Frequently asked questions

What is a hostel? What is it like to stay in one? How has hostelling changed over the years? Here is some information about the Derwentwater Independent Hostel experience…

What will my accommodation be like? 

We have 12 bedrooms, varying in size from 2 bed spaces to 16 bed spaces. All of the beds are bunk beds, and a couple of doubles. We recommend that children under 7 years old use the bottom bunk. Unless you have booked a private room, your room will be single-sex. There is a sink and mirror in every room (except Room 1 and Room 9 which has an adjoining toilet room). Some of the rooms have lockable cupboards (padlocks available to buy from reception).

Is bedding provided?

Yes. There will be a freshly-laundered bedding on each bed. You can pick any unoccupied bed in your allocated dormitory. Then you will need to make your bed – this is more fun than it sounds! 

Do you have ensuite rooms?

Yes, we have two ensuite bedooms, each including a double bed.   Room 14 has a single over a double bunk - suitable for a couple or a family of 3.  Room 15 has a single over a double bunk and a standard bunk - suitable for a family of 5 or four adults.

Can I bring animals with me? 

Pets aren't permitted in the hostel building, with the exception of assistance dogs.   However dogs are welcome in our camping pods and on camping pitches.   Please keep dogs on a lead or under close control at all times.

Can I store and cook my own food and drink?

Yes. There is a self-catering kitchen, which is shared between all of the guests. You can store food and non-alcoholic drinks in the fridges and on the shelves, but please make sure you label everything with your name and date of departure. Sticky labels and pens are provided. We are a licensed premises and so please do not consume your own alcohol on-site. A good range of alcoholic drinks is available to buy at reception.

Do I have to do any household chores?

You do not have to do any specific hostel chores, but please be considerate of the other guests. Please wash, dry, and put away anything that you use in the self-catering kitchen, and you are asked to make up your bed on arrival and strip the sheets on departure.

Can I buy meals at the hostel?

Yes. You can mix self-catering with the hostel meals, or leave all the catering to us! We offer hearty breakfasts (includes cereals, fruit, toast, yoghurt, and the traditional cooked items), packed lunches, and evening meals. Please order breakfasts and packed lunches the night before you want them (or as far in advance as you can!). Evening meals need to be ordered before 6pm (or 5pm for a 6pm meal). You can eat at 6pm or 7pm, but we can often make special arrangements if you ask in advance. We offer gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and vegetarian options.

Do you have recycling facilities?

In the self-catering kitchen, reception area, lounge, pool room, and table tennis room there are recycling bins for glass, plastic, paper and card, and aluminium. There are also large recycling bins in the court yard. Please use them!

By what time do I need to vacate my room on my day of departure?

Please vacate your room by 10am. This allows us to clean the rooms thoroughly before the next guests arrive. Please ask us if you want to store your luggage at the hostel while you wait for your transport.

What shall I do with my bedding at the end of my stay?

At the end of your stay please strip your bed of its duvet cover, pillow case, and sheet, and leave all the bedding in a single pile in your room. This really helps us!

Do you have towels?

Yes - just ask at reception. Towels are available to hire for £1.

Can I iron/press my clothes?

Yes - just ask at reception. You can borrow an ironing board and iron for free.

Can I wash and dry my clothes?

Yes - just ask at reception. You can buy washing powder for the washing machine and tokens for the tumble drier. There is also a large drying room for hanging up wet clothes and shoes.

Can I store my bike/s safely?

Yes. There is a big shed for storing bikes securely. Please ask at reception for the shed key.

Can I explore the hostel grounds?

Yes. Please feel free to roam in the grounds. You can play games on the grass, climb the trees, and walk by the waterfall. Sometimes sheep wander into the grounds too!

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