Andy and Helen live with their family in the old schoolmaster’s house adjacent to the bunkhouse. They are both keen cavers and can often be found foraging around in dark, tight spaces under the Dales. If not there, and weather permits, they can be found clinging to rock faces in the surrounding area.
They are both outdoor instructors and Helen works part time for a local outdoor centre that provides educational outdoor experiences for school groups. Andy fills his spare time with firefighting and, when not doing DIY, is also a keen mountain biker and improving slackliner.
The Old Schoolhouse is grade II listed and will require lots of TLC, time and money to restore to its former glory. Although the list of renovations and improvements still seems never ending, we offer outdoor activities to bunkhouse guests and the occasional, non-resident, group. Getting outside is what we most enjoy, so come and join us on one of our caving or gorge scrambling trips as part of your visit to Hardraw.
Andy has plenty of experience working with youth groups in the outdoors, while Helen’s QTS and experience in all sectors of education allows us to provide courses for teachers and pupils in outdoor activities, Learning Outside the Classroom and Forest school activities. With a PhD in social psychology Helen is involved with UK-based and International Adventure Therapy organisations and a UK group working towards evidencing the effects of youth work in the outdoors.
Andy and Helen hope to be able to put some of this very recent evidence into practice as they develop Hardraw Old School Bunkhouse.
Hardraw Old School Bunkhouse is located in Wensleydale in the heart of the Yorkshire Dales.
The village of Hardraw is only 1.5 miles from the market town of Hawes. Other nearby towns - Sedburgh, Settle, Leyburn - are all about 15 miles away.
Although the A684 runs within a mile of Hardraw, giving easy access by road, the amount of traffic on the B road through the village is very limited, creating a peaceful haven.
Garsdale railway station on the Settle - Carlisle railway is only 5.5 miles away and can be accessed easily using the Little White Bus service that stops outside the bunkhouse and connects with most rail services.
Accommodation can be booked by individuals, small groups or larger groups wanting sole use.
It is ideally placed for outdoor enthusiasts with many opportunities for caving, walking and cycling accessible locally.
With environmental sustainability and stewardship in mind, we ask that all guests bring their own duvets/sleeping bags. Pillows & undersheets are provided for your use.
Towels and duvets can be provided at a cost of £2.50pp although we would prefer to limit the amount of single night detergent/energy use and hope that you will feel likewise.
The school was built in 1875 and comprised the school teacher's house as well as both junior and infant classrooms.
It closed in the 1960s and was bought by William Hulme’s Grammar School, Manchester for use as one of the school’s outdoor centres. The centre was known as 'Hulme House' until 1993, when W.C. Harris, an ex-pupil, left £50,000 in his will for the renovation of the property.
The house was renamed after its principal benefactor and became known as ‘Harris House’. Harris House was owned and looked after for WHGS by the J.G. Bird Trust (a registered charity).
The current name of ‘The Old Schoolhouse’ reflects the building’s long history as an educational establishment. Some of Hardraw’s current residents received their initial educational experiences at the school prior to its closure.