The perennially popular Lake District has no end of hotels and accomodation, but as is the way with touristic spots, much of it can be overpriced. Luckily, it’s still easy to book a bargain bed in the Lake District – you just have to plan in advance. But even at the last minute, there’s a good mix of budget hotels, hostels, pubs with rooms (they're even better than the pubs in London) and B&Bs to be had. Steer clear of the tourist hotspots (even the lesser-known places are lovely in the Lakes), and you’ll find somewhere great and cheap to lay your head. Here’s our pick of the best cheap hotels in the Lake District.
The Lake District’s best cheap hotels
Mud doesn’t both the hosts here: hikers, cyclists and their dogs are all made very welcome at this traditional, whitewashed inn. It has 20 rooms, all with TVs, free wi-fi and en-suite bathrooms, plus a large garden, all set in a quiet location in the Eskdale Valley. A cosy bar has local ales and an open fire to offer, and big slap-up breakfasts are included in the room rate.
This bargain pitstop is just off the M6, a short drive from many Lake District attractions, and little more than ten miles from the edge of the National Park. Rates are highly competitive, while parking and wi-fi are free. Family rooms are available. All rooms have flatscreen TVs, tea and coffee-making facilities and en-suite bathrooms (with bath and shower). Dogs are welcome for a one-off £10 fee, and the location, just beside to Killington Lake, means it’s easy to send them out for a stroll.
If you like quirky, offbeat hotels – but a bargain with them – then you’ll love this spot on the western edge of the Lake District National Park. The Ennerdale is an old-fashioned hotel in five acres of land. It has 30 en-suite bedrooms, including a fair few family rooms, and one with a four-poster. There’s a bar and a formal restaurant, parking and wi-fi are free. Dogs are welcome too.
This is a real back-to-basics haven: a small hostel with just one ten-bed dorm, plus a bathroom and kitchentte. It’s ideal for hikers and cyclists, although you’ll find free parking here too. It’s just five miles from Keswick, and there are mountains views all around. Unsurprisingly, given how small it is, the place as a whole is bookable. And if you don’t fancy cooking your own dinner? The King’s Head pub is only a mile away.
This hotel is a recent addition to the Lake District: it was only built in 2010. It’s in a splendid setting, with Thirlmere reservoir only a ten-minute walk away. More adventurous walkers will be pleased to hear that Helvellyn can be reached by foot too. Parking and wi-fi are free; neat rooms are well-equipped (TVs, en suite bathrooms with showers) and the room rate includes a continental breakfast. There’s a bar, and an all-day coffee shop. Dogs are made very welcome, although you’ll need to pay a small extra fee.
The knockout location is this youth hostel’s biggest strength – it’s by the lake and surrounded by mountains. The famous Haystacks walk can be done from the door, but advantageously, civilisation is still only a short walk away in the form of Buttermere village. There are dorms, private rooms (including family rooms) and camping pitches. You can self-cater or eat in the bar/restaurant, where a cooked breakfast is served. Wi-fi is free in public areas.