Mother and daughter stood outside the main entrance to YHA York

Family adventures at YHA York

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Finding great accommodation for families can be tricky when you’re exploring somewhere new. YHA has you covered though, with both shared dorms and family friendly private rooms. Discover why we loved YHA York in this post!

Address and contact information

Water End,
North Yorkshire,
YO30 6LP

Map references

OS Map: 105OS
Grid Ref: SE589528
Lat/Lng: 53.968511, -1.102822
what3words: anyone.prom.craft

Contact information

Phone: +44 345 371 9051

Checking in/ out

Check-in time starts at 3pm however you are welcome to arrive earlier and leave your car if you want to. All you need to do is make sure you register your car with reception! There is free parking available for guests. At check-in time you will need forms of ID such as a passport or driving licence. 

Check-out time is 10am, at which time you will need to be out of your room and you will need to hand your keys back in to reception. 

YHA York reception

How to get into York 


We had varied experiences with Ubers during our stay. When we arrived we decided not to drive and park in the city and an Uber only cost £7. However, on the same day we tried to return to YHA York and it was going to cost us £17. We walked instead as the weather was nice! 


The good news is that YHA York is within easy walking distance of the city centre. The walk takes you along the River Ouse, on a path that leads directly into the city centre. It would be really hard to get lost on the way! It’s roughly a 25-minute walk, maybe a little longer if you’re with children! 

River walk in York


Although you are able to catch a bus from YHA York into the city centre, it’s not the most time effective way of travelling. There’s a 5-10 minute walk to a bus stop and then another short walk once you get off the bus. In this time, you would be able to do most of the walk along the river instead. 

Rooms perfect for families

As a family, we were able to book a private room, rather than a shared dorm. We stayed in room C01, which is just across a courtyard from reception and facing the car park. We were so surprised when we walked through the door, not expecting a room as huge as this one. We’ve stayed at a few different YHA locations now and none of the rooms have been like this. 

Where will everyone sleep?

Here, we had a room with a single bed tucked away near the door, a bunk beds AND a double bed upstairs. Yes, there was an upstairs to our room.

We all walked around amazed for a while, looking at how much space we had. After being away for a few days already elsewhere, and sharing small hotel rooms, this was very welcome. We actually all ended up sleeping in separate beds. I tend to stay awake later than everyone else so I was able to have the bed in the upstairs area, and that was perfect for all of us. We had a really comfortable stay and all slept really well. 

Double bed at YHA York


When it comes to storage, this particular room had 6 cupboards but we didn’t really need to use them as we kept most things in our suitcase, open underneath one of the beds. There’s no hanging space and nowhere to hang any coats, which is the one thing we could have really done with in this room. 

8 year old girl sat on a bunk bed at YHA York

En-suite bathroom

Some family rooms have an en suite bathroom, which I think is really useful when you’re travelling with children. The bathroom was really large, with an accessible show area, toilet and sink. The bathroom was fine for our 2 night stay, with everything we could have needed. 

Private room accessible en suite bathroom

Shared facilities

Self catering kitchen 

YHA York has one of the largest shared kitchens that I’ve seen so far in a YHA location. Here, there is a large kitchen with 3 separate cooking and preparation areas. This means that there are 3 ovens, 3 hobs and the same goes for things like microwaves and kettles. The kitchen can get busy but 3 areas means that you shouldn’t have to wait too long to use something. 

The self-catering kitchen also has 3 fridges (varying sizes) where you can store your food. There are labels provided so everyone knows what is theres. Although this was clearly a busy location, we were still able to find space for our things. 

Shared self-catering kitchen at YHA York


YHA York has a laundry room which is free to use for guests. This consists of a washing machine and dryer, which is open 24 hours a day. If you forget laundry detergent there is some available to use. 

Dining area and games room

Although we didn’t eat at YHA York during our stay this time, it was nice to see that there was a great food menu available and a large dining area. We have eaten at YHA Stratford-upon-Avon in the past and the food was delicious but we had other plans this time. YHA York also has an on-site bar. 

YHA York food menu

There’s a games room with a pool table, as well as other games to borrow. Some are large board games such as Scrabble, Chess and Monopoly, where the boards are hung up and you ask for the playing pieces at Reception. We love grabbing on of these and having a couple of games on an evening after a long day out exploring.

Mother and daughing playing draughts

The dining area is one of the few places that you can connect to the free wi-fi. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work very well elsewhere on the property so this is the place to be if you need to connect to the internet.

Become a YHA member

By becoming a YHA member, you’ll help to support the charity! Membership costs £20 per year (£25 for a single year) and includes lots of great benefits, including:

  • Best price guaranteed when you book direct on
  • 10% off every booking, including pre-booked meals, plus an additional 5% if at least one guest is under 26
  • Save as you spend with discounts on a range of big outdoor brands
  • Discounted stays at over 4,000 hostels worldwide with automatic Hostelling International membership

Price guarantee

YHA offers a price guarantee when you book directly with them. If you find your booking cheaper elsewhere, they will refund the difference!

The competing rate on another website must be for the same hostel, dates, room type, number of guests and currency. The booking must have been made under the same booking, payment terms and conditions as the original YHA booking.

Any claim must be received by YHA via an online form within 24 hours of the original reservation on YHA (England & Wales) reserve the right to modify, alter, suspend or terminate this guarantee at any time without prior notice.

Musical instrument outside at YHA York

Overall thoughts

Staying at YHA York was ideal for us as a family. We have the perfect base for exploring York and it was only a short walk from the city centre. We really enjoyed the river walk on the days where we didn’t use Ubers. YHA York is close enough to all of the popular attractions in York city centre and it’s in a beautiful location. 

We really loved the spacious rooms, the laid back vibe and the friendly staff. John and I both ended up losing/ misplacing something during our stay and the staff at the front desk were so helpful in getting them back for us. This is such a good place for families to stay, and we saw plenty of other children there during our visit. 

Family friendly activities to do in York

  • Jorvik Viking Centre
  • DIG
  • York’s Chocolate Story
  • York Castle Museum
  • Yorkshire Museum
  • National Railway Museum
  • Explore the city walls

6 thoughts on “Family adventures at YHA York”

  1. I never would have thought about a YMC place to stay, looks so good for a base though and perfect to explore York

  2. So far we have stayed at Boggle Hole, Stratford-upon-Avon and York YHA. All are great for families, we would definitely recommend them. A weekend in York is always a favourite for i us.

  3. I would never have thought to look at YHA for family trips, I didn’t even realise they had private rooms available. Will certainly be looking at them in future.

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