New for 2021

4-Night Northern Lake District Tread Lightly Guided Walking Holiday

Derwent Bank - Borrowdale.jpg
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Tread Lightly
Walking Grade: 2, 3 & 5
from £435pp £360pp

We are all well-versed in ‘leaving no trace’ but now we invite you to join us in taking it to the next level with our new Tread Lightly walks. 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 Lake District have to offer. You will still enjoy the choice of three top-quality walks of different grades as well as the warm welcome of a HF country house, all with the added peace of mind that you are doing your part in protecting our incredible British countryside. Known as the ‘Queen of the Lakes’, Derwent Water’s gentle beauty is easy to explore on our Guided Walking holidays. Surrounded by the picture-postcard valleys of Newlands and Borrowdale and lofty mountains, the sheer splendour of these landscapes is guaranteed to inspire you.

Holiday Highlights

  • Enjoy breath-taking walks from the doors of our country house
  • Enjoy the fine views over Bassenthwaite Lake from Noble Knott
  • Explore the quaint Newlands Church, which once inspired William Wordsworth
  • Marvel at the ever-changing fell views around Derwentwater

What’s included

  • High quality en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Full board from dinner upon arrival to breakfast on departure day
  • 3 days guided walking
  • Use of our comprehensive Discovery Point
  • Choice of up to three guided walks each walking day
  • The services of HF Holidays Walking Leaders

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

On our Guided Walking holidays, we believe that choice is key. Our walks descriptions will help you choose according to your interests and fitness. The walks are grouped together with care by local experts to give the best experience. While every effort will be made to adhere to the described itinerary, we may occasionally vary the sequence shown here or substitute an alternative route to suit local conditions or for other operational reasons, potentially at short notice.

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


Option 1 - Friar's Crag and Castle Head

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In summary: We follow minor roads and a field path to Keswick. From the centre of town we head for the lake shore and view point. We then ascend to a rocky summit affording views over Derwentwater before returning to the town centre through woodland. 

Highlight: Delightful views over Derwentwater and beyond from Castlehead. 

Option 2 - Around Derwentwater

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In summary: Following footpaths and the lake shore for much of this walk, we will make a complete circuit of stunning Derwentwater. Beginning from the house we first walk through Keswick before heading along the east of the lake then returning through beautiful woodland along the western shores to our country house.

Highlight: Spectacular, ever changing views of the all the fells around the lake including the imposing Skiddaw range and famous Cat Bells.

Option 3 - Around the lake via Walla Crag and Ashness Bridge

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Ascent: 1,800 feet (550m)

In summary: After a pleasant walk into the centre of Keswick we climb steadily alongside Brockley Beck to emerge on the open top of Walla Crag. We then descend to the much photographed Ashness Bridge from where we descend further into woodland to Derwentwater. Following the shoreline back to Keswick there is plenty of time to admire the view across the water. Once in town we retrace our steps to the house, or you can enjoy the shops and tearooms before making your own way back. 

Highlight: Superb views over the lake, town and surrounding fells from the summit of Walla Crag.


Option 1 - Swinside Circuit

Distance: 5.5 miles (9km)

Ascent: 500 feet (150m)

In Summary: This gentle walk takes us into the Newlands valley, a sparsely populated farming area surrounded by high fells. After following Newlands Beck we cross the valley to the lower slopes of Cat Bells returning to the house via fields and woodland.

Highlight: Explore quaint Newlands Church, which once inspired William Wordsworth. 

Option 2 - Outerside and Barrow

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Ascent: 1,900 feet (580m)

In Summary: Cross the Newlands Valley to climb the neighbouring fells of Outerside and Barrow in the Coledale Valley.

Highlight: The grassy slopes of Outerside and Barrow are two delightful lower fells with great views over Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwentwater.

Option 3 - Causey Pike

Distance: 9.5 miles (15.5km)

Ascent: 2,750 feet (840m)

In Summary: After crossing the valley we begin our ascent of Causey Pike via Rolling End. This is a steep climb and becomes rocky towards the top so be ready to use your hands. We descend via Sail Pass before ascending to the summit of Outerside and then head back to the valley and our country house.

Highlight: Fine views throughout make this a superb walk of great variety.


Option 1 - Forest Trail via Mamill Beck

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 1,200 feet (380m)

In Summary: We cross the entrance to Newlands Valley where passing through Braithwaite we reach fine deciduous woods and Masmill Beck. The beck is followed into conifer woods and Whinlatter's walking trails.  We descend to Noble Knott, a pleasant picnic area. Our return follows easy forest tracks to the open hillside above Braithwaite before we make our way back to the house on lanes and field paths.

Highlight: Fine views over Bassenthwaite Lake from Noble Knott.

Option 2 - Forest Trail via Comb Beck

Distance: 9.5 miles (15.5km)

Ascent: 1,850 feet (560m)

In Summary: We use the minor roads and field paths to Braithwaite and enter the woodland to reach Comb Beck. Tracing the beck's course through the forest we arrive at Whinlatter Visitor Centre. Our descent takes us through the trees emerging on the ridge path from Grisedale Pike where with luck we will have extensive views before returning via Braithwaite.

Option 3 - Grisedale Pike

Distance: 11.5 miles (18.5km)

Ascent: 2,560 feet (780m)

In Summary: Grisedale Pike is the prominent and elegant peak seen from the front of Derwent Bank. We cross to Braithwaite and ascend the well used ridge path to the summit. Our descent uses the pleasant heathery Hobcarton ridge which offers views of Whinlatter pass and the west. We return via forest paths and tracks, joining our outward route just above Braithwaite and then take the roads and paths to the house.   

Highlight: On a clear day there are views in all directions from the summit of Grisedale Pike including the impressive neighbouring Hopegill Head.


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 slowly reopen in the wake of the 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.

Initially the overall capacity of the houses has been reduced. Guests must wear face coverings in public spaces. 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.

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. Outdoor swimming pools at those houses that have them will re-open throughout August, except at Freshwater Bay House, where the pool will remain closed for 2020. Indoor swimming pools will remain closed.

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

What to Bring

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Waterproof walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)
  • Sun hat and sunscreen
    Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner

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: £20 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
2021
08 Feb - 12 Feb
4 Tread Lightly £435 £360 Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
30 Aug - 03 Sep
4 Tread Lightly £545 £515 Save £30 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
15 Nov - 19 Nov
4 Tread Lightly £435 £360 Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
22 Nov - 26 Nov
4 Tread Lightly £435 £360 Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
29 Nov - 03 Dec
4 Tread Lightly £435 £360 Save £75 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Tread Lightly
Walking Grade:
2 & 3

4 nights from £435pp £360pp

New for 2021

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist