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YHA Boggle Hole Hostel Review, What To Expect

We recently stayed at the YHA Boggle Hole hostel. Tucked away in an old smuggler’s cove, this lovely hostel is a perfect place for a break by the sea. Read our full review here.

Once an old mill, the hostel is a magical place with treasure trails, sea views, a friendly boggle and plenty of woodland to explore. With access to the Cleveland Way, too, it’s a place to stay and enjoy nature. Here’s a review of our night at the YHA Boggle Hole hostel and what to expect.

The YHA Boggle Hole Hostel

Parking at YHA Boggle Hole hostel

The road to Boggle Hole’s car park is narrow and has few passing places, so it’s important to drive slowly. Parking at YHA Boggle Hole is 500m away from the hostel itself, and it’s important to note that cars are not allowed down the steep hill leading to the hostel. The walk down to the sea and hostel is brisk! It can get quite dark at night as there are no streetlights, so bring a torch. We recommend taking limited luggage so that you’re not making return trips to the car.

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Glimpse of the youth hostel through the woodland.

We thought the walk through the woodland down to the hostel was really beautiful! Walking towards the North Sea in the distance, you see the hostel to your left tucked away amongst the woodland and practically on the shoreline. You get to the hostel by finally walking across a bridge. It’s lovely for children to feel like they are on a proper adventure!


The main building of the hostel

The Quarterdeck café at the YHA Boggle Hole Hostel.

We were impressed with the main building, which has everything! The main building of the hostel offers guests access to a variety of shared spaces, which include a comfortable lounge, a dining room, and a well-equipped self-catering kitchen. It’s also where you check in, has a fully licensed bar, and sells drinks, food and cakes throughout the day. The staff were really friendly, and our check-in was easy.

People enjoying the cafe area at the YHA Boggle Hole Hostel.

The Quarterdeck café in the main building has a pirate theme, which is fitting and fun for kids. We arrived in rainy and windy weather; there was a fire in the communal space, which was so cosy. The atmosphere was welcoming, and children were playing and enjoying family time. The menu was a selection of pizzas, burgers, toasties and snacks. Everything we ordered was lovely.

Food at YHA Boggle Hole.

There were quiz sheets to find many characters hidden around the hostel and the grounds and a ‘Boggle Post Box’ where children could post their own letters to the boggle that lives in the hole on the beach. Our little one loved this. He was totally in awe learning about the boggle.

Boggle Post Box

Comfortable rooms

In this section of the building, the bedrooms feature wooden floors and hand-wash basins. Additionally, there is a separate area called Crow’s Nest that offers private rooms with a hand wash basin each. Within this section, there are also four en-suite rooms, a kitchenette for late-night tea, and a comfortable seating area.

View from hostel window

Our room was a private room with shared bathrooms. All of the facilities were clean, and there was plenty to share. Our room was comfortable; we had a sea view and got a great night’s sleep. Just remember to take your own towels!


The boggle at Boggle Hole

When the tide is out, walk a little towards the sea and look at the cliff on the right. This is Boggle Hole, where it is believed a boggle lives.

Boggle Storyboard

Legend has it creatures such as boggles, hobs, and goblins lived in the caves along the North Yorkshire Coastline and remote areas in the moorland for centuries.

Close up of Boggle Hole.

We left the boggle a little chocolate!

Some people believed that boggles were small, mischievous types of goblins and some, like the boggle at Boggle Hole, had magical healing powers. People would leave offerings such as milk!

Boggle Hole Beach and YHA

Further north up the North Yorkshire and Cleveland Heritage Coast, near Runswick Bay, you’ll find Hob Hole. The story goes that this hob could cure whooping cough (or kink-cough as it was then known). Although the men of the village were too frightened to go near at night, women would carry their sick children to Hob Hole and ask for help by reciting this rhyme:

“Hob-hole Hob
My bairn’s gotten kink-cough;
Tak’t off, tak’t off!”

Boggle Hole beach and Ravenscar in the distance.

We loved visiting Boggle Hole. Our little boy left the boggle a small piece of chocolate, and he loved learning about the legends of boggles, hobs and goblins. I love the way the hostel incorporates this into their outdoor area where you can read all about the boggle living just to their right.

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Things to do at Boggle Hole

Fossil Hunting Boggle Hole

Fossil hunting and rockpooling

Fossil hunting and rockpooling in North Yorkshire is one of our favourite ways to spend time. The coastline is affectionately known as the Dinosaur Coast, and Boggle Hole beach is full of treasures. If you’re lucky, you might stumble upon an ammonite or two. These marine animals have been extinct for millions of years, but their distinctive shell-like appearance remains unmistakable.

Boggle Hole Beach Fossil Hunting.

Belemnites are another common find along the coast. These creatures, which look like squid, have earned the nickname “bullet stone” because of their shape. And if you’re a fan of jewellery, you might know that jet, a type of organic gemstone, can also be found in the area. It’s made from compressed wood from the Araucaria or Monkey Puzzle tree and is believed to be around 180 million years old. Take care when fossil hunting, and check the tide times prior!

All you need to know about fossil hunting in the area.

Join in a ghost walk at Robin Hood’s Bay
Ghost walk at Robin Hood's Bay with Rose Rylands.

Whilst visiting Boggle Hole, we took a short (12-minute) drive to Robin Hood’s Bay, where we took part in a Ghost Walk with Rose Rylands. If you’re looking for a unique and exciting experience, Rose offers regular Robin Hood’s Bay ghost walks. Stroll through the streets and alleyways as you hear eerie tales of the supernatural. Explore a mysterious past filled with spirits, shipwrecks, smugglers, and local folklore. This walk is guaranteed to entertain and educate and is suitable for all ages. And if you have a furry friend, well-behaved dogs are welcome to join in on the fun!


Our stay at the YHA Boggle Hole hostel was fantastic. The location is stunning, and Boggle Hole makes for an excellent base with plenty of activities to keep you busy. We highly recommend YHA Boggle Hole for families with children of any age – it’s the perfect spot to create unforgettable family memories.

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