[D]enise Robinson celebrated 10 years ownership of Kirkby Stephen Independent Hostel on 5th April.
Denise, born in Great Asby with grandparents from Brough and Grassgill, bought Kirkby Stephen Hostel in 2008. The Hostel is central in Kirkby Stephen and has hosted over 35,000 people bringing a significant amount of tourism to the town.
Many people have encouraged her with their charity fund raising events such as Paul Birkhouse who walked the Coast to Coast barefoot to raise funds for Billingham Youth Organisation. He was so impressed by Denise and the town he is returning this year with his wife and family to show them around Kirkby area.
Denise said: “The best part has been meeting so many people with so many interesting stories, seeing personal achievements and charity work.”
She has many stories to tell of interesting visitors to this small market town including a Korean author writing a guide in Korean for the Coast to Coast which has brought Korean tourists back following his guide book. Other visitors including a Japanese Choir, Lithuanian and Maltese tourists. After the floods a couple of young men stayed a number of months planting 1000s of trees in the local area.
Denise has seen a significant increase of people returning to Kirkby Stephen after doing the Coast to Coast to see the local areas recommended by Denise.
The Hostel has 38 beds now including 5 en-suite bedrooms, a large dining room and kitchen solely for guest use. It is in the centre of Kirkby Stephen offering guests the option to eat in or in town and over the years has brought over 35,000 customers into the town. The hostel is open all the year and available for whole hostel bookings where people have come to celebrate birthdays, hen/stag parties, business events, charity events, cycling and walking groups to name just a few.