Sample itineraries

Educational packages and resources are available at several local visitor centres and attractions, such as Brockholes (Lake District National Park Visitor Centre), Rheged, Honister Slate Mine, Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, The Wordsworth Trust, Mirehouse, The Pencil Museum, and Whinlatter Forest Park (Forestry Commission). We can arrange free farm visits to Low Bridge End Farm, and guided local farm visits and outdoor activities with the National Trust Learning Officer. Derwentwater Independent Hostel is also an ideal place for studying astronomy. The experts at provide inspiring tuition and equipment. They even set up a mobile planetarium in the hostel! Please see below for examples of our tailor-made itineraries. You can read more about these itineraries and other school visits on our News page. You can also see a photo report of our DIH Fund-subsidised residentials here.

Chestnut Grove Sixth Form English Literature Residential (January)

Group: Chestnut Grove Academy, Wandsworth. 55 Sixth Form pupils. 5 staff. Full board.

Dates: Tuesday 31st January – Friday 3rd February 2017 (3 nights)

Theme: English Literature – Romantic poets.

Notes: Travelling by train to Penrith. Coach hire for trip to Grasmere. Session at Dove Cottage.

Tuesday 31st January

6pm: Evening meal

Wednesday 1st February

8am: Breakfast

9am: Study sessions and walks around the grounds and lakeshore.

Packed lunches provided by hostel.

6pm: Evening meal

Thursday 2nd February

8am: Breakfast

9am: Depart by hired coach to Dove Cottage, Grasmere. Year 13 do Wordsworth Trust session while Year 12 do a literary heritage walk with Katy. Swop activity after packed lunch at Dove Cottage. Walk into Grasmere to see church, graveyard, gingerbread shop, and one of the other houses where Wordsworth used to live.

6pm: Evening meal followed by showing of ‘Bright Star’ film in dining room.

Friday 3rd February

8am: Breakfast

9am: Study sessions and then departure


Arkholme Primary School Year 3 and 4 Habitats Residential (March)

Theme: Habitats, comparing coniferous and deciduous woodland

Monday 6th March

Arrive by 12.30 at Whinlatter Forest. Eat their own packed lunches at Whinlatter – indoor space available.

13.30: Coniferous forest habitats session with Phil Cheesley and Barbara Thomson of Classrooms in the Forest.

16.00: Depart Whinlatter, arrive hostel about 16.30. Welcome from Katy, make beds, and settle in

18.00: Dinner – 3 courses, pre-chosen by pupils.

19.00: Night walk with Katy/discussion about different habitats, followed by badge making (based on a habitat) and postcard writing.

Tuesday 7th March

08.00: Breakfast, pack bags, clear bedrooms, play outside/Arkholme activity

10.00: Habitats session in hostel grounds with Classrooms in the Forest

12.30: Hostel packed lunches and play time

14.00: Depart hostel

Can anyone find the Douglas fir in our grounds? Is that a male or female duck? What do red squirrels like to eat?

These are some of the questions that Class 2 (Years 3 and 4) from Arkholme Primary School (Lancashire) enthusiastically answered during their one night Habitats-themed residential at the hostel.

On the first day the group of 20 children went to Whinlatter Forest for a session with Phil and Barbara from Classrooms in the Forest, focusing on coniferous forest habitats. Then, on the second day, Phil and Barbara came to the hostel to lead activities in our grounds, focusing on trees and birds. A good array of wildlife performed for us, including a red squirrel, ducks, a red spotted woodpecker, great tits, blue tits, a nuthatch, robins, chaffinches, and a very large pheasant! Together we compared Whinlatter Forest and the Borrowdale mixed woodland, including the semi-ancient natural deciduous woodland in our grounds. We also made badges and postcards, on the Habitats theme of course!

Ridgewood Academy Year 9 English Language and Literature Residential (May)

Theme: Description, looking at the ways in which the Lake District has been described for different purposes and audiences over the past 3 centuries. 

Day 1:  Tour of Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere, with a poetry seminar delivered by the Wordsworth Trust learning officer. Arrive at DIH. Welcome session with Katy: introduction to the history of the house and the theme of the visit. Explore the grounds with each of the five senses and then stand in a circle and share one adjective. Evening meal and then 1 hour evening activity led by Katy. Discussion of different purposes, styles and techniques for description. Walk along lake shore and then back to the hostel to write a descriptive postcard.

Day 2:  2.5 hour walk led by Katy, stopping at points to discuss different responses to the landscape. Barrow Cascade – Falcon Crag – Ashness Bridge – Surprise View – Lodore Falls – DIH. Group readings of The Cataract of Lodore by Robert Southey at Lodore Falls. Lunch at DIH and then walk to Platty+ (Lodore) for 2 hour canoeing session. Walk back to DIH. Evening meal and then 1 hour evening activity led by Katy. Independent exploration of the hostel grounds, finding something to describe in detail. Description to take any form: poem, letter, diary etc. Quiet time to write own descriptive piece (best pieces to feature in our newsletter).

Day 3:  Walk along lake shore to Crow Park, led by Katy. Lunch in Crow Park. Walk to Keswick Museum and Art Gallery (KMAG). Welcome session led by KMAG learning officer. Look at some of Southey and Coleridge’s letters and manuscripts. Discuss the use of description for museum catalogues and interpretative labels. Explore the museum independently. Quiet time to write journals. Depart Keswick at 2pm.               

Oughterside Primary School Year 3 - 6 Residential (September)

Theme: Team-work and orientation in an unfamiliar environment: working together as one group to explore the geography and history of the surrounding area.

Day 1: Walk to the hostel from Keswick (their coach delivered the baggage!); evening meal; role play to re-enact the history of our Georgian house; take it in turns to lead a walk around the grounds; make a descriptive acrostic poem in the woods, decorated with natural materials collected in the grounds; design a folly for Derwent Island; and decorate Georgian gingerbread.

Day 2: Make mini-rafts out of natural materials; paint the view on a giant easel; explore our waterfall and hydro-electric plant; walk on the fells, discuss different land uses, and interact with environmental artists; lunch; ghyll scrambling; evening meal; draw the walking route on an OS Map; learn about scale and map symbols; play map symbol Pictionary; write postcards to a friend; and play Georgian parlour games.

The half day adventure activity (in this case ghyll scrambling) was delivered by our well-established partner Glaramara Activity Centre.

Here is a link to the photo report on the Oughterside School website:

Richmond Hill Primary School Year 3 Residential (November)

Theme:  Volcanoes and Vikings! The formation of Borrowdale by geological and early human forces (Volcanism, Ice, Viking settlers). The evidence and legacy of these physical and human forces (soil type, flora and fauna, place names, culture).

Day 1:  Stand on the terrace and look at Skiddaw. Learn about its formation and the difference between the Skiddaw rocks and the Borrowdale Volcanic rocks. Use our bodies to renact the formation of Borrowdale.

2.5 hours of interactive indoor activities about Viking life in Borrowdale, including shield decorations (with chalk and stencils on chalk-board replica shields), grinding wheat, and learning about Viking households and customs. Delivered by Katy and Platty+.

Learn about Viking names and their meanings, with each pupil adopting a different name and writing it down in runes (the Viking alphabet). Make our names into necklaces and introduce our new selves to each other!

Supper at 6pm.

Write Viking-style sagas of the physical history of Borrowdale. Tell each other these stories, as though in Viking families.

Make a model Viking encampment with materials found in the grounds (and some cardboard!).

Day 2: Breakfast at 8am. Half day adventure activity with Glaramara.

Derwentwater Independent Hostel
Barrow House
CA12 5UR
Telephone: 017687 77246

Thank you to Geoff Williams, Rebecca Laff, Fiona McCarthy, John and Sam Snyder, and KTA for generously providing inspiring photographs.
Thank you to Lisa Bamford at Stoats and Weasels for designing our website, and to Sam Snyder for building it.
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