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“Great value hostel”
Review of Thorney How

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Thorney How
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed August 20, 2012

Spent one night here in August and really enjoyed this friendly, family-run hostel. Ex-YHA but upgraded with very comfortable six bed rooms or doubles. Great breakfast and evening meals looked good value. We used the well-equipped kitchen to prepare our own meal which we ate in the dining room accompanied by a nice glass of wine from the bar. Would definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Ballwatcher
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
digitaylor, Owner at Thorney How, responded to this reviewResponded August 22, 2012

Dear Ball-watcher, Thank you so much for taking the time to prepare and post your kind comments. It always gives the team at Thorney How great pleasure to provide a good service for guests and to see the rewards of our hard work. It is great to hear that you have been enjoying time at the bar, this was a new upgrade to our facilities along with the smarter dining room space completed earlier this year, which clearly, all our guests are enjoying!

Best wishes Taylor and Carolyn, Owners.

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172 - 178 of 193 reviews

Reviewed August 13, 2012

The Thorney How is a well equipped hostel in a beautiful part of the Lake District. Facilities include a decent kitchen, lounge area, cafe and bar. The staff are helpful and the hostel is clean. Rooms are simple but functional. The only down side is that it's a 15 / 20 minute walk into town and after a full day of walking up and down mountains the distance can take its toll!

It's very family friendly and apart from catering to our baby needs they were also able to cater for an adult with a variety of food allergies.

  • Stayed: August 2012, traveled with family
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Thank gkw_1981
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
digitaylor, Owner at Thorney How, responded to this reviewResponded August 16, 2012

Dear gkw-milan, Thank you for taking the time to prepare and post your positive review. It always gives the team at Thorney How great pleasure to provide a good service for guests. I do hope we are able to welcome you and your family back again to the Hostel in the future. Best wishes Taylor and Carolyn, Owners.

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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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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.

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  • 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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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: $75 - $178 (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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