Access Statement & Risk Assessment

Pre Arrival

Bookings and enquiries can be made online via email or by telephone on 015394 35055

The nearest bus stops are the Travellers Rest Pub which is 400 metres south of us or Town Head 200 metres to the north. The nearest train station is Windermere 11 miles away.  Taxis and buses run from the station. We are on the number 555 bus route. If travelling from the north it is possible to stop at Penrith railway station (21 miles away) and catch a bus from Penrith to Keswick and then bus onwards to Grasmere (No. 555 bus). 

The farm and Hostel driveway is a typical farm drive with rough gravel stones up a hill (1 in 20-30% slope) to the farm yard and hostel. The car park, roadway and hostel front entrance are largely compacted gravel. We recommend the use of torches to assist safe walking at night.

Arrival and Car Parking Facilities

The car park is surfaced with compacted gravel, with 20-40mm loose gravel on top. Parking is marked by half round unfixed wooden poles on the ground and each space is 1.8m wide. 12 private car parking bays are at the front of the hostel and luggage can be unloaded within a few metres of the front door. The doorway into the front of the hostel is a double fronted door way with one principal opening door and the other door is latched.  There is a 2” or 45mm raised threshold to step over to go through doorway.   The double door is 125 cm wide.

The entry to the rear of the hostel is accessible from the carpark via 10 uneven slate steps and a steep gravel slope with a small slate step at the foot of the slope. There is an iron hand rail on the wall beside the steps. There are several led outside lights around the farm and hostel are controlled by a timer and motion sensors.

There is a cobbled entrance under veranda roof to rear door with a small step up.  There is then another small step into hall way via rear door.  Rear door is 105 cm wide and leads to hall way to stairs, bottom floor corridor to kitchen, toilets, showers, sauna, laundry and drying room.

Hostel Welcome policy

It is the management’s policy to show all guests or group leaders around the hostel. This has many advantages for guests and management.

1. It gives the guest the chance to familiarise themselves with the layout of the hostel and to ask any questions about the hostel while the proprietors are present.

2. It gives us as proprietors the chance to re affirm our policies:- respect for other guests sleeping patterns and guests general behaviour, food storage, communal hygiene, our non smoking policy etc…

3.  It gives us as managers the chance to engage with our guests and pre-empt any misunderstandings and reinforce the hostel’s policies.  

Please note that the hostel is strictly non smoking and we provide cigarette end containers filled with sand on both levels outside the hostel. Your care and attention to this issue is much appreciated. Thank you.


Anyone in charge of children are asked to ensure that they read the hostel’s youth rules, displayed in reception, and ensure that their children are properly supervised at all times to prevent them from harming themselves or disturbing other guests. Our rules are simply to ensure that no personal injuries occur and no damage is done to the hostel, farm property or fellow guests’ property.


There is no access to the office by guests.

Main Entrance, lobby and reception area (Ground Floor)

The main door way is 125 cm wide when fully opened, 65cm if one door is open.  The entrance area is carpeted with carpet tiles and a large door mat with a door weight.  There is an internet PC in the lobby with a chair. There is also a wooden bench and a brochure display above. All guests as individuals or as a group are requested to fill in our registration form and provide us with a list of names of their group members. This is required for fire and safety reasons.  Reception area is 250 cm wide by 350 cm long.

The hostel has good mobile reception from most providers. There is a payphone in the reception area. Emergency telephone numbers for the main emergency services, the proprietor’s personal telephone number and an accurate grid reference number are displayed in the reception area. Additional contact details are also displayed in this area for our local Health Centre, Dentist, and Westmorland General Hospital etc

Public areas – General (Internal)

Corridor on ground floor is 95 cm wide and is basically L shaped with a tee off to the door to stair way.  All internal doors are self closing so mind your fingers and watch the children.

The Stairs - 3 floors

There are 36 internal steps in three flights.  The stair way is 100 cm wide with treads being 80 mm high. The stairs are completely separated from all the sleeping areas and public areas with concrete blocked walls and a fire safety glass window on the top floor in the lounge. The stairs themselves are carpet tiled and then nose edged with contrasting colour for added safety.

Kitchen/Dining room (lower ground floor)

This is the room most vulnerable to risks.  It comprises of 24 chairs and 6 tables in the dining area, with shelves containing food bins for guests food storage, crockery, glass ware and cutlery.  All seating complies with the fire regulations. Tables are 75 cm high.

The kitchen area is split into two areas: the first area has a 6 ring commercial gas cooker with safety cut off, with an electric grill above and oven below.  It also has a large larder fridge, microwave, toaster and kettle.  Under the stainless steel worktops are pans and other cookware for the oven and microwave.  Cooking utensils are in a plastic caddy or hung on a wall rack. Sharp knives are on a wall mounted magnetic strip for safety. There are two bins provided, one for general rubbish that cannot be recycled and other for recyclable rubbish. A large stainless sink with drainer is located on one side. Above the kitchen is an ultra violet insect killer.

A fire blanket is provided on the escape route to both kitchens but within easy reach of the cooker. To minimise risks. The provision of oven to table glassware is kept to a minimum. A hand wash sink is provided together with a hand towel. Instructions to light and use the cooker are given to all groups who need to use it. Please note this larger kitchen is only available for larger groups on request.

Second Kitchen (lower ground floor)

The second kitchen has a standard size 4 ring gas cooker with safety cut off a free standing fridge freezer, toaster, microwave and a kettle. On the wall facing the outside is the large stainless kitchen sink and drainer.  There are bins provided for general rubbish, plastics, glass and tins, cardboard and paper waste.  A smaller worktop bin with lid is provided for composting. Above the kitchen is an ultra violet insect killer. Under the stainless steel worktops are the pans and other cookware for the oven and microwave oven.  Cooking utensils are in a plastic caddy or hung on a wall rack. Sharp knives are on a wall mounted magnetic strip for safety. A fire blanket is on the wall within easy reach of cooker. A fire escape door is adjacent to this kitchen. A fire extinguisher and CO detector are mounted on the wall.
Risks in the kitchen are minimised by:

•    Safety flooring to prevent danger of slipping;

•    Reminders to guests to switch off all electrical appliances when not in use. This is double checked at night by the owners when the hostel is not let for exclusive use. Both LPG gas cookers are fitted with safety cut off devices which ensure that they cannot be left on accidentally.

•    Safe food storage and preparation posters.
•    Wall mounted magnetic strips for knife storage.
•    Cordless kettles
•    Microwaves ovens; on a wall bracket above the work top or on stainless steel shelving below the worksurface.
•    Fire blankets, fire extinguishers and CO detectors within the kitchen/dining areas.
•    No chip pan or fryer to minimise the chance of fat fires.

Toilets, showers, sauna, laundry area (lower ground floor)

The floor is tiled with an anti-slip surface and is accessed from the downstairs corridor via 1 step up; a cautionary notice is displayed to remind people to take care as the floor could be wet and slippery.

The two toilets are provided with a bin and a toilet brush holder.  A Perspex holder containing sanitary bags is on the wall.  This is provided so that the ladies are encouraged to dispose of their sanitary ware in the bin rather than down the toilet which could get blocked.  A notice to this effect has been provided.  We ask that no nappies or any other object other than toilet paper is put down the toilet.

The two shower rooms each have a quality thermostatic shower. The boiler temperature is regulated to prevent scalding. Duck boards are provided outside the showers to facilitate drying and to avoid slipping. Curtains are provided in preference to doors to facilitate easy maintenance and partly to avoid injuries from doors.   These shower basins have ribbed bases but are not non slip. A hanging toiletries shelf holder is provided in the shower.

The laundry area has a coin operated washing machine and dryer. There is a double stainless steel sink.

Drying Room (lower ground floor)

The drying room has a list of top 10 tips to enable drying of clothing and boots. Switches for the dehumidifiers and fan are set high up out of children’s reach.  Washing lines are strung high for hanging washing. Portable drying racks are provided to maximize the drying space and to accommodate unusual drying needs. The floor is covered in none slip matting.

Sauna (lower ground floor)

Detailed instructions for permitted use are posted on the outside of the sauna wall, these are brought to the attention of guests or group leaders during the reception/welcome process. The sauna is coin operated and timer controlled. The sauna can be locked to prevent use should a group request this.


Stores, upper and lower boiler rooms, laundry cupboards, janitorial cupboards, under the eaves cupboards, electrical cupboard and office are all kept locked for health and safety reasons, all have smoke alarm detectors. There is a detector within a metre or so from the electrical cupboard in the kitchen. 

The storeroom under the stairs next to the Lion and Lamb bedroom and the laundry cupboard situated between Patterdale bedroom and the entry to the stairs both have door stops on the doors to prevent injury to staff when in use.  When not in use these rooms are kept locked.

Fire Systems

Fire Alarm System, Fire Extinguishers, Fire blankets and Smoke Alarms and Assembly Area, Fire escape doors and nearest exit point signage etc...
We have a modern fire alarm system that is maintained and inspected under an annual contract; fire extinguishers are also inspected and serviced annually. The system is routinely tested and a log maintained. In the main public areas the auditory alarms are accompanied by flashing warning alarms.

CO Detectors 

Carbon Monoxide detectors are mounted on the walls in the kitchen and above the cupboard door on the middle landing. These are checked on a regular basis.

Lounge (1st Floor)

This room comprises of 5 settees and and easy chair plus a large round table big enough to seat up to 6 people.  There is a large shelving unit containing books, games and magazines.  There is a TV and DVD on a TV unit, coffee table to one corner plus 3 small wheeled occasional tables. For additional seating we provide 2 large bean bags. All the seating and cushions comply with the fire regulations.

A large round window at one end of the room which provides a focal point, this does not open. There are two large velux windows which are fitted with opening restrictors. A TV and DVD is provided for guests use, guests are reminded for power and safety’s sake to switch them off when not in use.

Bedrooms and bathrooms

The information following is common to all the bedrooms and bathrooms
The bedroom doors are 75 cm wide and bathrooms doors are all 66 cm wide.
The bedroom carpets are carpet tiled in a dark mottled colour and the walls are white. The bedrooms have bunk beds and these bunks were especially designed by the owners to exceed the safety requirements under the bunk bed regulations. Our beds have well supported bases with easily climbed ladders securely attached to the frames and ample head room clearance between the bunks and the ceiling. All bunks are screwed to the floor to prevent movement. The mattresses were made to order, easy to clean and hygienic. The water proof mattresses comply with the fire regulations. Mattress and pillow protectors are laundered on a regular basis.
Each bed has a locker to encourage guests to be tidy with their belongings for safety. The large lockers are designed to be big enough to fit a full size rucksack and have strong magnetic catches to ensure full closure. For safety all lockers are provided with the capability of locking contents. Padlocks are provided on request. Additional storage space is provided under each bed. All the bedrooms have a large waste bin.

Bedroom Information

Children under the age of 8 are not permitted on top bunks or to climb the ladders onto the top bunks.  When we greet guests we remind them of this rule when there are young children in the party.  A notice to this effect is also provided in every bedroom. 

Each bunk bed has a light provided, with the majority being of the pull switch variety.  All bedrooms are ensuite with the exception of Helvellyn which has its own bathroom next door. Where opening windows could pose a risk of people falling or climbing out they are fitted with window restrictors or other preventative means of exit.

Staff have strict instructions as to how to use the bed making ladder, make the beds and turn mattresses in order to avoid strains or falls. At no time do staff need to climb higher than four rungs of the ladder.


The bathrooms each have a quality thermostatic shower.  If these fail in any way, please prevent further guests from using the shower until declared safe.  Please inform the proprietors so that they may resolve the problem.  The boiler temperature is regulated to prevent the possibility of scalding. Curtains are provided in the showers in preference to doors to facilitate easy maintenance, to give more room and prevent accidents with doors. A hanging toiletries holder is provided within the shower for soaps, cosmetics, to help tidiness and safety. All showers have a wall mounted shower gel dispenser.
There is a sink with mirror and pull switch light, shaver point and toilet, all taps have star turn tops for ease of use. With each bathroom there is also a bin for bathroom waste, a toilet brush, a shelf for toiletries, a wall mounted towel rail bracket, stainless steel beakers for safety rather than glass versions, and a Perspex holder for sanitary hygiene bags. We ask that no nappies or any other objects other than toilet paper are put down the toilet. This minimises the risk of blockages, and prevents unsuitable waste going down the sewer.

Fairfield bedroom (ground floor)

There is a step up into this bedroom to make guests aware there is a contrast edging to this step.  There are four bunk beds, four lockers and a chair.  There are two windows, one opening version.  Two bunk beds nearest the door have bunk lights with flick switches on them.  The other two are of the pull switch variety.

Rydal bedroom (ground floor)

This room has 6 bunk beds and 6 lockers.  The window has restrictors and bars along the lower half for safety. Two ceiling lights balance the lighting and provide additional safety should one light fail.

Patterdale bedroom (ground floor)

This bedroom has 4 bunk beds, a single bed and 5 lockers.  The windows face the hostel car park and are fitted with window restrictors. Two ceiling lights balance the lighting and provide additional safety should one light fail.

Lion and Lamb bedroom (ground floor)

This bedroom has 6 bunk beds, 6 lockers and a chair. An additional sink within the bedroom is fitted with a shower curtain to give people washing some privacy.  The window has both window restrictors and bars provided for added safety.

Helvellyn bedroom (first floor)

This room is the smallest with two bunk beds and a single bed with 3 lockers.  A sink is also provided within the bedroom.  The windows are two velux windows. Both windows have restrictors. We instruct guests in the use of the windows and the blinds. The bathroom next door also has a small velux window. This window is again restricted.

Fire Alarm Sirens and detectors etc…

Fire Alarm Sirens are installed and can be clearly heard on all floors and in all rooms. Flashing lights have also been installed in the kitchen and loung in addition to the fire alarm siren for the deaf and hard of hearing.  The owners also have the same installed in their house to alert them of possible fire in the hostel.

Detectors have been fitted in all the bedrooms, all store rooms, in all the under eaves cupboards, all corridors, stairs, kitchen/dining room, drying room, reception office and on both lobby areas on the upper and lower ground floors. These sensors are highly sensitive, smoking or use of candles is not permitted in the hostel.

Fire extinguishers (signed for correct use) are available on all floors at strategic points defined by the fire officer. Fire blankets are positioned as directed by the fire officers. All fire doors are signed; all escape routes are clearly marked and checked for obstructions on a daily basis. The two audible sounders are checked on a regular basis. There are no open fires in the hostel

Central heating and radiators

All the radiators are thermostatically controlled manually. The system is designed to give an internal temperature between 16º and 22ºC depending upon the type of room. The radiator surface temperature is regulated at 55 degrees centigrade max. 

The central heating and hot water is now supplied by our Woodchip Biomass system.

All systems are maintained on a regular basis by a competent local heating engineer.


Staff are given training on hygiene conduct both in the food preparation areas and bathroom areas. The hostel has a very strong environmental policy and promotes
Itself as environmentally friendly. This in turn gives us the chance to use environmentally friendly and less toxic cleaning products.  COSSH sheets are obtained and filed for all cleaning products. These are filed in the office for reference..

All high level cleaning and decorating and is done by the proprietor only. Staff are instructed on the use of step ladders and are asked not to climb up more than 1 metre from the ground at any time. Laundry is delivered in bags which can be heavy. Staff are instructed to decant the laundry if heavy and carry it upstairs in stages. Staff have strict instructions not to carry loose linen down stairs to prevent accidents caused by tripping over loose linen. All maintenance materials are kept in locked cupboards.

Outside the hostel

Lakeland walls must not be climbed for any reason. They are loose and dangerous as many are drystone walled which means little to no cement is used in the building of them.
The farm animals are not tame or domesticated and must not be engaged at close quarters without the proprietors consent. Please do not enter the fields.

Farm traffic and equipment

Although the hostel is not technically a working farm, the owners lease the surrounding land to farmers.  This means that farm equipment such as tractors and trailers do sometimes have to circulate the farm in order to access the fields.  Children must be supervised at all times to prevent risk. Our tenants farmers are aware of the fact that we have young children and other people staying on the farm and are mindful of this when moving stock.

Ball games

Ball games and similar are also not allowed around the hostel and cottages in order to prevent accidents to property.


There are some livestock around the farm and therefore some risk is posed with regards to being bitten, pecked etc… by the poultry, sheep and dogs.  The risks are reduced if people do not enter fields and there are notices reminding people of ‘no access’ on the gates. Most of the poultry are free range and therefore should be treated with respect and the risks are minimised if they are not frightened by guests. We ask that parents accompany their children to look at the poultry and we generally ask that people are extra careful in the spring and summer as some of the livestock are more protective and therefore aggressive at this time.We have a one way system for all vehicles traveling around the farm to minimise risk and notices request 5 mph max.

Important contact numbers are:

Proprietor 015394 35055
Ambleside health Centre is 015394 32693
Emergency number for Weekend 03000 247 247
Westmorland General Hospital  01539 732288
Weatherline 0844 846 2444
Grasmere Taxis 015394-35506
Ambleside Taxis 015394-33842
Lakes Taxis 015394-46777 or 44055
Windermere Taxis 015394-42355