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Hawkshead, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0QD


  • Activity breaks
  • Board Games
  • Camping Facilities
  • Classroom/Educational meeting room
  • Conference facilities
  • Cot available
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Cycle Store
  • Cycling
  • Drying room
  • En suite rooms available
  • Family breaks
  • Games Room
  • Garden/grounds
  • Group catering available

Number of beds:


Book this YHA

0800 0195 465

Monday - Friday: 8am - 8pm
Saturday: 9am - 5:30pm

About YHA Hawkshead

If a luxurious-feeling cheap school trip is what you're after, then look no further than YHA Hawkshead, based in beautiful Ambleside, Cumbria. This grade II-listed regency-style building overlooks the tranquil Esthwaite Water, and is perfect for walking and cycling breaks alike in and around the nearby Grizedale Forest. This hostel also offers camping pods - a more upmarket approach to the great outdoors!

Visitors can feel free to explore the surrounding Beatrix Potter country from Hawkshead, with easy access to the southern fells. We're also only two miles away from the exciting Go Ape complex, where youngsters of all ages can climb 30 feet in the air and use suspended platforms to swing through trees and tackle high wire rope bridges.

Of course, the hostel is only five miles from Windermere, you school trips can try their hands at a number of things, from relaxed lake cruises to wind surfing, kayaking and canoeing - and even powerboating!

Need To Know

YHA Hawkshead has been awarded the Quality Badge by the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom. YHA Education School Trips have been awarded the Learning Outside the Classroom Quality Badge Award, our YHA Adventure School Trips are delivered by AALA providers.

Action Adventure

Kayak and/or Canoe
Have a dabble with a paddle and choose kayaking and/or canoeing. Learn some new skills and have fun taking part in a range of games and a journey. You will be guided by our expert staff and given instruction on all aspects of water safety.

Gorge Scrambling
Splash and scramble up a rocky mountain gorge, climb cascades and traverse deep pools. Navigate fast flowing waterfalls and obstacles and take on as series of exciting team challenges along the way. Experienced instructors will start the kids off slowly walking down streams, crossing water pools and sliding down rocks, before progressing to deep gorges.

Raft Building
You will be required to construct a raft from barrels, spars and rope in order to retrieve an object from a lake. Your team will need to design a raft that is fast and robustness because you will be against the clock. Our instructors will give you bits of advice to ensure knots in the rope are tight but the focus of the session will be on creativity and team working.

Learn some new skills as you climb a rock face under the expert guidance of qualified and experienced members of outdoor staff. You’ll be shown how to take responsibility for safety and that of your team members as you get hands on with belaying and safety systems. A focus of this session will be on the importance of trust within teams and how it can be engendered.

Mountain/Hill Walking
Climb a smaller peak or explore a valley, lake or forest. Learn how to navigate, gain an understanding of mountain weather, and learn valuable survival techniques. Whether you want to take younger kids on a guided route to benefit from the expertise of an experienced local, or send older teens out into the great unknown with a map and a compass, there are options for everyone.

While archery is no longer employed as a means of defending your country, land or even yourself, it still remains popular up and down England and Wales, where it has become a much-loved individual and team sport. Children too can partake in this game of accuracy, vying for gold against their peers while being taught everything they need to know by trained professionals.

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P.E. and Outdoor Activities

Here, pupils get access to a full afternoon of fun team-building activities in the hostel grounds, such as Swamp Crossing, Walking Planks and Marble Run. Orienteering and archery are also included on this great deal. After dinner, there is an evening activity and shop time, and the following day offers a hearty breakfast, more games and problem-solving exercises with experienced staff, closing with lunch.

  • Levels: KS2
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Skills for the Hills
This module provides the ideal opportunity for fun and exciting activities in a cross-curricular programme. It aims to help pupils to develop personal teamwork skills and environmental values, which then enable them to enjoy the outdoors safely. Options available include team games, orienteering, shelter building, decision-making and camp cooking. A great introduction to the Mountain Environment unit.

Environmental Games
Discover new and exciting ways of exploring the natural world through a series of sensory activities, including ‘Smelly Cocktails’ and our ‘Un-Nature Trail’. For Key Stage 2 pupils our ‘Eco Foot-Print’ activity encourages them to consider how their lifestyle choices impact upon the planet. Emphasis is put on having fun, understanding, and appreciating the environment through observation, discussion and co-operation with others.

Contrasting Locality Mountain Environment Study – Hawkshead
Pupils investigate the characteristics that make Hawkshead a popular visitor destination, as well as raising awareness of the spectacular mountain environment. Fieldwork enables students to explore first hand how tourism has affected these places.

Discovery Walk – Latterbarrow
This full day walk has been designed to encourage pupils to discover the physical and human history of our spectacular landscape. The route follows footpaths and bridleways up to the summit of Latterbarrow – so be prepared for rough terrain. The history of the landscape is brought to life through interactive activities including word poetry, map reading, sketching, I-Spy and role play.

FSC A-level

In Partnership with the FSC (Field Studies Council) you can now use our Lake District hostels as the perfect location for your A-Level Geography Field trips. We are able to deliver both Physical and Human courses to match your syllabus and provide unique and stimulating educational experiences in the heart of the Lakeland fells, valleys and villages.

AQA - Courses available include River studies, Glaciation, Microclimates, Flood Management, Drainage Basin Management and Woodland Ecosystems.

OCR - Courses available include River studies, Glaciation, Lithoseres and Drainage Basin Management.

Edexcel - Courses available include Rural Rebranding, Extreme Weather and Drainage Basin Management.


We can also offer GCSE courses run by our partners at FSC. You can choose from Tourism Study and Footpath Erosion, Glaciation, Hydrology and Fluvial Morphology, Woodland Ecology, and Microclimates.

In addition, we offer courses that provide an in-depth study of rivers, local tourism and land use. These can be run as a teaching session or as a perfect study for your controlled assessments.

Please contact our Group Reservations Team for more information and guidance for which course can be studied at specific locations and for any details regarding self-led geography residential trips. They can be reached by calling 01629 592637, and they are available 8.30am to 5.30pm, Monday to Friday.

  • Levels: KS2, KS3, GCSE, A-Level
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Introduction to Ecological Skills
The students are introduced to some of the essential techniques and theories involved in ecology by carrying out one or more mini-investigations, such as determining optimum quadrat size, appropriate sampling techniques, and comparing biotic and abiotic factors in two contrasting areas (for example grazed versus ungrazed, dark versus light, etc.). This package is suitable for AQA and OCR syllabuses at A-Level, and for all syllabuses at GCSE.

Freshwater Study
The students undertake an investigation into two different freshwater habitats by the random sampling of invertebrates and the abiotic factors that may influence their abundance and distribution within a freshwater habitat. This package is also suitable for AQA and OCR syllabuses at A-Level, and for all syllabuses at GCSE.

Woodland Study
The students will carry out an investigation to compare different characteristics of a woodland to determine the effects of management strategies on the ground and field layers of flora. Students will record a range of abiotic factors such as light intensity, humidity and temperature, as well as the plants that appear in this habitat. This package is suitable for AQA, Edexcel and OCR syllabuses at A-Level, and for all syllabuses at GCSE.

Succession Study
The students will carry out an investigation into succession on either a lithosere or hydrosere (site dependent). This will involve carrying out a line transect on a scree slope or from the edge of a pond or lake, investigating the changes in biotic and abiotic factors of the lithosere/hydrosere.This package is suitable for AQA, Edexcel and OCR syllabuses at A-Level, and for all syllabuses at GCSE.

All these packages are delivered in partnership with the FSC (Field Studies Council), allowing you to use our Lake District hostels as the perfect location for your A-Level and GCSE Biology Field trips.

  • Levels: GCSE, A-Level
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Map & Directions

How To Get Here

From the M6 J36 take the A590 towards Barrow in Furness. At Newby Bridge, go straight on at the roundabout then take next right following signs to Lakeside and Hawkshead. From Hawkshead village turn right out of the village following signs for Newby Bridge. YHA Hawkshead is 1 mile out of the village.

Longitude: -2.994753
Latitude: 54.361697
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