Online Booking


For group bookings please contact
017687 77246 or

Learning programmes for schools
and youth groups.

"I am so glad to see that the hostel continues to grow and cater for its visitors. I've been bringing students to this beautiful house since 2002. It provides an excellent base for carrying out river studies within the Borrowdale Valley. Over the years hundreds of Essex students have been knee-deep in water collecting data, but however cold or wet we have got, a warm welcome has always been provided by the hostel. Students always remember this place: it’s often the first thing they mention to me after years have gone by and they are all grown up. A big thank you from a teacher and all the Thurstable as well as Moulsham students that have been here."

Paul Mason (teacher at Moulsham High School and previously at Thurstable School), 20th October 2014.

School visits

Please see the 360º Education + Adventure section for detailed information about school group visits. 

New for 2015 - 2016: we have a fund for subsidising educational residentials for schools from the Barrow area, thanks to a grant from the Sir John Fisher Foundation. We also have a general fund for schools from all areas, and very affordable fieldwork sessions with the environmental education charity the Field Studies Council. Please get in touch for more information.

A little history of school groups at Barrow House

During the Second World War Barrow House became a boarding house for evacuees from Newcastle Central High School. The only source of water and electricity was Barrow Beck, the stream which runs through the grounds, and the challenges of water management and the maintenance of the hydro-electric plant made for a well-rounded, if sometimes cold and uncomfortable, education! Click here to read an account of this period.

In 1961 the Youth Hostels Association (YHA) bought Barrow House and named it Derwentwater Youth Hostel. The house was soon full of school pupils again. The groups could study a range of topics, including a case study of YHA, but no one had to fix the hydro-electric plant or put up black-out curtains!

Derwentwater Youth Hostel (now Derwentwater Independent Hostel) became independent of YHA in 2011. However, we are delighted to see many of the same school groups returning each year: we like some things to stay the same!

For inspiration and more information about school group visits, please explore the 360º Education + Adventure section of this website.

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