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017687 77246 or

Learning programmes for schools
and youth groups.

"This place has felt like home because of your kind hearts and welcoming character, which really made this experience incredible. Thank you."

Taylor, Encompass Trust Journey of Understanding Participant, November 2013

Sample itineraries

Educational packages and resources are available at several local visitor centres and attractions, such as Brockholes (Lake District National Park Visitor Centre), Rheged, Honister Slate Mine, Keswick Museum and Art Gallery, The Wordsworth Trust, Mirehouse, The Pencil Museum, and Whinlatter Forest Park (Forestry Commission). We can arrange free farm visits to Low Bridge End Farm, and guided local farm visits and outdoor activities with the National Trust Learning Officer. Derwentwater Independent Hostel is also an ideal place for studying astronomy. The experts at provide inspiring tuition and equipment. They even set up a mobile planetarium in the hostel! Please see below for examples of our tailor-made itineraries. You can read more about these itineraries and other school visits on our News page. You can also see a photo report of our DIH Fund-subsidised residentials here.

Ridgewood Academy Year 9 English Language and Literature Residential (May 2014)

Theme: Description, looking at the ways in which the Lake District has been described for different purposes and audiences over the past 3 centuries. 

Day 1:  Tour of Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum in Grasmere, with a poetry seminar delivered by the Wordsworth Trust learning officer. Arrive at DIH. Welcome session with Katy: introduction to the history of the house and the theme of the visit. Explore the grounds with each of the five senses and then stand in a circle and share one adjective. Evening meal and then 1 hour evening activity led by Katy. Discussion of different purposes, styles and techniques for description. Walk along lake shore and then back to the hostel to write a descriptive postcard.

Day 2:  2.5 hour walk led by Katy, stopping at points to discuss different responses to the landscape. Barrow Cascade – Falcon Crag – Ashness Bridge – Surprise View – Lodore Falls – DIH. Group readings of The Cataract of Lodore by Robert Southey at Lodore Falls. Lunch at DIH and then walk to Platty+ (Lodore) for 2 hour canoeing session. Walk back to DIH. Evening meal and then 1 hour evening activity led by Katy. Independent exploration of the hostel grounds, finding something to describe in detail. Description to take any form: poem, letter, diary etc. Quiet time to write own descriptive piece (best pieces to feature in our newsletter).

Day 3:  Walk along lake shore to Crow Park, led by Katy. Lunch in Crow Park. Walk to Keswick Museum and Art Gallery (KMAG). Welcome session led by KMAG learning officer. Look at some of Southey and Coleridge’s letters and manuscripts. Discuss the use of description for museum catalogues and interpretative labels. Explore the museum independently. Quiet time to write journals. Depart Keswick at 2pm.               

Oughterside Primary School Year 3 - 6 Residential (September 2014)

Theme: Team-work and orientation in an unfamiliar environment: working together as one group to explore the geography and history of the surrounding area.

Day 1: Walk to the hostel from Keswick (their coach delivered the baggage!); evening meal; role play to re-enact the history of our Georgian house; take it in turns to lead a walk around the grounds; make a descriptive acrostic poem in the woods, decorated with natural materials collected in the grounds; design a folly for Derwent Island; and decorate Georgian gingerbread.

Day 2: Make mini-rafts out of natural materials; paint the view on a giant easel; explore our waterfall and hydro-electric plant; walk on the fells, discuss different land uses, and interact with environmental artists; lunch; ghyll scrambling; evening meal; draw the walking route on an OS Map; learn about scale and map symbols; play map symbol Pictionary; write postcards to a friend; and play Georgian parlour games.

The half day adventure activity (in this case ghyll scrambling) was delivered by our well-established partner Glaramara Activity Centre.

Here is a link to the photo report on the Oughterside School website:

Richmond Hill Primary School Year 3 Residential (November 2014)

Theme:  Volcanoes and Vikings! The formation of Borrowdale by geological and early human forces (Volcanism, Ice, Viking settlers). The evidence and legacy of these physical and human forces (soil type, flora and fauna, place names, culture).

Day 1:  Stand on the terrace and look at Skiddaw. Learn about its formation and the difference between the Skiddaw rocks and the Borrowdale Volcanic rocks. Use our bodies to renact the formation of Borrowdale.

2.5 hours of interactive indoor activities about Viking life in Borrowdale, including shield decorations (with chalk and stencils on chalk-board replica shields), grinding wheat, and learning about Viking households and customs. Delivered by Katy and Platty+.

Learn about Viking names and their meanings, with each pupil adopting a different name and writing it down in runes (the Viking alphabet). Make our names into necklaces and introduce our new selves to each other!

Supper at 6pm.

Write Viking-style sagas of the physical history of Borrowdale. Tell each other these stories, as though in Viking families.

Make a model Viking encampment with materials found in the grounds (and some cardboard!).

Day 2: Breakfast at 8am. Half day adventure activity with Glaramara.

Derwentwater Independent Hostel
Barrow House
CA12 5UR
Telephone: 017687 77246

Thank you to Geoff Williams, Rebecca Laff, Fiona McCarthy, John and Sam Snyder, and KTA for generously providing inspiring photographs.
Thank you to Lisa Bamford at Stoats and Weasels for designing our website, and to Sam Snyder for building it.
© 2013 Derwentwater Independent Hostel. All rights reserved. Registered charity: 1145368