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Could be this week!

13 February 2011

We should find out within the next 24 hours that we could be moving in four days on the 17th February.

The full move will take two days, plus we intend to get access to the property on the day before to move around some of the existing furniture in advance of us arriving.

I have a big list of tasks to do this week including sorting out telephone numbers etc.

First off though is signing papers at the bank ………


More YHA properties for sale

12 February 2011 / Business / Hostelling

Three more interesting YHA properties are coming on the market in Cumbria. Included is this 220 year old mansion, grounds and woodland that is Derwentwater Youth Hostel.

Derwentwater Youth Hostel by Jeremy Sutcliffe, on Flickr

You can read more in this article, that we’re also mentioned in, in the Westmorland Gazette.

In good company

6 February 2011 / Hostelling

We’ve recently made contact with the new owner, Amy, of Plas Curig Hostel in Snowdonia. See

The YHA owned Capel Curig Hostel was sold recently and will continue as an independent hostel in the same manner that we are buying Thorney How.

The new Plas Curig Hostel will open at Easter 2011 after a refurbishment. They say:

‘Since 2010, Plas Curig Youth Hostel has become a family-run hostel offering clean, comfortable, homely, fun and most importantly cheap accommodation from which to experience the beauty of Snowdonia.’

Good luck with everything Amy.

Windblown Cumbria

6 February 2011 / News / Weather

Cumbria has weathered heavy winds and rain over the last few days.

See weather warning in the Westmorland Gazette

I got a chance to take a look around the grounds yesterday to check for any damage.

We have some tree damage and the whole site is waterlogged, much like the rest of the Lake District.

Trees down at Thorney How 4th February 2011


The Water Test Results

2 February 2011

So this is what we’ve been waiting anxiously for.

The testing of our water supply at our current address in Kentmere. As the supply it is privately owned and drawn from a local stream we now have to meet certain regulations and prove that it is safe for human consumption. Enter SLDC Environment Protection Team.

Seemingly SLDC managed to sit on this results report for three days without doing anything.

In case you're wondering this says we're 100% clear

Can we get on with it and move house now please.

Just a wee delay

31 January 2011 / Business

Ok so yes, we were being hopeful. It was going to be ‘One Week To Go’, but it’s looking like we will have a 10 day delay whilst we get things all in line with our respective buyer, seller and removal company. The 7th February target move date may now become the 17th February.

On the up side, that’s more time to arrange things and pack boxes. More time to prepare a fully detailed business plan. On the downside life gets more busy later in February and we want to build up to an Easter period of potential customers as the tourist season kicks in.

At least we’ve just had a great weekend away in Barlow and Sheffield with friends so we are feeling generally upbeat, if a little tired from all the party frolicking. Thanks Jo & Derek for your excellent hospitality.

Great North Swim

29 January 2011 / Charity

Completing the Great North Swim with my daughter Emma in 2009

Please support me undertaking this year’s Great North Swim in Lake Windermere in June.

My JustGiving donations page is here:

I last did the Great North Swim in 2009 and raised £434 for the charity MIND.

You can see my 2009 page here

This year I intend to do the 1 mile open water swim in Lake Windermere again and hope to raise at least £500 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

As before:

You can find me on facebook at

or you can follow me on Twitter

Two weeks to go

23 January 2011 / Business / Planning

Our house in Kentmere is already full of packed boxes yet we’ve still got so much to do.

The removal firm is now booked and we are hoping to get access to Thorney How a couple of days before hand to sort through stuff at that end and create some space for our own belongings before they arrive.

Meanwhile we have some business planning to do to ensure that we have everything in order. Carolyn and I will be entering into a business partnership and we will have to register the new business as Thorney How.

We’ve also been talking to many people in readiness for action as soon as we arrive such as setting up a new website, repairing the flat roof, doing a full site survey, preparing planning applications etc. etc.

One of the quirks of our bank finance was that we needed to demonstrate that Thorney How had Existing Use Registration allowing us to continue as a hostel and for us to live there. The Lake District National Park basically said that this was a no brainer as the YHA had operated there as a hostel since 1935 and had used the accommodation for their managers. The YHA have provided a statement to verify this and essentially the legal use cannot be challenged. The bank seems to be happy again now.

Next weekend we will be taking a short break away in Derbyshire, then we will be hopefully making final readiness for the move.

Independent Hostels UK

19 January 2011 / Business

Find us in the latest version of the Independent Hostel Guide

We’ve registered with Independent Hostels UK (IHUK) and we will soon have a full profile on their website.

The Independent Hostel Guide was started in 1993 when Sam Dalley decided to turn her photocopied list of twenty Independent Hostels into a book. Now online you can use the FREE search facility and maps to get up-to-the minute information on over 330 bunkhouses, bunk barns, hostels, backpackers, camping barns and group accommodation centres in England, Wales and Scotland

We’re also going to the Outdoor Leisure Show at the NEC in Birmingham on the 25-27th February where IHUK will have a stand and we can promote Thorney How on stand 441 in Hall 9. We will also be participating in their prize draw to give away a free holiday.

Sadly we’re too late to be in this years guide but you can order a copy here plus we will have them on sale at Thorney How.

Three week countdown?

16 January 2011

We’re now getting ready to move and are potentially on a 3 week countdown. If things go to plan we could be moving on the 7th February. Fingers crossed though as we head into the final stages that there aren’t too many complications to overcome.

Meanwhile we have boxes everywhere as we sort through the last 15 years of things including Emma’s, Julia’s and Laurie’s belongings that were stored in the loft.

Things will very probably be even worse at the other end for a few weeks whilst we get ourselves in order. We have several offers of help so we should be up to speed reasonably quickly.

Chaos and stuff everywhere - this would normally be our bedroom then!

But at least the loft space is clean and tidy.

Do we have a plan yet? All I can say is, is that it’s coming together!