Hi Vanessa - I have taken groups of students to some hostels:
The new YH at Rotherhithe, London is lovely - v clean and modern but a
little way from the centre - you'll need public transport to go anywhere.
'The Generator' in Russell Square is in a wonderful location - Bloomsbury
(Virginia Woolf territory!)and within walking distance of the British
Museum, Tottenham Court Road etc but pretty ghastly decor-wise and not
particularly clean. In Manchester the hostel at Castlefields is great -
modern, clean and right on the canals. Walking distance of the city centre
and lots of arty happenings. The days of helping clean hostels are mostly
over although in the more rural, smaller ones that can still happen.
Have a good trip
Sally, Somerset UK