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For group bookings please contact
017687 77246 or

Learning programmes for schools
and youth groups.

"On behalf of the large group from Serpentine Runners, I would just like to thank you for making our recent stay so enjoyable. The friendly welcome, the amazing home-cooked food, the relaxed atmosphere - it was just the perfect base. It is absolutely brilliant that you have kept this remarkable old house open for simple accommodation. We'll be back!"

Serpentine Runners, Jan 2019


Derwentwater Independent Hostel is only 4km from where Route 71 of the National Cycle Network passes through Keswick. Route 71 is part of the 225km C2C cycle route from Whitehaven (west coast) to Tynemouth (east coast), and Keswick is 50km along the route from Whitehaven.

We have a secure bike shed and an outdoor tap, as well as plenty of experience of road and off-road cycling. We have several route leaflets at the hostel, including the off-road Borrowdale Bash and Back o'Skiddaw, and you can also download some cycling routes from Just ask us if you want some advice or cycling chat!


The Lake District provides spectacular road cycling with incredible views. We are also very close to the C2C cycle route (it passes through Portinscale and Keswick). Our local favourites:

  • Round Derwentwater: a 10 mile circuit passing through Grange and Portinscale. The clockwise direction provides fantastic views of Blencathra and the Skiddaw Range.
  • Back o' Skiddaw: Keswick, Bassenthwaite, Uldale (the only significant climb), Caldbeck, Mungrisedale 
  • The Buttermere Round: a muscle-warming 22 miles, taking in Seatoller, Honister Pass (steep), Buttermere (very pretty), Newlands Pass (steep), Swinside, and Keswick


There are off-road trails to suit every ability. Please make sure that you stay on bridleways and do not alarm walkers and sheep! Here are some suggestions:

  • Easy: for a flat, easy, family-friendly cycle, try the Keswick disused railway path, following the course of the River Greta. The path starts at the Keswick Swimming Pool car park and runs for 3 miles to the pretty village of Threlkeld.
  • Moderate: the Old Coach Road from St John's in the Vale to Dockray (near Ullswater) is a great way to get across to Aira Force and Ullswater. The wide track is quite rough and steep to begin with, but it soon levels off and you can start to appreciate the wonderful views of Blencathra and, on a clear day, the Pennines in the distance.
  • Moderate: the paths either side of the Glenderaterra Beck, with a bridge that allows you to cross the beck, provide a really exciting loop. The path on the west side of the valley is narrow, uneven, and challenging, but the path on the east side is broad and well-surfaced.
  • Hard: Stonethwaite to Grasmere via Greenup Edge. Please stick to the bridleways.
  • Varied: Whinlatter Forest Park, 6 miles from the hostel, provides the longest purpose-built mountain bike trails in the Lake District. The Altura Trail is a red grade 19km trail and is designed for experienced mountain bikers with a higher level of fitness and stamina. There are challenging single track sections and popular features like berms, jumps, rock features, skinnies, cork screws and table tops. In contrast, the family-friendly Quercus Trail is a blue grade 7.5km trail, suitable for all abilities and levels of fitness.  

Bike hire

Keswick Mountain Bikes: Tel 017687 75202  Cyclewise Whinlatter: Tel: 017687 78711 

Cycling events

High Terrain Events: sportives, duathlons and triathlons

Jennings River Ride

Monster Miles Cyclo-cross Sportive

Fred Whitton Challenge

Keswick Triathlon

Keswick Mountain Festival

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.
© 2013 Derwentwater Independent Hostel. All rights reserved. Registered charity: 1145368