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Hills & moorland
Difficulty is measured on many factors such as distance, ascent/descent, terrain, weather and more. There's no magic formula, but from our experience we use yellow for easy, orange for medium and red for hard. Challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.
Our Cumbria Way route is from Carlisle to Ulverston and passes through Dalston, Caldbeck, Keswick, Grange, Elterwater, Coniston and Gawthwaite. It passes through a variety of terrain, from the pastoral beauty of the Caldew Valley and the wildness of the northern fells to the shorelines of Derwent and Coniston Waters. It is not a high level route, only once ascending above 2,000 feet, instead following the valleys and contouring around the higher ground.
Stay at HF Holidays' own Country Houses - 4 nights at Derwent Bank and 3 nights at Monk Coniston.
With the best waterfront of any hotel on Derwent Water, Derwent Bank offers a truly exceptional location. Monk Coniston, as a historic National Trust property, is full of romantic, gothic-style charm. Both properties have a most attractive Lake District setting.
Derwent Bank has 32 bedrooms in the main building, plus 5 double bedded rooms in chalets in the gardens. Some of the rooms have views over the lake, whilst others face towards the mountains of Cat Bells and Grizedale Pike. In addition, in the grounds there is the refurbished Coach House, a luxurious two bedroom apartment.
Monk Coniston has 33 bedrooms. Some are located in the main house, with others in the adjoining cottage and counting house.
Our classic rooms offer comfortable accommodation and an en-suite bathroom with bath or shower. They also have TV, hairdryer, and tea and coffee making facilities. Single rooms are available at no extra charge.
You can enjoy extra space or exceptional views plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade to a premium room. Premium rooms are available at just £10 extra per person per night.
If you are travelling with your family, we have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded family rooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.
All our Country Houses are tailored to the needs of walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms.
At Derwent Bank there is a large, comfortable lounge, an attractive dining room and a welcoming bar stocking local beer. The conservatory is particularly attractive and has superb views of the lake and the surrounding fells.
The house sits in extensive gardens with a sloping lawn down to the lake jetty. Outside there is a formal garden, a putting green and croquet lawn.
Monk Coniston has a comfortable lounge, an attractive dining room with lake views, and a bar and library. There is also a selection of board games and books. Free Wifi is available in some public rooms. Our traditional Lakeland barn can be used for dancing, or as a games room with table tennis and Nintendo Wii.
Monk Coniston is surrounded by a large garden with views down to the lake. Outside there is a putting green and croquet lawn. The National Trust maintains a collection of rare trees in the grounds.
All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.
Start your day with our extensive breakfast. Choose from our cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. The cold buffet offers a selection fruit, cereals, yoghurts, croissants and pastries. Hot dishes include porridge, sausages, bacon, choice of eggs, tomato, baked beans and mushrooms. Tea, coffee, toast and jams are served at the tables.
Choose from our self-select picnic lunches. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish.
Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (generally soup, sandwiches etc).
The relaxed dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring good British cooking and often local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.
All our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.
Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk from a member of the local mountain rescue team or a team quiz. Alternatively if you prefer, feel free to just relax in our lounge or bar.
Carlisle to Sebergham
Our walk starts in the border city of Carlisle. We leave streets and buildings behind as we walk through the pastoral beauty of the Caldew Valley to Sebergham, passing through the village of Dalston and enjoying the riverside views of Rose Castle, the imposing home of the Bishops of Carlisle. 12.5 miles (20km) with 450 feet (140m) ascent.
Sebergham to Mosedale
From Sebergham we walk along the banks of the River Caldew and through wooded hillsides to the village of Caldbeck, made famous by John Peel whose grave is in the village churchyard. We ascend the summit of High Pike (2,157 feet), the most northerly of the Lakeland peaks, with fine views to Scotland and the Pennines. We descend below Great Lingy Hill, walking past old mine workings along Grainsgill Beck as we head along the valley to Mosedale. 9 miles (15km), with 2,100 feet (640m) of ascent.
Mosedale to Derwent Bank
Along the River Caldew valley with Bowscale Fell on our left and Carrock Fell to the right, we continue between Knott and Mungrisdale Common, passing Great Calva to Skiddaw House. We leave the River Caldew, which has its source on the eastern slopes of Skiddaw, and continue in high open country between Skiddaw and Blencathra. The path contours Lonscale Fell and along the side of Glenderaterra Valley, passing below Lonscale Crags. Passing Latrigg we descend to Keswick and back to Derwent Bank. 10.5 miles (17km), with 1,200 feet (380m) of ascent.
Derwent Bank to Great Langdale
We follow the creeks, inlets and bays of Derwent Water below Cat Bells with superb views across Derwent Water to Skiddaw. The countryside changes to the lush valley scenery of Borrowdale, full of ancient woodland and spectacular rocky crags so typical of the volcanic rock of the central Lakeland fells. From Rosthwaite we follow the river to enter Stonethwaite and Langstrath valley beneath the towering heights of Heron Crag and Sergeant’s Crag. We cross Stake Beck and ascend to Stake Pass. Crossing open moorland we descend into the valley of Mickleden and down below the Langdale Pikes to finish in Great Langdale at New Dungeon Ghyll. 14.5 miles (23km), with 2,400 feet (740m) of ascent.
Great Langdale to Sunny Bank
From New Dungeon Ghyll we follow Great Langdale Beck past Elterwater and Skelwith Force waterfall to Skelwith Bridge. The route turns west to Colwith Force waterfall, and meanders through fields, ancient lanes and woodland paths to the beauty spot of Tarn Hows. We continue through pasture and woodland to Coniston and along the western side of Coniston Water to finish at Sunny Bank. 14.5 miles (23.5km), with 1,650 feet (520m) of ascent.
Sunny Bank to Ulverston
Crossing Torver Beck at Sunny Bank we follow tracks over rough country to reach Beacon Tarn. Heading towards Gawthwaite we say goodbye to the Lake District National Park. We descend to the village of Broughton Beck and ascend again to Osmotherley parish church which has good views of the Coniston fells. Crossing field paths we climb Bortree Stile for a fine view over Morecambe Bay, and then along the wooded banks of Gillbanks Beck towards the market town of Ulverston and the end of The Cumbria Way. 11.5 miles (18.5km), with 1,550 feet (480m) of ascent.
The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors
As this holiday starts and finishes at two different points, travelling by train may be the most convenient method of travel. The nearest rail station to Derwent Bank is at Penrith. The nearest train station to Monk Coniston is at Windermere For train times and general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
Penrith station to Derwent Bank:
Our station transfer operates every Friday between Penrith station and Derwent Bank. The pickup is at 4.50pm from Penrith railway station. This transfer costs just £6 single, however a place must be reserved in advance by calling 0345 470 7558.
If you can’t meet our station transfer, the 20 mile journey from Penrith to Derwent Bank can be made by taxi. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £30 per journey (or around £50 if not pre-booked). Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking.
Monk Coniston to Windermere station:
The 13 mile journey to Windermere railway station takes approximately 30 minutes. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £25.
Alternatively you can catch the 505 bus direct to Monk Coniston - the bus stop is right outside our Country House. Journey time is around 50 minutes. For bus times see www.traveline.info
For those wishing to travel by car, there is car parking available at both Derwent Bank and Monk Coniston.
If you wish to transfer your car midway through the holiday we would suggest doing this on the Mosedale to Derwent Bank day, as the walk usually finishes by 4pm. You can then drive your car to Monk Coniston where we can arrange a taxi to return you to Derwent Bank in time for dinner. This would be at your expense. Alternatively, you may prefer to leave your vehicle at Derwent Bank until the Monday and return by taxi at the end of your holiday (also at your own expense). Where possible we can arrange for you to share the taxi with other guests.
Dates & Prices
We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.
- 4 nights’ Full Board en-suite accommodation with all meals at Derwentwater
- 3 nights’ Full Board en-suite accommodation with all meals at Conistonwater
- The services of an experienced HF Holidays’ guide
- All transport to and from the route is provided on walking days
- Social activities in the evening
Unfortunately we are unable to take online bookings for this holiday, but our Reservations team will be pleased to help. Call them on 0345 470 7558 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Premium single room: £15 per night
- Premium twin/double room: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person