If you're looking for an unforgettable family holiday, a superb activity location, a relaxing break away or a magnificent setting for your special event, then YHA Ilam Hall is the place for you. This 17th Century gothic manor sits in 84 acres of National Trust parkland next to the river Manifold. The Youth Hostel is nestled near the church and quaint village of Ilam which is overlooked by the infamous Thorpe Cloud.
YHA Ilam Hall comprises 25 rooms with a total of 118 beds. We cater for all, with our family en-suite rooms, disabled access rooms and our more traditional dormitory style rooms. Our rooms all have modern beds with integrated reading lamps and plug sockets and are a mixture of bunk beds and double beds. Washing facilities are provided in every room. Don’t worry if you don’t book an en-suite, our clean and modern shared bathroom facilities are a maximum of 10 steps from your room door - we’ve counted! At YHA Ilam Hall we have comfy communal lounge areas, a games room, a bar and reception area with ample seating for guests to enjoy. Our main dining room can seat up to 80 people. We also have a self catering kitchen.
The hostel is on the doorstep of one of the most beautiful limestone dales in Britain, with trails offering steep cliffs and spires, rare woodlands species and quaint picturesque villages.
Converted former railway lines, such as the Tissington, High Peak and the Manifold Trails offer great routes for cycling. Sections of the Monsal Trail boast safe, traffic-free cycling along relatively level tracks through stunning countryside.
Raven's Tor in Dovedale offers superb crack and face climbing on solid rock, all in a beautiful setting above the river.
The nearby Carsington Water offers equipment hire and a range of courses in sailing, kayaking, windsurfing and powerboating for absolute beginners through to instructors.
Food & Drink
YHA Ilam Hall serves breakfast everyday from 7.30am until 9am. For £4.99 adult/£2.99 child, you can enjoy a cooked breakfast, croissants, toast, cereals, yogurts, fresh fruit, fruit juices and tea and coffee. A five item packed lunch can be ordered at reception for a next day pick up for £5.50. Our evening meals are served from 6pm until 9pm every night. Why not enjoy a two or three course evening meal - and under 10s eat for free for each paying adult.
Towels are not supplied. They are available to hire from reception for £2 (+ £5 deposit) or please bring your own. Bedding is supplied.
Parking is free for National Trust members, all other guests can purchase a discounted parking ticket from reception.
Pets are not permitted at YHA Ilam Hall. Assistance dogs are welcome.
Payment accepted online
Maps & Directions
How to get here
Ilam is situated 6 miles from Ashbourne. From Ilam Village centre, enter National Trust Country Park and follow the driveway. Parking is free for National Trust members, all other guests can purchase a discounted parking ticket from reception.
If you would like to gain more work experience, experience hostel life or just give a little something to YHA then volunteering at YHA Ilam Hall may be the experience for you. We welcome volunteers anytime of year. Volunteers will usually take on a varied role supporting reception, catering, housekeeping and activities. If you are interested in volunteering please contact the Volunteering team at firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch with us directly.
Ilam Hall has a varied history. It was originally built in the 15th Century by the Sir John Port family. After many years in the family, due to finical difficulties the manor and all its land were sold. In the 17th century it was the home of the Russell-Watts family. Under their ownership the building was completely re-designed by architect John Shaw and rebuilt in its current gothic style. Not only did the family transform the manor, they also moved and re-modelled Ilam village. They built new houses for the villagers and a local school. Controversially, they also re-directed the road that used to run in front of the manor, crossing the river at St Betrams Bridge. In the early 1930s, ownership came into the hands of Mr Backhouse. The entrepreneur transformed the building to be used as a hotel and pleasure grounds. Unfortunately the business failed and again the manor was sold, this time to a demolition company. After a few years, most of the elegant rooms and ornate parts of the building had been demolished; the building was saved and restored by Robert McDougal and John Cadbury. In 1932 the reaming 84 acres of land and the manor were donated to the National Trust with the agreement the building was to be used as a Youth Hostel. The Ilam Hall you now see is only a third of its original size and it is mostly the servant’s quarters that remain.
Meet the Manager
Manager recommends: YHA Ilam's lovely grounds stretch to 84 acres of country park on the banks of the River Manifold - great for activity breaks or school trips. Don't miss the short walk from the hostel to the famous Stepping Stones in Dovedale, with interesting caves to explore if you're on a cheap family break; or outdoor games, woodland wanders and riverside walks make a pleasant way to spend an afternoon. Walking holidays in the Peak District wouldn't be complete without a stroll through this beautiful landscape. And, with Alton Towers being so close to your accommodation, there's fun for thrill-seekers and families on the doorstep.