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.