YHA Windermere YHA

UK England North West England Cumbria Windermere

  • Groups welcome
  • Good walks nearby
Well run site in the grounds of a youth hostel with views of distant Lake Winderemere
YHA Windermere may be almost two miles from the vast titular lake but, climbing up a steady slope that leads away from the water's edge, it certainly rewards campers with some spectacular views of it. The camping meadow, a short stroll around the back of the large, whitewashed youth hostel building has a traditional drystone wall along one side. Once you arrive you can lean idly against it like a storybook farmer and gaze across the blanket of meadows leading down to the water. It’s like a living Lake District postcard.

The campsite itself offers good old-fashioned national park camping. Campervans and caravans are not permitted (tents only here folks) and there are no electric hook-ups. A facilities block houses toilets, showers and a small kitchen and washing up area, though, if you’re seeking a little more comfort, all campers also have 24-hour access to the facilities inside the main YHA hostel using a keycode for the main door. Along with Wi-Fi, a lounge and a more expansive kitchen area, the hostel also includes a great little café and restaurant that’s another top spot for enjoying the lake view.

The result is a refreshingly basic feeling campsite, with Lakeland views and a great location, but a handy building you can take refuge in if the weather turns bad. Add in a collection of four pre-pitched tipis for those who can’t be bothered to bring their own tent and the place has everything you need. Apart from campfires but, hey, if they didn't give us something to critique review-writers like us would be out of a job. So really that's a good thing too. Right?



Tipis sleep 4 people on mattresses. They have a wooden floor which is partly carpeted and a lockable coffee table chest. There's eco-friendly solar lighting and 2 waterproof bean bags. Campers have use of their own toilet and shower block and self-catering kitchens but all facilities in the Youth Hostel are also available with 24 hour access via a door code – this includes a bar/restaurant and lounge area with free Wi-Fi and a kitchen with fridges, ovens, a microwave, kettle and toaster, plus all the pots, pans and cutlery you could need.

Suitable For

Tents, families, couples, groups – yes. Campervans, caravans, motorhomes, trailer tents – no.


The best way to start is to pop down the road to Ecclerigg where the Lake District Visitor Centre (01539 446601) has heaps of information on where to go and what to do in the immediate surroundings. Heading further round the waterside to National Trust-owned Low Wray Castle (01539 433250) is always a popular option and a boat tour on the waters with Windermere Lake Cruises (01539 443360) is also on most peoples list. For walking, it's best to use an OS map and plan routes directly from the campsite. Red Screes and Stony Cove Pike are the nearest peaks you can bag, a couple of miles up the road.

Food & Drink

You can grab breakfast in the hostel (£5.25) between 7:30–9am with a hot and cold buffet option. They can also provide fresh packed lunches for the day (order in advance) and serve a set three course menu in the evenings. The restaurant is open to the public as well as guests. The hostel is fully licensed, so enjoy a cold bottled beer or a glass of wine too.


All year (tipis Easter–October).


Contact YHA Windermere, Bridge Lane, Troutbeck, Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 1LA

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Getting There

If you are driving from the north, we recommend leaving the M6 at junction 36, 37 or 38 and follow signs for Troutbeck Bridge. After the filling station, take the first turning on the right, the hostel is well signed here and is 1 mile up Bridge Lane.


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