Grasmere - Photo Credit Dave Willis

Access Statement for Thorney How

This access statement does not contain
personal opinions as to our suitability
for those with access needs, but aims
to accurately describe the facilities
and services that we offer
all our guests / visitors.


Thorneyhow is situated in Grasmere, the heart of the English Lake District. Wordsworth’s ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’. Situated under Helm Crag providing the perfect place from which to explore everything Lakeland has to offer.

We are a 15 minute walk from the village centre up a gradual incline.

We offer both catered and self catered accommodation. We have 53 beds spread over 12 bunk rooms. Facilities include bathrooms showers, drying room and a self catering kitchen , dining room and spaces to relax and if you wish to watch TV.

Thorney How is a listed building and as such we do have some restrictions on adaptations and therefore we are currently not suitable accommodation for wheelchair users having many steps/stairs and uneven surfaces surrounding our accommodation.

We look forward to welcoming you. If you have any queries or require any assistance please phone 01539435597 or email enquiries@thorneyhow.co.uk.


For full details and directions of how to reach us please see the directions on our website. Alternatively if you are not on a walking holiday you can plan your journey by public transport.

The nearest train station is Windermere, approx 9 miles away. There is a bus stop outside the station and every effort is made to link the train and bus service. Taxis are also available at the station. The nearest bus stop to

Thorney How is in Grasmere village. We are then just a 10-15 minute walk away.

We do not have a collection service.

Car Parking and Arrival

We have 14 car parking spaces for overnight guests. Two close to the house can be reserved for those who are less able. Currently there are 4 steps down to the front door, there is no hand rail. The car park is covered with slate shale and is uneven in places due to bedrock and ancient tree roots.

There is a motion sensor light in the car park and lighting over the front door.

Booking in time is from 3.30pm-10.30pm after which we lock doors. We do not have staff on duty through the night but we do live on the premises.

Welcome Area

Guests are welcome in reception accessed by the front steps and door. The floor is carpeted throughout and offers a variety of seating. The floor is even and the room well lit. Guests are directed to their rooms and informed of facilities, although we do show people around if required. We do not carry luggage as a rule, but would make an exception if the guest has a disability.

Most of our doors are approximately 73cm or wider


The most accessible bedroom is on the ground floor but currently access to the bathroom facilities requires the ability to get upstairs/steps. All beds are currently standard size bunks. Bathrooms, Shower-rooms & Toilets (Ensuite or Shared)

No bathroom is more accessible than another all having steps or stairs. The ladies bathroom has a hair-dryer.

Public Areas - Halls, Stairs, Landings, Corridors

All public areas are well lit using a combination of lighting. Corridors are clear of obstacles, there are steps on the upstairs corridor. There is a flight of stairs leading to the first floor with a small landing halfway. The stairs are carpeted and have a handrail on one side all the way up.

Public Areas - Lounge

The lounge is situated on the ground floor with a level entry from the reception area. This is where the TV /DVD is situated along with the log fire.

We are happy to manage the fire for guests. Two small leather firm sofa’s and a couple of chairs available as seating. It is suitable for only a small number of people at a time.

Public Toilet

Toilet facilities are presently only available to overnight guests as they are situated alongside the accommodation. Currently not accessible by wheelchair users or those who find difficulty navigating steps.

Dining Room

The dining room is situated on the ground floor accessible through the reception area up 4 steps with handrail or via the self catering kitchen. The self catering kitchen access has two small steps to negotiate but we intend to build a portable ramp. The licensed bar and cafe are also located in this space but we are happy to bring your drinks to you in other spaces.

As well as natural light there is a variety of lighting which we use to set the ambiance of the space. Furniture is wooden with no tablecloths with upright wooden chairs. These can be moved around to suit the guests. Crockery is light in colour and contrasts well with the wooden tables.

A high chair is available for children 6 months to 2 years old.

We can cater for a variety of dietary requirements if given advance notice. We serve all meals on request. Breakfast is a mixture of self service for cold food and service of plated hot breakfast.

Flooring is flowtex carpet.

The woodstove in the dining room is managed by the staff.


The garden is under a long period of development having been left to itself for many years. Wild and beautiful it is a designated ancient woodland, pathways are old and grown over and currently difficult to walk. Many trees have fallen and those diseased are being felled. Management of the grounds is an ongoing process and will provide you with a safer environment.

The immediate area around Thorney How is suitable for sitting and having a picnic (sorry no BBQ’s allowed at all). An easily accessible soft grassy flat lawn offers views from Thorney How that are breathtaking and the atmosphere relaxing and tranquil. Picnic benches are provided and can serve drinks and/or food to you from our cafe/bar.

We have free range hens and ducks for your entertainment

Additional Information

We welcome trained assistance dogs. A water bowl is available for assistance dogs.

Free WiFi Internet access is available

We have a set of evacuation procedures – should you require it someone will come to your room and assist you with evacuation.

Future Plans

We are currently undergoing a 5 year plan of developments and improvements to Thorney How. Increasing our bathroom facilities, improving access and changing some of our bedrooms to ensuite. The first ensuite bedroom on the ground floor will be completed in early 2013.

Whilst we are still limited by our heritage status which means we cannot widen doors for example for wheelchairs into the bedrooms, we can create a ramp and handrail into the front of the building (2013) and eventually level out some of the uneven floor levels and small steps where possible.

We will do our best to accommodate guests with limited mobility, hearing and visual impairments. If you have a specific need or are not sure if we are suitable for you please give us a call and we can discuss.

Contact Information

Address: Thorney How Grasmere Cumbria LA22 9QW

Telephone: 01539435597

Email: enquiries@thorneyhow.co.uk

Website: www.thorneyhow.co.uk

Grid Reference:Grid ref: 332084

Hours Of Operation: 7am-11pm (but we also live here)

Local Equipment Hire:

Grasmere WI have a walking frame and a wheelchair that can be booked in advance

Local Accessible Taxi:

There is a local taxi service (Ambleside) that has an accessible taxi. It is called John’s Taxis and it’s telephone number is 015394 32857.

Local Public Transport:

Low floor easy access bus service Stagecoach (555) online timetable available

Thorney How offers B&B and Bunkhouse type guest accommodation. Rated as a 4 star Hostel in Grasmere, Lake District. Previously YHA, now an independent hostel. The very first Grasmere Hostel since 1932.

Thorney How and Grasmere Bunkhouse | guest accommodation privately owned and managed by Taylor and Carolyn Nuttall since 2011.