As a family of six, we can rarely find a hotel to suit our needs. We end up getting two standard rooms and have to sleep one adult and two children per room. Either that or upgrade to a very expensive suite.
Whenever we go away as a family, we tend to get a self-catering cottage, or we camp. But as much as we love camping, I don’t (and won’t) do it all year round. At Easter, the choice was between two rooms in a Travelodge on the side of the A1 in North Yorkshire, or to try a Youth Hostel from YHA. We decided it was time to give a youth hostel a go, and we are so glad that we did!
YHA Grinton Lodge is an old shooting lodge on the hills overlooking Reeth and Grinton in North Yorkshire. It’s up a dodgy looking road – the land to the south is part of the Army’s Catterick Garrison – and through a cattle gate where you have to get out and open and close it behind you. It really is quite remote, and is absolutely glorious.
We stayed here for two nights and it felt more like a holiday than any other short break we’ve done as a family.
What we liked about Grinton Lodge –
We were early for our check-in, but the youth hostel had a TV room and a lounge where we could hang out for a bit with our bags. We also tried out the outdoor play area, which was basic but had some amazing views.
The staff were very friendly. They couldn’t do enough to help, even late in the evening. First aid? No problems. Spare stuff for your room? No problem.
The room – we had a six-bed room all to ourselves. Usually this room would be a shared dorm for six individuals but you can book the whole room as a family room either through the YHA website or by calling them up.
The room had three sets of bunks, a sink, cupboard space, and lots of sockets for recharging. We didn’t have our own bathroom but there were toilets and showers just outside our room and even though the youth hostel was full during our stay, there was never a queue. All the bedding was provided.
The room was a bit battered in places but nothing major. The building is very old so you have the benefit of thick walls. Apart from one very noisy sheep in the garden at 4am, there was no noise at all.
The facilities were awesome. There was a TV room, a lounge with books and games provided, a restaurant for evening meals and breakfast (you may need to book these depending on how busy it is), an outdoor play area with equipment, and a games room with pool table and fusball. Free WiFi was available in the lounge and TV room, though occasionally tetchy.
The social side. The youth hostel was more like a little holiday camp and the girls soon made some friends to play pool with and chat to.
What we didn’t like about Grinton Lodge –
To be honest, there wasn’t much we didn’t like. It was far better than a Travelodge for us.
The self-catering kitchen and dining area was very busy. There was too much food for the storage space available and I was glad we’d only brought breakfast and weren’t relying on using the kitchen for lunches and dinners. It was spotlessly clean though, and to be fair, the youth hostel was fully booked when we visited. We did try out the restaurant for an evening meal and it was reasonable quality and value we thought.
We would so go back again and if not to this one, then YHA is something we would definitely look out for for future trips. YHA have hostels all over England and Wales and they can also help you find youth hostels abroad with partner hostels.