YHA HELVELLYN IN THE LAKE DISTRICT Mark Johnston September 11 England, Lodging, Reviews Dorm Room Amenities Pricing Location 4.2Overall Score We chose to stay at YHA Helvellyn during our time in the Lake District and we chose right! This hostel is tucked away in the old Greenside Lead Mine area a mile from the village of Glenridding where we arrived by bus. This place posted the highest score for location as even the uphill walk to get there was enjoyable as we admired the Lake District scenery surrounding us. When we arrived we found the place was all locked up–they have specific reception times that travelers need to be aware of–but no matter, we locked our bags up outside and hit the trail to Helvellyn that started at the front door! YHA Helvellyn provided a comfortable place to stay for visitors of all ages and was surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes we’ve come across on our trip so far. But being located in the region of an old lead mine, I’m just not sure how safe the tap water was to drink! 😉 Dorm Room: The dorm rooms of varying sizes were clean and comfortable with fluffy comforters to keep guests warm in bed throughout all seasons. Temperatures were mild during our stay so sleeping with the window open at night was pleasant with fresh air flowing in. It didn’t seem too busy and out of the seven beds in my room, I only had two roommates. The one issue we had was that there was no mixed-dorm option, only segregated male and female rooms. But we were close enough to each other, just across the hall. Amenities: YHA Helvellyn had a lot to offer in the way of amenities including meals cooked by staff and various refreshments for those willing to pay for it. The only thing Britnee and I ordered was an ice-cream sundae, which was irresistible after a long day out hiking in the surrounding hills. Apart from that we fixed our meals in the large, well-stocked, self-catering kitchen down the hall. This provided everything we needed to whip up the meals we’d packed in with us from Penrith and Glenridding. Communal bathrooms and showers were large and cleaned daily. No complaints. There was an option to pay for laundry, but we did ours in the bathroom sinks on a quiet day at the hostel. Thankfully there was a big “Drying Room” in the basement–used mostly for hikers wet boots and clothing after rainy days outside–in which we hung our clothes and where they dried very fast. I will say that by the end of our stay at the hostel and after exploring the old mine and tailings piles above it, I was somewhat concerned about the water we were drinking out of the kitchen tap. There were no signs posted saying it was unsafe to drink, but there seems to be a lot of runoff from the old mine area outside–some of which was signed unsafe to drink–and I was unsure what exactly we were drinking from the tap. There was no wifi at the hostel. This was nice for us as we used whatever time off from hiking to catch up on books we were reading. But I imagine it might be troublesome for someone trying to plan the next leg of their trip. Pricing: For four nights in our separate dorm rooms we paid a total of 116 pounds including VAT. Considering all that was provided–especially the great location–I’d happily pay it again. The catered meals and drinks were overpriced, but again–considering the location–not by much. Location: Step outside the front door and you’re already a good mile into the hike up Helvellyn, one of the all-time classic walks in the Lake District! There were plenty of other hikes striking off in almost every direction outside the front door of YHA Helvellyn, making this one of my all-time favorite hostels. It is a little more removed from civilization than most, but that was kind of the point of picking this place to begin with. Next hostel on our route was a beauty: the WAYFARERS HOSTEL IN PENRITH, ENGLAND.