…gloriously isolated …
High House in Seathwaite near Keswick, is owned by the K Fell Farers, a fell walking and outdoors club of 83 years standing. That’ll be why this gloriously isolated bunkhouse has the character that it does!
Outside, you approach from the hamlet of Seathwaite along a long track covering the valley bottom of Borrowdale. A boulder-strewn stream runs alongside which children (and adults) are encouraged to paddle in, build dams and generally (Beatrix) potter about. There is rocky ground, drystone walls, mossy trees and the stout, strong walls of High House in front of you. It gives every impression of having been part of the landscape since God was a boy, and if you have a look at their website you’ll find a very thorough review of the fascinating building’s history. On foot, now, you can cross the slate bridge and find the fire pits – very welcome and hospitable on a cold Cumbrian evening.
Equally, indoors a pot bellied stove radiates warmth from the middle of the dorm room so you can bask, cat-like, in its heat and wake to the welcome novelty of a warm bunkhouse dorm room. It is homely touches like this, as well as the grand location which make you believe their boast that this bunkhouse is ‘one of the best in the Lake District’.
‘A grand location?’ I hear you cry. It is right up in the heart of the fells, paths snaking off and up take you to Sty Head and Grains Ghyll and the iconic central fells Helvellyn, Scafell Pike, Great End, and Great Gable can be tackled from the door. If you fancy an easier route, explore the banks of the Derwent searching for John Ruskin’s Friar’s Crag; the precarious Bowder stone; or the National Trust’s ‘Hands sculpture’.
A group enjoying an evening round the fire pit at High House.
For groups of five or more walking Wainwright’s Coast to Coast, High House offers great value accommodation with a beautiful diversion from Rosthwaite. Turn south at Rosthwaite on the Coast to Coast walk and walk south for 1.7 miles along the popular vale of Borrowdale, to find High House. Isolated at the head of the dale and sleeping up to 26 people for a single overnight cost of £145, High House provides great value self catering accommodation in a stunning location following an excellent diversion off Wainwright’s Coast to Coast path. It also has a great fire pit.
High House has a large open common room, great for relaxing in front of the nice warm stove.
High House has a large open common room, great for relaxing in front of the nice warm stove. The coke for the stove is included in the nightly rate. Its also a good room for a group communal meal. The room also includes the club’s library which is available for all to use as a reference library (ie without removing any books). The Library is great for looking up everything from a walking route up Scafell, locating the classic Corvus climbing route in the next valley, or helping to identify the numerous birds that can be seen from the building.
High House is a converted 16/17 century farmhouse providing bunkhouse accommodation for groups at the head of Borrowdale in the Lake District. Surrounded by the beauty of nature, it is the perfect getaway destination. The Lake District is England’s largest National Park; home to Scafell Pike – its highest mountain, Wastwater – its deepest lake and thriving communities like Keswick and Bowness-on-Windermere. You can walk, cycle and splash about here as much as you would like. With 12 of the largest lakes in England and 3,105 kilometres of rights of way, the Lakes is the perfect place to let all your worries disappear.