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Skiddaw House in the Lake District National Park is England’s highest and most remote youth hostel. It’s truly amazing – you can only get there on foot after a 3.5-mile mountain hike, and you have to carry in pretty much everything that you need for your stay.
Why would you go?
The endless horizons and dark skies, for a start – you’ve never seen so many stars – not to mention the stunning scenery in one of the UK’s true wild places. It’s located around the back of Skiddaw, an iconic Lake District 3,000-footer of a mountain, and the walking opportunities are fabulous.
A real back-to-nature, off-grid experience
I first visited several years ago – seeking out places to include in a new Rough Guide to the best budget places to stay in the UK. I didn’t know what I was letting myself in for, but I loved the experience – basic and frill-free though it undoubtedly is.
There are a couple of solar-warmed showers, some low-level lighting and basic cooking facilities, but otherwise Skiddaw House is a real back-to-nature, off-grid experience. No TV, no mobile phone signal, no mains electricity – but a furnace of a wood-burner, hot-water bottles for guests, and a piano for evening sing-alongs.
I also got to know the resident wardens, Marie and Martin, who have been here since 2007. They’re really special people – to live so happily in this remote, back-country location – and they’re very much a part of what makes Skiddaw House unique.
I’ve been back a couple of times since that first trip, but I’ve always struggled to do Skiddaw House justice when it comes to describing its atmospheric location and singular attraction.
So on my last trip there, I decided to make a movie.
The spring weather was challenging, to say the least, and the horizons were brooding rather than sparkling, but I hope you get a sense of the sheer majesty of this part of the world.
A Lake District micro-adventure
Ready for a Lake District micro-adventure? Then sit back and enjoy our trip to Skiddaw House – England’s most extraordinary youth hostel.
Want to read more about the Lake District?
Here’s my pick of 5 great Lake District pubs – all tested personally!
Skiddaw House Youth Hostel by Andrew Bowden, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Bridge by Skiddaw House by Annie Nunan, via Flickr, CC BY 2.0
Towards Skiddaw House by Milan G, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Skiddaw by Steve Cadman, via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0