Looking after our
Very special environment!

We hope you will too, so that we can all continue to enjoy it.


400 year old heritage
Characterful surroundings
Environmental guardianship

Once a working farmstead, Thorney How is one of the oldest properties in Grasmere dating back around 400 years. As responsible custodians of a historic building within such natural, beautiful surroundings; taking care of our environment has been at the core of our thinking from the very start.

At Thorney How, we proactively support sustainable tourism. Environmentally friendly practices feed into all our business operations and decision making as we endeavour to minimise our impact on the natural environment, whilst providing an excellent guest experience and commercial sustainability.

Though we have already made a lot of changes to the building, we still have on-going refurbishment plans to invest further into self-sufficiency and of course, even more recycling!

"Our second enjoyable stay. This time we stayed for 4 nights over the end of the busy half term period in one of the newly refurbished double en-suite rooms. I liked that the owners are well connected within the community, running film nights to raise money for Mountain Rescue. They also looked after people who had been affected by the 2015/6 floods. Small family run businesses like this put their heart and soul into making them work and it makes me feel good to support them."

Guest Review Quote - June 2018 (Stayed in double room)

As Coast to Coast walkers we treated ourselves to a stay at Thorney How and very much enjoyed the friendly welcome and cosy evening with great food in front of the fire place.

Reviewed February 2018

Biomass Boiler

Natural ancient woodland
With wildlife, birds and dark skies
Meet the rare breed sheep
Free range hens & ducks

Biomass Boiler

A 100kW Guntamatic Biocom wood pellet boiler meets the hot water and heating requirements of both Thorney How buildings. It is a low carbon alternative to electricity with much fewer emissions than traditional fossil fuels.

Sustainable Travel

Walking is what the majority of our visitors are here for – and it’s the best kind of sustainable travel there is. However, we provide electric car and bike charging points for our guests and even have our very own hybrid vehicle for business travel. As active supporters of the Drive Less See More campaign we always promote the local public transport links and encourage our guests to car share.


Whilst our heating and hot water comes from the Biomass Heating System, we still needed to research and find the most eco-friendly power supplier we could for our additional energy requirements. We like to minimize the use of electricity at Thorney and installed automatic lighting where we can throughout the buildings. Even small things such as turning appliances off when they are not in use and using green web hosting services make a difference!


Our bathrooms have recently been updated with brand new eco shower-heads, auto turn on/off taps and half-flush cisterns. We use a special eco-friendly washing machine for towels and linen and we even make sure to collect water for all the lifestock on Thorney grounds, rather than running a tap - all in order to reduce water wastage wherever we can.


Waste reduction practices are applied wherever possible with an extensive recycling program integrated throughout Thorney How. Our wood burning stoves use felled or damaged wood from our own grounds, which are carefully maintained and we have installed high efficiency electric hand driers instead of paper hand towels. Fresh drinking water is also readily available in an effort to reduce bought plastic bottles.


Thorney How has a wonderful reputation for quality food. We are keen to use locally sourced ingredients and even include our home-grown summer fruits, salads and seasonal vegetables from the Thorney Polytunnel to our menu. To keep our food fresh we keep our stocks low and encourage guests to pr-eorder in an effort to manage food properly and avoid wastage.

Described by Wordsworth as “the loveliest spot man hath ever found”, let us help to build wonderful memories for you in this stunning part of the Lake District.

Download Sustainability Statement

Sustainability Statement


Achievements and
Work in progress

Green Tourism Gold Award

Thorney How has achieved a Gold Award from Green Tourism, the largest and most established sustainable certification programme in the world.

Thorney How management has worked hard over the last few years since we acquired the hostel in 2011 from the YHA to improve the facilities from a 1 star grading to a 4 star grading whilst also enhancing the sustainability of the business. It is great news that our efforts have been recognised on our first assessment.

A Green Tourism Award means that a business works responsibly, ethically and sustainably, contributes to their community, is reducing their impact on the environment and aims to be accessible and inclusive to all visitors and staff. Businesses that meet the required standard receive a Bronze, Silver or Gold award based on their level of achievement; scores of 80% and over are eligible for Gold accreditation.

To achieve accreditation, Thorney How was graded on-site by a qualified Assessor against a rigorous set of criteria, covering a range of areas such as energy and water efficiency, waste management, biodiversity and social involvement and communication. Thorney How has been particularly keen to enhance all aspects of it’s Co2 footprint whilst operating from a Grade 2 listed building in a National Park and World heritage Site, our Co2 footprint scored excellent by the Assessor.

At Thorney How, we proactively support sustainable tourism. Environmentally friendly practices feed into all our business operations and decision making as we endeavour to minimise our impact on the natural environment, whilst providing an excellent guest experience and commercial sustainability.

Green Leaders

The TripAdvisor GreenLeaders Programme showcases a variety of eco-friendly hotels and B&Bs, from budget to luxury – and they’re all committed to green practices like recycling, local and organic food, and electric car charging stations.



Thorney How
Girl near Easedale Tarn



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