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The Ultimate Guide to Bunk Houses in the UK

There’s something special about bunk houses – they offer a unique blend of adventure, camaraderie, and affordability that you just can’t find elsewhere. As a popular accommodation choice in the UK, bunk houses provide a fun and communal living experience that is perfect for groups of friends, families, or even solo travellers. In this article, we’ll explore the best bunk houses the UK has to offer, what to expect when you stay at one, and tips for making the most of your experience. So, let’s get started!

What are Bunk Houses?

A bunk house is a type of accommodation that offers dormitory-style rooms with bunk beds, typically catering to groups of people looking for a cost-effective place to stay. They can be found throughout the UK, particularly in rural areas, and are popular among hikers, cyclists, and other outdoor enthusiasts. Bunk houses often provide communal facilities such as kitchens, dining areas, and lounges, making them a fantastic way to meet new people and share experiences.

bunk houses

A Brief History of Bunk Houses in the UK

The concept of bunk houses originated from the youth hostel movement in the early 20th century, which aimed to provide affordable accommodation for young people to explore the great outdoors. Over time, bunk houses evolved into a separate entity, offering a more relaxed and informal alternative to traditional hostels.

“Bunk houses are the perfect accommodation option for those seeking a unique and sociable travel experience.”

Top 5 Bunk Houses in the UK

There are countless bunk houses scattered across the UK, each offering their own charm and character. Here are five of our favourites:

  1. Skiddaw House – Located in the remote Lake District, this off-grid bunk house offers incredible views and a true escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
  2. Downham Camping Barn – Situated in the heart of the picturesque Ribble Valley, this converted barn is an ideal base for exploring the stunning countryside of Lancashire.
  3. Kintail Outdoor Centre – Nestled in the Scottish Highlands, this bunk house provides easy access to breathtaking scenery and a range of outdoor activities.
  4. Pentre Bach Bunkhouse – Set in the foothills of Snowdonia National Park in Wales, this cosy bunk house is perfect for those looking to tackle the challenging Mount Snowdon.
  5. Stonecroft Lodge – Located in the beautiful Peak District, this family-friendly bunk house offers a range of facilities and activities for all ages.

What to Expect When Staying in a Bunk House

While bunk houses may vary in terms of facilities and amenities, there are some common features you can expect to find. These include:

  • Shared bedrooms: Bunk beds are the norm in bunk houses, often with 4-12 beds per room. Some bunk houses also offer private rooms for families or those seeking more privacy.
  • Communal spaces: Most bunk houses have shared living areas, kitchens, and dining rooms, allowing guests to socialise and prepare meals together.
  • Basic facilities: While bunk houses may not be as luxurious as hotels, they generally provide all the essentials such as showers, toilets, and laundry facilities. Some may also offer extras like bike storage, drying rooms, or even Wi-Fi.
  • Self-catering: Bunk houses are typically self-catering, meaning guests are responsible for bringing and preparing their own food. This can be a great way to save money and enjoy home-cooked meals while travelling.
  • Outdoor activities: Due to their rural locations, many bunk houses are situated near popular hiking trails, cycling routes, and other outdoor attractions, making them an excellent choice for nature lovers.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Bunk House Experience

Staying in a bunk house can be a fun and memorable experience, but there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure you get the most out of your stay:

  • Book in advance: Bunk houses can fill up quickly, especially during peak travel seasons, so be sure to book well in advance to secure your spot.
  • Bring the essentials: Remember to pack your own bedding (such as a sleeping bag), towels, and toiletries, as these may not be provided by the bunk house.
  • Be prepared to share: Bunk houses are communal by nature, so be ready to share spaces and facilities with other guests. Embrace the opportunity to meet new people and exchange travel stories!
  • Respect the rules: Each bunk house may have its own set of rules and guidelines, so be sure to familiarise yourself with these upon arrival and be respectful of fellow guests.
  • Enjoy the great outdoors: Bunk houses are often located in some of the UK’s most stunning landscapes, so take advantage of this unique opportunity to explore and appreciate the natural beauty on your doorstep.


In conclusion, bunk houses offer a distinctive and affordable accommodation option for travellers seeking a more social and adventurous experience. With a variety of fantastic bunk houses scattered across the UK, there’s never been a better time to discover the joys of communal living and explore the great outdoors. So why not start planning your next bunk house adventure today?