At 2 weeks old we took our little grub to the Pen Y Pass YHA in Llanberis for his first hostel experience whilst Daddy (Sean) did some 3 peaks training. When we arrived, winding through endless country lanes, we were at least 1000ft above sea level and the views were breath-taking. The hostel itself having been recently renovated was a popular spot for climbers as its location was adjacent to the Pyg Track/Miners Track car park – one of the most obvious routes to take up Snowdon.
To say people were a little shocked to see such a small baby was an understatement – it was almost as if we were the first people in the world to have a child and people couldn’t seem to stop staring at our little sleeping bundle as we check in. We’ve also agreed that we want our children to see it all, to know the difference between a hostel and a fancy hotel and what is great about both of them!
Any YHA would be an obvious first choice, being one of the hostel leading brands with a well-known, respectable reputation. Pen y pass in particular happened to be relatively good for cheap family breaks away, as a former mountain lodge its ideal location and facilities rivalled most other local B&Bs. A licenced bar and restaurant no doubt is one of its biggest draws after a long hard days climb and playing board games in front of the open fire is perfect when needing to escape stormy Welsh weather.
Ideal for a digital detox, Pen Y Pass YHA has no wifi, phone signal or TVs within its accommodation. Yet with plenty of books, games and friendly company you’re unlikely to be bored here. For groups, it even boasts a conference room and classroom with self-catering kitchen for those not interested in the restaurant menu.
We checked in after a 6 hour drive and weren’t too sure quite what £30 had got us for the night. We knew it wouldn’t be fancy and at that point we didn’t really care. We were pleasantly surprised to be given a private room at least with private en-suite shower room (perfect with a baby!!). The 2 person bunk bed room turned out to be ideal, we had bought our cot with us and it meant that Wilfred was able to sleep right next to me so I could feed him during the night, whilst Sean got a much better sleep up on the top bunk. They were very comfortable and clean, but also made up with bedding already provided. The one thing to remember (that we didn’t) is to bring towels! Any fly on the wall would’ve been doubled up in laughter watching two grown adults use a hooded baby’s towel following our morning shower!
We prefer to cook for ourselves when in a hostel, so took full advantage of the newly renovated self-catering kitchen. Fully equipped with everything we needed it was nice to cook as a family while Wilf stared blankly at the ceiling lights (most baby’s obsession at that age). We enjoyed a basic but winter warming chicken pasta dish, carb loading Sean up for his hike and whilst I’m breastfeeding anything goes – I’m starving all the time!
The average rating of 4 and half stars on TripAdvisor pretty much says it all, but it’s well worth a visit for yourself!
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