Anyone who’s planned a family holiday for more than one family knows what a challenge it can be. Recently I had family visiting from the states and I needed accommodation for four adults and six kids. Renting a cottage wasn’t an option for just one night, and it was looking like we were going to have to get three rooms in a hotel . Aside from feeling unnecessarily expensive, this would mean splitting up the visiting adults into two separate rooms. I decided to look into staying at a YHA as we had enjoyed our previous family stays at YHA Boggle Hole and YHA Oxford Street London.
We found that we could stay in two on-suite rooms (one for four and one for six) for much less the cost of a hotel. This coupled with the use of a kitchen and plenty of communal space for the kids to play, made YHA Grinton Lodge in North Yorkshire a fantastic, budget friendly overnight stay for our large group.
Check-in at YHA Grinton Lodge isn’t until 5:00, so we spent the day at the stunning Bolton Castle just a short drive away. There the kids got to tour the castle, have a go at archery, watch a birds of prey demonstration and feed wild boars.
After a full day out, we arrived for check-in right at 5:00. There was a wait (about 10 minutes) so everyone else set off for the lounge area to read some books and relax while I waited checked in.
YHA Grinton Lodge was once a 19th-century shooting lodge and is a Grade II listed building. Although less modernized than previous YHAs we have stayed in, it is full of character and well kept.
Our bedroom was really large, with a sink, three chairs, a double bed and bunk beds. We had a nice view of the Yorkshire dales and even had sheep wander by our window for the complete Yorkshire experience.
With a YHA stay don’t expect luxury. You will be stripping your own bedding when you leave and there is the occasional bit of peeled paint, but you can rely on rooms being clean and comfortable.
After we had settled into our rooms, it was time for an explore the lodge. We discovered a television lounge, laundry and drying rooms, communal kitchen and best of all, the Garden room which was stocked with games.
There was also a play space outside for running off a bit of steam.
When I checked in I made dinner reservations and was given menus to pre-order our food. This meant the food was ready when we arrived for dinner. I can’t say how helpful this was. I sometimes find that by the end of the day ordering dinner and waiting for it to show up can break us before the food even arrives.
For every adult meal ordered, kids get a free meal which includes sides and a pudding. The meal portions are generous and everyone enjoyed what they ate.
Had we been staying longer I would have cooked in the communal kitchen, but ten of us ate dinner for under £50 including some soft drinks and dessert.
After dinner the kids wore themselves out outside and then it was off to bed. The beds offered up a comfortable night’s sleep. It must have been all the fresh Dales air because we all slept in until almost 8:00. Sadly, that’s a big lie-in for us.
I brought cereal from home for the kids for breakfast the next morning, but the adults ordered the hot and cold buffet breakfast.
The dining area was very full in the morning so we made our way to a little room off the side of the kitchen and had the place to ourselves.
The rural setting of the YHA Grinton Lodge makes it feel a bit like summer camp for the kids. The staff is helpful, the atmosphere relaxed, and plenty of space makes it family friendly indeed. I am eyeing up the new family camping pods there for our next YHA adventure.
We were given an overnight stay in one of the two rooms for the purpose of this review.