YHA Holmbury Exterior

YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills

Dorking, Surrey, RH5 6NW
Bed in a single gender shared dorm
Private room
Camping and cabins


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.

YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills stands in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty on the very edge of 2,000 acres of open access countryside and woodland. The Youth Hostel has large grounds, perfect for playing, relaxing and camping.

It’s also ideally suited as a base to explore the Surrey Hills, or walk the North Downs Way and Greensand Way. The rural location is only 30 miles from central London and major London airports, whilst nearby attractions include Mercedes-Benz World, Thorpe Park, Chessington World of Adventure, Box Hill and Legoland.

Why guests love YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills

  • Situated in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
  • Large grounds, perfect for playing, relaxing, dining and camping
  • Just 30 miles from Central London

Accommodation at YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills

The hostel

Dorms are not currently available. 

YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills is a secluded hostel at the top of a narrow country lane. We have 40 beds, in range of dorms and private rooms, along with 15 camping spaces. Please note that our beds are slightly shorter due to the size of our rooms. If this is a concern, please contact the hostel directly to discuss. All toilets, showers and hand basins are shared.

The hostel has a large open plan dining room and lounge in one which is perfect for relaxing after a busy activity-packed day. Mobile phone signal is limited at the hostel but there is free Wi-Fi in communal areas. Please note that travel cots are not to be used in bedrooms, but we do have a Moses basket available.


Please note that camping is sold per person and not per pitch and so, during the booking process, you will need to select the number of people that you wish to camp.

YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills hosts an idyllic camping area just yards from the Youth Hostel building in the gorgeous grounds. Large enough to accommodate up to 15 guests and set in over 4000 acres of breath-taking woodland scenery, it's the perfect place to bring family and friends on an amazing walking or mountain biking holiday. London is just 40 minutes' drive away and so there really is no excuse not to come and camp in these picturesque, unspoiled grounds.

Campers have full use of the Youth Hostel including the self-catering kitchens, bathrooms, showers and the lounge where games are available to keep you entertained. With 24 hour access once you've checked in, you're free to make use of the facilities any time you like.

There is an outside basin with hot and cold water if you wish to wash the mud off your boots before coming in.

Opening Times
Camping is offered all year round come rain or shine so come and see for yourself the peaceful, rustic and perfect YHA Holmbury.

Important Information
Don't forget your torch for after dark toilet trips - we really are in deepest, darkest Surrey here! Our campsite is only accessible by foot, so no vehicles or trailers can be brought to the site. The site is limited to tents only. Sorry, but BBQs and fires are strictly prohibited on our site.


Food and drink at YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills

YHA Holmbury dining room

Eat with us

YHA Holmbury St Mary is serving a range of tasty food options, including breakfast baps, for you to enjoy during your visit. A takeaway service is also available.

Breakfast baps

Breakfast baps at YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and we want to make sure you get off to a great start, so we are now serving delicious breakfast baps. Vegetarian and vegan options available.

View menu



  • Ambulant accessible
  • Cycle hire
  • Cycle store
  • Free wi-fi
  • Garden / grounds


  • Drying room
  • Laundry
  • Lounge


  • Board games

Accommodation options

  • Private rooms available
  • Camping and Cabins

Food & drink

  • Group catering available
  • Licensed bar
  • Meals available
  • Self-catering kitchen

Transportation & parking

  • Parking

Other YHA products

  • Trade bookings
  • YHA Exclusive Hire
  • YHA School Trips

Need to know

Closed facilities: The following facilities are temporarily closed at this hostel due to COVID-19 safety measures - meeting room(s), luggage/storage room(s).

Check in: 17.00 - 22.00

Check out: Before 10.00

Open every day?: Yes

Towels and toiletries: Towels and toiletries are not provided but are available to hire or purchase from reception. Bedding is supplied.

Pets: Dogs can stay on our campsite and in our land pods. There is a £5 charge per dog per night for our land pod accommodation which is payable upon arrival. You can bring your dog for free if you are camping in your own tent. Pets are not permitted in the hostel accommodation at YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills however, assistance dogs are welcome throughout, please advise upon booking.

Wi-Fi: Free wi-fi is available in social spaces.

Bike Hire: Our guests can now hire bikes and book cycling activities before they arrive through our partners B1ke. For local cycle repairs or maintenance help our local bike shop is Head for the Hills in Dorking, 6 Miles from the hostel (call 01306 885007).

Breakfast: Breakfast is served from 7.30am til 9am.

YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills

Map references

OS Map: 187

OS Grid Ref: TQ104450

Lat/Lng: 51.194147, -0.420847

Contact information

Phone: +44 345 371 9323

Email: [email protected]

YHA Exclusive Hire

Invite all your family and friends along to YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills and hire the whole property for yourself. To do so please visit our YHA Exclusive Hire website. Available for group bookings after autumn half term to the Easter holidays, as from next year we will be open autumn half term weekend and won’t be bookable on Exclusive Hire.

YHA School Trips

YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills is a perfect rural retreat and a great base for activity breaks and geography field trips. The hostel provides 46 beds, group catering and lounge facilities, making it suitably equipped to deal with school parties. 

Visit the YHA School Trips website to book your stay.


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


YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills is celebrating 80 years of service. Architect designed, purpose built, with funds from the Carnegie Trust, the hostel first opened on Monday 13 July 1935.

Howard Leslie Vicars Lobb, a 26 year-old architect and a member of the newly formed London Regional Council, designed the hostel. With its long low lines, facing east and west, the building was intended to be in harmony with its chosen site, among the broad and gently sloping hills, broken by heavy-laden beech trees, near Dorking in Surrey.

Everything was made for simplicity, with men downstairs, women above. Two rooms, for 24, in 12 double bunks, were portioned into cubicles of four double bunks, to give a sense of privacy. Under each window, between each pair of bunks, built-in lockers could also be used as seats. The lounge, or common room as it was called, opened on a sun terrace with space outside for camping and games. In the common room, with windows on three sides and a low open fire, Prunella Potts painted a cheerful frieze of characters including walkers, cyclists, herself, the architect and the builder.

On Wednesday 15 July, Lord Allen of Hurtwood, a prominent political figure, officially opened the hostel. The hostel was the south of England’s demonstration hostel.

These hostels would be in places “much frequented by visitors or within easy reach of a large population” designed to show people what a well organised hostel was like. Other demonstration hostels were Thorney Howe How, Grasmere, now an independent hostel, the early farmhouse version of Once Brewed and the former Oxford Youth Hostel.

Requisitioned and closed for much of the war, YHA Holmbury St Mary reopened in 1946. During its long career as a youth hostel it has been extended twice, its bedrooms have been subdivided, new windows fitted, and a fire escape built, but in essence it remains the hostel Lobb designed, with a well lit, open social space at its heart.

Lobb’s sister, Gwen, managed Holmbury with her husband, Ralph Langford. Lobb designed a second youth hostel at Ewhurst Green and in his later career he designed big public works like the Hunterston A nuclear power station, in Ayrshire, the motorway service areas at Frankley, on the M5, and Leicester Forest, on the M1, and racecourse buildings at Newcastle, Newmarket, Goodwood, and Doncaster.

Meet the team

YHA Holmbury St Mary Surrey Hills Manager Dan: "As the manager of one of the oldest hostels in the network, celebrating over 80 years of service, I am privileged to work for YHA. The rustic woodland garden and simple but charming hostel is set on the edge of Hurtwood, where you can find 4000 acres of woodland and all this with London and Brighton around 30 miles from the hostel. Hurtwood provides fantastic mountain biking, with trails from Holmbury hill and Pitch hill. Locals have named a few, like ‘Barry knows better', 'Yoghurt pots', 'T4' and 'Proper bo’, there’s definitely plenty of cycling that can be done for all abilities. But, if cycling isn't your pursuit, walking to Leith hill and taking in the highest point in Surrey from the tower is definitely worth a trip or if its just shopping that’s your bag a quick dash to Dorking or Guildford and a train later you can find yourself in the centre of London...Happy Hosteling!"

Walkers and cyclists welcome Rose Award 2019 LOtC Quality Badge

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