For a walking weekend, we stayed at the Hope Memorial Camp near Braithwaite (close to Keswick) in the Northern Lakes and the centre itself is a convenient location for walks in Whinlatter Forest and around Bassenthwaite with some walks able to start from the centre itself – Very handy! Set in 35 acres of land, the centre has heating, showers, dormitory accommodation and is self – catering.
This is the second time I’ve stayed here with a group of around 20+ people (we all know each other) and were able to spread out across all the rooms with around 2-3 to each room. Rooms vary from singles to one or two bunk beds per room or 1 or 2 rooms with 3 bunk beds. Each room is named after mountains/lakes in the area with each room having a window, lighting, a radiator and a shelvng unit for everyone to place their belongings with larger bags fitting underneath the beds. Whilst none of the dorms appear to have plugs, their are plugs to be found in the common areas and the corridor.
6 bed dorm
As well as the dorm rooms being off the main corridor (pictured below), the top part of the corrdior (kitchen end) is where the bathrooms for males and females can be found, as well as three individual showers which have a limited amount of hot water so please consider others when showering. The lights for the showers can be turned on by a seperate key and box, located on the wall before you walk in so check before you undress. There is also another shower further down the corridor if needed.
Due to severe flooding that affected many parts of the UK over winter 2015/16 including Cumbria, the centre had a temporary boot room in the second common area as the previous boot room was drying out from the previously mentioned flooding and was being rebuilt as the time of our visit. We still used this common room for evening activities including board games and watching films (all equipment was ours, not a service provided by the centre).
Corridor to common area & kitchen, shower and boot room/common area 2
With the kitchen not really being my department as I am not the best cook, particularly compared to other people I travel with, the kitchen is well stocked with plenty of bowls, cups, dishes, cutlery etc to cater for a fully occupied camp, it does fall a little on the small side when preparing and/cooking and during this visit we seemed to have issues with the oven but as this didn’t happen previously, we muddled through it as it meant heating the oven up just took longer than normal.
You do have to pay for your electricity before you depart which is on a meter, the owner will visit to check this and collect the money for usage. There is wi-fi in this remote location, £5 for the stay regardless of how many people connect but as this camp is in the middle of nowhere, don’t expect it to be fast.
Would I stay here again? Yes!