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A virtual tour of Losehill Hall Youth Hostel family stay

The whole family, from 3yo Mr G to Grandad, absolutely loved our weekend at Losehill Hall Youth Hostel in Castleton Derbyshire.  It feels like we have been away for much longer than a weekend.

Mr A loved being in a big stately residence with history…

Pointing to our room, far right, first floor

I don’t know how much you would have to pay if Losehill Hall was a hotel.  Silly money.  Mr A likes to get his calculator out and do those kind of equations. But you can stay there over the summer for only £100 for 3 nights for a family of 5, grab the offer details below. The grounds are breathtaking, the rooms squeaky clean, beds really comfortable, the decor modern and private rooms are equiped with beautiful en suites.  See our vlog virtual tour later in this post. The lounge, bar, library and dining room are stunning rooms.

Losehill Hall bar

Miss L loved the bunk beds…

And playing hide and seek, and making dens, and climbing over logs, and swinging in trees and making friends left right and centre, and making a cast of a fossil and…pause for breath… making daisy chains…collecting flowers…bug hunting…I’m posting her virtual video tour of our room below, if you want a nosy. Staying in bunk as a family was a good laugh and really comfortable.

Mr G loved making good friends with the goats…

Mr G feeding Rooney and Mocha

So much so that he started saving bits of his breakfast to feed them and calling them by their rightful names Rooney (after Wayne) and Mocha.

My dad popped over for the day and loved that he’d stayed here as a young tearaway in the 60s…

Dad on Mam Tor

He wasn’t willing to repeat his antics from his youth, but he was able to tell us what had changed, like the private rooms, en suites, children’s activities, the car park (in the old days arriving at a hostel in a car was frowned upon).  Apparently, he said, the nearby Iron Age stronghold Mam Tor hasn’t changed that much either, at least since the 60s 😉

I escaped with Dad for a fabulous walk up to the site of this ancient hilltop fortress and had one of those spine chilling moments where suddenly you feel in touch with the very long line of humans before you. Although admittedly I look more like I stepped out of a bad 1980s aerobics class in this shot…

Please excuse the sports instructor pose.

I loved the sense of unobtrusive community.  The activities at the start and the end of the day helped to gel our family together.  While the kids were goat feeding I started chatting to lots of other parents, all of whom were keen to exchange tips for things to do locally and for other hostels they had visited. Losehill Hall is certainly a pretty spectacular hostel, but a family I spoke to really loved York, Stonehenge and Ilam. Also check out Hello its Gemma’s review of the pirate themed youth hostel at Robin Hood’s Bay.

I also loved the good wine and the great bar prices and the relaxing atmosphere…

The youth hostel staff were incredibly welcoming, down to earth and helpful.  Reception always gave us a warm welcome and loads of tips for things to do. Activity leader Rob became an important point of focus to the children staying in the hostel, one minute he was leading activities, the next he was serving our dinner which had a great continuity for them. He threw in lots of references to the area so we got a great sense of its history, geology and possibilities. We cast fossils using plasticine and plaster of Paris which my two loved doing. Activities are £3 per person, goat feeding was free.

Our plasticine fossil casts awaiting plaster of Paris

The food was amazing.  I haven’t eaten such great veggie food in ages, great news given it was National Vegetarian Week.  My Thai curry rocked and Dad, nephew and husband enjoyed their Cumberland sausage and mash. The kids loved the pizza, but could also have had mini versions of our meals. Dinner is good value at £11.25 for two course dinner and kids under 10 eat free when dining with a paying adult.

Dining in posh surroundings, but without the posh

Breakfast is cooked or continental and a great start to a busy day exploring (and good value at £4.50/£2.95 kids). The packed lunches are also a great way to take the hassle out of a day out, and substantial. The nice thing is that you can mix and match eating in with eating out or self catering.  The self catering kitchen and dining area is really swish.

Regrets? Letting the kids convince us they were “really tired” on the Friday night, when actually they just wanted to play on the bunk beds, it would have been far better to wear ’em out outdoors…

We felt liked we had arrived somewhere very special and we didn’t want to leave…

But the YHA are offering Alexander Residence readers a very special offer which covers the majority of hostels, which we are planning to take advantage of:

Getaway with YHA this summer and stay in a family room for only £99 for 3 nights!! Simply book by 12th June for stays between 6th July and 17th September. Enter your offer code FAMSTAY-025 at the checkout or give us a call on 01629 592 700 and enjoy a well-deserved break for an incredible price.

To book a YHA family break using this Alexander Residence offer and to read the terms and conditions, you’ll need to go to this page: www.yha.org.uk/aresidence. Please note food is not included.

If you want to see inside a room in a Youth Hostel check out our vlog:

If you want more on the nuts and bolts of a Youth Hostel stay checkout my preview post, tweet me @Aresidence or the YHA at @YHAOfficial.

Disclaimer: I choose to review products and services that are meaningful to my family. We received a weekend stay in return for an honest review.



  1. 28/05/2012 / 9:59 pm

    Wow, so different to how I might have imagined and what a super price. Mich x

  2. 28/05/2012 / 10:05 pm

    That looks fantastic, and like you had a fantastic family bonding session. Thanks for the vlog because it really reassured me as to the bathroom facilities. I’m off to check out the site.

  3. Kerry
    28/05/2012 / 10:06 pm

    Looks great Penny, is there near Castleton village itself or quite far from civilization?

  4. Trish
    29/05/2012 / 6:16 am

    Had no idea the facilities would be so good. Only one question, were you all in bunk beds or was there a double bedroom for you?

    Love your little vlogger!

    • 31/05/2012 / 11:32 am

      My husband is stood in front of our bunks in the vid. They were really comfy. Husband is tall and said his toes poked over but still had to be prodded several times to wake up for brekkie. He has this toe problem wherever we stay though.

      • Kerry
        02/06/2012 / 4:12 pm

        Thanks Penny, looks great

  5. 29/05/2012 / 7:53 am

    Looks amazing. I bet lots of families will be looking for alternative holidays like this this year.

    • 31/05/2012 / 11:33 am

      Yep, I think the YHA have so much to offer families who can’t afford to holiday right now, as well as those who want to getaway into the countryside more often. Can’t wait to read about your exploits in Wales either.

  6. 29/05/2012 / 12:28 pm

    Was it comfortable, Penny? Thinking seriously about a short break later in the summer for the family. Looks like you took the weather with you! Would it still be an ok beak if it was less glorious?

    • 31/05/2012 / 11:37 am

      Have tweeted you, but for anyone else who is wondering. the communal areas and posh and spacious and there are lots of them so plenty of places to hang out. Beds were v comfy, see note to Trish above. Some of the activities, like fossil casting and gem panning are based indoors. There are lots of mines and caves to explore around Castleton on wet days. There’s always Manchester, Eyam, Chatsworth for wet days and lots of great cosy pubs and teashops in Castleton. Although I admit, there’s no such thing as bad weather in my book, just bad clothes!

  7. Pingback: A perfect weekend
  8. 29/05/2012 / 12:47 pm

    that is a short drive from me – fantastic part of the world. We love Castleton and Hope.
    Am also very impressed with YHA after my experience this weekend, although Loosehill does look a bit more up-market.

  9. 29/05/2012 / 8:05 pm

    Looks awesome Penny and you had amazing weather too!! Good to see YHA’s are accessible to families will have to have a look. We do lots of camping but this would be a good option if weather is unpredictable (yes I am a wimp!). Castleton is gorgeous as well – fab pubs 🙂

    • 31/05/2012 / 11:41 am

      Yes, we liked it as an alternative to the caravan, when we can’t be bothered to move the caravan, cook and when we need a bit more looking after! The Castle pub in Castleton was awesome, forgot to mention they do the best veggie roasts.

  10. 30/05/2012 / 8:24 pm

    That looks amazing! I might take you up on that offer! My only regret is your Dad did not give you a photo to publish of himself as a tearaway in the sixties! 😉

  11. Patrick
    31/05/2012 / 9:15 am

    It seems to be a nice place for a nice family getaway. My kids will never grow tired of the many things to do and places to explore.

  12. 31/05/2012 / 11:37 am

    So excited. Not had a proper family holiday since the week Mum died so time to put that right and this looks a great place to start. Thanks Penny

  13. DynnaLou
    01/06/2012 / 1:23 am

    This is a great tour in the place! I am actually not really familiar with it but it looks so nice and relaxing.. A great family tour here is a good idea..

  14. 03/06/2012 / 10:07 am

    This looks like a great place to stay, really family friendly.

  15. 07/06/2012 / 5:00 pm

    YHA family holidays are a great alternative and budget priced, as I did some comparisons earlier this year, we’re great value as well as great quality. At YHA Okehampton and YHA Bracken Tor we now have those great metal bunk beds that are comfy, and have even got one family room that has a double bed below, single bed above. They have the same beds at YHA National Forest next to Conkers. The old wooden beds are gradually being replaced throughout the Network.

    We’ve just finished our family adventure breaks until 20th July at YHA Okehampton and YHA Bracken Tor, but the feedback says “Great Food”, “Great Activities”. Check it out on Trip Advisor , Booking.com and YHA. We overhear comments from Mums saying they’ll eat food at the hostel that they don’t eat at home.

    But if you’re looking for a budget break with lots of Adventure Activities in Devon, then look at http://www.adventureokehampton.com; your children can do the activities when they are 5 or more, and they can do the activities on their own if they are 12 or over.

    I can offer a special deal to your readers: £306 per Adult (normally £337), £267 Children if the family take the Shared Bathroom offer for Saturday 4th August. This offer is limited to 2 Family Rooms at YHA Bracken Tor.

I'd love to know your thoughts!