Airstream Glamping at YHA Borrowdale | Lake District

by Vanessa Wanders Miles

YHA Borrowdale is a magnificent 4-star hostel located along the River Derwent. It has a real friendly vibe with adrenaline-seekers ready to hike the Lake District southern fells, brace the mighty Scafell Pike, hiking Cat Bells or on the Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route.

Airstream glamping at YHA Borrowdale is a quirky one-of-a-kind experience, almost like being on a film set. Have you tried this retro “silver bullet” trailer yet?

Disclaimer: Thanks to YHA (England & Wales) for sponsoring my stay. Although I was a guest, all opinions are my own.


Types of accommodation at YHA Borrowdale

YHA Borrowdale is bigger than it looks! The hostel houses 86 dorm beds including en-suite or disabled access rooms, tent pitches for around 25 campers, landpods, camping pods and, of course, the vintage Airstream trailers.

Shared Facilities at YHA Borrowdale

With all this capacity, meeting rooms, and wheelchair access, I can see why it is a popular choice for school trips and adventure groups.

The hostel feels like a ski chalet with the interior wooden panelling, fireplace in the bar, and quirky decor of backpacks adorning the wall.

There is plenty of parking for hostel guests although coaches would find it hard to enter. There is ample shared areas such as a lounge, games room, drying room, and self-catering kitchen.

One noticeable thing we got at YHA Borrowdale was a friendly welcome from the staff as soon as we entered the building and nothing was too much trouble. 

You will not be stuck for ways to entertain yourself or your family near YHA Borrowdale, but just in case, there are lots of ideas on the walls to appeal to your adventurous side including walks of different levels with maps.

There are outside cubicle toilets and showers very close to the main hostel building, don’t forget your head torch to guide you at night. If you prefer a hot shower and an indoor lav, you have access to those in the main house. Although, if it’s before 7 am, you need to book this in with reception.

Loved the Airstream Glamping at YHA Borrowdale

Staying in the iconic Airstream trailer caravans just inspires adventure and there is no better place for this than YHA Borrowdale!

The silver Airstream glistened against the forest and camouflaged landpods. It’s completely stress-free, we just had to rock up, get the fire started in our BBQ firepit and enjoy a glass of red on the wooden bench table outside. Sounds perfect, right?

Airstream glamping at YHA Borrowdale does give you a touch of luxury with heating (yes, you heard me right), USB charging points and big fluffy duvet on the double bed. There’s a table and chairs inside too if the Lake District clouds decide on a big downpour.

Now tell me, who fancies glamping at YHA Borrowdale?


Food and drink at YHA Borrowdale

We thought we’d struck gold when we heard the menu choices of Full Breakfast, Big Breakfast (for the really hungry adventurers), Vegetarian Breakfast, Kids Breakfast, and the Breakfast Baps.

Naturally, we had to treat ourselves to Full English to start the day right. This tasty plate was pretty reasonable at £6.95 with a hot drink for an extra £1. 

Breakfast is served from 7:30 am – 9 am. Go to the kitchen to grab your numbered spoon which places you in the queue. The dining room got busy with budding hikers so best to get there early if you’re on a time schedule.

If you want a hot drink to take away, bring your own reusable cup to get 25p off and save on the planet.

For the evening meal, the menu consisted of 5 types of stone-baked pizzas starting at £7.95. Alternatively, try the 2-course Supper Club menu for £9.95, the daily specials will be posted on the board in the bar.

Unfortunately, we arrived too late for dinner at YHA Borrowdale but we did persuade them to serve up a Jam Sponge & Custard dessert to satisfy our sweet craving. It was worth begging the staff for!

The hostel bar is well-stocked with craft beers, wines, spirits, and soft drinks…. and a big smile as your tipple is served! Then you need to decide whether you curl up on the sofa to sip away or by your firepit. Both sound like a superb choice to me!

Self-catered kitchen at YHA Borrowdale

Off the dining room is the self-catered kitchen with oven, fridges, cutlery and recycling bins. It has all you need to create your own food at the hostel. 

Boxes are provided for you to store your food on the shelf. Sticky labels are supplied, write on your name, room number and date of departure, and slap them on your fresh food in the fridge.

Dining out near YHA Borrowdale

A change of Lakeland views for dinner can be a treat. There is a great selection through the Borrowdale Valley to whet your appetite from fine dining, hotels and tea rooms. Check the best places to eat in Borrowdale and nearby area.




YHA Borrowdale has a number eco-friendly processes in place and I have listed below the green credentials I found on my stay there.

  • Recycling bins – There was several recycling points around the site – inside and outside.
  • Water refilling station in reception installed with an award from Waitrose with the ‘Plan Plastic – the Million Pound Challenge’
  • Non-toxic cleaning products used to sanitise the hostel.
  • Tea towels and dish cloths are washed and reused in the shared kitchen instead of throwaway options.
  • Drying rooms instead of inefficient tumble dryers.
  • LED lighting on the landpods.
  • ‘Bug Hostel’ to encourage insects to the wild areas.
  • Upcycling of discarded boots to make plant pots #BorrowdaleBoots

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YHA Borrowdale had a special feel about the hostel from the spectacular landscapes to the fantastic facilities. I will definitely be returning when I climb Scafell Pike or Great Gables. Are you ready to go glamping at YHA Borrowdale?


Is YHA Borrowdale dog-friendly?

Dogs get the thumbs up at YHA Borrowdale. They are allowed in the dining areas and dog bowls are available for your furry friends.

An additional fee of £5 is payable per dog per night for the camping pod, cabin and tipi accommodation which is payable upon arrival. Dogs stay for free if you are pitching your own tent. Pets are not allowed in the hostel rooms although assistance dogs are welcome throughout.

Are towels provided at YHA Borrowdale?

Towels are not provided as standard but you can hire them at reception to save space in your bag.

Is there free WiFi at YHA Borrowdale?

Thankfully, the WiFi did not make it to our Airstream as I wanted to switch off from technology. Head into the shared spaces to log into the Free WiFi without any problems.

“There’s no wi-fi in the mountains, but you’ll find no better connection.” – Unknown

What are the opening times and check-in at YHA Borrowdale?

As per the YHA book terms, check-in time is from 5pm until 10pm. Check out is at 10am.

The main house locked at 10pm, and you are given a code to enter out of hours to access the facilities.


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