Welcome to Elmscott Youth Hostel

Elmscott was originally built in 1870 as a School Masters House and School Room. It was acquired by the YHA in 1946 and then sold to the present owners. Elmscott is a three star hostel and has full central heating. Car parking is available on site.

Situated on the Hartland Heritage Coast with views to Lundy Island, the surrounding area is superb for walking, with the coastal footpath just a few minutes away.

Famous Hartland Quay with its stunning cliffs, Hartland Abbey and St. Nectan's Church with its 39 metre high tower, notably the highest in the county of Devon and the second highest in the country are a short distance from the hostel. Not forgetting Docton Mill Gardens with a wonderful tea room. Also nearby is Clovelly with its cobbled street reaching down to the sea.

Elmscott is in the top 10 of YHA accredited hostels making it ideal for families, parties and school parties. We also can offer Exclusive Hire for group bookings.

Opening Hours

Reception is open 8.00am to 10.00am and 5.00pm to 10.00pm daily.

Calls can be made direct to the hostel on 01237 441367 in season, and the Warden on duty will help you plan your stay. Out of season the owners can be contacted on 01237 441276, or leave a message and your call will be returned.

The hostel has 32 beds in total which are all bunk beds. The School House has 3 rooms which sleep 6, 4 and 2 people. In winter a 3 person room is also available. The School Room has 4 rooms, two sleep 6 people and two sleep 4 people.

All rooms have washbasins with a mirror along with showers and toilets close by. All bedding is provided with matching duvets and curtains. The sheets are white sleeping bags and the rooms are neat and tidy, with chairs for sitting. Rooms in the School House are all on the 1st floor, and rooms in the School Room are on the ground floor.

Self Catering

The kitchen is well equipped with all modern appliances such as a cooker, fridges, microwave ovens and toasters. Pots, pans, cutlery and tea towels etc., are all provided.

School House Lounge and Dining Room

The comfortable lounge, with a wood burning stove, easy chairs, books and puzzles is available for your use during your stay. The dining room seats 24 people.

School Room New Kitchen/Diner

New Well lit spacious room with fantastic views of Lundy Island with seating for 24 people


The hostel sits amidst a pretty walled garden with picnic tables and chairs with views accross to Lundy Island. A special place to be when the sun sets over the sea - not to be missed.

Other Facilities

Drying Room, BBQ, cot and high chair, coin operated pay telephone, cycle shed, outside toilet and use of a washing machine (arranged with the Warden for a small charge).


For the comfort of all guests, we have a no smoking policy inside the buildings and smoking is only permitted outside.


In the interest of health and hygiene pets are not permitted inside the building. Special arrangements can be made for registered assistance dogs.

YHA Membership

The hostel is open to all with a 3.00 supplement for non members.

How to find us

By Road - From junction 27 on the M5 take the A361 in the direction of Barnstaple. Continue on the A39 signposted Bideford and Bude. Approximately 9 miles after crossing the Torridge Bridge near Bideford, go straight over the mini roundabout at Clovelly Cross, ignoring the signs for Hartland. After a further 3 miles turn right at the top of Bursdon Moor, following the brown signs to Elmscott which is approximately 4 miles away.

By Private Coach - Large coaches can negotiate with care the very narrow lanes. Coaches and mini buses can park in the small lay-by opposite the hostel.

By Bus - There is a daily service (except Sundays) from Bideford to Hartland. A seasonal service operates from Bude to Hartland.

By Rail - Change at British Rail Exeter for the 'Tarkaline' to Barnstaple. This is a very picturesque route which connects with the bus to Bideford.

By Foot from Hartland - Follow the main street heading west to join the footpath at the white gate through St. Leonards Vale. Turn left after 3/4 mile uphill and follow the track then the road to Elmscott, 2 ½ miles.

By Foot from the Coastal Path - 1 ½ miles south from Speke's Mill Mouth. Follow the footpath inland and look for YHA on the signpost.

Turn right at the red telephone box and Elmscott will be found 100 yards on the right-hand side.


Elmscott Youth Hostel
Elmscott, Hartland
Devon, EX39 6ES

Tel: 01237 441367
01237 441276