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.

50 Things to Do Before You're 11 3/4

The National Trust has developed a fantastic range of free activity ideas for children, entitled 50 Things to Do Before You're 11 ¾. However, they are just as fun for the young at heart! We think you can achieve about 40 of them in Borrowdale - how many can you do in our grounds?! You can pick up record booklets from Derwentwater Independent Hostel, the National Trust shop in Keswick (opposite the Keswick Launch jetties and adjacent to the Theatre by the Lake), or the National Trust 50 Things website. Here are some of the 50 Things that you can do in our grounds...

  1. Climb a tree
  2. Roll down a hill
  3. Build a den
  4. Run in the rain
  5. Fly a kite
  6. Make a sticks trail
  7. Make a mud pie
  8. Make a daisy chain (seasonal)
  9. Make some wild art
  10. Walk barefoot
  11. Make a grass trumpet
  12. Gaze at the stars
  13. Hunt for bugs
  14. Play in the snow (seasonal)
  15. Pick blackberries (seasonal)
  16. Play conkers (seasonal)

Some of the 50 Things that you can do in the Borrowdale Valley (most within a 20 minute walk of the hostel):

  1. Camp out
  2. Catch a fish
  3. Skim stones (on Derwent Water, at the bottom of our driveway)
  4. Go swimming (in the lake not the sea)
  5. Climb a huge hill - plenty to choose from in Borrowdale!
  6. Get inside a tree - a brilliant one on the west side of Derwent Water, next to the lake shore path as you approach Hawes End Activity Centre 
  7. Explore a cave 
  8. Visit a farm 
  9. Play pooh sticks - there is a brilliant bridge for this, over the River Derwent, between the Lodore Falls Hotel and Manesty. There is even an AA Milne quote on the bridge!


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