow’s International Hostel – the establishment offers a warm welcome to all and is owned and run by Richard Adams and his Japanese wife Iku. The building used to be a ‘corner shop’ until the early 1950s, and then


a garage – an inspection pit still exists under the floor in the lounge! In 1964 the property was compulsorily purchased by Harlow Development Corporation and later, a Danish couple from the Faroe Islands bought the franchise and opened a Youth Hostel (part of the HYA organisation) which ran for almost 30 years. In 1998 Richard took over and established an International Hostel


having formerly undertaken volunteer work at a YHA hostel in Epping to see if he would enjoy the work. Quite a difference from his previous employment in a bank!


The International Hostel welcomes guests from all over the globe. Some come to England on


holiday, travelling around the country in various ways – a recent couple were on a cycling holiday. Other guests may be working in the area for a short period or have come to Harlow to seek training or employment. Guests frequently use the Harlow International Hostel as a base for working in, or exploring, London.


Richard and his wife love their jobs. They enjoy meeting lots of people from around the world and


helping them out where possible with information. It is also very convenient accommodation for backpackers landing at Stansted airport. The Hostel is also able to host events such as the Kabala conference earlier this summer, as well as school and wedding parties. The relaxing grounds of the Hostel are home to many creatures including lots of squirrels and


birds. Guests often gain a very positive impression of the town as they walk up through the Town Park from the station, often commenting that Harlow has some very rural areas. The Hostel has 28 single rooms, 39 double rooms and a dormitory. There is a kitchen where


guests can prepare their own meals, a shared communal dining room and lounge area and a little shop selling micro-meals and cold drinks. Richard and Iku are certainly a very friendly and helpful couple who you may not have readily spotted tucked away in this leafy suburb of Netteswell!


Dial-a-Neighbour Tel: 0843 523 0418


Mon, Tue, Wed & Fri:- 10am to 6pm Thur:-


10am to 8pm


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