Derwentwater Independent Hostel, Barrow House, Borrowdale, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5UR

Call them on 01768 777246

Former youth hostel in Borrowdale in Cumbria

Derwentwater Independent Hostel is a Georgian mansion in 17 acres of grounds complete with its own waterfall. The glorious setting near the lake gives wonderful views of the surrounding mountains and is just 2 miles from Keswick. With some ensuite rooms, camping pods and standard bunk rooms the hostel makes a great base for individuals, families, groups, family parties, reunions and conferences. The hostel has lounges, games rooms and free WiFi. It is licensed and offers a full meal service with a good reputation for home made food. Many of the spacious bedrooms have lovely original architecture. The grounds are teeming with wildlife including red squirrels, with plenty of space for children to play, football goals, picnic tables and open water access to launch canoes and boats onto the lake. Borrowdale has something for everyone; walks along the lake shore, challenging mountains, water sports, mountain biking, climbing, gorge scrambling and tourist attractions. Friendly staff are happy to help you organise your days. The C2C route passes close by.

This accommodation is featured on our map of the Lake District and here is its own website.


  • Beds & Rooms:

    84: 1x2, 3x4, 4x6, 3x8, 1x22 + 3 Camping Pods
  • Open:

    All year. 7am - 11pm.
  • Price per night:

    From £25 (adult), £24 (child). Family rooms from £72. Camping pods from £50. Camping from £10pp per night.
  • Booking:

    Advance booking recommended - especially for groups.
  • Directions:

    Two miles south of Keswick on the B5289 Borrowdale road. Hostel entrance is directly off the main road, 150m after the turning to Watendlath.
  • Public Transport :

    Train to Penrith then X4 bus to Keswick. From Keswick take the launch to the Ashness gate jetty; 100m from hostel or bus 78 to hostel drive.
  • Walks :

    Long Distance Walkers AssociationLong Distance Walks C2C Cycle Route LEJOG Land's End to John O'Groats by bike Trans Euro Trail
This accommodation is featured on the following pages
Mountains Close to a Pub Individuals welcome Youth Hostels Camping School Groups Hostels with Camping Pods or Glamping Accommodation for Cyclists Alternative Weddings Breakfast Evening Meals Outdoor Education Centes Large Hostels IHUK Signage Biker Friendly


bSingle sex dormitories
cPrivate rooms
&Family rooms
dBedding provided
gFully heated
mMeals available (with notice)
nBreakfast available (with notice)
oMeals available locally
kSelf catering facilities
'Bike/equipment store (lockable)
iDrying room
pClothes washing facilities
uWithin 3 miles of NCN
9Best Price Guarantee


Map showing the location of Derwentwater Independent Hostel View Nearby Hostels

News & Offers from Derwentwater Independent Hostel

The Best Hostel for Wild Swimming

December 29th 2022

There are few more dramatic places for wild swimming than Derwentwater, and Derwentwater Independent Hostel stands on the lake shore, overlooking the shallow sheltered waters of Barrow Bay, which warm quickly in the spring and summer months. And we hope this image speaks for itself.

There can’t be a better place in the world to wild swim than in Derwentwater, and Barrow Bay at the bottom of the hostel drive provides a sheltered bay, with shallow water which warms quickly in the summer and you’ve got Ashness Jetty to jump in from, making it ideal for family swims.
Or for the more experienced swimmers get geared up with wetsuits and tow floats and head further out into the lake.
And for the ultimate challenge there’s the infamous Frog Graham Round.  The Lake District National Park have a really informative page on a range of activities in and on Derwentwater.  And our website has a great page on the best swimming spots locally.

Latest News

This former manor house became a permanent youth hostel in 1961

August 28th 2022

Derwentwater Independent Hostel has had an interesting history. Built as an impressive manor house overlooking the lake, known as Barrow House, it later became a grand hotel. It is surrounded by extensive grounds which include Barrow Falls, an artificially created series of waterfalls allegedly inspired by the nearby Lodore Falls. In 1931 a small section of it opened briefly as a hostel for a few months. What happened in the intervening years is not known but it didn’t open again as a youth hostel until 1961. This time the whole mansion was used as accommodation. In 2011 the running of the hostel transferred to Derwentwater Youth Hostel Ltd. and in 2012 it joined our Independent Hostel Network. A tip for guests, have a look at the plasterwork in room, it’s amazing!

Derwentwater Independent Hostel
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Latest Blog about Derwentwater Independent Hostel

A Walk of Art from Derwentwater Independent Hostel

May 10th 2018

If you like to walk from the door, and explore more thoroughly the stories behind the landscape, then you might be interested in an 8 mile circular walk which starts and finishes at Derwentwater Independent Hostel, in the heart of the Lake District National Park.

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derwentwater youth hostel walk
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a grand georgian mansion

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