In Kendal or within a 45 minute drive:
1. Lumlee fee bunkhouse – booked by the Caedmon choir!
2. Elterwater hostel – used to be a YHA but is now independent. We’ve used it for choir meets with visiting Slovenian choirs and also choirs from the south of England. In the stunning Langdale valley – and near a very good pub the Britannia Inn where our choirs sing – and where we may have our Thursday night singing event (or nearby in Little Langdale) – about a 35 minute drive to the festival in Kendal. Sleeps 40 in 11 bedrooms (6 x 2 beds, 1 x 4 beds, and 4 x 6 beds.) B&B and meals or self catering – it’s a busy weekend for them when they would normally probably have full occupancy with people have all their meals there – but for the whole hostel they could let a choir have it for about £1200 per night (negotiable.) Or you can just book rooms (eg 5×2 bed rooms, 1 x 4 bed room, and 1 x6 bed room) and share the hostel with others staying there (from about £30 B&B per night.) Tel. 015394.37245 website: http://www.elterwaterhostel.co.uk/
3. Longrigg Residential Centre – self catering school hostel about 1/2 mile from my house in Sedbergh – 10 miles east of Kendal, c.30 minutes by car. Sleeps a maximum of 30 in 6 bedrooms – you pay for a minium of 12 people staying there for sole use (£17 per night each singer – if you have 30 singers it drops to £15 per night.) Nice views, clean hostel, great kitchen and dining room – place is set up for self catering groups and we’ve used it for several visiting choirs and my own singing events. Tel. 015396.21161 website: http://longrigg.org.uk/
4. Howgills Bunk Barn – lovely hostel up in the Howgills near Sedbergh – wonderful setting and nice self catering hostel with 8 bedrooms of 4 beds (modern bunks) with underfloor heating and great views. We’ve hosted several visiting choirs from Slovenia and Northumbria here. You can have sole use, or just rent rooms. Nigel Close who owns it also rents self catering flats for the weekend in Sedbergh each sleeping up to 6 people with several in each house. http://www.howgillsbunkbarn.co.uk/
5. Kendal Hostel – booked by the Three Valleys Gospel choir who say they may have some beds available. This used to be the YHA and is now independent. Right in the centre of town next to the vast Brewery Arts Centre – very convenient. Some en suite, 14 bedrooms ranging from 2 beds to 14 – the whole hostel sleeps 64 people. http://www.kendalhostel.com/
6. Rydal hall – a Christian community where they do accommodation with all meals between Ambleside and Grasmere about 30 minutes drive to Kendal – the Blackburn People’s Choir use it for their choir residentials. Very near to where we will be doing our Sunday night extra event – and good for swimming in Rydal water if you like that sort of thing. More pricey than self catering – though they also have a bunk barn which they rent, and have yurts and camping. http://www.rydalhall.org/
7. Brathay Hall – an outdoor management training centre where they also do accommodation with meals in Ambleside – about 30 minutes from Kendal – Chris Rowbury uses it for an annual workshop he hosts there. They also have self catering bunkhouse accommodation which you can rent out for sole use for groups of 16, 24 or 31 with different reasonable prices – ask them about their Shackleton Lodge. https://www.brathay.org.uk/brathayhall
8. Glen Rothay hotel and Badger Bar – stunning location beside Rydal water and very near where Wordsworth lived at Rydal Mount. We use the pub twice a year for our singing events with carols in a candlelit cave and singing walks on Loughrigg and round the lake. Hotel prices: http://www.theglenrothay.co.uk/
9. The Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel – iconic hotel at the head of the Langdale valley – absolutely stunning location surrounded by some of the best Lake District mountains including the Langdale Pikes with their distinctive skyline – the hotel is nice, the bar is rough with hillwalkers and rock climbers all together round the fire or outside in the garden overlooked by Eagle Crags and the rock climbers. There’s a great folk music session here on Wednesdays and two folk festivals each year raising money for the Mountain Rescue service. Hotel prices, but an interesting place to stay. About 45 minutes to Kendal. http://www.odg.co.uk/
10. KENDAL HOTELS – hotel prices ie not cheap – nice places with comfort:
11. Glenthorne Quaker guest house and conference centre – sole booking or rent rooms – lovely setting in Grasmere, where William Wordsworth lived – about 45 minutes to Kendal. http://www.glenthorne.org/
12. Lancrigg Vegetarian hotel – my favourite hotel in the Lakes in a stunning setting in Easedale valley near Grasmere and beautiful views. Not cheap – but friendly staff. It was owned and run by my friend Robert Whittington for the past 30 years but it’s been sold recently and there are rumours that the new owners will introduce meat onto the menu, but still a nice place to stay. http://lancrigg.co.uk/
13. Camp sites: (some of these say they don’t take groups – but I have stayed here with choirs – ring them up and talk with them – what they worry about are stag and hen parties and noisy parties)
Loughrigg Tarn camp site – my favourite! £3 each per night – the site has a toilet and a tap – and that’s it. It also has stunning views of the surrounding mountains with the Langdale pikes in the distance and Loughrigg tarn is just a few hundred yards away for a morning dip. And no road near it – stunningly quiet at night.
Langdale valley camp site – one large National Trust one with lots of facilities if you like that sort of thing (eg hot showers, shop, internet etc.) near the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel – about 45 minutes drive to Kendal – beautiful setting and the pub at the Old Dungeon Ghyll is iconic
Low Wray NT site near Ambleside and Wray castle – nice spit by the lake – about 40 minutes drive to Kendal –
17. Rookhow centre – next to an old Quaker Meeting house and surrounded by woods at the southern end of the Grizedale forest – about 30 minutes to Kendal. Relatively cheap – all self catering – dormitories and/or camping. http://www.rookhowcentre.co.uk/contact-us
18. Kentmere – a lovely valley near Kendal, about 20 minutes drive up into the mountains. This mountain village has a bunk barn (Maggs Howes which sleeps 12 – 015398.21689) and also houses which you can rent or B&B. http://kentmere.org/Accommodation/accommodation.htm
20. Butharlyp Howe hostel – Grasmere YHA – YHA prices –
21. Grasmere hostel – sleeps up to 24 – very nice setting up on Dunmail Raise near Grasmere – independent hostel – you can book for sole use or share with others – 5 en suite bedrooms sleeping 3, 4, 5 or 6 . The Guardian and the Rough Guide both described it as the Lake District’s finest independent hostel. NOt used it myself but know of other local singing groups who have and they liked it. About 35 minutes to Kendal.
23. Group accommodation website in Kendal and nearby (eg Windmere or Grange – 8 miles – 20 minutes drive to Kendal) – I don’t know these properties (apart from the one in Grayrigg where I led a singing workshop and was very nice) – but it looks like a very useful website with lots of places sleeping from 6-40. http://www.groupaccommodation.com/locations/kendal
David Burbidge, Smithy Cottage, Farfield, Sedbergh, Cumbria LA10 5LW, England. Tel. 015396.21166 www.lakelandvoice.co.uk