Greenside Road, Patterdale, United Kingdom
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YHA Helvellyn Patterdale Reviews
Hellvelyn Youth Hostel Jul 07, 2013
The Helvellyn Youth Hostel is, at the time of writing, exactly as I remember youth hostels from when I was a lass. It is painted a reassuringly institutional green. It has a collection of VHS cassettes. You check out by, pretty much, posting your queues round the side of the reception screen, which is shut at that time of day. It has not been in any way polished, and it’s all the better for it. Of course by the time you get there they will almost certainly have refurbished it and installed a gym or something. But it will still be a lovely, quiet stone building on the side of a rushing rocky river in a beautiful valley beneath the hills. It’s absolutely surrounded by foxglove and gorse (and midges), and you can get down to the river by going through a little archway and stomping along a field margin until the fence ends. Breakfast was excellent, with a good selection of freshly cooked food and yoghurts. All the staff were lovely, and we got some extra bedding on request. There are plenty of showers and toilets down the corridors and all of them were very clean. The beds were pretty comfortable. There are theoretically hot meals available, although they had pretty much run out when we got there. Members can use a kitchen to cook their own dinner and there is a little shop selling pasta and tinned tomatoes and so on. The shop does not appear to have prices for food, and we sort of told them what we were willing to pay and haggled a bit.
The British Youth Hostel Association does not insist on you being young to stay there. On Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in England in the picturesque Lake District, you are far more likely to encounter middle aged bird spotters and hill baggers than anyone else. This is fine, as the only reason you would be here is to climb some hills, but remember you will get severely tutted at if you make too much noise in the corridors at night. You also don’t have to be a member of the Youth Hostel Association, although members get discounts. It is not necessarily cheap – it cost us £50 for a shared double private room, and another £10 for breakfast between us, so it’s equivalent price to a cheap hotel. But this was in peak season, in the Lake District, so it is still reasonably priced, and it cuts the first few kilometres off the climb up Helvellyn.
Part of the 2013 - Home Sweet Home travel blog
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