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Learning programmes for schools
and youth groups.

"Just wanted to say a big thanks to your excellent team for making our stay an enjoyable one. Great facilities, great food and top class staff."

Chester Triathlon Club, September 2018.


The activities of Joseph Pocklington, the eccentric gentleman who bought Derwent Island in 1778 and built Barrow House in 1787, did a great deal to inspire tourism in Borrowdale. His friend, the local man Peter Crosthwaite, was also a catalyst for tourism: he built a museum in Keswick, helped to organise an annual regatta on Derwent Water with Pocklington, and encouraged visitors to follow his maps to recommended viewing stations.

Joseph Pocklington also popularised the largest boulder in Borrowdale: the Bowder Stone. He placed a ladder against the stone, allowing visitors to climb to the top, and he made Borrowdale appear less forbidding to non-locals.

However, it was not until the arrival of the railway in Keswick, in 1864, that tourism really took off. Visitors flocked to experience the natural wonders of the area: Derwent Water, the Bowder Stone, the Lodore Falls, and the high fells. Today, in addition to the natural landscape, there is now an incredible diversity of activities and festivals which attract a wide range of people to Borrowdale. Most of the land is owned by The National Trust and, in partnership with the Lake District National Park Authority, they are able to promote a wide range of accessible, adventurous, and educational activities for enjoyment of the area.

The Lake District was awarded World Heritage Status in 2017. What impacts will this have on tourism and the environment? 

We can investigate the different impacts of tourism on the environment and communities of Borrowdale, Keswick, and the Lake District National Park as a whole. We can also research the policies surrounding tourism, and explore the future of the tourist industry in the Lake District National Park.

Sample activities

  • Conduct traffic (pedestrians, cyclists, motorists) count surveys in different areas of Borrowdale.
  • Visit the Lake District National Park Visitor Information Centre at Brockholes - how are visitors educated and catered for in the Lake District?
  • Visit the Borrowdale Story exhibition in Grange to learn about the attractions of Borrowdale.
  • Make a case study of one tourism business in Keswick or Borrowdale.
  • Study the plans for a new railway at Keswick: explore its advantages and disadvantages. Look at the role of the community in the railway campaign: CKP bonds, volunteer led campaign etc.
  • Locate places of interest on Google maps (or similar) and use markers to create a map of local sights.
  • Research places of interest on the internet and design an itinerary for different types of visitors.
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