Skiddaw House, Bassenthwaite, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 4QX
Skiddaw House is a remote, mountain hostel, accessible only on foot or by mountain bike. At 1550 feet (470m), it is the highest hostel in Britain and is an ideal base for exploring the quiet Northern Fells.
A former shooting lodge and shepherd’s bothy on the Cumbria Way, the hostel offers simple, yet comfortable accommodation. Solar panels provide hot water and lighting, whilst wood-burning stoves provide the only heating. There is no mains electricity, phone signal, internet or TV to distract from the tranquil surroundings. The hostel is self-catering, but our small shop stocks everything you need to make a simple meal. The nearest road is 3.5 miles away. Walkers and cyclists are advised to bring a map and torch. Camping available with use of hostel facilities.
or call Martin or Suzy on
22 : 1 x 8, 2 x 5, 1 x 4
March-Oct. Winter: Group only. Check in from 5pm, check out by 10am.
From £18 (adult), £11.50 (U18). YHA members £1.50 – £3 discount. Camping £8. Cards not accepted.
Book on the YHA website or email/phone the hostel
Grid reference: NY 288 291. No access for cars, nearest road 3½ miles. Vehicles can be left at Fell car park by Blencathra Centre above Threlkeld, at Lattrigg car park (end of Gale Rd near Applethwaite) or at Whitewater Dash Falls south of Bassenthwaite.
Nearest trains and National Express coaches at Penrith. From Penrith take X4 or X5 bus to Keswick. From Keswick it is a 5 mile walk to the hostel.
News & Offers
Join the walk up to the hostel, Blencathra Centre carpark 11:30am Sunday 1st July
Join Friends of Skiddaw House to celebrating 30 years since Skiddaw House first opened its doors as a hostel. There will be a led walk to Skiddaw House from Threlkeld (meet outside the Blencathra centre at 11:30) or make your own way up the mountain. Join us for tea, cake, old photos and stories in celebration of 30 years since Skiddaw House opened as a hostel. A few speakers will give a short talk or read a poem. The hostel will be open between 1 – 3pm.
Skiddaw House was built as a Games Keeper lodge and Shepherds Cottage around 1860. In 1970 the last residents moved out and Skiddaw House began to decline until 1986 when it was leased by John Bothamley. After much effort and expense John Bothamley handed the lease of a full operating simple hostel over to YHA. The YHA continued to operated Skidddaw House hostel until problems with the lease in 2002. By 2006 the House was again empty and worn but, under an initiative started by Martin Webster (the YHA warden from 1992 to 2000) the House was reopened in April 2007 as an independent hostel, affiliated to the YHA. The old YHA “Friends of Skiddaw House” group was reformed and incorporated early in 2007 as Skiddaw House Foundation, a Registered Charity, with the declared aim of maintaining the House as a hostel in the long term whilst retaining the principles of the YHA. Come and visit this historic mountain side hostel. Stay here for a real escape from it all; real log fires, real ales, no roads and no wifi! There are many interesting and crowd-free routes up Skiddaw, Blencathra, Great Calva and High Pike from the hostel, as well as several pubs and cafes within walking distance. Skiddaw House is 3.5 miles from the nearest road but you don’t need to carry a heavy bag up here; there’s a shop selling everything you need to cook.
Put a visit to the UK’s highest hostel on your list of things to do this year
Put a visit to the UK’s highest hostel, Skiddaw House, on your list of things to do this year. In July we’ll be celebrating the 30th year since this former grouse-shooting lodge opened as a hostel for the first time. Keep an eye on our on our website for upcoming special events, including acoustic gigs, a murder mystery weekend and a singing workshop. Join us for the 30th birthday celebration on Saturday 1st July, with a led walk from Threlkeld to the hostel. Look out for upcoming events here.
You can hire the whole of Skiddaw House for a real winter escape. January – March 2017. 22 beds, wood-burning stoves, shop and bar on site and plenty of hot water bottles! Contact Suzy or Martin for details: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are inviting walkers and runners to try our two challenges. The Cloven Stone Challenge and the Skiddaw Skyline Challenge.
We’ve been inspired by how many of our guests have been completing personal challenges during their stay; running or walking the Bob Graham route over a few days, running over the Wainwrights or the Cumbria Way, or devising their own hostel to hostel route around the Lakes.
So we have devised our own Challenges which can be taken at any time during the season. Skiddaw Skyline Challenge Participants can choose their own route and complete it at any time, but must start and finish at the hostel and reach the following summits; Great Calva, Blencathra, Blease Fell, Lonscale Fell, Little Man, Skiddaw and Bakestall. A sub 7 hour time will be rewarded with a free drink from the bar at Skiddaw House and the fastest times will be recorded on our leaders’ board. Incidentally, we have added Balvenie to our whisky selection. Cloven Stone Challenge A 2.6 mile dash from the hostel to the cloven stone and back; 500ft of ascent. Put in a good time for this challenge and appear on our leaders’ board. There will be a prize for the fastest male and female runner at the end of the season (October 31st).