The hostel stands in its own gardens in a commanding location overlooking Morecambe Bay to the Lakeland Fells. The village centre is half-mile distance, but open countryside is virtually on the doorstep. Our beautiful building dates from 1911 and has a mellow, mature and understated grandeur that takes one back to the less frenetic Edwardian age.
Originally a Halls of residence for a girls boarding school, the YHA bought and converted the building into a hostel in 1978. Then in February 2014 sold the building to its present owners Leigha and Martin who moved in into the property with their 4 children, 2 cats and a dog and kept it running as an Independent Hostel.
The capacity of 67 is in varying room sizes which sleep 1 to 8 persons in both dorm and private rooms. The majority of rooms are made up of bunk beds, but there are some with double and single beds. All bedding is provided.
To date we have already improved many parts of the hostel, namely: the dining room, lounge, games room and corridors. We’ve also done a much needed complete refurb of the self-catering kitchen. This year we have finished the ground floor with some great new meeting/social rooms, a new bike store & workshop and outside BBQ area. We have been working really hard over Winter 2017 to ensure all our rooms have had a much needed paintjob and have had fun exposing an original quarry tile floor in our classrooms.
We hope to continue tackling a very long list of things to do, but what ever changes, showers and heating are next on the investment list. Rest assured that for any improvements we do make it is always in our minds not to take away any of the charm and appeal that has drawn customers here in the past. There has been an overwhelming request from visitors who have passed through the hostel these last few years to keep the individuality and make sure it does not get that corporate feel to it which has taken over many other hostels. We try to respect that wish with every change we make!
The hostel building was built in 1911 as dormitory accommodation for the girls’ of Oakfield school owned and run by the Bamford family. Oakfield School moved from their former location Oakfield House (now named Parkside on Redhills Road) to a larger site just along Redhills Road naming it New Oakfield (now Heathcliff Court) and build the hostel building naming it Oakfield Lodge.
The Bamfords ran the school right through until the late 1940s, just shortly after the war, when they sold both buildings and relocated to Kirby Lonsdale. Oakfield Lodge was taken up by another private girls school for a couple of years and then sold to a Mr Rathbone who used Oakfield Lodge as his country retreat.
Then in 1978 the Youth Hostel Association bought the building from Mr Rathbone and relocated YHA Arnside from its former location of Broadlands on Church Hill to Oakfield Lodge. The YHA ran YHA Arnside from Oakfield Lodge for 36 years until the current owners (Martin and Leigha) purchased the building from the YHA in early 2014.