Don't miss the classic scramble up Slab and Notch on Pillar Rock.
Location, location, location. Quite simply, that is what YHA Black Sail is all about. Remote and accessible only on foot, it’s a unique rural retreat that lovers of the great outdoors can normally only dream about.
Located in a traffic-free valley, it’s as tranquil as a stay in the Lakes gets. Those on walking, hiking and climbing holidays will value the superb access to nearby peaks including Great Gable, Pillar, Red Pike and Steeple. Breakfast, packed lunches and home-cooked evening meals are available every day to keep you going.
Why guests love YHA Black Sail
Accommodation at YHA Black Sail
YHA Black Sail has 16 beds. The common room is the hub of activity and functions as a lounge, dining room and drying room. This iconic hostel is only accessible by foot or bike, but remains very popular with adventurers! Take a rest on our wooden bench outside and admire the view after a long day's hike. We have a cosy wood-burning stove inside, perfect for telling stories around or drying clothes.
We're a really special hostel and make up for mod cons with a wild atmosphere all of our own. The nearest road is 2 1/2 miles away by mountain path. There are no credit card facilities on site so please bring cash. There are no electric sockets and mobile phone coverage is limited. The bedrooms, shower and toilets are all accessed from outside, so please bring a torch. Reception opens at 5pm however the common room is left open during the day for guests to use.
Hire the whole place
This hostel is occasionally made available for hire on an exclusive basis. This means that you can have the place to yourself and choose how many of your friends, family, club mates, etc., join you. We allocate availability for exclusive use in blocks, typically up to 90 days in the future. If you are looking for space to stay with us on a normal shared basis, and can’t see any availability three months or more into the future, then this hostel may be being held for Exclusive Hire. You can check availability for Exclusive Hire on our dedicated website, or use our live chat service for more information.
Food and drink at YHA Black Sail
- Cot available
- Garden / grounds
- Drying room
- Board games
Food & drink
- Licensed bar
- Meals available
- Self-catering kitchen
Other YHA products
- Trade bookings
- YHA Exclusive Hire
- YHA School Trips
Need to know
Check in: 17.00 - 21.00
Check out: Before 10.00
Open every day?: YHA Black Sail is open every day for bookings from mid-March until the end of October. During the winter months, the hostel is open for group bookings and YHA Exclusive Hire only.
Towels and toiletries: Towels and toiletries are not supplied but are available to hire or purchase from reception. Bedding is supplied.
Parking: The hostel is only accessible by foot or bike. The nearest road is 2 1/2 miles away by mountain path. Vehicle access to Black Sail is permitted for staff only and they're permitted to drive between YHA Black Sail and YHA Ennerdale. Customers for YHA Black Sail may leave their cars in the Bowness Knott car park, but their vehicles are not authorised beyond.
Pets: Pets are not permitted at YHA Black Sail. Assistance dogs are welcome.
Additional information: This project was supported by the Rural Development Programme for England, for which Defra is the Managing Authority, part financed by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe investing in rural areas.
Breakfast: Breakfast is served from 7.30 til 9am
(PDF download - 98.64 KB)
YHA Exclusive Hire
To enjoy YHA Black Sail for just you, your friends and family, visit our YHA Exclusive Hire website and hire out the whole property.
Volunteering with YHA is a fantastic way to have fun, learn new skills, boost your CV and travel to different places. We have a variety of different opportunities to choose from and volunteering roles to suit everyone.
The tasks are varied and in return you will meet some great people, who both work and stay in our hostels, as well as enjoying your time off discovering the local area and attractions.
You can find out more and apply to volunteer at this hostel on the volunteering website.
The hostel is one of the oldest in Britain and it started life as a shepherd's bothy - a small hut used for sheltering in the mountains. Back when we opened in 1933, the bunk beds were constructed from a kit of parts and the mattress was simply a canvas between wooden stretchers! Domestic chores and cooking all took place in the common room (or outside) and the water used to be supplied from a nearby stream.
Have a look around the hostel for some vintage snapshots and you'll see how we've preserved its unique character. With a tasteful makeover, a variety of awards, plus support from Defra, we hope this iconic Youth Hostel will be treasured for generations to come.
Meet the team
Manager recommends: Take the opportunity to stay in a remote mountain retreat in the heart of Cumbria's Lakeland High peaks without the hassle of traffic, mobile phones and the internet. Make sure you watch the sun rise over Great Gable, and set over Pillar, simply stunning.