Isthmus Cottage

Isthmus Cottage is situated in an iconic position on the shores of Derwentwater near Keswick and at the very centre of the World Heritage Site.


In line with ongoing government guidance, Isthmus Cottage is closed to all guests. This closure will remain in force until further notice. We are very much looking forward to reopening when it is safe to do so and welcoming all our guests both new and old. Please check this page for updates. 

We will update this page as information becomes available. 

If you wish to discuss your booking please get in touch

Isthmus Cottage was the inspiration of Sir John Randles, a Workington Iron Master and MP for Manchester. Built in 1925, it was designed specifically ‘for the enjoyment of friends’, and never intended to be used as a permanent residence. After his death, it was left to the National Trust and in 1947 the National Trust leased the cottage to the Cumberland Association of Boys’ Clubs, (now Young Cumbria) who took on the responsibility for its day to day running.

In 1975 the annexe was added to the rear of the cottage, completing the facility as it is today. Young Cumbria operates Isthmus Cottage as an outdoor residential facility, primarily to give disadvantaged young people an experience of the outdoors in the Lake District. We continue to find young people who have never visited the Lake District, despite living within thirty to forty miles of it and are proud that a stay at Isthmus is often the first experience these young people have of being away from home and accessing the outdoors.

Local businesses provide a variety of water based activities, such as kayaking, canoeing, paddleboarding and ghyll scrambing. In addition, there are endless opportunities for walking and cycling straight from the door. The property is a fifteen minute walk from the centre of Keswick.


The Centre is accessed from the centre of Keswick via a lane and then down a track of about a quarter of a mile. The property sleeps twenty two people in bunk beds. There is double glazing throughout and both buildings have independent central heating and hot water systems.


  • Veranda looking onto Derwentwater and down the valley to the Jaws of Borrowdale
  • Lounge with gas fire
  • Four bedrooms all with washbasins – eight dorm, six dorm and two x two dorms
  • Two x WC
  • Two x showers


  • Kitchen with gas cooker, eye level grill, fridge freezer, microwave, industrial dishwasher, fixed hot water boiler for drinks, extractor fans with safety system, double sink and separate food preparation sink, pots, pans, crockery and cutlery
  • Large dining area with four collapsible tables and twenty two stacking chairs
  • Payphone
  • Drying room with dehumidifier
  • One bedroom – four dorm
  • Shower room suitable for wheelchair users (two showers) and washbasin
  • WC suitable for wheelchair users. Lockable medicine cabinet


  • Wheelchair ramp available on request
  • Shed – suitable for bike or canoe storage, wet suits etc. Plastic chairs and 3 tables for use outside
  • Large grounds (grass and gravel) with ample parking
  • Veranda with picnic bench and another bench

There is exclusive use at property with immediate access to the area outside the boundary which is a National Trust SSSI woodland area. There are steps down to the foreshore. All areas outside the boundary are accessible by the public on foot, including the foreshore. The storage area under the veranda is used by a local company to store kayaks.


What to bring with you

Isthmus Cottage is fully self catering. However, we provide mattress covers and pillows, basic liquid soap in the bathrooms, loo rolls and washing up liquid and cleaning items in the kitchen. You will need to bring:

  • Pillow case
  • Sleeping bag or duvet
  • Towels
  • Personal toiletries
  • Oven gloves
  • Tea towels
  • Kitchen towel, cling film, foil etc
  • First Aid kit
  • Torch

How to book

Before booking please read our terms and conditions and privacy notice (downloadable below)

Reservation Terms and Conditions
Privacy Notice

Check calendar for dates required. Email booking form to request booking dates. When the booking is accepted you will receive an invoice. The booking is reserved for you for seven days from the invoice date. You will need to pay a 20% deposit to the bank details on the invoice to secure the booking. On receipt of deposit the booking becomes confirmed and you are bound by the terms and conditions. The balance is due three weeks before the booking. About a week before the booking we will email you with the key entry details.

Please note – The calendar is fully updated.

Pricing 2020/21

Group Rate Per Night
Peak Season (1st April – 31st October) Off Peak (1st November – 31st March)
Young persons group £346.50 £262.50
Adult group £525 £441
Day Rate – 9am – 5pm.
All groups £157.50 – £19.70 per hour £136.50 – £17.10 per hour

**20% discount offered for stays of 4 nights or more.**

Book Now


Your Stay

No dates selected

  • Group Leader

  • People

  • Details

    In compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) If you have provided personal data, we would appreciate you carefully reading the attached Privacy Notice which explains in specific detail how we will use your personal data, what we will not do with it, how long we will keep it for and your rights to access and removal of the data we hold about you. If you choose not to consent it is assumed you wish to exercise your right to erasure of data under GDPR.