Denton House

Denton House is a purpose built hostel and outdoor centre in the heart of the Lake District accommodating up to 58 people.


Denton House is a purpose built hostel and outdoor centre in the heart of the Lake District. The hostel is designed for group use so has plenty of hot water for showers, central heating throughout, a commercial kitchen, a large dining room and solid bunkbeds! Denton House now welcomes individuals too with upgraded facilities designed to be homely as well as functional. Denton House Outdoor Centre can provide traditional activities for groups of all ages. The centre is particularly suitable for those wanting to explore the great outdoors; we have storage for kayaks and bikes and there's access/egress to the River Greta just across the road. Qualified instructors are available to provide advice as well as to run trips and help organise expeditions.

Denton House is primarily an adult hostel; under 16s are welcome in supervised groups or in exclusive use dorms with parents. Dogs welcome in some rooms if pre-booked. Due to the large number of school, youth and military groups, corporate teambuilds and celebration weekends, early booking is advised.

Our new prices are below.

Our 2012 accommodation prices are £18 pppn on weekends I.e. Fridays and Saturdays and £16.50 pppn on weekdays. There is a £5 premium charge for groups booking 1 night only on weekends.
For sole use of the entire centre the prices are £850 per night weekdays and £950 per night on weekends.
Groups please note ; groups of more than 6 people must book entire dorms for sole use (e.g. not 10 beds in a 12 bed dorm). And must contact the office directly to book. (Everyone else please note: yes - we do allow single sex groups such as stag and hen do's on weekends when we're providing outdoor activities for them!)

Our activity prices for 2012 are £30 for a half day and £60 for a full day. A full days activities generally run from 9:30am to 5pm during which we can fit 3 activities
Our activities include Canoeing, Ghyll Scrambling, Climbing, Abseiling, Raft building and Guided hill walks including bespoke Navigation training.

Some further details of the activities on offer at Denton House

The Lake District is the birth place of rock climbing with the first route Napes Needle ascended by W.P. Haskett Smith in 1886.
Techniques and equipment have come a long way since then and during your session you will be taught how to use them correctly, we choose the appropriate crag depending on conditions, ability and the experience of the group.
We teach climbing techniques and safe belaying in all sessions for beginners and for more experienced groups we will progress to more advanced techniques.
If you have already have some climbing experience and would like to take it further, we can arrange multi-pitch climbing and climbing instruction on higher grades with specialist providers.

With its roots in mountaineering and climbing abseiling is traditionally a way of retreating down a cliff, now also used for working at height it is becoming a popular outdoor activity.
You control the speed of your descent using a figure of 8 and the instructor will keep you safe using a safety rope, usually time allows all participants several goes so as your confidence builds you may want to try some commando style bouncing down the cliff
We use a variety of venues in and around Borrowdale valley for this activity to suit your group’s abilities one of which ends in a cave…so the last few metres are free hanging!
Abseiling is both exhilarating and rewarding with many first timers becoming lifelong fans – we can help you to get started and introduce you to a whole new way of getting high by going down!

Raft building
Where better to build a raft than on the shore of Derwentwater - we provide you with logs, ropes and barrels…then the amount of instruction for the build is entirely up to you as most groups just want basic knot skills with the design aspects left up to them (often with hilarious results!)
Over the years we have seen all kinds of weird and wacky designs even an attempt to make one with space hoppers!
Rafting building is an excellent way to encourage team work, cooperation and creativity. Teams need to work together and be inventive as they try and outdo the other team.
Once the building aspect is done it is then time for the race, a head to head battle round a course our instructors decide upon depending on the quality of the build.
Alternately you could try your hand at traditional coracle building
Whatever the outcome - you can be sure of getting wet, having a great time and playing a key role in a fun team exercise.

Ghyll Scrambling
Using some of the Lake District's classic Ghylls for this high octane pursuit, you will experience an adrenalin rush that you would never have thought possible to achieve in water!
As we journey down the spectacular world of sculpted rock with its sparkling waterfalls. We will guide you as you scramble along the stream bed, slide down water polished chutes, swim across deep pools and leap down fantastic waterfalls into the plunge pools below.
You will have experienced instructors to guide you through the different courses that the mountain stream takes as it cascades down the Ghyll, providing you with an invigorating and unique experience that will last a lifetime!
Don't worry if you’re not a strong swimmer as our instructors are always on hand to get you through the deeper pools.
Ghyll scrambling is the perfect activity for a rainy day. The weather in the Lake District has a reputation for its unpredictability if you’re out you may get wet, why not have fun whilst doing so?
Specialist equipment and wetsuits are provided (you must bring some over trousers, jacket and suitable shoes - old trainers or walking boots are ideal) and if you are booked into our accommodation a hot shower when you return to Denton House.

Explore the scenery of one of England’s most picturesque lakes using our stable Canadian canoes take in the sights, visit an island or two and learn the essential skills to propel your craft across the water.
We teach you the skills to propel, steer and handle your boat for the prevailing conditions on the day and tailor a journey to best suit those conditions.
Solo canoeing
If you are more familiar with canoeing and want to take it further we can also run solo canoe handling sessions and get into the more technical aspects of the sport.
As part of a mostly water based day you will be shown the techniques necessary to handle an open boat on your own with tips on paddle strokes dealing with the wind and rescue skills as well as information on the historical aspects of canoeing, boat design, environmental considerations and much more we will ensure you leave us with enough information and the practical skills to confidently paddle a canoe solo.
Introduction to moving water
Once you are confident on flat water the next logical step is to move onto rivers, the skills learnt on the lake will be translated to moving water where a confident understanding of the different forces on the boat is needed.
Under the guidance of one of our experienced coaches you will be shown how to read the water, avoid obstacles and given strategies for successfully shooting rapids.
Our open canoes are stable, comfortable and versatile. We will supply you with all the equipment needed and a drybag for anything you would like to take along and fit you with a buoyancy aid. After a land based safety briefing we will launch onto the water to learn the basic skills. When we are confident that everyone is ready, we will set off on our river journey.
Expeditions and multi day rivers
We can tailor an expedition depending on your paddling ability, and what you would like to gain from the experience; From a gentle day trip on a slow moving river, to a full multi day white water trip where you will learn traditional river journey skills including wild camping and cooking, bushcraft and minimising the impact on the environment we can also teach more advanced skills such as poling, gunwale bobbing and tracking and lining
Whether you’re an advanced paddler wanting to hone your skills or a complete canoeing beginner our canoe instructors are all highly qualified, professional and friendly so rest assured you will have a truly memorable journey.
Obviously with all water sports a towel and full change of clothes (including footwear) is also needed

Guided hill walks
The Lake District boasts numerous hills, fells, mountains and Lakeside trails that provide a wide variety of beautiful scenery and different vantage points to view them from.
If you don't want the hassle of reading a map we can guide you through this stunning landscape with a range of tailored walks designed to accommodate all levels and abilities

Navigation Training
If you prefer a more hands on approach to your mountain walking but aren't too confident with a map why not have a day honing your skills with one of our qualified instructors.
Each of our navigation courses is tailored exactly to your needs from a basic introduction to micro navigation at night and if you need to refresh certain skills then we can focus on those.
Our training days have a maximum ratio of 1:4 to effectively maximise your learning and are tailored to meet the needs and experience of your group.
You'll be given plenty of opportunity to practice the techniques learned by leading sections of the route whilst being constantly assessed by your instructor.

As we are an outdoor activity centre we can not take bookings for groups undertaking activities with other providers without prior arrangement.
Pictures on facebook at

We can also provide food for large groups (generally 15 or over)please phone or email to arrange
Our prices are Breakfast £5.50
Packed Lunch £6.00
Evening Meal £7.75


From around £16.50


  • Parking
  • Secure Bike Lockup
  • Dry Room
  • Clothes Washing
  • Breakfast
  • Evening Meals

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Denton House, Penrith Road, Keswick, CA12 4JW

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1x Dorm - 4 Beds

2x Dorm - 6 Beds

1x Dorm - 8 Beds

3x Dorm - 8+ Beds

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