A lovely celebration was held to mark the 10th anniversary of the Elterwater Independent Hostel.
Owners Christine and Alan Thomas invited guests, who have supported them over the years to thank them and celebrate their shared achievements.
In the 10 years since the YHA sold off the Elterwater Hostel, the Thomas’ and their team have established a well-loved business in the Langdale Valley, renovated and refurbished the Hostel building and now welcomed more than 50,000 guests, including individuals, families and groups.
Guests at the event, including MP Tim Farron, and Sam Dalley, managing director of Independent Hostels UK, were served champagne, and canapes from The Yan at Grasmere. Christine and Alan paid tribute to the staff, including manager Nick Owen, and assistant Charlie Spiller who stayed on having worked for the YHA. Pete Savin, Andy Hunt and Lisa Jones are also long-serving members of the team.
Christine said that she and Alan had been looking for a holiday home in the Lakes, but ended up buying a hostel. “We had always loved Elterwater. I stayed at the hostel with a school friend, and Alan and I stayed in many cottages in the area.”
She said that friends had asked why they didn’t turn the building into a high-end restaurant or boutique hotel. “We’re passionate about hosteling and the access to nature and the outdoors that hostels provide. I love the atmosphere and the camaraderie that is created in this room when guests from different generations and walks of life get together with a shared love of the Lakes and the outdoors.”
Sam Dalley said that Elterwater was a jewel in the crown of the Independent Hostels, while Tim Farron said he was very proud of what Christine and Alan and the team had achieved: “The high standard of accommodation, and the welcome here, are epic. We are so privileged to live here, but I feel a sense of responsibility for stewarding this beautiful area for others, and what’s the point of a national park if it’s not open to everybody. You make this national park work by providing accommodation that everyone can afford.”