October 2016

Welcome to the October newsletter
Winter offers, cake, and volunteer news.

The winter is an interesting and exciting time to visit the Lake District, particularly when you wrap up warm and eat lots of cake.

We have some special winter offers, hopefully enabling you to make an extra visit, and we have also included a recipe for our Coffee and Apple Cake, one of our hostel favourites.

Winter offers: 35% off dorm beds and rooms when you book early online with the code winter01.
A special offer for our supporters.

To reward our supporters and regular visitors we have created an exclusive offer going out to everyone who receives our monthly newsletter: 35% off beds and rooms this winter if you book before 30th November.

For bookings via our website www.derwentwater.org you can use the code winter01 to get 35% off private and family rooms and 35% off dorm beds.

The offer applies to new bookings to stay at Derwentwater Independent Hostel between 1st November 2016 and 9th March 2017, when booked before 30th November 2016. The offer does not apply to group bookings, and only a limited number of beds and rooms are available at this price, but there is plenty of availability at the moment!

For group bookings, contact us direct by phone or email for our best winter group prices.

We hope to see you soon.

Map and Lucia
Our German volunteer, Lucia, describes her walk up Scafell Pike. Read more...

Lucia Redecke volunteered with us throughout October, helping with a variety of tasks and guests, and making the most of the beautiful weather. Here is her account of a particularly memorable day out:

Day on Scafell Pike

Hello everyone,
My name is Lucia and I’ve been a volunteer at Derwentwater Independent Hostel during October 2016. I’m from Berlin, Germany. After having finished my law studies in summer I’ve decided to take one year off in order to make some new and different experiences. As my special field is European Law I was quite interested in spending some time in England after the Brexit vote. I chose the Lake District because a friend had told me about it with great enthusiasm and the Hostel because of the beautiful pictures and the peaceful location near the lake.

During my stay I went for several nice walks and discovered many wonderful places in the Lake District. One particular walk took me to Scafell Pike. It was a very nice sunny autumn day when we started the climb through the Corridor Route. In the beginning it was rather quiet with only a few other walkers and some sheep around us. The landscape became more and more impressive and made me sometimes doubt about still being in England. It rather felt like a film setting. Later on our path changed and we found ourselves more in some kind of rocky moon landscape. The more we approached the summit the more walkers coming from the other route joined us, some of them showing first signs of exhaustion. The last part is a little bit cruel because it always looks as if you’re nearly there before you discover another turn or climb. But finally after about three hours of walking we had reached the top and could enjoy the rewarding feeling of being at the highest point of England. The view was good so that it was even possible to see the Isle of Man. Unfortunately Scotland was a little bit hidden under some clouds. As it was getting cold after some time we decided to start the way back. Some concentration was required in the beginning not to slip on a moving stone or between two rocks. However, this was my favourite part of the walk! Afterwards the descent went quite fast, which I noticed through a funny feeling in my ears. It was a very nice and memorable day on Scafell Pike!

Coffee and apple cake
Here is the recipe for one of our autumnal favourites (actually, a favourite at any time of the year!). Read more...

The Barrow House Coffee and Apple Cake has been very successful this autumn, with particularly good bakes by Lucia, our German volunteer. It certainly went down well with the folk who came on the National Trust guided walks in October: one lady even declared, 'that's the best cake I've ever tasted in my life!' Here's the recipe: 

Makes 24 pieces in a 40cm x 26cm rectangular tin. Oven temp: 375 F or 190 C or Gas 5.

175g sultanas

2 tablespoons dry instant coffee

250ml water

180g butter

2 teaspoons vanilla essence

450g brown sugar

2 eggs

500g self raising flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 apples, grated

Caramel icing

6 tablespoons brown sugar

90g butter

3 tablespoons milk

400g icing sugar

1. Combine sultanas, coffee and water in saucepan.

2. Bring to boil, remove from heat, cool to room temperature.

3. Cream butter, vanilla essence and sugar together until light and fluffy.

4. Beat in the eggs, until smooth.

5. Stir in half the flour, cinnamon and soda with half the sultana mixture.

6. Stir in the remaining flour and sultana mixtures.

7. Stir in the grated apple.

8. Spread mixture in greased tin.

9. Bake at 375 F for about 25 minutes. Allow to cool.

Caramel Icing

1. Combine brown sugar, butter, and milk in a saucepan.

2. Stir constantly over heat, without boiling, until smooth.

3. Gradually stir in sifted icing sugar.

At the end of October we had the first of many winter bonfires. Read more...

At the end of October, on a mild, dry, and very calm night, we started a bonfire, working our way through piles of vegetation and old fencing, accumulated from the Storm Desmond clean-up and a summer of rhododendron clearance.

Pez in particular has done a fantastic amount of gardening this year, opening up the view of the waterfall from the rear of the hostel, and clearing lots of rhododendrons from around the fine Irish yews. 

We really enjoyed gathering around the bonfire, toasting marshmallows, and there will probably be a few more this year - plenty of stuff to get through!

Claire the kayaking champion!
We really enjoyed Claire's cheerful company for three weeks in October. Read more...

G'day mate! What enthusiastic greetings we enjoyed, in a Leeds-Aussie twang, for three sunny weeks in October. Meet Claire O'Hara, the kayaking instructor who led three groups of Leeds Beckett first year university students through their paces, day in-day out, with a record number of wetsuit changes. Oh, and she happens to be a 7 time world champion too!

Claire was born in Leeds and completed her degree in Sport and Recreation Development at Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett). She became captain of the university kayak club and from 2001 started competing seriously in freestyle kayaking, making the British team in 2006. Since then she has been a world champion 7 times, in several different paddling disciplines, and she is the current Freestyle Kayak and Squirt Boat World Champion. Claire now lives in Australia, but she travels all over the world to compete, coach, talk and advise, as well as delivering sessions like those for Leeds Beckett.

After every one of Claire's sessions the students came back 'buzzing' and we could see the respect and camaraderie between them. Hopefully we will see Claire again next year, but in the meantime 'happy paddling'.

Here is her website: http://www.claireohara.co.uk/

Derwentwater Independent Hostel
Barrow House
CA12 5UR
Telephone: 017687 77246
Email: reception@derwentwater.org

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