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Excellence Rating 2013

3 June 2013 / Guests

Congratulations to us! Thorney How, Independent Hostel Grasmere is a 2013 Certificate of Excellence Winner courtesy of Trip Advisor and our recent guest reviews,

Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2013

Trip Advisor say this about their award: The accolade, which honors hospitality excellence, is given only to establishments that consistently achieve outstanding traveler reviews on TripAdvisor, and is extended to qualifying businesses worldwide. Only the top-performing 10 percent of businesses listed on TripAdvisor receive this prestigious award.

To qualify for a Certificate of Excellence, businesses must maintain an overall rating of four or higher, out of a possible five, as reviewed by travelers on TripAdvisor, and must have been listed on TripAdvisor for at least 12 months. Additional criteria include the volume of reviews received within the last 12 months.

Recent Trip Advisor reviews include the following:

“I stayed here with a friend the first week of May for two nights. Staying in the barn, we weren’t expecting much, but were instead greeted with an awesome location, beautiful building, very friendly staff and a newly renovated, clean and modern facilities. Can wholly recommend, and I shall certainly remain a regular visitor when on Adventures in the Lakes.”

“It’s years since I’ve stayed in a hostel and I wasn’t much looking forward to this trip but I have to admit, I was most impressed. The owners were very friendly and helpful (despite us returning on day 2 with copious amounts of wet goretex coats and hiking boots etc). The whole place was spotlessly clean, the breakfasts set us up well for a day in the fells and the evening meal was substantial and very tasty. Excellent beer and wine available too … Always a bonus!”

“Thorny How was more than we expected, beautiful location, comfortable rooms & lovely breakfast. We stayed for an evening meal & were not disappointed with the meal or surroundings including log fire!! We were put up in room 3 so had a whole room to ourselves, the room was clean & warm, with comfortable beds. Lovely location to get out and explore the area or on an evening enjoy reading by a roaring fire. The family are easy going and eager to please. We really had a perfect time here.”


Coast to Coast in under 40 hours?

26 March 2013 / Charity / Coast To Coast / Guests / Running

James Thurlow certainly has a mission. In support of JDRF – a charity which funds research in Type 1 diabetes, James is running the Coast to Coast long distance footpath, east to west as fast as he can.

See how fast here: http://www.howfast.org

A recent guest booked into the hostel for a one night stay in the wintry conditions of last weekend. He asked for an early checkout, as with all guests we usually try to find out a little about what brings them to Grasmere and what they are hoping to achieve during their stay.

James Thurlow

James’s story was an unusual one. James is planning to run the Coast to Coast, Wainright’s popular long distance path. As we are one the main outdoor visitor’s accommodation providers in Grasmere and located right by the Coast to Coast route we get a lot of walkers beating a trail to our door.

This year it is the 40th anniversary of the publication of Wainright’s Coast to Coast guide, so we are expecting more and more unusual activity this year. See The Wainright Society.

James himself has type 1 diabetes and is a regular outdoor sports event participant and runs his own business Open Adventure promoting Adventure Racing in the North of England and the rest of the UK.

You can help support his project to support research in Type 1 diabetes by donating to JDRF via the Just Giving page

His run from Grasmere to St Bees on Monday is recorded here

We wish him the very best of luck and we hope to see him again as he passes by in June.


UPDATE ON BUILD PROGRESS MAR 17

17 March 2013 / Project Thorney / Sustainability / Build Works

This is the week that the boiler finally arrived. What an exciting day with all hands on deck. Our initial worries about getting it installed were put to rest.

The new boiler is a Guntamatic Wood Pellet biomass fueled boiler using sustainable wood produce from Cumbria. We’re now looking forwards to firing it up for the first time and the heating coming on stream in time for reopening the Bunkhouse.

The arrival of the new boiler is a major event.

picking up the boiler

It’s ready to be unwrapped. Is it Christmas?

Is that our new boiler?

Blimey that looks a bit scary. The access is a little narrow, but this Telehandler driver seems to know what he is doing.

yikes!

Like I said it’s a tight squeeze.

its a tight fit

It’s finally there. Phew!

boiler in new place

Next is the 2000 litre hot water storage tank.

water storage next

Just pop it down there will you please?

water storage delivered

Setting up the boiler and water storage tanks. This may take a few days.

new boiler set up

Our hot water will be delivered to the main building via some highly insulated underground pipework through this trench.

heating pipework trench

This is what the pipework looks like.

underground pipe work

Our new entrance to the Bunkhouse. Preparing the ground.

preparing the new entrance

Ready to pour concrete to make the base for the entrance porch.

ready for concrete

Some more concrete delivered.

concrete delivered

The new foundations are laid.

foundations laid

This is the first layout of the 3 new shower stalls in our unisex shower room.

the shower stalls are formed

Further progress with the shower room.

shower room build

Our new underfloor heating for the shower room. Yay!

under floor heating


UPDATE ON BUILD PROGRESS MAR 02

4 March 2013 / Project Thorney / Build Works

Over the last few weeks our build project has really taken shape. Our boiler plant rooms has been constructed and all of the internal structural work is now complete. We are now waiting for internal fit out and delivery of our new Biomass Heating System.

Grasmere Bunkhouse

The old Annexe becomes the new Grasmere Bunkhouse

This is an impression of the new building, by our architect William Sutherland.
Architect's Impression

Now that the concrete base we can start the build.
The plant room build starts

The first few blocks go up quite quickly.
First blocks in place

These are the concrete roof beams. Apparently they are meant to be bent.
Concrete roof beams delivered

Once in place we have a roof.
Concrete beams in place

With the roof in place we can begin stone facing the outer walls with traditional Lakeland stone.
Roof on, stone facing starts

A painstaking approach is required.
It's a steady process

Bye bye to the old windows.
Old windows are taken out

Will they fit we all ask? Of course they will!
New windows arrived

Our disabled access takes shape.
Disabled access stonework in place

Ready for our weekend guests to arrive.
Ready for guests to arrive for the weekend

We need to cast a concrete wall at the back of the new plant room.
Concrete casting in the new plant room

Finishing the casting job off.
More concrete casting in the new plant room

Meanwhile some internal jobs are still on the go – wiring, heating system and plumbing.
Wiring and heating system in place

A new toilet will go here.
Here will be a new toilet

Finally the rooms are plastered.
Plastering out the rooms

Plastering in progress,
Plastering in progress

Our new key fobs arrive.
New key fobs ready

All organised for the new season.
All organisaed


Bright Star Film Screening March 17th

4 March 2013 / Events / Film

Our next film night presented in conjunction with The Wordsworth Trust.

Bright Star (2009) – Drama based on the three-year romance between 19th century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, which was cut short by Keats’ untimely death at age 25.

To book a ticket (and supper) please click on the following link: Wordsworth Trust – Winter Film Screenings with Thorney How

Bright Star Film Poster Image

A 2009 film based on the last three years of the life of Poet John Keats and his romantic relationship with Fanny Brawne.

Director: Jane Campion
Starring: Abbie Cornish, Ben Whishaw, Paul Schneider

For more info see Bright Star (2009)IMDb

Thorney How has expanded upon its usual Saturday night screenings and created a brand new custom film programme. Together with The Wordsworth Trust, we have selected the very best of films to celebrate the 18th Century English Romantic Poets. The programme will be shown over the course of a couple of months and will be accompanied by light discussion about the literary figures by a member of the team at The Wordworth Trust.

We invite you to watch (film only ticket price £5.00) whilst sat by our wood burning stove and what could be better than a serving of hot supper stew and chunky slice of bread for an extra £6.50 or perhaps a drink from the bar….

Films will be starting from 5pm, the event finishing at around 8.30pm.

To book a ticket (and supper) please click on the following link: Wordsworth Trust – Winter Film Screenings with Thorney How


First Newsletter

14 February 2013 / News / Newsletter

Plese follow the link below to try out our first Newsletter. Feedback is always welcome.

Newsletter February 2013

You are very welcome to subscribe to our newsletter. We will aim to publish a newsletter with news items, offers, events and film screenings plus things to do in the area around once per month.

Click the link below. This will take you to our registration page. You will be prompted to confirm your subscription via e-mail. You can unsubscribe again at any time.

Subscribe Now


Job Opportunity

14 February 2013 / Jobs / Staff

We’re recruiting for the 2013 season.

Full Time General Assistant needed March – October 2013

We have a busy year ahead and we’re confident that you will enjoy working with our close family team.

Thorney How Reception

Seasonal General Assistant required for busy independent hostel.
Location: Thorney How Grasmere
Hours per week: 40
Salary: £6.19 per hour
Accommodation: live out.
Starting: March

A busy rural hostel in south Lakeland with 50 beds, a full catering offer, events, parties, weddings as well as individual travellers and groups. We need an enthusiastic energetic team player with the ability to perform general hostel duties including some catering and bar work.

Situated off the beaten track directly on the Coast to Coast pathway and under Helm Crag in Grasmere. Thorney How is a listed building sitting in 2.25 acres of grounds, so you may even find yourself working in the garden. Must like cats and hens and have a good sense of humour.

To apply: please send a letter of application stating relevant experience, your plans for being based locally and at least two references to carolyn @ thorneyhow.co.uk

Those that meet the above criteria will be asked to attend an interview.


Byron Film Screening February 17th

3 February 2013 / Events / Film

Our next film night presented in conjunction with The Wordsworth Trust.

Byron (2003) – This made for TV film recreates the life and times of early 19th century scribe Lord Byron and his infamous antics!

To book a ticket (and supper) please click on the following link: Wordsworth Trust – Winter Film Screenings with Thorney How

Byron Film Poster

Lord Byron, Genius or Maverick or both – ‘Byron was the ideal of the Romantic poet, gaining notoriety for his scandalous private life and being described by one contemporary as ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/historic_figures/byron_lord.shtml

Director: Julian Farino
Starring: Stephen Campbell Moore, Oliver Milburn and Michael Elwyn

For more info see Byron (2003)IMDb

Thorney How has expanded upon its usual Saturday night screenings and created a brand new custom film programme. Together with The Wordsworth Trust, we have selected the very best of films to celebrate the 18th Century English Romantic Poets. The programme will be shown over the course of a couple of months and will be accompanied by light discussion about the literary figures by a member of the team at The Wordworth Trust.

We invite you to watch (film only ticket price £5.00) whilst sat by our wood burning stove and what could be better than a serving of hot supper stew and chunky slice of bread for an extra £6.50 or perhaps a drink from the bar….

Films will be starting from 5pm, the event finishing at around 8.30pm.

To book a ticket (and supper) please click on the following link: Wordsworth Trust – Winter Film Screenings with Thorney How


UPDATE ON BUILD PROGRESS FEB 13

3 February 2013 / Project Thorney / Build Works

Another two weeks since the last building development blog post and we’ve made significant progress. Our foundations are laid for the boiler room and the new internal rooms have their framework established.

The old Annexe becomes the new Grasmere Bunkhouse

The new corridor is being formed, door openings to rooms and shower block.
corridor door openings formed

Showing the full length of the corridor. Four new 4 person bunk rooms.
corridor room openings formed

2 extra toilets. OK you need to use your imagination a bit.
rooms taking shape

This will be the new shower block entrance with 3 showers and a further toilet.
establishing shower room door

A new ceiling for the shower room has had to built, extra storage space above.
new shower room ceiling

The old door (green) is about to go. The new opening will now give access to from the western side of the Bunkhouse.
new shower room external access

Blocks ready for the new plant room build.
blocks for construction delivered

First concrete delivery.
Concrete delivery number 1

Our technical solution to pouring the concrete down a 3m drop.
Concrete pouring 3

It’s all flowing smoothly, and the rig is still standing despite the weight.
Concrete pouring 1

Getting a good even distribution. Our biomass boiler plant room will be standing here soon.
Concrete pouring 2

Almost done and no snow today.
The new foundations

A bit of spare cement will do niceley to help along the new disabled access to the front door and reception.
New disabled access


UPDATE ON BUILD PROGRESS No. 2 JAN 13

20 January 2013 / Project Thorney / Build Works

It’s been two weeks since the last building development blog post and despite the weather complications things are moving along pretty fine with the new Bunkhouse refurbishment.

This is the week that things got scary. And exciting. All the unwanted internal structures were dismantled and the place became a building site proper.

First job – to remove internal walls, doors, fittings.

inner walls removed

The old shower room is being knocked out to make way for a larger shower block.

old shower room dismantled

The old toilet is being removed and the lean to cleared to allow a new entrance to be made.

removing old lean to toilet

It was good to see the place being fully cleared and to start to visualise the new spaces.

old rooms cleared out

The builders have now fully taken over.

building site stuff

The existing Annexe as seen from below approaching via Lancrigg’s private road.

old annexe seen from below

We’ve got plenty of kindling for next year. We just need to saw it up and store it somewhere!

spare kindling

We very nearly missed the old entrance coming off the building.

removing the old entrance

The new corridor is being formed – here the openings have just been created.

corridor openings formed

Another view showing where the new entrance will be from the inside.

view to new entrance

Finally after all the cold weather, rain, snow etc. we got the foundations for the boiler plant room cleared.

foundations space finally cleared

Hmmm, this pile of soil came from somewhere?

a pile of soil

First sign of the new rooms. The partitions between rooms being formed.

new room partition

New room structures from the corridor – there will be four rooms, each with four beds,

new room structures

The new shower block area gets fully opened out.

new shower space being cleared

And another skip. Is this number 3, or 4, or 5?

skip number three

The big hole starts to be refilled. New foundation preparations being laid. We just want some slightly warmer weather next. Pesky snow.

establishing new foundations