The First Year at The Kettlewell Hostel

The Kettlewell Hostel Whernside House, Kettlewell, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 5QU

When we bought the Kettlewell Hostel at the beginning of the year we shared a vision of it being a comfortable, cosy place to spend time, there would be books, there would be an open fire, some wine or a beer, good lighting, candles. Great music at the right volume, quiet outside with like-minded people around us and a great sense of contentment all round. The Danish have a great word for it that we have been using: Hygge (pron. Hoo,ga) it is the Danish world for something approaching cosiness, but with thicker socks and a fire going. In essence, hygge means creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Friends and family – that’s hygge too. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting round a table, discussing the big and small things in life. That is what we are aiming for.

Stepping Stones

All year we have been getting to grips with how to make it a reality, for me everything starts with food! I have spent most of my time in the kitchen, working through recipe books to make absolutely the most unctuous beef stew with cabbage and mash. Loads of slow cooked dishes. We have the best, most worth-getting-up-for full English breakfast, we are looking at new dishes for our menu for next year and I am really excited about what we will be working on.

A real pleasure that we didn’t expect is that sometimes we seem to be more like a restaurant where everybody stays over and has breakfast together the next day, we didn’t see that coming but it is really nice when it happens! All this at youth hostel prices, not a bad deal.

We closed for a couple of weeks in October to make a much needed start on the refurbishment of he building; we sanded the floor in the dining room, added a second-hand bookshop to our ground floor, we had some new chairs brought in from Italy, had tables made out of re-cycled scaffolding planks. We also had a wood-burner put in to our lounge on the first floor which we are really pleased with! After a cold day on the hills we have just loved sitting in front of the fire warming up.


Over this winter we have some less exciting but necessary jobs to do, sorting out the hot-water and heating system, there are still pleasures to be found in pumbing I am sure but I think that we will be pleased when we can just forget about it for a while! Maybe we will finally get ourselves a website, we are planning to remain part of the YHA so it is always possible to book to stay with us. We really look forward to seeing what this year will bring!

Saul and Floss Ward – Kettlewell Hostel 

Whernside House, Kettlewell, Skipton, North Yorkshire, BD23 5QU

Read the story:

Kettlewell Youth Hostel – Better Call Saul!

Rohan Country – The Kettlewell Hostel three months in


Rohan Heritage


  1. Michelle says:

    It’s looking great Saul! I would stay there next time I’m in the area


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