Welcome to the perfect base for exploring the magical Peak District. YHA Castleton Losehill Hall is a cosy, welcoming hostel on the outskirts of the pretty village of Castleton, and an easy starting point from which to head out into the nearby hills. And when you’ve stretched our legs by hiking up to nearby Mam Tor, exploring the White Peak or walking through the Hope Valley, come back to join the YHA’s newly-launched Supper Club for dinner before cosying up by the fire.
Stay at YHA Castleton Losehill Hall
YHA Castleton Losehill Hall was once a rather forbidding Victorian Gothic manor house, but since 2012 it’s had a friendlier mission – welcoming hikers and Peak District explorers through its doors as a YHA property. This is definitely one of the bigger hostels I’ve stayed in, with 36 bedrooms sleeping 146 people as well as a separate mews building and camping barn, both of which you can hire out exclusively if you’re with a group.
Rooms are simple and comfortable, with all bedding provided and many rooms with ensuite bathrooms, and the huge sitting room and dining room still feel like part of a smart manor house rather than a more humble hostel. The grounds are also a real delight – wander out onto the lawn and you might meet the hostel’s resident chickens, who are apt to follow you around as you explore. There are also friendly goats and two handsome pigs say hello to as you ramble in the hostel’s 27 acres of parkland – the weekend I was there, the park was ablaze in glorious autumn colours.
Best of all, by staying in a YHA hostel you’re helping others. The YHA is a youth charity, and the income generated by hosting guests is reinvested into their buildings and programmes, which help young people with challenging lives get outdoors. Use a YHA property as a hiking base and you’re helping to make adventures more accessible for everyone. Win-win.
The Peak District is on your doorstep here, and you don’t have to go far to find a wonderful day’s walking in the White Peak. Towering above YHA Castleton Losehill Hall is the 517 metre peak of Mam Tor, which makes a rewarding hike with panoramic views of the Peaks. Follow a trail up and along the ridge for incredible views, reach the summit and then drop back down into the Hope Valley to wind your way back to the hostel. Try this 6.5 mile circular walk from Castleton to Mam Tor.
Hike for your supper
Whatever you do with your day in the Peak District, make sure you’re back at the hostel in time for dinner. YHA now offers guests the chance to join their Supper Clubs, a nightly feast in which you eat with other guests at a big communal table, chatting about your day’s adventures over a two-course meal. The supper itself is hearty, filling fare like chicken and vegetable pie or chili, perfect for hungry hikers – and at £9.95 for two courses, great value, too.
The hostel’s huge communal sitting room is the perfect place to curl up with a glass of wine by the stove after supper, and the YHA have even provided board games. I can’t think of a cosier evening after day in the great outdoors than a glass of wine by the fire and a spot of Cluedo.
Stay there: Stay at YHA Castleton Losehill Hall Hostel from £15 per person per night, and join the Supper Club at 7pm nightly for £9.95.
Find more of my favourite places to stay in Britain and beyond here.