Great Outdoors Awards – Best Hostel Nomination

What an honour even to be nominated!

We were shocked, but pleasantly surprised, to see ourselves listed in the nominations for the Hostel or Bunkhouse of the year category in the Great Outdoors Awards 2021.

The stress of managing a small business through the pandemic is really not what we had in mind all those years ago when we made the YHA an offer to rescue their Hostel at Elterwater. It’s been such a difficult time for everyone and there have been moments where we’ve discussed giving up, closing the business and selling the hostel. So to see our name listed here, alongside Hostel’s and other nominees from which we’ve taken inspiration along our journey, feels really special and makes all the hard work feel worthwhile.

We’ve always tried to make the Hostel a home away from home, a place where we feel comfortable and where we’d like to spend time, but as much as we can add our touches as owners, it is our team who really make the difference, and are celebrated by this nomination. Nick, Charlie and Andy each bring their own elements to keep things running smoothly, and each has been essential to helping us build a reputation for friendly service, excellent local knowledge and delicious home cooked meals. We owe the team a huge thank you, and a congratulations, this nomination is really for them.

It is extra special to us to see our close neighbours at the Britannia Inn, and at Chester’s Cafe also nominated – there can’t be many places in the country that can boast a closer concentration of nominees per square mile as Elterwater (with just 200 yards door to door between us and the Brit!)

Both Chesters and the Britannia fully deserve their nominations, and are important staples whenever we’re able to get a group of friends together at the Hostel. We not only tend to start the weekend with a late pint at the Brit, but many of my the city-dwelling friends only consent to the hike over Lingmoor based on the promise of the three P’s (pints, pie and pudding) at the Brit for the survivors! We round the weekend off with a gentle stroll to Chester’s, via Colwith Force, for a healthy Sunday snack (or chocolate brownie!) before everyone heads home. To see these two favourites, which we consistently recommend to our guests, nominated alongside us makes our own nomination feel even more special.

There are only a few days left to vote in the Great Outdoors awards, and we’d really appreciate a vote not just for Elterwater Hostel, but for Elterwater, Landgale, and the Lake District more broadly, with votes for our friends and neighbours at Chesters and at the Britannia too. You can find the full list of nominees here


– Adrian