Tag Archives: Elterwater

How we adapted to make you welcome

21st August 2020

 

Manager Nick explains what we’ve done to bring visitors back to Elterwater and make you welcome, and reflects on a strange season in the Lakes 

 

‘Furlough’ and ‘lockdown’… the first, a word that if asked previously to define I would have suggested something agricultural. The second, a word I’d normally associate with a second-rate sci-fi movie. But not anymore… now words firmly embedded in my vocabulary.

If I’m honest, lockdown in this beautiful part of the world with very few people around and almost zero traffic was blissful. I certainly can’t complain. Instructions from our glorious leaders to exercise locally didn’t place too much of a burden either. Ever-present were all the same challenges as for everyone else, i.e. seeing family and friends and all the usual social interactions. Skype, Teams, Whatsapp, social media… where would we have been without them?

View from Loughrigg: always here to make you welcome

Elterwater from the summit of Loughrigg: amid all the changes, the Lake District remains glorious

It was certainly odd seeing the place so quiet. The last time that even comes close to comparing was the foot and mouth outbreak of 2001. The obvious difference was that this was affecting human health, and the financial impact was global rather than to a few mainly rural areas.

I was furloughed at the end of March having enjoyed a week-long holiday earlier that month, skiing, walking and exploring in Norway. I arrived back to the early stages of the UK response, managing one trip to Liverpool for a concert before lockdown.

Then I spent about a week ‘closing down’ the hostel, dealing with cancellations of bookings and then preparing the hostel to shut down… a surreal experience especially as we’d only just fully reopened after the switch from our winter business pattern.

Much of the rest was played out in everyone’s lives and on the news.

A return to work in June was welcome and I enjoyed the challenge of making the hostel ‘COVID secure’.   The ‘reopening’ of the area was a very mixed bag. The hostel was still closed under the restrictions, but rapidly growing visitor numbers caused mixed feelings among the local population.

Hostel front

The hostel looking lovelier than ever

There was a feeling of isolation and vulnerability among some of our older and isolating residents and the emergence of an apparent new type of visitor. These new visitors seemed unaware of the need to clean up after themselves and respect the environment, causing some conflicts with more careful visitors and residents.

This still prevails now in August, with significant problems caused by litter, poor parking, damage caused by portable barbecues and trespassing. I admit to be looking forward to the end of the holidays and the return of our ‘normal’ visitors who respect the area. It’s great that new people are getting to see the Lakes, but I’m not sure all appreciate it in the way our traditional visitors do. Hopefully there’s a balance to be found; we certainly want to make you welcome.

Nick Owen, ready to make you welcome

Manager Nick Owen

The boost to some elements of the local economy is welcome but others, including ourselves, are still severely restricted in how we can operate (none of which I disagree with) but it does make for very challenging times for a small business

The regulations prevent us from having the self-catering kitchen open, showers have to be allocated to ‘bubbles’ to reduce the chance of cross infection, guests affirm that they are COVID symptom free and we have a programme of frequent disinfection of touch points e.g. light switches, door handles etc.

We have portable screens that we can use to separate and protect guests and sanitiser stations located around the building and, in accordance with most recent changes, are requesting that guests wear masks in public areas when not eating or drinking. So far everyone has been happy to comply and a fairly relaxed atmosphere prevails.

During all this I have been involved, as usual, with my local mountain rescue team. That too has presented many challenges, not least the need to protect team members and the team operation from the virus while dealing with a fairly significant increase in incident numbers.

We’ve been pushing our #beadventuresmart hashtag and www.adventuresmart.uk via social media to try and alert visitors to the need to keep safe. The jury is still out on whether that has been successful or not.

So where are we now? We’re up and running, albeit in a limited way but there’s little by way of light at the end of the tunnel. It’s good to be able to make you welcome again and though it’s a different experience than any of us are used to, we’re trying to make it as normal and enjoyable as we can.

Feedback so far suggests our guests are generally as happy as usual, happy to comply with restrictions and feel safe and comfortable. It looks like we’re in this for a while yet, and the next challenge is how to function efficiently and sustainably through the winter season, since it’s looking unlikely our normal successful model of welcoming groups will be possible.

And then to 2021… the challenge continues …and we won’t speak of home haircuts!

 

We’re a Cool destination: it’s official!

7th February 2020

We are cool; it’s official. Well, to be honest, it’s been pretty chilly rather than cool over the last few weeks, but we’re rather pleased to see that Cumbria has made the annual Cool List.

The cool Langdale Pikes

Doesn’t get much cooler than this!

This is a judgment by the revered National Geographic magazine who’ve selected the 20 must-see destinations you should have on your travel horizon. And Cumbria is the only place in England that makes the top 20.

National Geographic say they scoured the globe for 2020’s most interesting destinations. The magazine says that from hiking trails and culinary hubs to luxury lodges and landmark attractions, “it’s a list that gives you plenty of inspiration close to home, as well as further afield.”

National Geographic Traveller has always championed responsible, sustainable, authentic travel. “Considering how, where and why we choose to travel is an ethos now firmly in the public consciousness. Exploring the world this decade means doing so responsibly and with purpose: tour slowly, spend locally and show support.”

The National Geographic list: we’re in good company

We know how well Cumbria and the Lake District fits into this description. And here at Elterwater Independent Hostel, we encourage all that’s best about sustainable tourism. We are happy when visitors arrive on foot, or a bike, or on the bus. We’re very pleased when they come back dripping wet (and happy) after a day on the fells (on in a lake) because getting out in all weathers means you’re making the most of a holiday.

The magazine’s editor, Pat Riddell, says: “Travel can be a powerful force for good. It can change lives, including yours.”

We have seen that here, especially when young people come here for the first time and experience something they’ve never known before: wide open spaces, communal social spaces, mixing happily with strangers from all over the world.

So a big thank you, National Geographic. And here’s the full list, so you can see what company Cumbria is keeping!

The Cool List 2020: Namibia; Baja California; Lebanon; Cumbria; Slovenia; Wales; Panama; Brisbane; Salt Lake City; Yerevan; Lyon; Ethiopia; Cairo; Los Angeles; Puerto Rico; Pakistan; Galway; Vietnam; Tel Aviv and Rio.

Twenty three before tea: can it be done?

11th September 2019

Twenty three before tea? Well, we were certainly fortified by a hostel breakfast before we set off on this challenge, inspired by Paul Tierney’s record-breaking run around all the Wainwrights.

Place Elterwater at the middle of the map, take a photo, and there are 23 Wainwright tops in the rectangle. And when some fellrunners on social media wondered if they could be linked to form a challenge route, we decided to give it a go.

However, when a friend and I tried it recently, a combined bad ankle and a lack of proper training scuppered us right from the first peak.  So although we had near perfect conditions, we only managed 14 peaks (42km). We could probably have done more – but not the full 23, and it would have taken longer and it’s highly unlikely that we would have made it back in time for tea!

The real challenge is the amount of up and down. To do the 23 (even with the adjustments we made) requires doing valley-floor to top-of-Wainwright at least four times. We did three of these (not counting Wrynose pass between Great Carrs and Cold Pike) and still covered over 3000m of climbing.  Looking at Paul Tierney’s route, he covered these on very different sections of the run and maximised staying high in a way we couldn’t on this run.

We certainly weren’t at full fitness, but I do think it’s a big stretch to do those 23 in a day. More doable, perhaps, would be to allow people to pick their own 23 – I’ve eyed up a route that goes further including Crinkle Crags and Bowfell, for example, and wouldn’t necessitate the drop-downs and back-ups into Great Langdale, or the Grasmere valley.

So it’s over to someone else to find a good list of 23 that can feasibly be linked together in a day. Or a 23-mile route (or 23k) that doesn’t necessarily include lots of summits?

Meanwhile it might also be good to have something that “mortals” can achieve, or have a good crack at. Maybe “how many can you do in 12 hours from the gate”, or “Nine Before You Dine”? For less extreme walkers, there are wonderful potential challenges from here. A waterfalls walk, perhaps..

Let us know when you come to stay…we can have a leaderboard here on the wall, as well as a record on our Instagram pages.

Five best pubs around Langdale

4th September 2019

A pint or two after a long day in the hills: what could be more satisfying. There are some great pubs in the Lake District and we’ve chosen our favourite five “locals” to share with you.

OUR nearest is the Britannia, virtually stumbling distance away from our front gate. A traditional Lakeland inn, it’s at the heart of the village overlooking the green where visitors sit outside – when the actual beer garden overflows. A fire in winter, good pub food. Range of speciality beers including the locally brewed Langdale Blonde and Langdale Pale, and they have a beer festival in late autumn.

The Britannia at Elterwater

UP at the head of Langdale you’ll find two of our favourites, that are also loved by walkers and climbers. The more modern Sticklebarn is actually owned and run by the National Trust. It lies at the foot of Stickle Gill (which tumbles down from the Langdale Pikes, via Stickle Tarn) and here they recognise that just about every visitor will arrive foot-weary and often muddy after an exhilarating hike. So there’s a clothes dryer over the fireplace, towels for wet dogs, books for you to curl up with on the sofa. Some nights they show films in the upstairs bar. Oh, and there’s food and drink all day and all evening, of course.

ANOTHER half mile along the road is the legendary Old Dungeon Ghyll, that’s been welcoming visitors for more than 300 years. The Hikers’ Bar has seen the great and the gritty of the climbing world gather after epic adventures, and was the “local” for the notorious Wall End barn gang, which included the likes of Don Whillans and Joe Brown. It’s soaked in atmosphere and the dubbin of ancient hiking boots.

ODG, the Hikers' Bar

Of course, you might not want to move from our cosy sitting room before or after dinner, and you’ll be pleased to know that we sell a range of locally brewed beers including Coniston Bluebird and Jennings’ Cockerhoop. What are your favourite pubs – and beers?

Twenty three before tea

8th July 2019

Twenty three Wainwrights and back in time for tea…could this be the new challenge for fellwalkers and runners?

When we published our map of Wainwrights within reach of the hostel, after Paul Tierney’s record-breaking run round ALL of them, our list of 23 caught the imagination of many Lakes lovers on social media.

Not content with eyeing-up the list for eventual completion – and it IS a rather random list, based on an oblong area of the map with our hostel at the centre – they started discussing how the 23 tops could be linked together to form a new challenge.

The consensus was that the tops could best be divided into two loops, returning at lunchtime to the hostel for a break after loop one before setting off on the second.

Have a hearty breakfast at the hostel and be back in time for tea!

Loop one would be:

  • Sergeant Man
  • Thunacar Knott
  • Pavey Ark
  • Harrison Stickle
  • Pike o Stickle
  • Loft Crag
  • Pike o Blisco
  • Lingmoor
  • Black Fell
  • Holme Fell
  • Wetherlam
  • Swirl How
  • Great Carrs

And loop two would be:

  • Helm Crag
  • Tarn Crag
  • Blea Rigg
  • Silver How
  • Loughrigg
  • Nab Scar
  • Heron Pike
  • Stone Arthur
  • High Pike
  • Low Pike

It’s illogical, perhaps, to omit the rest of the Fairfield Horseshoe, or the Old Man of Coniston, but if we stepped back to photograph the map and include those, then Elterwater moves from the centre. So for now, until someone tries it, that’s the list as we originally published it.

Online discussion then centred on a name for the challenge. The Elterwater Endeavour and the Elterwander were among the suggestions, but our favourite is “23 before tea”, with its implication that ALL could, perhaps, be done in a day. And when someone DOES have a go, we shall most certainly have the kettle on for tea when you get back.

So now we hand the challenge over to you. Try it out. Test each loop, or test the summits in your own favoured order, and then let us know. What time did it take? What was the total mileage? Did you have fun? And do you take sugar in your tea?

Paul Tierney’s new record for completing all the Wainwrights in the Lake District has captured the attention of the world. (BBC news / ITV news)

It’s a remarkable new record, six days six hours and five minutes to run over 214 Lakeland fells, breaking Steve Birkinshaw’s record by seven hours.

We took a photo of the map that Tierney’s support team was using during his challenge, a map specially created for them by Harvey Maps based on Birkinshaw’s route. The photo placed Elterwater at its centre, and then we traced the route lines to the south, west, north and north east, and listed the summits within that box.

The map with Elterwater at the centre
Paul Tierney in Langdale during his epic run: our route will take you to the head of this valley

Refill your water bottle here

12th June 2019

Water’s free – and you’re very welcome to call here at Elterwater Independent Hostel and refill from our outside tap.

Call here to refill

In fact, it doesn’t seem so long ago that everyone carried a reusable water bottle. Now we have to mark National Refill Day to prevent millions of single-use plastic bottles from polluting our streets and our oceans.

It’s a public awareness campaign that’s close to our hearts, to encourage people to carry a reusable water bottle – like we all did until recently – and refill on the go.

Throughout the country on Wednesday (June 19) the organisers of the refill campaign, City to Sea, will be asking the public if they’ve #GotTheBottle to prevent plastic pollution by switching from a single-use plastic bottle to a reusable one.

They want to create a new social norm for carrying a reusable water bottle and making sure everyone, everywhere knows how easy it is to find free drinking water with Refill.

So why do we want to join in? Every time someone refills a bottle rather than throwing a plastic one away, we are reducing the amount of plastic that reaches the ocean.

If just 1 in 10 people in the UK refilled just once a week, we’d save around 340 million plastic bottles a year.

So spread the word around, encourage everyone you know to join the scheme, download the app that shows WHERE you can refill – and pop in to say hello while you’re here. Not just on Wednesday, but from now on.

Cheers!

Five best walks with children in the Lakes

29th May 2019

You’ll be surprised how happily children will go for a walk in the Lakes if there’s some excitement along the way. Here’s five great little walks easily done from Elterwater Independent Hostel.These are recommendations, not detailed guides. You will need a good map, and we sell the AA/OS maps which cover the routes here. If you want more detailed route descriptions, we recommend a good guidebook by Ian and Jill Rimmington, 7 Walks from Elterwater. Best of all, talk to our staff; they are THE local experts and can check timings and find a detailed weather forecast for you. And a packed lunch!

Skelwith Force

1: Skelwith Force and the Brathay. Especially when young children are involved, there’s nothing wrong with an out and back walk, and this one is easy enough for pushchairs, small tricycles, and little legs. The very good thing about a return route in this part of the world is that the view is completely different each way. And while there’s absolutely no danger of getting lost, there’s the thrill at Skelwith of one of the finest waterfalls in the whole of the Lake District. Children will want to scramble down close to the river; there’s a healthy absence of railings and fences, so keep them supervised. All you need to do is cross the road from the hostel and take the footpath that leads from the main car park. 3 miles.

Cathedral cave

2: Slaters Bridge and cathedral cave. Who can resist the appeal of a cave, especially when it’s as spectacular as this one. Cathedral cave is actually an old quarry working, set into the hillside between Little Langdale and Tilberthwaite. There’s a good path over to Little Langdale; turn right from the hostel then right again on the path that climbs through Sawreys Wood. When you reach the tarmac road, turn left, then right on a small path that leads to Slaters Bridge, an old packhorse bridge over the River Brathay after it leaves Little Langdale tarn. The path to the cave is on the other side; a tunnel leads to a 40 foot high chamber of strikingly dramatic slate. To return a different way, head back to the main road, turn right and pass the Three Shires Inn, then take the path on the left back via Fletchers Wood. 4.5 miles.

Faeryland at Grasmere

3: A visit to Faeryland. This will encourage the most reluctant of little walkers. Faeryland is a tiny open-air lakeside café on the shore of Grasmere, where there are also a few rowing boats for hire. There’s a vardo (gypsy caravan) in the grounds, and a few faeries hidden among the bushes. From the hostel, go left to the crossroads at the main Langdale road, cross over and head uphill past the Wayside Pulpit, before cutting up to your left on a well trodden path that leads past the High Close electricity switch station….it looks like a sheepfold from a distance. Follow this path up and over into Red Bank wood, to where the track meets the road at a house called Hunting Stile. Walk down the road until you reach Faeryland on the right.

Coming back, take the alternative path through the arboretum at High Close, a stunning 11 acre estate full of trees and shrubs imported from all over the world. A number of paths lead through the trees; all bring you back on the winding road back down to Elterwater. 4.5 miles.

Dungeon Ghyll

4: An expedition to the heart of the Lakes..Dungeon Ghyll. You can take the bus to the head of Great Langdale for this mini-adventure, and climb up to Stickle Tarn, by way of Stickle Ghyll. This is a very well-defined path behind the Stickle Barn and new Dungeon Ghyll hotel, and the tarn itself is truly atmospheric, lying at the foot of towering Pavey Ark, and the Langdale Pikes themselves: Harrison Stickle, Pike o’Stickle and Loft Crag. It’s a steep climb, and though the path has recently been restored and improved, it’s still a tough undertaking, so make sure little feet are wearing decent boots. Or just potter about exploring the lower reaches of Dungeon Ghyll in the ravine to the west.

 

Summit cairn on Loughrigg

5: A real mountain, Loughrigg, and another cave. Here’s one to offer a reward for hard effort, an ascent of Loughrigg Fell followed by a visit into another cave, a real Tolkien-esque experience this time. Loughrigg is only small in height but covers a vast area, and offers brilliant views from the top. You can walk from the hostel, following the path through the arboretum to a short ascent of the fell from Intake Wood beside the road south of the Red Bank junction. From the summit take a path north easterly down to Rydal Cave. The interior is easily accessed via stepping stones. There are sometimes concerts in here, notably just before Christmas when the cave is filled with hundreds of candles and lanterns. Coming back, take Loughrigg Terrace, a splendid high level walk back to Red Bank, and from there down to Elterwater. Allow four/five hours for this; take a packed lunch (ask our staff to prepare one for you).

Top activities for families in the Lake District

20th May 2019

Young and old love coming to stay at Elterwater and we are close to some of the best activities for families that the Lake District has to offer.

Here’s our top tips for all the family.

Image result for windermere jetty

1. The newly opened Windermere Jetty museum of boats, steam and stories has enough to keep youngsters occupied for a whole day. There are interactive galleries to take you on an imaginary journey , including a wall of wonder,covered floor to ceiling with boating paraphernalia, equipment and curiosities. But there’s also the chance to experience a real journey on a heritage boat trip aboard Osprey, one of the fully-restored Edwardian steam launches. Osprey was built in 1902 in Bowness and is the first steam launch to take to the water at Windermere Jetty. Better still for children (and adults) who love the stories of Arthur Ransome, you can see Esperance, one of boats that inspired Captain Flint’s houseboat in Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons. And there’s a rowing boat that belonged to Beatrix Potter.

https://windermerejetty.org/

2.Tree Top Trek. This high level ropes adventure experience for the over-7s is at Brockhole, the Lake District national park centre on the shore of Windermere south of Ambleside. Children aged 7-11 must be supervised by an adult; if there are youngsters aged 12-15, an adult must remain on the site. Now there’s also the Mini treetop trek for lower level adventure with 16 obstacles and a long zip wire. For the very young also new is Tree Top Nets with giant bouncy nets, slides, tunnels and ball zones.

https://www.treetoptrek.co.uk/windermere

3. One for a rainy day is the World of Beatrix Potter attraction in Bowness with the best      website address ever: https://www.hop-skip-jump.com/.  It’s a charming and artfully-designed  tour through scenes from the Peter Rabbit stories .The Beatrix Potter™ experience begins with a five-minute film introducing you to the author and her stories and illustrations. The doors from the film room open to the main exhibition in which the sights and sounds of Beatrix Potter’s much loved characters are magically brought to life.

The acclaimed musical Where is Peter Rabbit? will be staged in the theatre in the same building daily throughout the summer from June 22 to Sept 1. https://www.hop-skip-jump.com/peter-rabbit-theatre/

4: Grizedale Forest Park. Lying between Hawkshead and Coniston, this beautiful forest is a real adventure playground. There are sculpture trails to follow, mountain bikes to hire, and lots of activities for young children, include the nature detectives progammes. Children from toddlers to teens are encouraged to get muddy, tackle den building, track caterpillars or make artwork from conkers. It’s managed by the Woodland Trust, the UK’s largest conservation charity. http://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/visiting-woods/wood/11274/grizedale-forest-park/

 

5: How about an adventure that doesn’t cost you anything, apart from decent boots and a waterproof “just in case”? The area around our hostel in the Langdale valley is a priceless playground for children of all ages – and that includes the ones who are still kids at heart. There are caves to be explored, small mountains to climb, lakes and becks to paddle in, and wildlife to be spotted. Talk to our staff when you come to stay. They are truly the local experts and they will help you plan the very best of Lakeland adventures.

The best way to enjoy the Lake District!

The best way to enjoy the Lake District!

A family Christmas at Elterwater

14th January 2019

Christmas is a magical time of year. People tend to be a bit nicer to each other, families reunite and it’s generally acceptable to eat amounts of chocolate that at any other time of year would be considered grossly ridiculous.

And what better place to spend it than in the Lake District, surrounded by mountains (some of them snow-capped) and greenery, good pubs, and the great outdoors. For the last few years, my family have spent Christmas at Elterwater Hostel. This converted barn sleeps 38 and so is the perfect place for a big family to reconnect, especially if you have relatives all over the country.

Ready for Christmas dinner

For us, with family in Kent, Liverpool, London, Birmingham, and abroad, the hostel acts as a kind of middle meeting place. It means no one person has to “host”, and you don’t have to worry about who’s going on the sofa. Having 11 bedrooms also helps, meaning there’s lots of space to escape to and lock the door if family arguments get a bit much or there’s too many cooks in the kitchen.

I’ve been lucky enough also to stay at the hostel during the summer months alongside other guests. This is lovely and creates a really nice community atmosphere, but nothing beats having the whole place to yourself. Hide and seek anyone? Over the years we’ve had Mum’s family, Dad’s family, cousins, grandparents, the lot. This year was a relatively quiet one in comparison; just me, the parents, my uncle and some of his family, and our 91-year-old Grandma.

The main event of Christmas, if we’re honest, apart from the birth of the baby Jesus of course, is dinner. Christmas dinner is a big task and usually requires a whole family effort. In this family, my job is chief peeler. Carrots, parsnips, potatoes, – you name it, I’ll peel it. The one thing I won’t do is cut onions. That’s Dad’s job.

In the kitchen

The American side of the family took charge in the kitchen…

Luckily this year, the American side of the family was on cooking duty, so I took on the role of ‘Front of House’. The hostel’s kitchen is well stocked too with two ovens. The only thing missing was an electric whisk, but this led to an enjoyable communal effort to hand-whisk the cake icing – more effort than your average gym workout and we had already burnt off the calories before we ate it.

The hostel lounge feels super homely at Christmas, despite none of us actually living there. There’s an electric fire and a lovely Christmas tree, which we added our traditional edible (chocolate) decorations to. Santa even managed to make it despite a lack of chimney and filled my stocking which I’d left out (shh, at 22 I’m just about young enough still).

There’s no TV so it was good to escape from all the technology of normal everyday life. We brought a laptop with us for the Queen’s Speech (to keep Grandma happy) but other than that it was a lovely few days of board games, chess and even bridge for the oldies.

Stickle Tarn

Alan Thomas and the press-up challenge on the wall at Stickle Tarn

Having Christmas in the Lakes also means you’re spoilt for choice for the traditional Boxing Day walk. For ours, we went to Cathedral Caves, a nearby disused slate quarry with a cavernous cathedral-like interior. If you’re adventurous like me and Uncle Michael, you can climb through the back and come out the other side – with a torch though. Christmas Eve had us up Stickle Tarn, with Dad’s traditional press-up challenge at the top, while the day after Boxing Day we tackled Loughrigg Fell, with lunch in Grasmere. All in all, a lovely break from the city. Elterwater, we’ll be back soon.

Alison Thomas

Book direct for the best deals

3rd September 2018

THERE’S a growing campaign to persuade visitors – to the Lakes and elsewhere – to book direct with their chosen accommodation provider.

Here at Elterwater Hostel  we can understand and appreciate the need for online booking agencies if you’re looking for the cheapest deal on a city break, or a package holiday overseas. Too much choice,  and you might well need help making up your mind.

But here, in the heart of Langdale, to be honest there’s nothing quite like our hostel. We are a genuine example of that overused word, unique.

Great Langdale

Great Langdale and the Langdale Pikes

We’re independent, so we’re not run by any outside organisation. We’re a family business, and our hostel is managed by people who know the area better than the back of their hands. And we’re in a tiny village, named after the nearby tiny lake, where we know that no-one else is offering quite what we offer.

So we are making a direct appeal to you, to book with us direct. From our website you can see at a glance what we have available on the dates that you’re looking for. Maybe you’re a solo traveller looking for a room in a (small) dormitory? Then book direct. Or a family wanting a room together, and one that’s ensuite? Book direct is the answer.

The details are all there for you to see, availability, cost – and the knowledge that you don’t have to pay up front, until you get here.

Book direct at Elterwater Hostel

Our warm welcome…..

Still not found what you’re looking for online? Pick up the phone and give us a call to book direct, especially if your request is an unusual one. Sometimes it’s possible to book sole use of a dorm, for example. And of course if you want to bring a party of schoolchildren, or a group of fellrunners, we can tell you when we have room to keep you all happy.

By booking direct the contract is with us, the price is better, the cancellation terms are more generous – AND we can use the 15% commission we have to pay online booking agents to reinvest in the business to give our guests a better experience all round. There’s no commission, either if you book via the Independent Hostels website

There are many other independent hostels all over the country, and around the world, of course. They are all individual, with their own special characteristics, benefits, and staff who know that these are great places to meet people and make new friends. They’re ideal for visitors from overseas, for those travelling by public transport, and for those who want the best possible value for money.

These can be found on the Independent Hostels website where all the booking buttons link direct to the hostels’ own booking systems, so you can guarantee you are booking direct every time.

Here at Elterwater we have been making improvements season by season and we’re confident that your stay with us will be comfortable. And with Nick and his team in the kitchen, we know that you’re going to have great home cooking, hearty breakfasts, local produce – and some local beers to go with dinner.

Please spread the word among your travelling friends, and stop to think when you’re next planning a trip – book direct with your hostel.