The world's oldest operating aquarium is right on the sea-front! With amazing exhibits, you can see how fish and marine creatures live beneath the waves, plus there are plenty of opportunities t
YHA South DownsLewes, East Sussex, BN8 6JS
Opened officially by HRH the Queen in 2013, YHA South Downs is a uniquely refurbished Sussex farmhouse in an enviable location right on the South Downs Way. Perfect for anyone wanting to walk in the rolling Sussex countryside, the hostel is surrounded by the hills of the South Downs National Park, and enjoys substantial grounds of its own.
The lively town of Brighton is just a 25 minute train journey away too, with Southease station literally on the hostel’s doorstep, meaning visitors can easily enjoy the best of both worlds.
Why guests love YHA South Downs
Accommodation at YHA South Downs
This refurbished Sussex farmhouse and barn building are packed full of original features and there's 66 beds in a selection of dorm rooms and private rooms.
YHA South Downs at a glance:
- £3 million renovation
- On the South Downs Way
- Situated on an idyllic farmstead
- Fully licensed bar
- Brand new Courtyard Café
- A total of 66 beds
There is a small laundry room with a coin operated industrial washing machine and tumble dryer plus a separate drying room with plenty of hanging space.
If you love the great outdoors but not the elements that come with camping, these pods could be right up your street. We have four wooden pods which are heated and include bedding. Two Standard Pods sleeping two (on twin beds) and two Large Pods sleeping four (on one double and two single beds) are available in the grounds of this hostel and guests in these pods will have access to all the Youth Hostel's facilities. Each pod also has an individual decking area.
Get all the fun of camping but without any of the set up stresses with these beautiful bell tents - part of the YHA Glamping experience. These spacious tipi-like tents are fully kitted out with a double futon bed and two single futons plus all bedding and can sleep four people. They also have eco-friendly solar lighting, a log burner and comfy bean bags for you to chill out on during the day plus bedside tables, a coffee table, rugs and soft flooring.
There are two premium bell tents available at YHA South Downs which are available to book for stays between Easter and the end of September.
These brand new Landpods, upgraded for 2019, are fully waterproof and sleep up to four adults. They are slightly elevated off the ground for a comfortable night’s sleep under the stars – you can even open the roof for a better view! With LED lighting these cosy pods include all beds and bedding. There is a table, bench and BBQ firepit outside so you can make the most of the great outdoors and dine al fresco.
The new larger Landpod sleeps up to 4 people, on two small double mattresses (one above the other) and a single futon mattress, which doubles up as the seating area. They’re even tall enough to stand up in!
Please note that there is no heating in our Landpods.
YHA South Downs also offers camping facilities on a limited number of dates. Campers will get the full use of the hostel's facilities. Please contact YHA South Downs directly for more information and to book.
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.
Food and drink at YHA South Downs
- Ambulant accessible
- Cot available
- Cycle store
- Free wi-fi
- Garden / grounds
- Wheelchair accessible
- Drying room
- Board games
- Library/Quiet room
- Camping and Cabins
Food & drink
- Dining room
- Group catering available
- Meals available
- Self-catering kitchen
Transportation & parking
Other YHA products
- Meeting Rooms & Corporate Hire
- Sole use
- Trade bookings
- YHA Exclusive Hire
- YHA School Trips
Need to know
Reception times: 7:30am to 10am 3pm - 10pm 24hr access after check-in Courtyard Café Open to the public from 10am until 4pm. We also serve breakfast and evening meals for residents.
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.
Parking: There is free parking on site for both cars and coaches a short distance from the hostel entrance. There is parking on the central courtyard, closer to the hostel, for disabled guests.
Pets: Dogs can stay on our campsite and in our camping pods and bell tents. There is a £5 charge per dog per night for our camping pod and bell tent 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 South Downs however, assistance dogs are welcome throughout, please advise upon booking.
Breakfast: Breakfast is served from 7.30am til 9am.
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YHA Exclusive Hire
Make YHA South Downs your home for a few days by booking the whole place for yourself! Visit our YHA Exclusive Hire website for more information.
YHA School Trips
YHA South Downs has state of the art facilities for schools in a traditional Sussex farmhouse and associated buildings with acres of land for on-site activities. The hostel provides delicious meals as well as a library and classroom.
Visit the YHA School Trips website for more information.
At YHA South Downs we have one meeting room available for hire.
Capacity: Up to 40 delegates depending on seating configuration.
Available Equipment: Phone, projector, flipchart, pens, extension lead, data cables, clock, coat rack
Accessibility: The meeting room is on the first floor and has step-free access via a platform lift. The closest accessible WC is located on the ground floor of the same building. There are marked accessible bays available in the car park. For more information please see our access statement.
Air conditioning: There is no air conditioning in this meeting room. There is central heating and windows in the roof which can be opened.
Meeting rooms available from: £75
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.
Meet the team
Hostel Manager Natalie recommends: Take a stroll up Firle Beacon, just a short walk from the hostel door and take in the stunning 360° views across the hills and out to sea. Afterwards, enjoy a cup of tea or coffee and a cake in our café as a reward for your efforts! You can always wonder at the wildlife - whether it be the wading birds on the beach, the flowers and butterflies of the hillside or the fascinating underwater world of the rock pools.