4-Night Words by the Water in the Northern Lake District

Middle aged woman sitting under a tree reading a book in the park

History, philosophy, politics, comedy - the Words by the Water Literary Festival has something for everyone. A glittering line up of thinkers, writers and commentators share ideas and stories which are both entertaining and thought-provoking. The Theatre by the Lake venue in Keswick lies on the shores of Derwent Water – a beautiful setting and just a short distance from our country house. There are over 100 events during the 10 days of the festival; the programme will be announced in January.

Holiday Highlights

  • A fantastic festival featuring a diverse range of stars 
  • Topics from philosophy to comedy
  • Let us organise your festival arrangements with transport to and from the festival site (by bus or boat!)
  • A selection of tickets to the festival

What’s included

  • High quality Full Board en-suite accommodation and excellent food in our Country House
  • The services of our knowledgeable HF Holidays’ leader, ensuring you get the most from your holiday
  • Coach transport to and from the festival
  • Good quality tickets for performances and festival sessions

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

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

We appreciate that COVID-19 continues to impact the nations.  The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not always in sync, so measures in our country houses may vary between the nations. We thank all guests for adhering to the measures we have introduced to keep our guests, leaders and team members safe.

You can see our latest FAQs and guarantees at https://www.hfholidays.co.uk/coronavirus-travel-advice 

Ventilation, Physical Distancing Measures and Group Sizes around the Houses

We will keep our public areas well ventilated; for your comfort you might want to pack an extra layer to keep you comfortable.

With the relaxation of physical distancing, we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together.

Hand sanitiser stations will be made available in frequently used public areas for guests and staff use. It is advisable to bring additional hand sanitiser for whilst you are out walking.

We always follow the latest regional government advice, but our one recommendation is don’t forget your face mask! There is no requirement to wear a face covering in communal areas, but you may of course choose to. Some places throughout the UK may still require you to wear a mask even if the government legislation does not. With this in mind we suggest you bring a personal supply of face coverings for the duration of your stay.

Servicing Bedrooms:

At this stage we are not reintroducing our daily room servicing.  Extra tea, coffee, milk, towels and toiletries will be available on request from our team. Bins can be left outside your door for emptying.

COVID-19 Symptoms or Cases 

If a guest has symptoms of COVID-19 then they should inform the house team and immediately self-isolate to minimise any risk of transmission and make arrangements to request a COVID test. If a guest receives a positive test result, they should return home if they reasonably can. They should where possible use private transport but only drive themselves if they can do so safely. If a guest cannot reasonably return home, they should discuss their circumstances with the House Manager. Additional charges may be levied if a guest needs to self-isolate for longer than their planned holiday.

What can you do to help keep everyone safe?

  • Wear a face mask/covering where required and please bring plenty of face coverings for the duration of your stay
  • Carry/use hand sanitiser
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water when possible
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough or sneeze
  • Avoid passing round objects such as cameras & phones
  • If you are displaying symptoms of Coronavirus, please do not travel to an HF Holidays House

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 ‘Classic' rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Premium’ and ‘Superior’ 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.

Check in:

Check in opens at 4pm for all guests. Guests will be unable to access any of the Country House facilities, including leaving luggage before 4pm.

We are delighted to invite you to enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival. Relax and meet your fellow guests and leaders. 

Check out:

Check out time: 10am

Please note, you will need to settle your bill before departure and payment will only be possible by card.  Gratuities and donations to the Pathway Fund can also be made by card.

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.

Welcome Information

A Welcome Information Pack providing details about the Country House and your holiday will be available in each bedroom. This personal pack of information will detail what to expect during your stay in the house, the menu for the duration of your stay, dinner & picnic lunch order forms and the guest registration form for completion.

Our houses are locked at night-time and accessible with a door code which is available in the Welcome Pack. However, we also recommend making a note of the Duty Manager number on arrival, in case of an emergency or getting locked out.

Evenings

Join our team after dinner on Wednesday evenings to see if you’ve got the knowledge to triumph in the HF Big Pub Quiz!  There will also be another evening of entertainment at the beginning of the week which will vary depending on the house you are visiting.

If there are leaders resident, they will be available to chat to guests about self-guided walks. You can borrow walking route notes and maps from our Discovery Point.

Walks Talks – Guided Walking Information Briefings

Self-Guided guests are always welcome to join our Guided Walking briefings to hear about the local conditions. 

Our leaders will deliver a Guided Walking Information Briefing on each arrival day before and after dinner followed by a group Walks Talk to let guests know about the following day’s walks. Walks Talks are usually before and after dinner prior to each walking day. The information is repeated so you can join whichever time suits you. 

If you are undecided which walk to do, our leaders will be available in the bar or lounge to answer any questions you might have. Our website contains up-to-date information about the walks for each holiday.

Before you leave for your walk your leader will run through a short safety briefing for the day.

Each day, the latest weather forecast will be displayed for all guests to check to ensure appropriate clothing is worn for the walks.

Please note, if you decide to do your own walks, or you are on a self-guided walking holiday, you must complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house.

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. Food at Derwent Bank is varied with a strong emphasis on the use of seasonal British produce. Our experienced chefs create each dish using only the freshest ingredients and, when in season, use home grown herbs and vegetables taken from our own gardens to give a true taste of the local area.

Along with many hospitality business across the UK we are presently experiencing disruption to our food and drink supply chain. COVID continues to limit the ability of suppliers to deliver and the war in Ukraine (along with several other global challenges) is impacting availability of many basic products.  We are working hard to ensure that these challenges do not negatively impact your holiday but ask for your understanding should we need to make last minute changes to dishes or menus.

Accessibility

For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Derwent Bank

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

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