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“Awesome country hostel”
Review of Thorney How

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Thorney How
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed July 19, 2012

I stayed here with a friend whilst backpacking around the uk. It is a great place to stop off and enjoy the lakes district. It is a short walk to Grasmere, and there are many hikes which can be done very close to the hostel. The kitchen is great, and there is free wifi too. They need more showers, but I was assured by the owners that they are waiting on planning approval before any changes can be made to the old buildings.

Stayed: July 2012, traveled with friends
Thank Jonathan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
digitaylor, Owner at Thorney How, responded to this reviewResponded July 20, 2012

Thank you for taking the time to write your review. It's great to know that our guests have enjoyed their stay with us.

As you might imagine we are constantly reminded that the shower provision is inadequate for the size of the hostel. This is an issue that we put to the local planning board last year having acquired the hostel from the YHA and hoping to be in a position to upgrade the provision in Spring 2012 in time for the busy Summer season. As a Grade 2 listed building we are obliged to seek out consent for any changes that we make, both external and internal. Our plans have been on display on the walls of our reception this year.

Sadly our plans were not fully approved and we resubmitted new proposals after some lengthy dialogue with the planning board a couple of weeks ago. We are now awaiting a decision, due around mid September.

This year we decided to maintain the provision as is and instead concentrate on making improvements elsewhere such as the bar / dining room. We are up front about the shower provision with guests and like yourself this has not greatly diminished the experience of staying with us. The dining room and bar have added a great ambience to the place and the changes have been welcomed by guests.

Thanks again. Hopefully you will visit us again in the near future.

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166 - 172 of 185 reviews

Reviewed June 5, 2012

Where to start with this hostel? That is the question. Would it be the mad owner, the racist chef, the mediocre food, the uncomfortable beds, the lack of washroom facilities or the dust and grime found around the establishment.

Well let's start from the top shall we.

The mad owner: Upon arrival a group of friends and I were greated by a very fraut gentleman and his wife who seemed to be running around like Basil Fawlty trying to do a hundred and one tasks in one sitting. Once directed to our rooms we were told the rules of the hostel (fare enough) only to be told in a manner that seemed to be very abrupt and if we were to defy them in any way what so ever we would have the staff line us up against a wall and put us in the firing line (this did however provide us with some light entertainment around a few drinks at the local bar Tweedies).

The chef: The morning after the night before we came down for breakfast in the newly refurbished dinning room only to have to listen to an irate Irishman rant in the main kitchen about certain ethnic groups from the midlands area. I do not think that this is appropriate behaviour from anyone, let alone a so called family hostel. There were children present in the dinning room and I don't think that this is acceptable behaviour. I would not like my children to have to listen to this and I am considering lodging a formal complaint to the appropriate authorities in due course.

The food: Slapped on the plate, burnt around the edges, cold and the complete opposite to what you need before a full day on the fells.

The beds: Uncomfortable, plastic lined as if I was going to wet them and past their best. I seriously think the owner needs to consider new matresses.

Washroom facilities: As mentioned in reviews before, seriously lacking. One shower male and one female. We would all be better out in the fresh Lakeland rain. Something I think the owners are looking into though. The sooner the better.

The dust and grime: at first glacé the hostel seems clean enough but once you inspect closer the washhand basins in the toilets are covered in a layer of grime, the tops of the storage units in rooms someone had actually written their name, sweet wrappers down the sides of the beds, cobwebs above windows and behind doors. I could go on bit I think you are getting the picture by now.

All round a poor display. Time to pick up your game guys. There are plenty of other establishments out there all looking for that same customer to come time and again. It is a very competitive Market out there, especially in Grasmere. I seriously think you need to consider your staffing and look into hiring new help.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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3  Thank Alannelson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Management response:Responded July 2, 2012

To begin I must first apologise to the writer of this review that they have not had the kind of experience that we expect to deliver to guests staying with us at Thorney How. I am very disappointed to have read all of the remarks contained here. Whilst we cannot afford to have bad days as a business, this must have been one of those days. Unfortunately we have no clues as to the actual date of the visit (May 2012), for some reason the posting dated 5th June only went live 6 days ago since which I have been formulating an appropriate response.

I would like to draw attention to comments received elsewhere that have highlighted:
The friendly and welcoming staff.
The best cooked breakfast since arriving in the UK.
The comfortable beds.
The spotless cleanliness.
The professionally managed hostel.

I am however very disappointed that the reviewer has chosen to make personal remarks about character through an online review, I believe that this is inappropriate. Whilst we might accept the charge of being slightly mad, this is an element of what differentiates independent establishments from other bland and faceless provision. We intend to continue to be ourselves and to continue to invest our passions and interests in all that we do here. In the current economic climate this often means that we will need to work very hard and I believe that we should not be criticised for this.

There are only two rules that we are obliged to remind guests about, both are tied to regulative legislation and our responsibilities around smoking and as a licensed establishment, alcohol. Most guests see no issue with these as they compare to other businesses.

I have a more serious concern about the issues raised about the chef. I am confused that someone considering complaining to authorities has not first taken the time to bring the matter to the attention of the owner of the premises. The first route of action would be a disciplinary one. With such anecdotal evidence the comments raised here serve no helpful purpose.

To reassure other potential visitors to Thorney How we can say firstly that prior to the review being posted staffing changes were already underway and recruitment in progess. Secondly, that all areas of the building are cleaned daily along with additional frequent inspections. Some areas of the building are of course shared, so guests may not be the first users of a washroom. According to wiki.answers it takes about an hour for a spider to make a web. Thorney How is a 350 plus year old building, its traditional stone built walls are full of crevices and you will find many spiders living here. It is virtually impossible for us to provide guests with a spider and cobweb free environment, this is not an indication of cleanliness. Finally, the mattresses are standard issue used in hostel and bunk bed type accommodation; it is certainly helpful that they are waterproof.

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Reviewed June 5, 2012

We had a two bunk room for just the two of us. It was small but functional and had everything we needed. The staff were very friendly and welcoming of us and the dogs and the breakfasts were good. The bathrooms were clean and never too busy on the occasions we used them; the hot powerful shower was very welcome after a long day's walking! We didn't expect luxury but nor was that what we needed. My boyfriend and I were in the area with our mountaineering society but the hut they were in up the road didn't take dogs. The kennel here was just perfect for our two large huskies who enjoyed the view of all the wildlife and I'm sure they preferred it to kennels at home where the walks would have been much less exciting. Overall, we thought it was very good value compared to other accommodation in the area and we've yet to come across such a great set up for the dogs.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Sarah N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
digitaylor, Owner at Thorney How, responded to this reviewResponded June 6, 2012

Thank you for a great review. We're very pleased that both you and the dogs enjoyed their stay. They were beautiful dogs too.

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Reviewed May 31, 2012

I really enjoyed my stay at Thorney How. The staff were very friendly and encouraged us to make use of the wi-fi and bar. They let us watch films in the evening which was great. Would definitely come again.

  • Stayed: May 2012
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1  Thank AlexFili
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
digitaylor, Owner at Thorney How, responded to this reviewResponded June 2, 2012

Thanks so much for the great review. Our film nights on Saturday evenings are certainly proving popular.

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Reviewed May 30, 2012

After our hardest day's walk the proprietor could only direct us to the DIY kitchen for a glass of water. Towels were £2 extra over the £55 paid for the room, When I asked why he hadn't mentioned this when I booked he said 'well you didn't ask!' both he and his partner insisted that this was because 'we are not a B & B' despite both their web site and local adverts claiming that they were. Only 1 antiquated shower for up to 30 people, food mediochre, beds uncomfotable, and although we had a room to ourselves we could have had to share with two other people.
At £55 this was an expensive and overrated hostel, our companions who stayed at the YHA hostel had a much better experience for less money.

Room Tip: Stay somewhere else
  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Barrie A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
digitaylor, Owner at Thorney How, responded to this reviewResponded June 2, 2012

We've noted the comment about towels and added this to our information for guests that is sent to all guests on completion of a booking.

We state quite clearly in all our advertising literature that we are an Independent Hostel offering simple B&B accommodation.

All our pricing options are clearly stated, we aim to offer a different experience to that provided by the YHA. This is generally confirmed by other reviews posted here.

We make reference to limited showers on our website - currently 1 to 15, and typically a much lower ratio when we are not full. We have commented elsewhere about the limitations of local planning consent and our desire to change and improve the shower provision.

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Reviewed May 27, 2012

Great one night stay at Thorney How. Room good. My husband and I had 4 bunk bedroom to ourselves although realize if very busy would have to share.Great breakfast cooked for us in morning. Dogs well catered for with the roomy kennel in the grounds. always glad to be able to take dogs with us. really enjoyed our stay.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Jane B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
digitaylor, Owner at Thorney How, responded to this reviewResponded May 29, 2012

We've realised that the provision of accommodation for walkers with dogs is somewhat limited in the Lakes, so we're genuinely pleased that our dog kennel for two is proving beneficial to travellers.

Worth noting for other potential doggy users is the fact that our wooded grounds where the kennel is located may also be frequented by other creatures from cats to badgers, squirrels and deer as well as hooting owls, so we do not recommend the kennel for nervous types.

Many thanks for highlighting this extra feature of the hostel in your review.

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Reviewed May 20, 2012

We turned up without reservations on a Bank Holiday, looking very tired and hungry. It was very full but the young man at reception so kindly give up his own room for us to stay in. Needless to say, we were very grateful. The rooms were comfy, the showers and toilets were decent and they even had a film night the day we were there on a huge screen (for free). Choices for breakfast included continental, full English + cereals, porridge, toast, etc (the usuals), which is always very welcome. Packed lunches were provided for a small fee. A welcome change from camping with very friendly staff and a comfy, clean night's stay.

Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
Thank Lee F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
digitaylor, Owner at Thorney How, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2012

So glad we could help you at a time of need!

Grasmere is a problem for campers and we're well aware of the issue - watch out for camping pods in the near future.

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Additional Information about Thorney How

Address: Thorney How | Off Easedale Road, Grasmere LA22 9QW, England
Phone Number:
Location: United Kingdom > England > Cumbria > Lake District > Grasmere
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 Specialty Lodging in Grasmere
Price Range: $70 - $214 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Thorney How 3*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Proud to be part of the Lake District World Heritage Site, we are centrally located in Grasmere. Thorney How offers independent, family run licensed guest accommodation. With flexible room types choose from en-suite B&B rooms with double, twin and family rooms or Bunkhouse type rooms with access to shared facilities. The property provides up to 42 comfortable beds , these are mostly bunk style beds arranged across 2 buildings situated in 2 1/4 acres of stunning natural grounds, and over 350 years of heritage. With the backdrop of magnificent fells, adjacent to the Coast to Coast path, local Grasmere village amenities and lake, the tranquil location provides the perfect place from which to explore everything Lakeland has to offer. Bike hire and car charging points also available. ... more   less 
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