Holly How Youth Hostel

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Far End, Coniston, United Kingdom

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Holly How Youth Hostel Coniston Reviews

Real_PeaceWarrior Real_Pea…
24 reviews
Perfect Place to Unwind Jun 10, 2009
Coniston boasts two Youth Hostel association centres; I decided to stay at Holly How Youth Hostel which is located on the outskirts of the village rather than the Coppermines Hostel. Coppermines is located further up the hill thereby allowing a headstart for the walk up to Coniston Old Man; my decision was based purely on the accessibility of a pub to watch the footie that evening.

I arrived at the hostel a little before 4pm and found that there was not anybody in attendance at reception for another hour or so. The hostel is considerably smaller than Ambleside and is almost certainly not as busy, therefore it probably is not viable to have reception manned 24/7.

I had a bit of a poke around and all the usual amenities were available, a pleasant lounge, small television and games room, self catering kitchen, bar, dining room, ablutions of course and a rather impressive weather station area providing a comprehensive information and forecasting service, so far so good! There is a computer with various options, a barometer and plenty of information posted up on the wall, pretty much everything most users will ever require.

Check-in was quick, bright and friendly, the male receptionist unfortunately did not move me to a room on my own this time but he was pleasant and chatty. He enquired if I wanted breakfast in the morning and I informed him that the last hostel breakfast I had been provided with had not been particularly appetising, he assured me that their breakfast would be a vast improvement, so I agreed to give it a try. As it is much smaller I was also required to book evening meal if I wanted to eat in the bar, but as I was intent on watching the footie down in the village, I declined. The options did sound quite tempting though, but also filling I would imagine, and I also was not that hungry. Staying here is pretty cheap, as is breakfast and all the food, drink and other bits and pieces you can buy here.

There were three other people staying in my dormitory which could sleep eight, but none of them were present when I went up. I sorted out my stuff and had a shower, this was a single cubicle and clean, but the shower was a bit poor, without a great deal of pressure and the one I tried in the morning was only marginally better, but I am nit picking here.

One bug bear is that the front door is locked at 11pm, so I had to be back from the village by 10.30pm by which time the bar had already closed! The disadvantages of a small hostel I guess. Lights are also expected to be switched out before 12pm and obviously a quiet curfew is then in force, pity it does not include snoring guests!

Breakfast is served between 7.30 and 9am and I was booked in for 8.15am, again the consequences of staying at a more intimately run hostel. The chef turned out to be the guy from reception the previous evening so the pressure was on, but no worries; it was a world apart from my last hostel breakfast, tasty and cooked freshly on arrival, apart from a lack of decent coffee a great start to the day.

The difference between a large commercially run hostel and this smaller but much more intimate style is apparent within a few minutes of arriving and talking to the staff. It may lack a few of the amenities and convenience of a bigger establishment but on the whole it is a much more enjoyable experience and Holly How is a pleasant little place to stay in a slightly less fashionable part of the Lake District!
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