YHA Black Sail exterior
Bed in a shared room from £38.00/night


  • Bed linen
  • Lock on doors
  • Smoke alarm

Need to know

Check in:
From 17:00 - 21:00
Check out:
Before 10:00
Towels and toiletries:
Hand soap is provided next to all sinks. Towels are not supplied as standard but can be rented or purchased from reception.
Bedding is supplied in all our shared rooms.
Private room from £149.00/night


  • Bed linen
  • Cot available
  • Lock on doors
  • Smoke alarm

Need to know

Check in:
From 17:00 - 21:00
Check out:
Before 10:00
Towels and toiletries:
Hand soap is provided next to all sinks. Towels are not supplied as standard but can be rented or purchased from reception.
Bedding is supplied in all our private rooms.
Entire place - Whole hostel from £379.00/night
  • Whole hostel

    2 bathrooms 3 bedrooms sleeps up to 16 guests

    YHA Black Sail is a former shepherds bothy offering compact but comfortable accommodation with a real mountain hut atmosphere, making it the perfect escape to get away from the stresses of modern-day life.

    From £379.00/night


  • Bed linen
  • Carbon monoxide alarm
  • Central heating
  • Cleaning basics
  • Cot available
  • Dishes and cutlery
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First aid kit
  • Fridge
  • Grill
  • Heating
  • Hot water
  • Kettle
  • Kitchen
  • Kitchen utensils
  • Lock on doors
  • Mountain view
  • Outdoor seating
  • Oven
  • Shower(s)
  • Smoke alarm
  • Wood stove

Need to know

Check in:
From 16:00 - 21:00
Check out:
Before 10:00
There is central heating throughout the property.
Bedding is supplied in all our rooms.
Hire YHA Black Sail and bring up to four dogs! Add a dog to your booking at the checkout and bring your four-legged friend along with you. Dogs are not permitted in the bedrooms, on the furniture, or in the kitchen, and must be kept on a lead in the grounds.
Checking in:
You will receive an email prior to your arrival with the property address and check-in instructions.
Guest access:
Guests have use of the whole property.

Shared spaces

Kitchen and dining

The small kitchen is located on the ground floor and includes a range of conveniences listed below.

Kitchen appliances: grill, kettle, oven, refrigerator, wood stove.

Kitchenware: dishes and cutlery, kitchen utensils, pots, pans.

Cleaning basics: anti-bacterial spray, bin bags, cloths, paper towels, soap, tea towels, washing up liquid.

Located on the ground floor, the cosy dining area seats up to 16 people. It has a solid fuel stove, tables and bench seating. You can relax with stunning views of the surrounding fells.


Outside the building, there is a total of two bathrooms. You will need torches for night-time toilet trips!

Toilets: 2

Showers: 1

Toilet paper is provided and hand soap is available next to all sinks. 


The hostel doors open directly onto countryside and amazing mountain views.

Outdoor amenities: benches, grass/lawn.

Sleeping arrangements

Across the entire building there is a total of three bedrooms.

Ground floor

One room that sleeps up to 8 people. It includes 4 sets of bunk beds.

Two rooms that sleep up to 4 people each. They include 2 sets of bunk beds.

A cot is available.


Good to Go England

COVID-19 Industry Standard

In Partnership with The National Tourist Organisation of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

In recognition that this business has confirmed that they have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social/physical distancing.

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

  • Unique location at the head of the Ennerdale Valley
  • YHA's most remote youth hostel
  • Unrivalled access to great walking

Accommodation at YHA Black Sail

Bed in a shared room

Dorms are not currently available. 

Dorm rooms have multiple beds, are typically more affordable than private rooms, and shared with other people who may not be travelling together. A typical shared room includes bunk beds, a reading light and a storage cupboard for each guest, secured by a padlock if required.

Children aged between 12 and 15 can stay in dorm rooms as long as an adult of the same gender accompanies them.

Some dorms may be en-suites, meaning that they have a bathroom in the room that you would be sharing with the other people in your dorm.

Private rooms

Don't fancy sharing a room? Private rooms typically include a storage cupboard for each bed, secured by a padlock if required, a reading light and a wash hand basin. Shared shower and toilet facilities are located near to the room.

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.


Hostel facilities

  • 24-hour access
  • Breakfast
  • Café
  • Dining room
  • Evening meals
  • Games
  • Group meals
  • Intermittent mobile coverage
  • Licensed bar
  • Mountain view
  • No WiFi
  • Outdoor seating
  • Restaurant
  • Self-catering kitchen

Hostel need to know

Closed facilities: The following facilities are temporarily closed at this hostel due to COVID-19 safety measures - cycle store(s).

Seasonal opening pattern: YHA Black Sail is open for bookings all year round.

Hostel opening hours: YHA Black Sail is open to the public from 07:00 - 10:00 and 17:00 - 22:00.

Reception hours: From 07:00 - 10:00 and 17:00 - 22:00.

Café opening hours: YHA Black Sail’s café is open to the public from Monday - Sunday, 10:00 - 16.00. Breakfast is served daily from 07:30 - 09:00.

Parking: The hostel is only accessible by foot or bike. The nearest road is 2.5 miles away by mountain path. Customers for YHA Black Sail may leave their cars in the Bowness Knott car park, but their vehicles are not authorised beyond.

Supported by: 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.

YHA Black Sail - Access Statement

(PDF download - 98.64 KB)

YHA Black Sail

Map references

OS Map: 89

OS Grid Ref: NY194124

Lat/Lng: 54.500346, -3.244845

Contact information

Phone: +44 345 371 9680

Email: [email protected]


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. Find out more and apply to volunteer at this hostel through YHA Volunteering.


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.

DEFRA EU Leader TripAdvisor 2020 Travellers' Choice Award Cyclists and Walkers Welcome Cool Places Rough Guides 2012 and TGO

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