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YHA Fiona's Diary YHA Buttermere
    09/12/2014 11:59

Fiona's Diary YHA Buttermere

Fiona's Diary YHA Buttermere

8th December 2014

By Fiona's Diary

My friend and I, along with our two eight year old daughters recently stayed at Buttermere, in the Lake District. It was our first experience of staying in a hostel and I must admit a great time was had by all.

After a disastrous night spent camping due to torrential rain and cold winds, we rang YHA and were informed there was a family room available at YHA Buttermere.

On arrival we found the staff were very friendly and accommodating, especially after we explained we were novices and this was our first time staying in a hostel.

We must have looked cold and hungry as almost immediately they asked us if we would be dining in the restaurant, they also informed us that children under ten dine for free in the evenings.

We were astounded, as very few places offer such a generous service in this day and age in the UK. We were also informed that an adult three course meal would cost us a mere £11.95 per head, which again isn't bad going at all especially as we were on a tight budget.

The kids and Ruth devoured home made soup, traditional Cumberland sausages with mashed potatoes along with chocolate pudding and custard for dessert. I chose the vegetarian option which was a soft flour tortilla with vegetarian bean chilli and salad and sticky toffee pud with custard for afters. There were plenty of other choices on the menu on offer also.

Our room was spacious, clean, warm and friendly with two sets of bunk beds. Just along the corridor were three shower rooms and the loos which were immaculately maintained. Other facilities available were a laundry, drying room and self service kitchen.

The hostel itself is in an idyllic setting just a few minutes walk outside Buttermere village itself. The hostel is set into the hillside above the lake, the views are absolutely breath taking.

There is no Wi-Fi in this majestic place and quite frankly you don't need it. It's the kind of place a weary traveller lays their head, it's for quiet contemplation before setting off for a challenging climb, it's the place you would come to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. A place for total relaxation, when you need to unwind without the temptation to have a quick look at Facebook or a game on the X Box.

I recently read an article which stated if you dropped your camera in Buttermere and the shutter clicked you couldn't take a bad picture. I have to say I totally agree. It's beautiful.

We could tell the staff at YHA Buttermere were well used to dealing with the short attention spans of children. Our girls were given an array of board games, although well used and slightly battered they had lovingly been replaced back in their boxes by previous little travellers wanting to set a good example. This made the games even more endearing.

The girls were also introduced to the hostels bookcase in the lounge (any place that has an Ian Banks novel and Roald Dahl, sitting on its shelf gets the thumbs up from me).

The girls took great delight in trying to catch some ewes that had wandered down from the hills behind us and in playing up to a young Chinese couple who were sitting quietly on the bench outside the hostel sipping a glass of wine, whilst watching the mist slowly roll down the fells.

They were also captivated by a middle aged couple from Santa Monica, California, who had just returned from climbing the mountain Skiddaw. My daughter wanted to know if they wore cowboy hats at home and rode bulls...for some strange reason. They were also mesmerised by an elderly gentleman's tales of his many visits over his lifetime to the Lake District.

This was not just an overnight stay in a remote valley, it was an education and social experience for us all.

The Lake District holds many hidden treasures after all this is where the birthplace of the great poet Wordsworth is, in the neighbouring town of Cockermouth and bestselling children's author Beatrix Potter- Hawkshead.

It's a place where you can pack a picnic, hire a rowing boat and sail over to one of the many little islands on one of the lakes and let your imagination run free. We became Jack Sparrow for the day with his pirates, its not hard to see why it has inspired so many before.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay with YHA - so much so that I signed myself up this morning for a family membership.

A big thank you to all the staff at YHA Buttermere for making our stay so special and memorable.

To follow in our footsteps book your stay at YHA Buttermere now.

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