Rookhow Centre provides comfortable budget self-catering accommodation and meeting space in the English Lake District. Rookhow is based around the historic Friends Meeting House, built in 1725, the Centre (providing accommodation for up to 20 people), and Quakers' Wood - 12 acres of mature mixed woodland.
Rookhow is situated in the secluded Rusland Valley between lakes Windermere and Coniston, within walking distance of Grizedale Forest, and with the Lakeland fells and lake shores just a few minutes away.
The Centre, originally the stables, has 2/3 sleeping areas for up to 20 people: 8 bunks downstairs, 9 single/bunk beds upstairs, and 3 bed settees in the lounge. Camping is permitted by arrangement for larger groups. The Centre has 4 showers, 2 WCs and 5 wash basins. The large common room is open plan with a kitchen, dining area and comfortable seating round a wood-burning stove. The kitchen is well equipped with an electric range (double oven), microwave, fridge-freezer, and double sink. There is electric heating throughout. The Centre does not have a TV, radio, telephone or internet, in keeping with the 'away from it all' peace and simplicity of Rookhow.
Rookhow Meeting House is a beautiful and simple meeting space, built in 1725 by members of the Religious Society of Friends (known as Quakers) and still used by local Friends today. The meeting room is in regular use by those of all denominations and of none, and can be made available for workshops, seminars, conferences, and retreats. Local Friends hold an open meeting for worship at Rookhow on the first Wednesday evening of each month, at 7.30pm, which all are welcome to attend.
Rookhow has 12 acres of mature mixed woodland which visitors are welcome to explore. There is a Trail-O orienteering course, bonfire site, and path modified for easier access into the woods. There is also a 'yurt' (nomadic tent) in the woods which can be used for day sessions for a small extra charge. Please note that visitors explore the woods at their own risk, and we ask that children are supervised at all times.
Rookhow is within walking distance of Grizedale Forest (for orienteering, walking/cycle routes, sculpture trail, mountain bike hire and 'Go Ape'). The Lake District Fell Pony Centre is just 10 minutes' walk from our door, providing Fell Pony rides and expeditions for all ages and abilities (http://www.lakedistrictfellponycentre.com, tel. 01229 438143). The Coniston Fells, Langdales, the central and western fells and the Helvellyn range are all within easy reach, and lakes Coniston and Windermere are 10-15 minutes' drive away, with boats and kayaks to hire. There are also wonderful and unfrequented walks on the doorstep.
Local attractions include Hay Bridge Nature Reserve; Brantwood on Coniston; Windermere Lake Steamers; Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway; Lakeland Motor Museum and Riverside Cafe 'Ambio' at Backbarrow; Coniston Launches and Steam Yacht Gondola; Beatrix Potter's Hill Top House; Stott Park Bobbin Mill; and Swarthmoor Hall in Ulverston. We are 20 minutes from the conservation villages of Hawkshead and Cartmel and the seaside town of Grange-over-Sands.
There are two inns, usually serving food, within 2 miles: The Eagle's Head at Satterthwaite and The Manor House at Oxen Park. A little further afield there is The White Hart at Bouth (3 miles) and The Farmers' Arms at Spark Bridge/Lowick (4 miles). We are 15-20 minutes by car from the supermarket and shops of the market town of Ulverston.
Rookhow is part of Swarthmoor (South West Cumbria) Quaker Meeting, part of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), a religious charity. There is a committee of Managing Trustees, and a Centre Manager, Robert Straughton. Local Friends help with the woodlands and gardens, and are often here for meetings and social gatherings. Visitors to Rookhow include family groups, cyclists and ramblers, schools and colleges, youth charities and social services, Brownies, Guides and Scouts, environmental educationalists, orienteers, wildlife enthusiasts, music groups, yoga groups and people on retreat.