Amazing lake and mountain views from one of the most spectacularly situated YHA hostels in the country
Bridge Lane Troutbeck Windermere Cumbria LA23 1LA 0845 371 9352
It's all about the view at YHA Windermere and it doesn't disappoint. The elegant old hillside mansion, situated a couple of miles up from England's largest lake, boasts stunning views down to the water and across the encroaching fells. Sunsets (and dark skies) from the terrace are magical, while there are four acres of wooded grounds to explore – hard to believe you get all this at budget YHA rates, because it's the sort of location and outlook that commands big bucks elsewhere in the Lakes.
It's been nicely converted inside, with plenty of reminders of the house's heritage in the public spaces and lounges. Big windows in the dining room look down to Windermere, and plenty of the rooms have the all-important views too. There are 69 beds in total, most in reasonably sized four-bedded rooms, as well as a decent self-catering kitchen, a bar that stays open from 3pm, and meals available from a daily changing menu.
Meanwhile, the grounds not only house some colourful tipis (each sleeping four people on mattresses) but also boasts probably the Lake District's most panoramic campsite. You can pitch in the field or up by the woods, but either way you're going to wake up to the lake in all its glory, which takes some beating. Tipi guests and campers have the use of a separate building containing loos, hot showers and kitchen-diner – all cleaned daily – or you can use the bar, kitchen, lounge and all the other facilities in the hostel itself. It's a really nice set-up – giving you the best of both worlds really – and camping numbers are limited so the site never feels too crowded.
As a budget base for Windermere the YHA is brilliant – though note that it's up near Troutbeck village, not Windermere itself. There's a pub a mile up the road and another a mile down the road, while the friendly staff can fill you in on all the local walks including the fabulous 9-mile circuit over Wansfell Pike to Ambleside and back – they even have a printed walk map for this, so there's no excuse!
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Places to eat & drink nearby
Hole in t’ Wall
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Best pub in Bowness? That would be the oldest, the Hole in t’ Wall
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Ambleside’s funkiest café doesn’t just do pies – though they are supreme, whether sweet or savoury.
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Ambleside’s failsafe stalwart is the veggie café and Italian restaurant attached to the town’s independent cinema
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Vegetarian dining comes of age in Fellinis, a gourmet destination for out-of-the-ordinary veggie fare
Things to see & do nearby
Lake District Visitor Centre
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The national park’s main visitor centre and HQ occupies a fabulous lakeside mansion on Windermere.
World of Beatrix Potter
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Bowness's – if not the Lake District’s – top visitor attraction, themed to within an inch of its fluffy bunny life
Windermere Lake Cruises
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Boat trips on England’s largest lake, Windermere, depart from the piers in the lakeside village of Bowness
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Victorian-era Wray Castle is Windermere's finest attraction and a stunning all-day family visit.
Other Places to Stay Nearby
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69 beds in total, most in four-bedded rooms, plus camping and glamping (in tipis) in the grounds outside.
Find a bed in a place to sleep near you
Dormitory beds from £10 a night, private rooms from £39, family rooms from £29; camping from £8 per person, tipis £49–£99 a night.
- Private Rooms
- Hills & Mountains
- Sensational Views
- YHA hostels
Driving from the north, leave the M6 at junctions 36, 37 or 38 and follow the signs to Troutbeck Bridge. After the filling station, take the first turning on the right – the hostel is well signedposted, one mile up Bridge Lane.
Open all year, including camping; Tipis Easter–October.