The Red Squirrels at Alston Youth Hostel

Never seen a Red Squirrel?

Alston Youth Hostel was listed in The Telegraph as one of the best places in the UK to see red squirrels!


Here at the hostel we have a regular family group of 4-5 red squirrels that visit daily to feed in the food boxes on the trees opposite our dining room window.







You have a 95% chance of seeing them at some point in the day light hours during your stay with favourite visiting times being breakfast time and early evening. You can sit in the chairs in the dining room window and watch them eat and be amazed by their agile skills as they run around the trees and leap from branch to branch. They can also be seen from the windows in bedrooms 5, 6 & 7 or from the patio. Their antics never fail to amuse us!





We actively feed them to encourage their visits but more importantly to keep them healthy and thriving in this part of Cumbria.

The food is a special red squirrel mix bought from The Birds Bistro in Penruddock near Penrith and is funded by donations from guests. We don’t charge for towel hire but instead ask for donations to the squirrel food fund. Fortunately due to the generosity of our guests means our squirrels are probably the best fed squirrels in Cumbria!


Other Wildlife

As well as the squirrels we have a varied array of birds that come to feed from the bird feeders and the squirrel boxes! We keep the feeders well topped up all year round with suitable bird feed.

Frequent visitors seen

Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Nut Hatches, Gold Finches, Siskins, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Long Tailed Tits, Coal Tits, Chaffinches, Green Finches, Tree Creepers, Rooks & Jackdaws, Pheasants, Robins and many more.

Deer have been spotted within the woodland and in the grave yard behind the hostel.

Come and see what you can spot!!