3-night Northern Lake District Taster Weekend

Wide panoramic view of Keswick and lake Derwent Water from Latrigg, Cumbria, UK
Duration: 3 nights
Type: Taster Breaks
Walking Grade: 2, 3 & 5
from £399pp £349pp

You probably know the Lake District is Britain’s premier National Park. But you might not know HF Holidays yet, one of Britain’s longest-established walking holiday companies; this weekend will show you what you’ve been missing. We’re all about choice. Graded, guided walks from easier low-level rambles to full-on hill walks are available. We have pulled together a series of spectacular walks which do not use transport, reducing our carbon footprint while still exploring the best landscapes that the Northern Lakes has to offer. Your home for the weekend, Derwent Bank, is situated close to Keswick and slap bang on the shore of Derwentwater, with the glassy lake on one side and the razor-edged ridges, humpbacked fells and muscular mountains of the Lake District on the other. We truly are for everyone who loves the outdoors, whether you’re a chuck-your-boots-in-the-car if the sun’s out type, or you’re dressed head to toe in Paramo. There are maps and guides you can borrow too if you prefer to do your own thing and explore independently.

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy breathtaking walks from the doors of our country house
  • A choice of three guided walks on each walking day from a lakeside strolls to climbing iconic Lakeland fells
  • Experienced, friendly walk leaders bring classic routes to life
  • Discover Britain’s largest co-operative holiday company

What’s included

  • High-quality en-suite accommodation
  • Full board, from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point (maps, guides, route information)
  • The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders
  • Any transport to and from the walks (if applicable)

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards.


Option 1 - Cat Bells Terrace

Distance: 6.5 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)

In Summary: Follow the elevated path along Cat Bells terrace, then return along the beautiful lakeshore path.

Highlight: Throughout the walk enjoy stunning views over Derwentwater and the surrounding Lakeland fells.

Option 2 - Cat Bells

Distance:  7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,600 feet (500m)

In Summary: We begin by heading up the ridge to the summit of Cat Bells. We then descend to the lakeside path and a beautiful walk along part of the Cumbria Way.

Highlight: Cat Bells’ shapely summit is one of the most popular fells in the Lake District and affords magnificent views of the Northern Fells.

Option 3 - Cat Bells and High Spy

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 2,300 feet (700m)

In Summary: Rising above the western shore of Derwentwater is the distinct shape of Cat Bells. After an initial steep ascent we stride out along the ridge of Maiden Moor to High Spy with wonderful views in all directions. Then descent into the upper reaches of the Newlands Valley.

Highlight: The descent via Dalehead Tarn and a waterfall makes for a lovely contrast as we pass old mine workings, farms and the homes of Beatrix Potter’s animal characters.


Option 1 - Applethwaite & Latrigg

Distance: 7.5 miles (12.5km)

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In Summary: This walk takes us across flat fields towards the imposing mass of Skiddaw. From the hamlet of Applethwaite we start our gentle climb to the summit of Latrigg. We descend into the market town of Keswick before a level walk across fields and rivers back to the country house.

Highlight: Latrigg packs a real punch for a smaller fell with superb views across Keswick and Derwentwater towards Borrowdale.

Option 2 - Applethwaite to Dodd

Distance: 9.5 miles (15.5km)

Ascent: 2,000 feet (600m)

In Summary: This walk follows the same route out and back making the most of the views in both directions. After crossing fields to the hamlet of Applethwaite, the path rises quite steeply through Thornthwaite forest to the summit of Dodd. From the top the views over Bassenthwaite Lake are beautiful.

Highlight: Keep your eyes peeled, if you are lucky you may be able to spot Ospreys.

Option 3 - Skiddaw

Distance: 11.5 miles (18km)

Ascent: 3,200 feet (980m)

In summary: Skiddaw dominates the skyline at the northern end of Derwentwater. This route, via Keswick, takes the Cumbria Way to the back of Latrigg before following a good path up, up, up to the broad summit of Lakeland's 4th highest peak. From here we descend on a loose path to Carl Side before a steep, but steady, descent to the hamlet of Millbeck, with outstanding views of Derwentwater towards Borrowdale. Field paths bring us back to the house.

Highlight: Hopefully we will be rewarded with fantastic views in every direction from the lofty summit of Skiddaw.  


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Derwent Bank

Close to Keswick and situated slap bang on the shore of Derwentwater, with the glassy lake on one side and the razor-edged ridges, humpbacked fells and muscular mountains of the Lake District on the other, beautiful Derwent Bank has been entrancing walkers since 1785. Extensive refurbishment and investment have seen this established walkers’ retreat transformed into a beautiful country house hotel perfect for people looking to explore the great outdoors. It’s also perfect for drinking in the views over a glass of something chilled on the terrace. With 41 bedrooms across the main house and garden rooms as well as a rustic ‘pod’ to sleep in, there’s plenty of space, along with a pretty orangery, large lounge and relaxed vibe. The lakeside land encompasses a formal garden, extensive lawns and mature trees. The emphasis is on enjoying the great outdoors and it’s all made super easy with walkers’ facilities from an inspiration point equipped with maps and route ideas to a boot room and drying space – this is the Lakes, after all. With views of Cat Bells and Grizedale Pike, the inspiration for adventure is never far away. Venture out from the house to head to the high peaks such as Scafell Pike, Blencathra and Helvellyn or stick to the lower slopes and lakes; Ullswater, arguably the most beautiful of the Cumbrian lakes, Borrowdale and Buttermere are all within easy reach.

 

Need to know

Important Covid-19 steps we have taken for guest safety: Please Read

As we reopen in the wake of the latest Coronavirus lockdown, our country house stays are set to be organised a little differently; extra steps have been taken to keep our guests, house teams and leaders safe while we return to action. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

To adhere to social distancing guidelines, we have taken the necessary steps to space out furniture and seating in public areas. In addition, a one-way system will be in place around the house. Adequate signage will be displayed to support the direction of travel to be followed by guests and house teams. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. 

As a temporary measure, we will not be servicing rooms during a stay. Extra tea, coffee, milk, and toiletries will be made available on request for all guests. It is recommended that guests bring their own toiletries for the duration of their stay. We have removed all non-essential and reusable items from our rooms for the meantime including cushions, hairdryers, bathrobes, bed throws, and printed materials to reduce the number of items that need to be disinfected. Hairdryers will be available on request. Clean towels will be available on request. We will though be increasing the frequency of cleaning in our public areas providing particular attention to frequently touched items including door handles and handrails.

For now, there is no cream tea on arrival day. We have also adapted our food offering to remove all buffets and open food items. Different sittings may be required for breakfast and dinner due to the occupancy and size of the house. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. The bar in each country house will be open, and we will be offering a table service for drinks. At this time there is no, or only a very limited, evening social programme available. Most swimming pools will reopen on 17 May but those at Alltshellach, Freshwater Bay House and West Lulworth House will aim to reopen on 21 June.

For more information and to see all the steps taken, visit our page on how house stays will be adapted.

Rooms

Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s beautifully presented rooms or in the stylish outhouse where there are eight garden rooms with exceptional views for stylish, laid-back Lake District accommodation. In the main house, we’d pick room 12 for the extra space and stunning views over the gardens and Derwentwater. Alternatively, ask for rooms 46, 47, 48 and 49 in the outhouse, all first-floor garden bedrooms with their own glass balcony looking over the ornate formal garden and with views of the lake. There’s easy access to the boot room and orangery too, making these rooms a must to stay in. If you’re after somewhere a little more unusual to stay overnight, there’s a ‘pod’ in the garden that offers extra privacy, sleeps up to four and gives you a great story to take away!

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress and larger television – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-25 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.

Facilities

Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, formal garden, extensive garden, putting green, orangery, lounge and board games to borrow

After a day exploring the Lake District, settle in at our country house. Walk the pretty gardens, pause on the pier that juts out in to Derwentwater and look for the boats and ferry that sail on the lake. Try your hand on the putting green or at croquet. Grab a drink and sit on the terrace above the sloping lawns. Indoors, the spectacular orangery with its superb views, is the ideal setting for a bit of peace and quiet, or sink into the sofas in the large, comfortable lounge. Head to the bar for a great local ale and a cracking conversation with fellow guests.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea and cakes served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Derwent Bank is varied and eclectic but has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might tuck in to traditional Cumbrian fare from local river trout with samphire to a duo of local lamb. Look out for Eden Valley brie and red onion tart or Whinlatter Forest wild mushroom risotto. And to cap it all, Cumbrian sticky toffee pudding with English Lakes thunder and lightning ice cream.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

Derwent Bank hotel and Derwent Water area. Stills from drone.

Getting to Derwent Bank

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information

Essential Information

Essential Equipment 

  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Thermos flask for hot drink
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £30 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
27 Aug - 30 Aug 2021
3 Taster Weekend £399 £349 Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
3 nights
Type:
Taster Breaks
Walking Grade:
2 & 3

3 nights from £399pp £349pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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