A POPULAR youth hostel in the heart of the Lake District has been bought by a married couple.

Alan and Christine Thomas bid for the Elterwater Youth Hostel after it was put up for sale by the Youth Hostel Association (YHA) in April last year.

The purchase was completed in December and since then essential repairs and improvement work has been carried out.

“While there has been a clear lack of investment over the last few years the hostel is structurally sound and in a great location,” said Mr Thomas.

“We are looking forward to carrying on a 75 year tradition of offering affordable accommodation in this lovely village and very much hope that we can indeed ‘make a go’ of the hostel as a successful business for generations to come.”

The hostel, which has 12 bedrooms, communal areas, kitchens and separate staff accommodation, was originally bought by the YHA in 1939.

It had been offered for sale by informal tender with a guide price of £590,000 but the price paid has not been disclosed.

Long term manager Nick Owen, who will continue to run the hostel on a day-to-day basis, said: “After twenty years at the Hostel with YHA, I am delighted and excited to be involved in the new project and am looking forward to welcoming guests old and new to the rejuvenated hostel.”