What is Derwent Hill?
Derwent Hill Outdoor Education and Training Centre is owned and operated by Sunderland City Council. It has provided high quality outdoor education for the children of Sunderland for over 50 years, and since 1997 it has offered a separate high-quality facility for corporate and other events.
Where is Derwent Hill?
Derwent Hill is in the village of Portinscale about 1 mile from Keswick, Cumbria. It is in the Lake District National Park, overlooking Derwentwater. Please see the information for Getting Here.
What time should we arrive/depart?
If you are part of a group, please check with your group/event organiser. If you have booked directly with us, please check the information we have sent you.
What is the accommodation like, and what facilities do you have?
We have two different centres on our site. Most adult groups stay in our Training Centre, but some clients book our Education Centre. Please look at the relevant page to find out about the facilities.
What will I be doing at Derwent Hill?
If you are taking part in a conference, meeting, training course or other event organised by your company, they will let you know what is involved. Some events include activities led by Derwent Hill staff. Depending on the aims of the event and the nature of your programme, these activities may range from short non-physical indoor or outdoor team tasks, to more complex projects, to challenging outdoor adventure activities. These activities are always selected to be appropriate for the age and capabilities of delegates/guests, and you will never be coerced into taking part. All necessary equipment and protective clothing is provided.
What do I need to bring?
If your programme includes activities we will provide all the specialist equipment needed, and we can provide you with a waterproof jacket and trousers, walking boots, rucksacks and wellingtons, but you may prefer to use your own if you have them. We suggest that you bring comfortable warm clothing for outdoor sessions, and at least one pair of trainers.
Looking at the weather forecast just before your course will help you decide exactly what you require.
Do I have to be fit to take part in a Derwent Hill course/activities?
If your event involves activities, these will be chosen to be appropriate for the age and capabilities of delegates/guests. A positive attitude and a willingness to try new things are more important than physical fitness.
Will I be safe?
We take your safety very seriously. You should let us know if there is anything that you are worried or unsure about. More information about safety.
What if I have a disability, dietary requirement or other special needs?
If you have any specific dietary needs, or if you have a disability which we may need to take into account regarding accommodation or activities, please inform us or your event organiser in advance. You can do this using our personal details/consent form. If you have a disability (e.g. deafness, impaired vision or mobility) that might affect your ability to hear the fire alarm or to leave the building quickly in the event of a fire, please discuss this with us so that suitable arrangements can be made.
What paperwork do I need to do?
If your event includes activities you will need to bring a completed personal details/consent form with you.
What is there to do?
We have a comfortable lounge/bar, Freeview TV, free WiFi and some board games and books. All bedrooms have a small TV and tea/coffee making facilities. You are welcome to walk in our beautiful grounds overlooking Derwentwater.
Do you have a bar, and can I bring my own alcohol?
Our Training Centre has a bar with a range of reasonably priced bottled beers, wines, spirits, and soft drinks, and free tea and coffee. If you are part of a group, opening times will be agreed by your event organiser. If you bring your own alcohol, you will be required to pay a corkage charge.
Can I smoke at Derwent Hill?
Derwent Hill is a non-smoking venue. However, a small smoking shelter is provided just outside the Training Centre.
Do you sell toiletries and souvenirs?
We sell a range of essentials as well as Derwent Hill souvenirs.
What facilities are in the local area?
The Derwentwater Hotel is next door. The Chalet cafe is nearby and the Farmers pub is less than 10 minutes’ walk. The town of Keswick is 20 minutes’ walk.