YHA Skiddaw Bunkhouse YHA
First the bad news – you can only get to England's highest and most remote youth hostel on foot, since it's more than an hour and 3.5 miles along a mountain track from the nearest car park (Latrigg, above Keswick). And the good news? Same as the bad of course – Skiddaw House is a fantastic off-grid, off-the-beaten-track retreat, much loved by walkers, who revel in its back-to-basics simplicity and stupendous location around the back of Skiddaw, one of the Lakes' famed three-thousand-footer mountains. Housed in what was once a shooting lodge, at 1550ft up, there are just 22 beds in four rooms offering a pretty down-to-earth overnight experience – this is a place without mains electricity, phone reception and central heating, and with just one solar-heated shower to share. A simple cereal, tea and toast breakfast, and basic shop supplies (cans and packets) are the only other services, and to make your own dinner you'll need to carry all your provisions in and out again. But, but, but. . . with the wood-burner lit, boots drying in front of the fire, a beer bought from the resident wardens, and a day's walking stories to catch up on, who would rather be anywhere else? If there are hostels for walkers better than this, they're probably in Heaven. There's camping too, if you prefer, with a few pitches below the house, in the shelter of some ruined walls; the only facilities are those inside the hostel, so you really do need to be prepared for a night in the wild.
Check out this video by Cool Places author Jules Brown on the whole Skiddaw House experience. Or read the full article here.
22 beds spread over four rooms. Private rooms for 2, 4 or 5 people, family rooms and dorm beds; plus a small number of camping spaces.
PriceDorm beds £17; the 4-bed and 5-bed rooms can be booked by families; breakfast £3.25; camping £8.50 per person per night.
Opening TimesClosed 1 Nov to 28 Feb.
The hostel is 3.5 miles from the nearest road and can only be accessed on foot or bike. Access points are from Threlkeld (Blencathra Centre, above the village, 3 miles), Keswick (6.5 miles), Dash Falls (3 miles) and Mosedale (5 miles) – all by mountain track or paths.
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