The Youth Hostel Association got in touch with me and asked if my family and I would like to review one of their youth hostels. They said we could pick anyone we wanted. I dismissed the idea immediately. No thanks, not for us. I’m not a snob by any stretch of the imagination but I had no intentions of taking my children to a grubby run down youth hostel full of all sorts of strange individuals sharing one large room. But out of curiosity I decided to have a quick google and actually see what was on offer and gosh did I get a shock! I very quickly changed my mind and that is how this Ambleside Youth Hostel Review came about.
The Youth Hostel Association
Having had a look at the website I discovered that the youth hostel association was nothing like I had imagined it to be. It was a charity that raises money for under privileged children by offering cheap accommodation across the UK BUT the properties on offer were a million miles away from what I had pictured in my head. They actually offer a wide range of accommodation across stunning buildings in fantastic locations and you can book private rooms as well as family rooms. Alongside the beautiful buildings like this one in Stratford-Upon-Avon they also have a range of glamping, camping, tipis and lodges on offer too.
First impressions of Ambleside Youth Hostel
It took us a little while to locate the building as I honestly thought it was a hotel and a posh one at that, so we circled a few times until we saw a sign and realised that actually that gorgeous building was in fact a youth hostel.
We parked the cars and admired the gorgeous view, it literally is on the lake shore and the views are just breath taking. I went to check in whilst my husband unloaded the car and unfortunately I was told we had been booked into the wrong room, it was a family room but without an en suite. I asked if we could be moved but (not surprisingly) they were full so there was nothing we could. I wouldn’t normally be too worried about an en suite but with a 5 year old and a 2 year old who both wake in the night for the loo I wasn’t looking forward to midnight dashes across the landing to a shared toilette, but we were two hours from home and I wasn’t going to let it stop us having fun.
We were shown to our room which comprised of two sets of bunk beds, one with a double on the bottom the other with two single, a sink in the corner and that was about it. A simple room, great to use as a base whilst you go off exploring.
The food at the Youth Hostel
That night we decided to eat in the youth hostel bar and I was glad we did. The bar could give any hotel bar a run for its money, it was clean, smart and the staff were lovely. We ordered our food and enjoyed a drink on the water front whilst we waited and then enjoyed a wonderful family meal. the food was delicious and reasonably priced with a great selection of children’s meals to choose from.
If you don’t fancy eating in the restaurant there is a self catering kitchen where you can cook your own meals which is fab if you are trying to cut down on price or if you are staying in a large group.
The next morning we were heading out for the day so we didn’t stay for breakfast, although it did look great. We did however notice that at the far end of the car park is a little hut and you can book to do various water activities during your stay, making this an even better location, if possible.
Overall Ambleside Youth Hostel Review
What can I say, I am a youth hostel convert and I would absolutely 100% look at staying here again or trying out one of the other hostels for a cheap yet wonderful family night away.
Edit – we have now stayed with the youth hostel association a few times including in a teepee and in Oxford city centre.