YHA Ambleside, Ambleside

646 Reviews
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YHA Ambleside Reviews

YHA Ambleside could very well be one of the best hostels you ever stay in. It’s incredibly cheap for the region and the facilities are brilliant. The numerous common areas have something for everyone, so meeting other travelers is effortless. It’s a short walk from the village of Ambleside and located on the banks of the beautiful Lake Windemere overlooking the surrounding mountains.

The Location

Getting around the Lake District can be expensive, as the buses aren’t cheap. Luckily, if your pack isn’t too heavy, you can walk from Windemere train station. This will take around thirty minutes and you follow just one road the whole way. Windemere and Ambleside are both on the east side of the lake, so if you’re walking you’ll need to travel north up the road that runs along the lake. Just before you reach Ambleside village, you will see the large yellow YHA Ambleside sign on your left and behind that, a large building, which looks like something from Harry Potter. It’s difficult to miss due to how small the road and entrance to the village is. If you take the bus then you will be dropped off at the main village bus stop. You'll be able to see the lake from here, so head toward the lake and take the road that runs left around the side of the lake. You'll walk past a park on your left and you'll see the hostel next to the boats in the harbour.

Rooms and Bathrooms

Dorms room are spacious and furnished with comfy beds, which also have storage space built into them. Unfortunately, there are no lockers, however, you are provided with keys to lock the dorms when you leave. They also come with a sink and a cupboard. Private rooms don’t cost much more, and for this reason you will see a wide range of travelers staying here, from backpackers to small families. Most rooms have a beautiful view of the lake and the mountains, and when booking, you might be able to request a first-floor room facing the lake so that you get both of these. It really is amazing to see from your window the misty Lake Windemere with the sun rising each morning, so it’s worth asking for this.

There are plenty of toilets (although they're a bit small) and powerful hot showers throughout the building so waiting for one is rarely an issue. These are also all individual, therefore you won’t have to share these spaces with other people. A daily cleaning service comes around, therefore these areas and the rest of building are always kept spotless.

Common Spaces

The common spaces here are excellent. There is a lovely little bar/restaurant that overlooks the lake (this is very reasonably priced for the area); a large dining hall where breakfast is served each morning for a small fee; and a games room containing a pool table, table-tennis table, and TV. There’s also a small TV/lounge area and a large yet cozy common area full of sofas and tables where many people hang out and chat. Finally, there are two excellent kitchens containing everything you need to cook your own food; they're also great places to meet other people too as they are very popular with guests. Due to the inflated tourist prices of the area, this will save you a lot of money. There are multiple hobs, ovens, fridges, microwaves, and every utensil you could need. The Wi-Fi is strong on the ground floor, however it only just reaches the first floor.


This is brilliant hostel. The location and price alone are extremely good reasons for staying, but the kitchens and common space put this well above anywhere else. It’s quite a large hostel packed full of facilities, yet it has a very cozy and warm feel to it. The nearby village has many pubs, restaurants, and shops you can explore, but the hostel has everything you need after getting back from hiking in the mountains.
Photos taken by the Hostelz.com reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
YHA Ambleside, Ambleside
YHA Ambleside, Ambleside
YHA Ambleside, Ambleside
YHA Ambleside, Ambleside
YHA Ambleside, Ambleside
YHA Ambleside, Ambleside
YHA Ambleside, Ambleside
YHA Ambleside, Ambleside
Hostelz.com Staff Reviewer
Published on 2018-02-10


Wonderful place, good service, kind people.

Age 60 | Bulgarian

Clean & nice view

clean & new place. the view is good but the common area is small and cannot enjoy the view. only paid facilities are at good frontage side. no free wifi/ breakfast.


Spectacular position, rooms are good, but noise travels a lot from upstairs and side rooms if your fellow guests aren't careful. Food is nice, facilities are good, staff are a mix of helpful and not (like anywhere). Internet is expensive at 4 a minute, and I couldn't get into my livejournal -- lots of restrictions on valid sights. My dad left his YHA card behind, and they posted it on without being asked, which was fantastic. Worth a stay for a couple of nights.


Ambleside Youth Hostel is in a most picturesque location overlooking Lake Windermere in the Lake District -- a spot many five star hotels would die for. It's run by the Youth Hostel Association, and it's a large and busy hostel with friendly staff and lots to offer if you want an active break. It is popular with large groups, and is fairly family friendly. Reservations are strongly recommended, as it gets very busy. Despite having some 245 bed spaces in 59 rooms, it is often fully booked at peak periods, such as bank holidays. Rooms range from 2-8 beds, most with panoramic views over the Lake. It costs 18.50 a night for bed and breakfast, 14.50 if you are under 18. Premium rooms are also available at extra cost.

Although theoretically there is parking available, it's always busy. If there is a free space it is often difficult to manoeuvre into. So rather than driving the best way to get there is by public transport. National Express runs a coach that stops at Ambleside, or you could get a bus to Kendal and then change to catch the local 555 bus which runs every hour. If rail is more your thing, you can catch a train to Windermere, usually via a change at Oxenholme - the Lake District, and then get the YHA free shuttle bus to the hostel. This also connects the hostel with Ambleside and Windermere. Be warned though that the rail connection at Oxenholme is easy to miss and a taxi to Ambleside, some 30 miles away, would completely bust your budget. If you do decide to drive, there is additional parking available at the Lake District National Park Authority car park a few 100 metres away although this can work out quite expensive, at over 5 a day.

Once you have arrived though, the hostel is clean, has a warm although somewhat hectic atmosphere, and is very well equipped. Facilities include internet, photocopying and faxing, tourist information, luggage store, secure cycle parking, a drying room, laundry facilities, and towel hire. The hostel has a lounge, a quiet room, a TV and games room, and a bar. You can buy tickets for boat trips on the lake or bus tours, and even duck food. And at reception you can also hire a mountain bike, purchase walking and mountain bike guides, look at inter hostel walking routes, and find out the local weather forecast.

The hostel has a very nice restaurant and coffee shop overlooking the lake. Meals are filling and very reasonable at 7.50 for a three course dinner, and there is always a vegetarian option or two. Self catering facilities are also available. The hostel bar offers quite a good selection of beer, wines, and spirits at reasonable prices, including many from the local area - which are worth a try.

Reception also acts as a shop selling everything from stamps, phone cards, postcards, newspapers, and camera film to toiletries, food to souvenirs. You can use the "book a bed ahead" service for reservations in local and national YHA hostels and you can connect to their international booking network

The town of Ambleside is a 15 minutes walk away and includes lots of outdoor equipment shops, a cinema, a good range of restaurants from the cheap to the very expensive and a couple of local food stores. This is a good location to visit if walking, cycling and water sports are your thing, but it's not the place to go if you want a quiet break in the country.

Rachel Bland

The location is the ultimate plus point of this hostel. It's right on the shores of Lake Windermere, with stunning views across the lake to the hills. The ferryboats to various points around the lake leave from the pier next to the hostel. The area is crowded during the day, but early evening and early mornings are the best time to enjoy the peace and beauty when the crowds are not there.

The hostel has some good points. My dorm room was spacious and clean, and the beds were comfortable with individual reading lights. All beds had their own lockers, but you need to remember to bring a padlock! The shower rooms and toilets are large, individual rooms (instead of rows of tiny cubicles) and the hostel was very clean and well decorated throughout. The hostel staff were very friendly and helpful. The breakfast was brilliant.

However, it is not cheap. At 18.50 members and 21 non members a night for a dorm bed, its only a value for the money if you are travelling alone or in a large group (they get discounts). If there are two or more of you travelling together, you can get a hotel or bed-and-breakfast room for the cost of dorm beds here. I also didn't like the vast number of large groups who dominated the place, plus the emphasis on families. It was not a social atmosphere. I found it far too impersonal, and it isn't somewhere that attracts large numbers of lone travelers. There is a bar there, but I found that intimidating. I was with a friend, but I really don't think I would have enjoyed it if I had been on my own. If I am ever going to be in the area on my own, I will stay in one of the smaller dorm based hostels nearby. I also found it VERY noisy. Loud music and shouting went on from early morning until late at night. This isn't a place for people who want to sleep at night.



Location and Contact




Address: Waterhead, Ambleside, Cumbria - The Lake District, England

YHA Ambleside is listed on the following booking sites:

Hostelworld Booking.com Not listed at HostelsClub


Website YHA Ambleside Ambleside www.hihostels.com/hostels/yha-ambleside-waterhead
Phone Number: +44-15394-32304
To add or correct information for this listing, please use the Listing Correction Form.

Facilities and Amenities

Groups (10+ people)

Party Hostel

Solo Traveller




Wi-Fi in Lobby/Commons

Bike Rental

Lockers in Lobby

Luggage Storage


BBQ Grill


Clothes Dryer

Concierge/Info Desk

Credit Card Payments

Currency Exchange



Hot Showers



Lounge Area

Pool Table

Swimming Pool


Wheelchair Accessible

Curfew: No Curfew

Reception Hours: 24 Hours


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