Visit Cumbria

Independent Hostels in the Lake District and Cumbria

This is a fantastic way to secure good cheap accommodation in the Lake District and Cumbria. Some of the hostels were formerly Youth Hostels, and some are purpose built or specifically converted. We love the high attention to detail, many have en-suite rooms perfect for families and whole venues can often be booked which are great for groups and get togethers. Take a look, if you can't find what you are looking for we also have a large selection of Camping Barns, Bunkhouse and Bothy's which may fit the bill.

Arnside Youth Hostel

Arnside Youth Hostel is an impressive Edwardian Manor House, now run independently of the YHA but still connected to them under their Enterprise scheme. The successful result is that the new family owners and their two cats have incorporated all that was good, and kept the existing trio of staff Dave, John and Sue whilst updating things that matter like, new mattresses and undertaking bedroom and shower overhauls.

Arnside YHA

The magic of staying in this quieter corner of Cumbria is that you have the splendid views and fantastic access to the Lake District National Park without, well quite frankly, everyone else. Accommodation is affordable and offers a wide range of options from the traditional dorm to single, double, twin and family rooms, some of which have en-suite facilities and we are delighted to see that there is a family en-suite room which is disable friendly too.

Shared facilities at Arnside include : games room, private parking, laundry & drying room, free wifi, secure cycle store, double child bike trailer & child carrier, licensed bar, film nights, outdoor seating, private garden, BBQ facilities, field study room/conference room hire and the Hostel is also dog friendly - I really do believe they have thought of everything!

Walkers and cyclists will be delighted to know that packed lunches can be booked & these look to be incredible good value. Breakfasts start with fruit, yoghurt or cereal and then go on to the full cooked monty that lets you know you are on holiday and certainly sets you up for the day ahead. Evening meals can be booked directly with the hostel - large groups please book ahead. Again the prices are very competitive.

Arnside Hostel can sleep up to 69 in their 17 rooms. To make a reservation contact Arnside Youth Hostel directly here.


Grasmere Hostel

In The Guardian's own words on a review of Family Friendly places to stay on a budget in the UK Knocks most other Lakeland hostels into a cocked hat & The Lake District's finest independent hostel

Graded 4* by the English Tourism Council, Grasmere Hostel is situated in 10 acres of farmland, against a backdrop of fells that will have you reaching for your camera.

Grasmere Hostel
Find out exactly why this Hostel has really caught the Media's eye and received rave reviews:

Sleeping a total of 24 in five bedrooms you can choose to take one of the private en-suite rooms or a more traditional mixed dorm. It is also possible to book the hostel for Exclusive Use, ideal for groups of 16+ including family/friend reunions. Being a small hostel they don't take bookings more than six weeks in advance. Bedrooms are lockable and made up ready for your arrival. The rooms are carpeted and the beds have quilts and pillows. Additional luxuries include bedside lamps and convenient power points and free WiFi throughout. Grasmere Hostel is kept toasty warm; central heating is via the recently installed biomass boiler, which also means that there is plenty of hot water too.

There are two well equipped kitchens which include complimentary tea and coffee (for which a donation to Fix the Fells is suggested). Other facilities include lockable bike storage and bike washing facility, rucksack size lockers, BBQ area, laundry facilities plus a drying room with a dehumidifier. Just when you think they've thought of everything you discover they have! There is even a Nordic Sauna which can accommodate up to 4 people (coin operated), perfect for relaxing those muscles after a day on the fells.

Twizy Lake District Twizy is Grasmere Hostel's delightful 2 seater electric car which you can hire £10 per hour perfect for exploring further afield without increasing your carbon footprint. The Travellers Rest Hotel serving proper ales and good food is just 400 metres down the road. The lake and village of Grasmere itself is about a mile away. You can also book a Breakfast Pack directly from Grasmere Hostel, ideal if you not had time to shop for provisions.

Further details including tarifs can be found here and a sneak peek of life at Grasmere Hostel can be found via their webcam here.



Thorney How Independent Hostel - Grasmere

english hostelThorney How opened as an Independent family owned Hostel in Easter 2011. This former YHA hostel can be found in what I always consider the most romantic village of the English Lake District, Grasmere. Built around 350 years ago in traditional Lakeland stone, Thorney How is quite historical as it was in fact the first Hostel ever bought by the YHA. Originally built as a farm-house and possibly later a rather grander Victorian Gentleman's residence. Another claim to fame is that the diarist Dorothy Wordsworth is thought to have used the grounds here.

Now newly refurbished it is ready for your visit and provides clean, comfortable licensedback packing style accommodation. There are 51 beds divided over 10 rooms with room sizes ranging from 2 to 10 bunk style beds per room.


Kendal Independent Hostel

Kendal Indepenent Hostel This Georgian building is situated right on Kendal's high street, making for easy exploration of the English Lake District by public transport. In fact, going one better, why not join one of The Blue Badge tours? Blue Badge is an association of registered tour guides who are local and have first class knowledge of the area. Jan Moffat owner of the Kendal Hostel is a Blue Badge tour guide. She has first class knowledge of the local area and can tailor the tour to suit you and your group. Jan is also very eco-aware. In addition to the secure bike shed for those who arrive under their own steam, the Hostel rents out electric bikes.

Sleeping 49 in a mix of singles and dorms the Kendal Hostel can be booked by independent travellers, and also for sole occupancy for workshops, team buildings and families groups.

The Kendal Brewery Arts Centre is an excellent place to unwind and there are also plenty of independent and chain cafes, pubs and restaurants along the high street for those who prefer not to cook. More information including how to book and current prices can be found on the Kendal Hostel Website here



Carlisle City Hostel

carlisle hostel Recently opened in Carlisle City Centre, this Independent Hostel has already secured first class reviews and, its easy to see why.

Centrally located the Hostel is ideal for backpackers, walkers, cyclists and tourists and guests can either make use of the communal Self-Catering kitchen or easily amble into the City centre to dine. Free tea and coffee is available throughout your stay.

Carlisle Cheap Accommodation The Hostel has 4 bed, 6 bed and 8 bed dorms and can accommodate 20-22. Beds are normally bunks but with double available in the 4 bed private room.

Linen is provided and dorms are lockable and backpack storage is also available. Other facilities include a communal lounge with maps, games and even a book swap. There is a tumble dryer and also airers in each dorm to help when the weather is not behaving and secure storage can be arranged for cycles in the Hostel's cellar.

Please note that guests should show valid ID upon check in (passport/driving license are perfect) and that a £5 key deposit is taken upon arrival for each key. Payment is either via cash on arrival or via the online booking portal.

Further information about Carlisle's Independent Hostel and tariffs can be found here.


Wayfarers Hostel - Penrith

cheap lake district accomodation Easy walking distance to the centre of town with Penrith Wayfarers Independent Hostel is ideal for those on the Coast 2 Coast route or wishing to explore Cumbria and the Lake District National Park. Feedback is consistently good and it is easy to see why.

There is a comfy lounge with a TV as well as books, maps and board games. A notice board keeps you up to date of local events and all importantly, current weather conditions. The self catering kitchen is modern and recently refurbished with free tea & coffee, there is even an instant hot water boiler so you don't have to wait for your free cuppa! Facilities include, an oven, a hob, microwave, toaster, fridge in addition to a wide range of crockery and pans. WiFi is available in most areas of the hostel at no additional cost and their is an outside seating area too.

There is enough dining space to comfortably seat all guests at the hostel which is particularly useful for for large groups travelling together. A continental buffet breakfast can be purchased if you don't fancy shopping for groceries and previous guests report that this is very good and good value for money - we think the packed lunch option sounds pretty good too!

Indepenent Hostel with secure bike storage Cyclists are very well catered for with a hose for washing down bikes, secure indoor bike storage and a well stocked maintenance area with tools. It has been known to rain in Cumbria and so the Drying Room is also a real boon. There is also an option to have your baggage transferred to your next location - check details with the hostel.

What bliss - the accommodation not only includes bedding but with the beds made up too! Choose between the twin bedded room or a dorm or 4 or 6 beds. Towels can also be hired if required.

Check tariffs and availability of Wayfarers Hostel



Derwentwater Hostel

Derwentwater Hostel
This 200 year old mansion is idyllically situated on the shores of Derwentwater amidst 17 acres of grounds with an impressive 108ft waterfall and views across beautiful Derwentwater and a backdrop of woodland and mountains. Barrow House was bought from the YHA by a local benefactor so that it could run as a non-profit organisation to continue to provide fantastic hostel accommodation in this lovely corner of the Lake District.

Derwentwater Hostel sleeps 88 in 11 rooms and is a listed building, which the owners have preserved many original features including fine plasterwork ceilings and grand marble fireplaces. The room sizes generally sleep between 4 and 8, with one partitioned room sleeping 22 and all rooms have storage space and are lockable. All bedding is provided and are bunks which are on the first floor. All but one room has a sink there are showers, toilets and washrooms throughout the building. All bedding is provided as are bedside lights.

Other facilities include classrooms, a drying room and laundry and lounges and meeting rooms. There is table tennis and an orienteering course in addition to pool and table football. There is a TV room and Lounges plus a grassy play area outside. Tea and coffee are available and Yes very handy when you have run out of battery or have no signal there is a good old fashioned pay-phone too! There is also parking for cars and coaches.

Find out what activities are being offered and availability of Derwentwater Hostel


Duddon Sands Hostel - At The Ship Inn

Great location overlooking the Duddon Estuary & in the grounds of The Ship Inn.

Indpendent Hostel for Family Reunions with BBQ Hut

The Duddon Sands Hostel is purpose built and provides 16 comfortable beds. The Ship Inn staff are also keen outdoor enthusiasts so do ask them for local knowledge. Facilities include good hot showers, a self catering kitchen/diner and a large cosy BBQ Hut making this venue fantastic for family reunions as well as outdoor enthusiasts.

Pub with Hostel Cumbria If you fancy a break from self-catering, the local Indian and Chinese restaurants will deliver to the pub - sounds pretty perfect to me! The Hostel is open all year around but the pub is closed on Mondays Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

If you need to visit the Gent's whilst you are at The Ship Inn, don't be alarmed if you bump into Elizabeth the Ship's Inn Ghost
*Please note that with the exception of the beef garden, both the Hostel and The Ship Inn are entirely Non-Smoking



Kirby Stephen Hostel

Cheap Accommodation Cumbria Quite an extraordinary find. This converted Methodist Chapel has lovely stained glass windows and has been converted to provide some wonderful accommodation suitable for family reunions (dogs are welcome too) as well as walkers and cyclists.

Kirby Stephen Hostel Meals for groups of 4+ can be arranged in advance or you can self cater as there are two fully equipped kitchens. Canoes and cycles have their own secure storage room and there is a drying room for muddy boots and dripping jackets. Everything taken care of, whilst you relax on one of the deep sofas, with the free Wifi.

There are 8 rooms which range from sleeping twins to dorms sleeping 8. Great location for the Pennine Bridle / Cycle Way. The Cumbria Cycle WAy, W2W cycle route, Coast to Coast walk and Lady Ann Clifford's Walk.

For more photographs (really we wanted to show you all of them) and for booking and full details of the Kirby Stephen Hostel, these can be found on their website here.


Greenhead Hostel - Brampton - Nr. Carlisle

Hostel near CarlisleCheap Accommodation near Roman Heritage Sites and on Pennine Way Its style very much indicates its past. This converted Methodist Chapel is now providing good budget accommodation in the village of Greenhead - ideal for anyone walking the Pennine Way, or exploring Hadrian's Wall or wishing to explore the nearby Roman heritage sites Birdoswald Fort, Vindolanda and Housesteads.

The common room acts as a lounge/dining area with both sofas and tables and chairs. As you can see there is a football-table as well as a selection of books and games.

There is a fully equipped kitchen including oven and hob and microwave, fridge-freezer and all crockery and utensils. Or you may prefer to slink over the road to the Greenhead Hotel who serve food all day, in their popular Bar and restaurant - oh and they have WiFi there too.

Further information including booking and tariff can be found on the Greenhead Hostel site here.



Bury Jubilee Outdoor Pursuits Centre - Glenridding Ullswater

wheelchair accessible lodge lake district Disable friendly bunkhouse lake district Although priority is given to groups from Bury, other groups may also book this superb purpose built hostel which is in an excellent location to explore Ullswater and the surrounding fells including Helvellyn.

The centre has oil fired central heating throughout and there is an additional wood burning stove (please bring own fuel). Facilities at the Jubilee Centre include a modern kitchen with a large gaz cooker, fridge, freezer, kitchen utensils and crockery, plus lounge area and table and chairs. There is also a utility room with a washing machine and drying room.

The Hostel can accommodate 28 in bunks including 2 beds, on the ground level, which along with the rest of the ground floor is fully accessible for wheelchair users including bathroom facilities.

On the first floor there are three dormitories with bunk beds and mattresses sleeping 12, 10 and 6 people; each with its own shower and toilet facilities. Please provide your own sleeping bags and pillows.

More details of the Bury Jubilee Outdoor Centre including sketch-maps of how the accommodation is lain out, can be found here.



New Ing Lodge - Dorm Rooms

On the Westmoreland Way in Shap, is an interesting Hostel providing, B & B, Mixed Dorms and even camping pitches, if weather permits

Two of the dorms are mixed (sleeping 8 and 6)and there is also a Single Dorm. The kitchen can hold up to 4 at once and provides all the necessaries such as a microwave and kettle and two ring hob. Ideal for those walking the coast to coast and carrying heavy backpacks a Full, locally sourced English or Cereal and Toast Breakfast can be provided - as can an evening meal. Oh and they stock locally brewed beers too!

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See photographs and read more about New Ings Lodge.



Elterwater Hostel

Elterwater Hostel In the lovely Langdale Valley at the tranquil village of Elterwater, the now independently managed Elterwater Hostel is getting ready to welcome previous guests from its Youth Hostel days and new guests alike.

Following its independence from the Youth Hostel chain the current owners are currently in the process of updating the Hostel, which will open on the first March and will be licensed. Updates include new showers and dining room facilities.

Although there is no parking at the Hostel, there is a pay and display in the Village which is free for National Trust Members displaying their badge.

Book accommodation and follow Elterwater Hostel's makeover via their Facebook page here


Ambleside Backpackers

Ambleside Back Packers Hostel cheap accommodation ambleside Centrally located nearJust Ambleside Town Centre, Ambleside Backpackers Hostel can accommodate up to 60 in either male, female or mixed dorms which range in occupancy from 2 up to the largest which holds 12. Book either per bed, per room and even for exclusive use of the hostel. All bedding is provided, but please take your own towels.

Facilities include male and female shower rooms, free Wifi and tea & coffee making facilities and a free self-service breakfast! The dorms are lockable and there is also a bike/canoe store, drying room and laundry.

A comfortable lounge and large dining room are just a couple of the reasons that Ambleside Backpackers gets consistently good reviews. If you prefer not to stroll into Ambleside to take advantage of one of the many pubs, cafes and restaurants, you will find a well equipped commercial style kitchen for self catering.

Read more about this great Backpackers Lodge in the heart of Ambleside.


Denton House Independent Hostel - Keswick

With funky artwork and just a five minute walk from the centre of Keswick, Denton House is a purpose built Outward Bound facility. This Independent Hostel is also approved by the British Canoe Union Centre. In addition to offering affordable accommodation to individuals, families and groups, they can provide qualified canoe instructors and tailor walking/canoeing days to your groups' requirements.

Sleeping a maximum of 58 - bunk-rooms sizes are from 4 to 14 beds - you can book by the bed or by the room and choose single sex or mixed rooms. Duvets and pillows are provided. There is central heating throughout - which also means permanent hot water!

An indoor bike shed and Kayak store is available. Dogs are welcome - providing no-one else in your room objects. Washer and Dryer - 24hr free tea and coffee and a commercial kitchen ideal for both small and large group dining. Meals (breakfasts, packed lunches and evening meals) can be provided for an additional cost, if requested in advance.

To appreciate all the facilities both of Denton House and the Outdoor Facility possibilities - please go to the Denton House website.



Lake District Back Packers Lodge - Windermere

Just a few strides from the railway station, this converted house is offering you cheap and cheerful right in the heart of Windermere. There is a choice of either mixed dorms, an all female dorm or private bunk rooms. A small self-catering kitchen which includes free tea & coffee, secure cycle lock-up and free Wifi are all in the price. Read reviews on Trip Advisor and their own here.



Alternative self-catering ideas in Cumbria

Tipis Camping

Tipi Cumbria


Youth Hostels

Coniston Hostel


Lake District Yurts

Stay in a Yurt


Camping Pods

Pod Camping Cumbria


Shepherd Huts

shepherd hut


Bell Tent Camping

Bell Tent Camping Lake District


Self Catering Cottages

windermere cottages


Wigwam Camping

wigwarm - wooden tent



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