7 Night Northern Lake District Gentle Guided Walking Holiday

Lake District, Cumbria, UK
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Gentle guided walking
Walking Grade: 1, 2 & 3
from £1,199pp

Ideal for those wanting to explore the Northern Lake District at a more relaxed and leisurely pace, this gentle guided walking holiday rewards with glorious trails, postcard-perfect views, and comfortable accommodation at Derwent Bank - our country house set in lovely grounds that slope down to the shores of Derwentwater. You’ll also enjoy a choice of up to three different-grade daily walks, including a gentle walk of three to four miles.

What you’ll love

  • Discovering the gorgeous Northern Lake District on foot
  • Admiring the spectacular Aira Force Waterfall
  • Enjoying views across Derwentwater from Catbells Terrace
  • Spending time with like-minded people in the great outdoors  
  • Finding new routes and places to explore with your HF Holidays Leader  
  • Staying at Derwent Bank, our country house near Keswick

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Cream tea on arrival day
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning
  • Daily packed lunches
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee
  • Guided walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders
  • Choice of up to three different-grade daily walks
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary
  • Easy-to-follow routes, maps, and information in our Discovery Point if you want to explore independently

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.


Option 1 - Friar's Crag and Derwentwater

Distance: 3.5 miles (6km)

Ascent: 250 feet (80m) 

In summary: We follow minor roads and a field path to Keswick. From the centre of town we head for the lake shore and Friars Crag view point. We then stroll along the lake shore before heading back to the pier to catch the Keswick Launch. We sail across the lake before a short walk back to the house on forest tracks past the Lingholm estate. 

Highlight: Kick back, relax and soak up the spectacular views as we cruise across Derwentwater on the Keswick Launch.   

Option 2 - Friar's Crag and Castlehead

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Ascent: 500 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 Castle Head. 

Option 3 - Surprise View and Derwentwater

Distance: 6.5 miles (10.5km)

Ascent: 1,200 feet (340m)

In summary: We begin our walk at High Lodore and ascend steeply alongside Watendlath Beck and walk through the woods to Surprise View. We then gradually descend past the picturesque Ashness Bridge and on towards the shore of Derwentwater. We walk alongside the lake into Keswick before heading back to Derwent Bank. 

Highlight: As the name suggests the most spectacular view opens up before your eyes over Derwentwater and beyond at 'Surprise View'. 


Option 1 - Around Buttermere

Distance: 4.5 miles (7km)

Ascent: 450 feet (140m)  

In summary: We follow the lakeshore path around the shores of Buttermere. The views are spectacular with towering peaks surrounding us on all sides.

Highlights: The much photographed view from the end of the lake up the valley towards Fleetwith Pike.

Option 2 - Squat Beck and Buttermere

Distance: 6½ miles (10km)

Ascent: 800 feet (240m) 

In summary: Enjoy the scenery as you walk from Squat Beck through fields and farmyards to the village of Buttermere. 

Highlights: Walk to the village of Buttermere where at the time of the Norman Conquest, the English had a secret headquarters where they manned a counter-attack from the valley. Buttermere was one of the few northern valleys the Normans were never able to capture. 

Option 3 - Crummock Water and Buttermere

Distance: 8 miles (12.9km)

Ascent: 1,200 feet (360m)

In summary: We begin walking through the woods to the shore of Crummock Water, where we walk alomg the shore before ascending via Squat Beck alongside the flank of Rannerdale Knotts. Lovely views open up before we drop down into Buttermere village. The remainder of the walk follows the shoreline around beautiful Buttermere.

Highlight: The Buttermere valley is one of the most picturesque parts of the Lakes, surrounded by towering peaks on all sides.


Discover more about Derwent Bank and the local area for ideas on how to fill your free day. 


Option 1 - Derwentwater Shore

Distance: 3.5 miles (6km) 

Ascent: 500 feet (160m) 

In summary: Whilst we do retrace our steps on this walk it is a delight in either direction. Initially following woodland track we first come to the water at Derwent Bay and from here continue on a more uneven path along the shoreline. On the return you may wish to view the lovely walled garden on the Lingholm estate.  

Highlight: Take in the view of imposing Skiddaw above Keswick and across the water to the islands. 

Option 2 - Around Swinside and Newlands

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Ascent: 800 feet (240m)

In summary: Today's walk takes us into the Newlands Valley. We head through Portinscale and the outskirts of Braithwaite, then walk below Barrow and across the valley to Ghyll Bank. We pick up the Cumbria Way for a pleasant stroll back to the house.  

Highlight: Picturesque Newlands Valley is a lovely area surrounded by towering fells.  

Option 3 - Catbells Terrace

Distance: 7 miles (11km) 

Total ascent: 1,100 feet (340m) 

In summary: Follow the elevated path along Catbells terrace, then return along the beautiful lakeshore path. 

Highlight: This stunning route is right on our doorstep. Throughout the walk you'll enjoy glorious views over Derwentwater and the surrounding Lakeland fells. 


Option 1 - Aira Force to Glenridding

Distance: 3.5 miles (5.5km) 

Ascent: 300 feet (80m) 

In summary: Visit the spectacular Aira Force waterfall, then follow the low level Ullswater Way footpath to Glenridding. Here we board the Steamer for a cruise along the length of the lake to finish at Pooley Bridge. 

Highlight: Great views of the lake and surrounding mountains and a relaxing drink in Pooley Bridge! 

Option 2 - Along the Ullswater Way

Distance: 6½ miles (10.5km) 

Ascent: 1,100 feet (340m) 

In summary: Beginning at the pretty Watermillock church we join the Ullswater Way, and follow woodland paths before gently climbing to the spectacular terrace path below Gowbarrow. We descend to the famous Aira Force waterfall and finish following the Ullswater Way into Glenridding.  

Highlight: The terrace path enjoys wonderful views over Ullswater, described by Wordswoth as 'the happiest combination of beauty and grandeur which any of the lakes affords'.

Option 3 - Gowbarrow and Aira Force

Distance: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,550 feet (480m)

In summary: We begin our walk at the beautiful Aira Force waterfall, before ascending along the beck towards Dockray. We turn to join the fairly steep path up to summit of Gowbarrow Fell and will hopefully be rewarded with the view from the top. We then descend to the terrace path along the east and south flank of the fell with more wonderful views before continuing down almost to lake level and follow the Ullswater Way into Glenridding.   

Highlight: Spectacular views of Ullswater and the surrounding area from the summit of Gowbarrow Fell.   


Option 1 - Castlerigg Stone Circle

Distance: 4½ miles (6.5km)

Ascent: 600 feet (180m)

In summary: A gentle ascent to Castlerigg Stone Circle, potentially one of the earliest in the country. Field and woodland paths take us on to Keswick. 

Highlight: There's time to explore the attractive town of Keswick at the end of the walk. You may enjoy visiting one of the many pubs and tea rooms or discover the town's quirky museum.   

Option 2 - St John's in the Vale & Castlerigg

Distance: 5 miles (7.5km) 

Ascent: 800 feet (240m) 

In summary: Walk through the green Vale of St John to the iconic Castlerigg Stone Circle with its commanding view of the surrounding fells. There is the option to spend some time in Keswick at the end of the walk or if you prefer return straight to Derwent Bank.  

Highlight: The dramatic setting of Castlerigg Stone Circle affords stunning views of the surrounding fells.

Option 3 - High Rigg & Castlerigg

Distance: 7½ miles (12km) 

Ascent: 1,250 feet (380m)  

In summary: Starting from Castle Rock we'll cross the wonderful low-lying fell of High Rigg to Castlerigg stone circle before continuing on to Keswick. 

Highlight: Castlerigg Stone Circle dates to c3,000BC and is one of most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain with great views of the Lakeland fells.


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home.


Derwent Bank

Adored by poets, painters, and literary giants for centuries, the Lake District has always had an irresistible pull. It’s no surprise, then, that this country house near the market town of Keswick holds such appeal, not least for its setting in lovely grounds that slope down to the shores of Derwentwater. The location couldn’t be more perfect; to the west is Cat Bells, to the east is Keswick, Walla Crag, and Latrigg, and to the south is the entrance to the Borrowdale valley. There’s a wealth of big-name attractions within easy travelling distance, including Blencathra, Helvellyn, and Ullswater. Also visit-worthy for walkers is Scafell Pike for its well-trodden routes and trails and the 73-mile-long Cumbria Way for its mist-shrouded peaks, glacial valleys, and many excuses for pit-stops and picnics.  

 

Rooms

Designed with your comfort in mind, Derwent Bank has 40 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

We love: Room 12 for its extra space and lovely views across the gardens and Derwentwater. Rooms 46, 47, 48, and 49 are first-floor garden rooms, each with their own balcony. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.

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

Address

Derwent Bank
Portinscale
Nr Keswick
Cumbria CA12 5TY

Tel: +44 (0)1768 773667

By train

The nearest station is Penrith, on the main line between London and Glasgow. 

Check National Rail for train times and routes.

By shared transfer

If you’re travelling to or from Derwent Bank on Mondays or Fridays from 19 February to 16 December 2024, or on Mondays and Fridays over the festive period, you can join our group transfer from Penrith Railway Station.

2024 prices are £50 per person for a return transfer or £25 per person for a single transfer.

Outward journey: Depart Penrith Railway Station at 16:50; arrive at Derwent Bank at 17:30.

Return journey: Depart Derwent Bank at 09:15; arrive at Penrith Railway Station at 10:00.

Places are limited so booking is essential. We recommend booking at least 14 days in advance by contacting:

HF Holidays Sales and Support Team
Tel: +44 (0)203 974 8865
Email: reservations@hfholidays.co.uk

By taxi

The 20-mile journey from Penrith railway station to Derwent Bank takes about 40 minutes by taxi in normal traffic conditions. 

For pricing, please contact Davies Taxis directly.

Davies Taxis
You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended company, Davies Taxis*. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance by contacting:

Tel: +44 (0)1768 772676
Email: info@daviestaxis.co.uk

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Derwent Bank.

*Davies Taxis is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

By bus

The X5 bus runs approximately every hour from Penrith station and the journey takes around 50 minutes. The nearest bus stop is on the A66, about a three-quarter mile walk from the house.

As you alight the bus at the Portinscale bus stop, turn to your right and go down the road signposted to Portinscale, Grange, and the Newlands Valley. Follow this road through Portinscale village - Derwent Bank is on your left-hand side after the Derwentwater Marina.

Alternatively, catch the X4 or X5 bus to Keswick bus station and take a 10-minute taxi ride to Derwent Bank. As of 2023, this should cost around £6 for a 4-seat taxi if using a pre-booked service with our recommended taxi provider listed above.

By car

There is a large car park at Derwent Bank if you decide to drive. 

From Penrith, you’ll need to leave the M6 motorway at junction 40, taking the A66 towards Keswick. After 17 miles you'll reach a roundabout - continue ahead following signs to Cockermouth and Workington. Turn left off the A66 towards Portinscale, Grange, and the Newlands Valley. Derwent Bank is about three quarters of a mile further on the left. 

By air

The nearest airport is Manchester International Airport.  

There are direct trains every hour from Manchester Airport to Penrith and the journey time is about two hours.  

Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option but you’ll have a longer onward train journey – it could take at least 4.5 hours to reach Penrith. From Heathrow, take the train to London Paddington, then the London Underground to London Euston connecting to the main line train to Penrith, which takes three hours. 

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   

Essentials  

  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  

Recommended  

  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Derwent Bank Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.


Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book
2024

14 Jun - 21 Jun 2024

7 nights

Gentle Walks

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,199 pp

from

£1,199 pp

Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Book Now

04 Oct - 11 Oct 2024

7 nights

Gentle Walks

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
Call to Enquire Call to Enquire Trip Notes
Duration:
7 nights
Type:
Gentle guided walking
Walking Grade:
1, 2 & 3

7 nights from £1,199pp

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

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