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Thorney How, in Grasmere, a 3 star rated Independent Hostel offers welcoming, clean, comfortable, and simple holiday and backpacking accommodation in the heart of the Lake District.

Now available with double and family en-suites.

“The hostel is an ideal mix of the charm of the old buildings and the functionality of the modern facilities.”

18th February 2015, guest from London:
“The facilities were excellent. Staff were super friendly and the meals were perfect after a long day of walking!”

Access Statement Thorney How

Dog Policy 2014

Please read our access statement following the link above.

The flexible accommodation can cater for individual bookings, couples, family rooms, small groups and large groups.

Please be aware that We do not accept dogs! No dogs to be left in cars!

The main gentleman’s style residence and over 350 year old farmhouse is charming and has well proportioned rooms with fabulous views onto the grounds and the distant Fairfield / Hellvellyn mountain range. Typically rooms are Victorian built with features, all have interesting views, are comfortable and warm, carpeted, and are situated either on the ground floor or first floor. All bedding and bed linen is provided. Please bring your own towels.

In Spring 2013 we upgraded the bunkhouse accommodation (formerly the Annexe). Sitting underneath Helm Crag with views across the Esaedale valley, 16 beds are arranged in 4 bunk dorms with access to a shared unisex shower room and toilets. The bunkhouse currently does not have it’s own social space or catering facilities, these are shared with residents in the main house. All rooms are comfortable, carpeted and located on the ground floor with views across Lakeland fells. All bedding and bed linen is provided. Please bring your own towels.

During 2014/5 a second phase of development has completed the heating system throughout the property and now also includes two en-suite rooms.

Private parking, cycle store, drying room, licensed bar and spacious grounds complete the experience. Plus you can now hire Electric Bikes, half day, full day or evening slots available.

There are now a total of 8 showers for up to 42 people. We are undertaking changes and that will increase the number of showers as the development plans proceed. 3 new showers with underfloor heating have already been installed in the refurbished Bunkhouse. 3 private rooms are now en-suite with their own showers in the main house.


Self catering, full catering or something in between, we are always open to suggestions and ideas. With a full license for the premises for alcohol and events we invite you to please just enjoy the service. See our main Food & Drink page for more details.

With a large dining area (40+ seating capacity), full catering kitchen and full licence for alcohol and events we are equipped for all kinds of food and drink related events and activities.

Or you may simply want a good breakfast. With a range of good value options starting from £5.25 up to £7.65 for a full English (2015). All main house B&B guests will receive a complimentary basic breakfast consisting of cereal, juice, toast, tea or coffee throughout their stay.

We now also offer a range of evening meal options typically served at 7pm. Coffee, tea, soft drinks, alcoholic beverages and snacks are also available from 3.30pm through to 11pm.

Additional outdoor seating provides a great way to sit and enjoy the outdoors with your food and drink. You can also tap into the free wifi to check the weather forecast.

If you have some specific requests or are planning a function that we can help you with please just ask. We can provide a wide range of meals, celebratory functions and during 2013 we have hosted our first wedding.

A fully equipped self catering kitchen gives you the flexibility to decide to keep your costs down or to produce the food that you like. Please note that the self catering kitchen closes from 10.30am to 4.30pm and again from 11pm to 7am.

Please note that all areas of the hostel including the grounds are smoking free zones.

Please note that we politely request that you do not bring or consume your own alcohol on the premises

Bikes, Bike Hire & Parking

Secure bike shelter and free guest parking for up to 14 vehicles in our quiet and private off road location.
We have extended the car park in 2015 giving more room for manoeuvring.

Don’t forget that we also offer Electric Car Charging Points. Please call in advance for details and to book.

Car parking is freely available to all guests during their stay. We ask you not to leave your vehicle in the car park either before or after you have checked out without prior agreement from ourselves.

Car parking is limited to 14 normal sized vehicles. Please let us have your vehicle details when you book with us. We do not guarantee parking if you are arriving late after 10.30pm.

We politely request that you limit one car per room booked. Groups with excessive car usage will be asked to vacate the car park for other guests.

If you intend to travel in a large vehicle or minibus please check with us first as there is limited access and turning space. The route to Thorney How is via a 1/2 mile drive down a narrow country lane.

Thorney How is not accessible for larger coaches. Alternative parking is available in the main car park in Grasmere village.

Grasmere village and surrounding area otherwise has limited parking options. Layby’s on the A591 are the nearest free alternative. Cheaper paid all day / overnight parking is available nearby at Town End farm for £1 per day and £1 per night. Recommended if you need to leave a car for a couple of nights whilst you are out on the hill.

Bike storage is freely available in a secure and dry store. Please let us know in advance if you are planning to bring bikes or other large items to be stored. Please be aware that we do not guarantee storage if we have not been informed in advance.

Grasmere Bike Hire

Cycling in Cumbria

Cumbria is perfect for exploring by bike with country lanes, railway paths, quiet back roads and lots of National Cycle Network routes to explore.

Cumbria is possibly Britain’s best and most varied road cycling destination. With mountains and valleys, miles of mature forest, endless lake and coastal shores, the Landscape of Cumbria makes an amazing place to go cycling.

Complete novice, seasoned cyclist or even competition standard there are great routes across the county for everyone to enjoy.

Our bikes available to hire

We currently have 3 adult Merida mountian bikes available to hire on a daily basis. See below for details.

Cyclist friendly at Thorney How

We welcome all cyclists. Whether you are taking part in the Fred Whitten Challenge or just pottering around our quiet back lanes we wish to share in your enthusiasm and will try our best to take care of you.

Mountain Bike Hire

Is available to both guests and to non residents alike including visitors to the area and local people. In 2017 we will have three Merida adult mountain bikes. There are 2 larger gents style and one smaller ladies style bikes. We have no children’s bikes or tag along carriers.

Please book ahead and ensure that you are able to collect the bikes between 9.00am and 10.30am and to then return them between 3.30pm and 5.30pm.

A credit card or similar must be left as a security deposit when renting out bikes.

Don’t forget that we also offer Electric Car Charging Points. Please call in advance for details and to book.


From 9am to 5.30pm Pre-booking advisable


Mountain Bikes – £20 each per day (2 xGents / 1 x Ladies)


Helmet / Pump / Repair Kit / Lock/ Map / Advice on Routes

We do not supply lights.

Terms Minimum hire is 1 x full day. Late return charges apply. Additional security deposit required. Min age 14 with an adult. Not to be used on rugged mountain type routes.

Please note that we do not permit bikes to be kept elsewhere overnight. All bikes must be returned on the day of hire.


Short evening hire

Daylight permitting and if available our bikes can be used by our overnight guests only for a shorter evening ride. Bikes must be pre-booked to allow for preparation and be collected before 6.30pm.

Price £10 per bike.

The Grounds

Thorney How is surrounded by two and a quarter acres of unspoilt, private and secluded grounds providing a relaxing setting at the end of your day out, or somewhere to spend a few hours sharing a drink and something to eat with friends.

The grounds of Thorney How, Grasmere, offer huge potential and we have been working with landscape architects and an arboricultural specialist to draw up plans as part of our recent successful application to the Lake District National Park.

In 2014 we hope to introduce some sheep alongside our free range hens, ducks and three cats. You will also occasionally find red and roe deer, red squirrels, badgers, hedgehogs, frogs and toads, owls, buzzards, woodpeckers and tree creepers to name just a few wild animals and birds.

The grounds also include our own private garden space where we are reinstating some elements of a kitchen garden and orchard that should supply the household with some of its own vegetables, fruit, herbs and free range eggs.

Please feel free to spend time exploring and enjoying the grounds and spotting the various wildlife that finds it’s way into the grounds.

Known historical links with Grasmere’s most famous resident, William Wordsworth, and his associates have been found with reference to Thorney How and the grounds in their writing.

Please note that we do not allow open fires or BBQ’s within the grounds.