…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’.