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The Edward Carpenter Community
For men who love men

High Close 2024

Langdale Youth Hostel, Lake District, Cumbria

Tue 20th to Tue 27th August 2024

Vintage photo of High Close Youth Hostel

We have exclusive use of this wonderful space in the Lake District where we can share time with Men who love Men.

We envisage a week where we can socialise and relax as well as having the opportunity to take part in a wide variety of workshops. What we do depends on the activities/workshops participants offer and our individual wishes. We invite everyone to bring along their own ideas and a willingness to share them with the other attendees. Nothing is compulsory and there is usually something for everyone.

Many take advantage of the venue’s central position in the Lake District by taking substantial fell-walks or leisurely strolls in the beautiful countryside on our doorstep. In the past participants have offered workshops on Dance, Music, Art, Meditation, Massage, Games and Crafts to name just a few.

The extensive grounds and arboretum surrounding the venue are lovely places to enjoy on fine days. The covered Veranda offers a space for socialising outside in dry or wet weather.

There is often a fire in the firepit as well as one each evening in the large lounge. A twenty minute walk away is Loughrigg Tarn in which many of us enjoy swimming and there is usually a party heading down there every morning before breakfast.

We plan to have an auction of items and services on one evening during the week. We usually round off the week with a Soiree where any of us can share our little party pieces.

As all activities are offered by volunteers, amongst those attending, then what actually happens is dependent on this gracious willingness to share. We are all invited to join in the spirit of this.

We plan to have Base Groups and/or Heart Circles for an hour each day before evening meal. This provides an opportunity to get to know 5 or 6 of the other participants really well and have an opportunity to share how we are feeling.


Your organisers this year are Peter Davey, Andy Paterson and Paul Scott.

Peter (For all Bookings enquiries) ptrdavey [at]
Andy (For all Accessibility and Travel enquiries) patersonandy [at]
Paul (For all General enquiries) paul1scott [at]
Photo of Peter

Peter Davey:
ECC has been part of my life since attending my first gay men’s week back in 1986. Back then we would describe our events as “a warm and supportive alternative to the commercial gay scene”, life changing for some and a good holiday for others.

Over the years I have helped organise many events, some general like this High Close, others with themes like “Gay Spirituality” and “Beyond Barriers”. What stands out for me is the journey that we have taken together and the close and enduring friendships that we have made along the way. Which I suppose is another way of describing “creating community”. I am very happy to be part of the organising team this year, and very pleased to be doing it with Andy and Paul.

Photo of Andy

Andy Paterson:
High Close 2023 was my first ECC event. After a long journey I arrived tired, nervous, and unsure of what I’d signed up for. Once I’d let down some of my barriers, I had a wonderful week full of beautiful walks, meaningful conversations, and a lot of warm memories. I signed up for another event in October and really enjoyed strengthening those friendships and making new ones. As someone that’s never really been into the traditional gay scene, I found that these events were something I didn’t know I needed and I hope to go to many more in the future.

Paul and Peter are a great team to be working with, and I hope that we can create an event with the energy and variety of last year and provide more men with the same kind of experience we’ve all had with ECC.

Photo of Paul

Paul Scott:
My first ECC event was at High Close in 2002. I felt I had been propelled into a new world and found a family. Since then, I have been to around 60 events at several different venues and High Close has remained my favourite.

This is my first time organising and I agreed to do it because of the experience and analytical wisdom of Peter and the energy and talents of Andy not to mention their sense of humour.

These events have always been more than a holiday to me. I look forward to being part of a caring and vibrant community. I hope to make some good connections and have lots of fun.

Essential Information

VENUE: Langdale Youth Hostel, High Close, Loughrigg, Ambleside LA22 9HJ
Website: | A history of High Close

DATES: Tuesday 20th – Tuesday 27th August 2024

ARRIVAL: Please arrive after 5pm on Tuesday 20th August. As the hostel is open to the public on the day prior to our arrival, then cleaning and preparation for our group will take most of the afternoon so we ask any early arrivals not to enter the building until all is ready. (See Covid Testing)

DEPARTURE: We need to leave the hostel by 10.30am on Tuesday 27th August.

PARTICIPANTS: There will be space for up to 50 of us. 12 spaces will be held for first timers to an ECC event until May 31st. (Please be aware that when booking opens places are likely to go very quickly. There is usually a waiting list.)

ACCOMMODATION: Dormitories containing between 4 – 12 beds. These are bunkbeds but the intention is, where possible, to use only the bottom bunks. There are no available single rooms.

FOOD: Breakfast, Lunch and Evening Meal are provided by the hostel. We will also supply some basic snacks such as biscuits alongside tea, instant coffee, and dairy milk. Anything other than these items will need to be provided by yourselves. There is a members kitchen available where foods can be stored and there are 2 fridges as well as toasters, microwaves, hobs, and ovens which we may use. Food would need to be labelled with your name so as not to be confused with communal supplies.

NEAREST SHOPS: Chapel Stile 2 miles, Grasmere 2 miles, Ambleside 5 miles.


Travelling to and from the venue is the responsibility of participants.

The nearest railway station is 9 miles away at Windermere. National Express buses travel to Windermere also. The nearest bus stop to the hostel is 2 miles away at Grasmere or 1 mile away at Elterwater Village. Buses for Grasmere and Elterwater can be caught from Windermere Railway Station.

There are plenty of taxis from Windermere and taxi sharing would make costs reasonable. Nearer the time a WhatsApp group will be set up to help co-ordinate taxi sharing etc.


YHA Langdale is an old building which can make accessibility difficult. There is one bedroom available on the ground floor with an accessible bathroom. We are working with YHA Langdale to see if improvements can be made as we are aware that the accessible bathroom presented difficulties for some users.

The ground floor is accessible, and workshops, meals and socialising spaces are all on the ground floor.

Please contact Andy prior to booking if you have any concerns about the building or grounds and how it may affect your stay. We will work with you to resolve any concerns as best we can.

There are a limited number of taxis in the area that can accommodate wheelchairs. If you require one of these taxis please ensure you book them in advance of your arrival and departure.

Whilst we are a friendly and helpful group, we are not in a position to offer any form of individual care.

Covid Testing

After a robust discussion, our AGM confirmed the need for Covid testing to help ensure the safety of our medically vulnerable participants. We understand that views on this may differ. However, following the protocol as described below is a condition of booking for the week.

We recommend that you test on the day of arrival (Tues 20th August) before you travel. We don’t want to turn anyone away when an at home Covid test could save you a wasted journey.

We will provide Covid tests at the event so you don’t need to bring any with you.

On arrival
All participants will be required to take a supervised Covid test on arrival before they enter the building. We will ask all participants to refrain from physical greetings (hugs, shaking hands etc) until one of the organisers has recorded the negative test result.

On the Friday or Saturday, all participants will be required to take a supervised Covid test. More details will be provided on the first day of the event and the organisers will do their best to ensure this doesn’t impinge on other events.

During the week
Should anyone feel unwell we will ask them to take a Covid test. If someone does test positive we will make arrangements to keep them isolated and provide reasonable assistance to help get them home.

How to book

This event has a waiting list, but a few places are still reserved for newcomers until 31 May.
If you've attended before, you can book onto the waiting list. We still require a returnable deposit, and will contact you when a place becomes available.

You don't have to be an existing ECC member to book. Payments for ECC events are on a sliding scale according to your income, and you're invited to pay as much or as little as you can afford. You'll be asked to state how much you're going to pay for your place, and how much you'll pay as a deposit when you book. The breakeven cost for this event is £480.00 and the rates for different income levels are shown below.

You can make your payment by bank transfer, and you should send it to us straight away to secure your place.

We maintain a generous bursary fund to help men on very low incomes to ensure no-one is excluded for lack of funds. If you don't feel you can afford the concessionary rate, we may be able to help. Simply choose the option to apply for a bursary when you book.

Sliding scale of charges

Concessionary rate (for people living at benefit levels) £240.00
Low income (£10k to £20k) £480.00
Average income (£20k to £30k) £576.00
High income (£30k or more) £648.00
Breakeven cost£480.00
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