Reach YHA Hawkshead via the gorgeous driveway up to the Regency house, Esthwaite Lodge, where you can cast your eyes over to the breath-taking Esthwaite Water. This natural lake extending to 280 acres was a great inspiration to William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter.
Glamping at YHA Hawkshead is a tranquil spot to pitch up and explore the southern fells of the Lake District, Grizedale Forest, Potter’s Hill Top farmhouse, and the West Shore of Windermere.
Disclaimer: Thanks to YHA (England & Wales) for sponsoring my stay. Although I was a guest, all opinions are my own.
HISTORY OF ESTHWAITE LODGE
Esthwaite Lodge at YHA Hawkshead is a charming 19th-century Grade II listed building that was commissioned by Thomas Alcock Beck, a local resident and antiquarian.
Beck employed Kendal-based architect George Webster to design a property for him which included easy gradients in the grounds for his invalid chair. Esthwaite Lodge was completed in 1821 in the Neoclassical Greek Revival style.
Following Beck’s passing in 1846, his widow and his descendants continued to live in the house until the early 20th century. The Brocklebank family purchased the property who leased the house to a number of tenants. A plaque on the wall of Esthwaite House shows that the novelist, Francis Brett Young, lived there from 1929 and 1932.
The WWII saw the building take a on a new purpose as it was used to accommodate volunteers involved with the Hawkshead Afforestation Scheme and later members of the Women’s Land Army. The house was purchased by YHA (England & Wales) in 1942 who still own the property to this day.
ACCOMMODATION AT YHA HAWKSHEAD
Types of accommodation at YHA Hawskhead
There is a wonderful selection of accommodation options at YHA Hawkshead which includes shared and private dorms, tipis, bell tents, wooden camping pods that sleep 2 people (standard with single beds) and 4 people (large pod with a double and 2 single beds), and camping pitches.
There was a real family vibe to YHA Hawkshead, with kids playing out in the gardens. However, visitors of all ages can be seen enjoying the charming hostel in the secluded woodlands.
Hostel-goers can make use of the facilities within the main house and courtyard building. There is ample shared areas such as a lounge, games room, drying room and self-catering kitchen.
Sleeping in the Bell Tent | Glamping at YHA Hawkshead
I couldn’t wait to experience the fun of glamping at YHA Hawkshead in a bell tent! At YHA Hawkshead, there are 10 bell tents located on the front lawn and well-spaced out for privacy, peace and quiet.
The bell tents are totally kitted out with a double futon bed and three single futons plus all bedding. The duvet was above standard in my eyes – it was heavy, super cosy, perfect to keep you warm in the September nights.
There is a locked chest in the bell tents for your belongings as well as eco-friendly solar lighting, rugs, and soft flooring.
No camping trip is complete without a chat around the fire. Whilst campfires are not allowed, the bell tents all have their own BBQ fire pit. Just buy the wood and kindling from reception for £5.
Away from the pollution of the city, remember to look up at the stars. Your mind will be blown at the clear twinkling sky.
Sleeping amongst nature is good for the soul. I had a beautiful deep sleep in the bell tent with the fresh air in my lungs. The chorus of bleating sheep, mooing cows, tweeting birds and hooting owls just added to the magic.
The industrial-looking shower and toilet containers tucked away in the trees near the bell tents are spacious and sparkling inside. Glamping at YHA Hawkshead has all the facities you would need.
EATING AT YHA HAWKSHEAD
Food and drink at YHA Hawkshead
We ordered our breakfast upon check-in to collect in the morning. You can choose from sausage, bacon or vegan sausage breakfast baps for £3.95 and add a hot drink for £1. The sausages were locally-sourced with a great flavour and happy to see they arrived in biodegradable takeaway boxes.
If you are ordering tea or coffee (cafetiere), take you reusable cup to bag yourself 25p off the price.
For evening meal options, you can order a stone-baked pizza, burgers (beef or falafel) and side dishes such as sweet potao fries, garlic bread and crispy cod goujons.
If you join as a member, you can pre-book meals for bookings of less than 16 people and get 10% off the cost. I had missed the fact that you had to book online before you arrive so check this out before you head off on your Lake District adventure.
If you fancy a drink around the campfire, there is a great selection of beers, wines and soft drinks to buy from the reception.
Self-catered kitchen at YHA Hawkshead
So, you want to bring your own grub? That’s ok too! There’s a large self-catered kitchen in the courtyard area with oven, fridges, cutlery and recycling bins. We brought some food to cook up there and ate by the fire at our bell tents.
The self-catered kitchen was absolutely spotless. Labels are available to fill out with your name, room number and date of departure to stick to your food containers. There is a quirky sign saying “FRIDGE GREMLINS. Please can you make sure you label ALL food in the fridges. They are cleaned daily. Any unlabelled food will be removed and fed to the gremlins. Many thanks.”
The self-catered kitchen at YHA Hawkshead closes at 9.45pm and opens again at 7am.
Eating out near YHA Hawkshead
There are some local pubs, cafes and restaurants in the quaint village of Hawkshead which is either a 4 minute drive or 20 minute walk.
I’ve sampled some traditional British pubs in the area, I could recommend Outgate Inn and Red Lion Inn but always worth phoning ahead as peak time can be tricky to get a table. Check the best places to eat in Hawkshead.
RELATED READ > 4 DAY LAKE DISTRICT ITINERARY
HOW GREEN IS YHA HAWKSHEAD?
As a keen environmentalist, I am always on the lookout of eco-friendly processes within the places I stay and eat. Here are the green credentials I spotted whilst eco-glamping at YHA Hawkshead;
- Recycling bins – There was an impressive number of recycling points around the site.
- Solar powered lights on the tipis and bell tents.
- 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.
- ‘Bug Hostel’ to encourage insects to the wild areas.
- Containex Shower & Toilet Blocks with the strict “Green technology” environmental and quality standards.
BOOK YOUR STAY AT YHA HAWKSHEAD
This was my first time staying with YHA and I am totally sold! Glamping at YHA Hawkshead was the serene and welcoming experience I was craving. Get ready to embrace mother nature by booking your spot!
FAQs | STAY AT YHA HAWKSHEAD
Is YHA Hawkshead dog-friendly?
Dogs are more than welcome at YHA Hawkshead. 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 Hawkshead?
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 Hawkshead?
If you are not ready to immerse yourself in a digital detox, the Free WiFi works well in the communal areas in the main house or the courtyard.
What are the opening times and check-in at YHA Hawkshead?
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.
PIN TO READ ABOUT GLAMPING AT YHA HAWKSHEAD