Tag Archives: Langdale valley

Welcome to the bottom bunk club

11th September 2019

This is not an age-related offer, but……

We know that life can get a bit more challenging as you get older.

We know that the young at heart, of all ages, love coming to stay here at the hostel. They love our home cooking with a glass of wine or good local ale available, and they love coming away with friends for a few days of companionship in this beautiful location.

But when they need to get up in the night to go to the loo (maybe a little more often than in their youth), the climb back to the top bunk can be more, well, challenging, than it once was.

Which is why we’ve launched the Bottom Bunk Club.

This is aimed at those groups who are happy to share a room but fight to avoid the bed ladder.

So here’s the deal. Get together a group of at least ten people, and the whole hostel can be yours for a mid-week break (Monday to Thursday) in November or December.

You need to book a minimum of two nights, but we’re offering a great bargain: bed, breakfast and dinner for just £80 per person for TWO nights. That’s with sole use of the hostel for your party…and no bunk ladders to climb.

front door
Welcome to Elterwater
Dining room
Time for dinner

Our dormitories are small ones, so it’s just three to share at most. There are good hot showers and a great drying room if you are back from a day on the hills and the cosy sitting and dining area for scrabble, reading, knitting or parlour games, if you prefer to stay ‘home’. For dinner you might be offered homemade steak pie or mushroom stroganoff, followed by Nick’s fabulous sticky toffee pudding; and the next morning there will be a Cumbrian full cooked breakfast available.

So, whatever your age, however your group is made up, book the Bottom Bunk Club for a great deal. Call us on 01539437245 or email bookings@elterwaterhostel.co.uk for more details.

Bunk beds
Avoid the ladder

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.


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.


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!

Easter egg treasure hunt

27th March 2019

An Easter egg treasure hunt on the lower hills around our hostel will start in Easter week.

Starting Monday April 15, on every day leading up to Easter Sunday, we will publish a clue here on our website.

The clues will lead treasure seekers onto the lower fells around our village of Elterwater in the Langdale valley, and the locations will reveal a voucher to be exchanged for a prize egg at the hostel.

Follow the clues around Elterwater to find the Easter treasure

The treasure hunt is an extension of a successful scheme which has been arranged in and around the grounds of the hostel in previous years.

“All ages love going on a treasure hunt,” said hostel manager Nick Owen. “We wanted to add a bit of extra adventure this year and open up the competition to all visitors to the Lakes. And everyone likes chocolate.”

He added: “The clues might be cryptic, or contain a map reference, but the locations will all be in safe and easily reached places.”

Start looking out for the clues on the hostel’s website blog on Monday April 15. https://www.elterwaterhostel.co.uk/news/

Elterwater hostel