Summer Holiday Newsletter

It's been wonderful to get back to normal (or close to normal) in 2022.      Covid is no longer having a significant impact on the hostel and on peoples holidays, though the recent wave has regrettably meant a few have missed trips.   We have seen our busiest school group season for a number of years, as schools have been keen to restart their annual outdoor education residentials.   We are extremely grateful for their support, as schools provide a valuable source of income for the hostel, without which we wouldn't be here.

Now that the school holidays have begun we're focusing on running the hostel for families and individuals for the summer, and love the atmosphere when the hostel is full of people on holiday, enjoying the warm and dry weather we're having.

The town and the valley is calmer than in summer 2021 now that overseas travel is possible once again, meaning our favourite places are calm and quiet once again.   The honey pot places like Cat Bells, Skiddaw and the parking at Seathwaite are still extremely busy, but it's so easy to get off the beaten path and find peace and quiet.

Please do read on for updates on camping, camping pods, dorms and family rooms for the summer holidays, and on our plans for releasing accommodation to book for the winter and for 2023.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who has chosen to stay with us since the covid lockdowns.   Your support and the money you have spent with us, has helped to ensure the future of the hostel.   Without you, our recovery would not have been so strong.   Thank you.
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Help Wanted in September & October

We have a vacancy for a hostel team member and/or a live in volunteer to join us from 20th September until the end of October 2022.   So if you are interested in a change of scenery, please do get in touch with Tim by email at

You can find out more about working and volunteering at Derwentwater Independent Hostel using the links below:


Both positions are live in, with single room accommodation in our shared staff flat on the top floor of the hostel.   We look forward to hearing from you.

Looking Ahead To 2023

A few people have asked us when they'll be able to book for 2023, and the answer is 15th November 2022.   On this date we'll be enabling booking for all dates from 1st February 2023 to 31st October 2023.   And watch out for our November newsletter when we'll include another Early Booking Offer for 2023.

Shared Dorms Are Open for 2022

Unlike other neighbouring hostels our shared dorms are open and continue to be as popular as ever.    We have dorm beds available on almost every night in July and August.   We see dorm beds as being a key element of the choice of accommodation in a successful hostel, alongside family/private rooms and camping pods, and we're committed to continuing to offer them, as they provide the most affordable option for single travellers.    At the beginning of the year we priced our dorm beds at £20 per person per night, to help encourage their use after covid, and as it's been so successful, we'll keep them at £20 per night till the end of the year.
Tent Camping Pitches

Our tent camping pitches are back for 2022, and bookable now for the summer holidays up until 2nd September.   Camping costs £10 per person per night and includes use of all hostel facilities.
For 2022, we're no longer permitting campervans and motorhomes to park up in the grounds, so our camping is for tents only.

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Our Newest Bird Nesting Box

Thank you to the Year 5 and 6 pupils at Holy Trinity Primary School in Ossett, West Yorkshire, for our newest birdbox.      Built as part of a school Design and Technology competition the winners were allowed to bring their bird box to the hostel on their summer term residential and presented it to us to put up in the woods.   Let's hope it's successful and gets used next spring.

Catbells Shuttle Bus

In a bid to ease parking problems and congestion on the west side of Derwentwater, there is now a Catbells Shuttle bus running from Keswick on a half hourly service from 23rd July to 4th September.
Some of the buses are part of the Honister Rambler route, bus 77/77A, which goes from Keswick to Cat Bells and then onto Honister, Buttermere and Whinlatter, these run daily from Easter to the end of October, but the others will simply operate from Keswick to Catbells and return.   This initiative has taken a while to get going and we're hopeful it'll solve some of the problems on the narrow road between Portinscale and Cat Bells.
You can view the timetable
Our favourite way to access Catbells continues to by using the launch from Ashness Gate (at the foot of our drive) to Hawse End, so we've included their timetables for summer 2022
here.   All Day Hop On Hop Off tickets for the Launch are available to buy from hostel reception.

A Better Hill Than Catbells?

Catbells has been always been rightly popular, and Julia Bradbury has made it even more so.   But we think there is an even better hill just behind, which presents a bigger challenge and a finer day out, with a nice simple scramble to the top to add a fun finale.      I'm talking about Causey Pike, which at 637 metres stands a clear 186 metres above Cat Bells.   Whilst still being a hill it has the feel of a mountain, and its compact summit adds to the sense of drama and improves the view of the surrounding fells and valleys.

Causey Pike from Rowling End

Parking at Stoneycroft, on the minor road to Newlands Pass, is possible for those arriving early, and gives you a chance to watch scramblers heading into the ghyll for a wet and wild adventure.   For Causey Pike I'd always recommend the route up the nose of the hill via Rowling End, the steep climb opening up the views behind more quickly than the diagonal path across the hillside.    Reaching Rowling End you're already almost as high as Cat Bells and the steep finale is directly ahead beyond the level section of the ridge.
The scrambly steps to the summit may present a challenge to some, but in reality it's just a steepening of the ridge, with rock underfoot, and is all too quickly over.

On the Summit looking onwards to Scar Crags

From the summit there are numerous onward routes, but my favourite would be a continuation over Scar Crags and a descent to the col at the head of Rigg Beck followed by the steep pull on grass up to Ard Crags and a return to the valley via Aikin Knott.   A shorter return route would be to descend north west on the sometimes boggy traversing path below Scar Crags towards High Moss, returning to Stoneycroft along the track above Stoneycroft Gill.   All in all a grand day out.

Looking back to Causey Pike from Ard Crags

So is it a better day out then Cat Bells?  Only you can decide, but if you like quieter hills that are just a little higher, I think you'll like it.

Bookings For Winter 2022/23

It's now possible to book all available dates up until the end of January 2023.     Due to the very high costs of heating the building we're limiting opening this winter to weekends, half terms and the New Year Holiday week, and these are all now available to book.

As well as the October half term holiday, highlights this winter include the Remembrance Weekend on the nights of Friday 11th & Saturday 12th November, with the options of attending events on Great Gable and on Castle Crag, Borrowdale.

Also now bookable is the New Year Holiday week.   We'll be open from Wednesday 28th December 2022 to Monday 2nd January 2023, and look forward to seeing you then.

We will of course continue to accept group bookings on all dates throughout the winter for groups of 30 or more.    Please contact us on 017687 77246 or by email on for group bookings.

Great Gable Remembrance Weekend - accommodation now bookable at Derwentwater Independent Hostel.

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