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The People Behind Another Place

Bethany Thomas is a regular face on our front desk at Another Place, The Lake. There’s so much more to her than someone who gives you your room key. We interviewed her to find out why she’s our go-to-girl for advice on getting out there on the fells.

Bethany on the fells

“I grew up in a little town called Maltby, around 20 miles east of Sheffield. My playground was originally the Peak District, however I always knew that I would one day end up in the Lake District. The incredible natural beauty that the Lake District has retained is breath-taking. I planned my education to take me to Cumbria University, where I studied Adventure Media. This involved creating films in extreme environments and in a variety of extreme sports.

After university, I decided to make the Lake District my permanent home and in April 2017, Penrith Mountain Rescue became a big part of my life this is when I joined as a non-operational team member. This means I am heavily involved with fundraising, organising events for the Team and contributing content on the Team’s website and social media pages. And when needed on training exercises, I become a “body” hidden in the fells for the Team to practice search exercises and casualty care.

Lake District stream

I am currently training alongside some Team members in the hopes of one day joining as a fully operational Team member. Mountain Rescue operate 365 days a year 24/7 and is completely made up of volunteers. The Team relies solely on the generosity of the public’s donations and support, we receive no government funding. The Team has on average 50 call-outs per year. Penrith Mountain Rescue Team covers the largest area of all the Lake District Teams and were heavily involved during the floods of Storm Desmond in 2015 and most recently, The Beast of The East.

As a member of the Mountain Rescue, it’s no surprise to hear that my favourite weekend activity is searching for stunning views in the form of a fell walk. It’s fascinating what you can discover when you manage to find a path that’s not well used.

Bethany out walking

The Eastern fells are typically like this, Swindale and Haweswater Valley are incredibly untouched. Many of these routes are novice friendly and offer you incredible views. There is something for everyone in these areas, from bird watching at the RSPB reserve to discovering the sunken village of Haweswater. If you’re looking to tick off some Wainwrights and challenge yourself on some more difficult ground, Kidsty Pike and Riggingdale Crag can offer you some steep ground and light scrambles.

I also love white water kayaking and I am a kayak and canoe instructor, which gives me a great opportunity to introduce people to the sport. I enjoy exploring the lakes and rivers of the Lake District and taking others along with me for the adventure. This is a great activity to do if you want to head out exploring and get off the grid for the afternoon.

Bethany kayaking on the lake

No matter how long you live in the Lake District, it never gets old! There’s hidden beauty and amazing memories around every corner. I’ve worked and had adventures all over the Lake District, yet every time I venture out, I always find something or somewhere new that amaze and excites me. I have met some incredible people up here and am privileged to call them my friends. My favourite place in the Lake District is Haweswater Valley. This is somewhere that I always return to as it holds a special place in my heart.”

Bethany kayaking