YHA Hawkshead YHA
Situated midway between Windermere and Coniston Water, in the heart of the southern Lakes, this family-friendly grade II listed Regency-style building enjoys a glorious setting overlooking tranquil Esthwaite Water, and is perhaps the ideal location for family-friendly activity breaks on a budget – or just an affordable holiday in the Lake District. Even by YHA standards, it is unusual for the sheer variety of accommodation it offers, which varies from the usual dorm beds and private rooms in the hostel itself to tipis, glamping pods, cabins and camping pitches in the grounds outside. Among many other facilities, there is a spacious lounge, a dining room, a self-catering kitchen and a games room, and all facilities are of course open to those who opt to camp or try one of the hostel's glamping options. The hostel's two tipis are fully kitted out with bedding and can sleep four people on mattresses. They have a partly carpeted wooden floor and a lockable chest in which you can store your belongings and use as a table. There's also eco-friendly solar lighting and two comfy bean bags for you to chill out on during the day. There are eight camping pods, including a standard pod sleeping three and a large pod sleeping four (on a double futon and 2 single beds), both of which have heating and an outdoor seating area, plus there's a large cabin that can comfortably sleep 4–6 people and is perfect for a large family. Finally, there's the campsite, which is situated in the Victorian kitchen garden, a picturesque spot surrounded by woodland with a stream running alongside. It can accommodate up to 10 family-sized tents and a couple of smaller tents and campers have full access to the same facilities as glampers, including the self-catering kitchen and indoor showers and toilets which are just 10m away. All in all Hawkshead is an ideal base for cheap family and activity breaks, great for walking and cycling in nearby Grizedale Forest and with easy access to the southern fells and Lake Windermere.
106 beds in a selection of dorms and private rooms, some of which are en-suite. The cabin has four beds - one double with a single above and another set of two bunk beds - and sleeps four or five people comfortably.
Dorm beds from £10 per person, private and family rooms from £25–£29, camping from £8 per person, tips £49–£99 per night, pods £29–£59 a night.
Open all year; tipis April–October.
Coming by car, take junction 36 off the M6 and then the A590 towards Barrow-in-Furness. At Newby Bridge, go straight across at the roundabout and take next right, following signs to Lakeside and Hawkshead. At Hawkshead village, turn right out of the village following the signs for Newby Bridge – the hostel is a mile outside the village. The nearest train station is Windermere (12 miles away), from where you can take bus 505 to Hawkshead village.
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