Under 18s GO FREE

3-Night Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure

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Duration: 3 nights
Type: Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade: 2, 3, 4 & 5

England’s largest national park protects wonderful Cumbrian mountain upland areas and large expanses of water. From the top of Cat Bells, see how tiny Derwent Water looks or take on the challenge of reaching the summit of Scafell Pike – England’s highest peak. The summit of Helvellyn gives sweeping views towards Ullswater while Skiddaw favours Bassenthwaite Lake – the only body of water in the park to actually be called a lake! Less challenging options include walking through the beautiful Borrowdale Valley and along the wild western shore of Crummock Water. There is also a walk where guests are dropped off at a hilltop to go downhill all the way to Keswick. No matter how much – or how little – walking you wish to do, you’ll get to enjoy the best of the local scenery.

Holiday Highlights

FAMILY FUN AT DERWENT BANK

  • Bedtime stories
  • Campfire – fire lighting practice
  • Make and float a boat competition
  • Fun games such as Bag Beetle

THINGS TO DO AND PLACES TO SEE...

  • Boat ride on Derwent Water
  • Go underground at Honister
  • Slate Mine or overground with their via ferrata
  • Visit Grasmere – home of Wordsworth and Grasmere gingerbread!

 

What’s included

  • Full Board en-suite accommodation.
  • Max guests in house: 68
  • Family rooms: 11
  • A full programme of walks guided by HF Leaders
  • All transport to and from the walks
  • Free Wi-Fi

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 - 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 - Catbells Terrace

Distance: 6½ miles (11km) 

Total ascent: 320 feet (100m) 

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 3 - Cat Bells

Distance: 5½ miles (9km) 

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (460m)

In Summary Today we walk from our front door to the top of one the Lake District’s most popular fells – Cat Bells. You’ll need your hands to get up a short rocky scramble just before the top. Then back down to the lake shore for a short walk to meet our coach at Lodore.  

Highlight Being ruler of all you survey at the top of Cat Bells!

 

Option 4 - Cat Bells & High Spy

Distance:12 miles (19km)

Total ascent: 2,900 feet (880m)

In SummaryA fantastic high-level walk over the summits of Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and High Spy. We descend to the Borrowdale Valley, then return along the shores of Derwentwater. Be ready for some steep rocky sections.

HighlightThis enjoyable high-level walk commands great views over Borrowdale and the Newlands Valley

 


Option 1 - Glenridding & Lanty's Tarn

Distance: 3½ miles (5½km)

Total Ascent: : 650 feet (200m)

In Summary: From Glenridding we head through the wood to delightful Lanty’s Tarn. On to Grisedale, and down the valley before we walk round the head of Ullswater to Side Farm and its café. We retrace our steps back to main road, and return to Glenridding, which has cafés and shops.

Highlight: Ice cream at Side Farm and spotting the boats on Ullswater.

 

Option 2 - Brothers Water to Ullswater

Distance: 4½ miles (7½km)

Total ascent: 750 feet (240m)

In Summary From near the hamlet of Hartsop with its traditional Lakeland houses, we head towards Patterdale and pause for a drink and maybe an ice cream at Side Farm. Walking up into Grizedale, we’ll take a short steep path up to the pretty Lanty’s Tarn, then back down into Glenridding.

Highlight Lanty's Tarn is a beautiful spot in the heart of Lakeland.

 

Option 3 - Place Fell

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 2,250 feet (700m)

In SummaryMake the moderately steep ascent to the top of Place Fell that commands an excellent view at the head of Ullswater. We descend to follow the attractive lakeside path to Glenridding.

Highlight Ullswater is one of the area's most attractive lakes. You'll enjoy great views towards Helvellyn and the North Pennines.

 

Option 4 - Helvellyn & the Edges

Distance: 8½ miles (13½km) 

Total ascent: 3,050 feet (920m)

In SummaryA famous ascent of Helvellyn, England's third highest peak. We'll follow the narrow Striding Edge ridge to the summit, returning via the equally impressive Swirral Edge.

Highlight: Striding Edge isn't for the faint hearted; however it is one of the Lake District's classic walks with a great sense of achievement as you climb the final rocky steps onto the summit.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


Keswick Family Walking Itinerary Map

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

Following the relaxation in government guidance on 19 July, we are continuing to take extra steps to keep our guests leaders, and staff safe in our HF country houses. We ask all our guests to respect the measures put in place.

The English, Scottish and Welsh governments are not in sync, so measures in our country houses will vary between the nations. With the relaxation of social distancing in England, from 19 July we will be allowing larger groups to dine and relax in the bar together. However, we will still give guests space e.g. we will seat 6 people at a table where pre-pandemic we may have seated 8. We will ensure our public rooms are well ventilated by opening doors and windows wherever possible. If you have any concerns about distancing, please speak to the House Manager. The government recommendation for England is to wear face coverings in crowded areas.

In Scotland and Wales physical distancing is still in place so this will be adhered to indoors and outdoors. Guests will need to wear face masks in public areas except when eating and drinking. The Scottish and Welsh governments are reviewing their guidance in August and we will adapt our measures in line with any updated guidance at this time.

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 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. Menus for the week will be available in your room on arrival. A self-service breakfast will be served from 7.45am – 9am. Picnic lunches will now be pre-ordered the night before from an order form in the room. Evening meals will be table service. A dinner order form will be available in each room for completion. Dinner is served at either 7.15pm or 7.30pm. Please check at the house for details. The bar will be open. We will be offering a table service but guests can also come to the bar to order (depending on local restrictions).

At this time the evening social programme has been replaced by individual or small group walks talks which allow guests to talk through the following day’s walk options with leaders. All of our swimming pools have opened as planned, except for Brecon and Glen Coe, which have delayed pool re-openings. Guests may need to book a time when they wish to swim (30-minute slots) if the number of guests exceeds the pool capacity. 

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 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

Essential Information

Suggested Kit List

  • a rucksack,
  • a waterproof jacket
  • waterproof over trousers,
  • a spare jumper or fleece,
  • sun protection cream,
  • a water bottle (at least 1 litre),
  • some spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • a small torch
  • first aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed).

    (in spring, autumn and winter)

  • a hat and gloves (Britainis famous for its changeable weather after all!)
  • You might find walking poles useful, particularly for descents (the kids usually find their own big stick en route!).
  • thermos flask for a hot drink
  • sun hat
  • towel for paddling on hot days

Guest Reviews

Duration:
3 nights
Type:
Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade:
2, 3 & 4

Fully Booked

Under 18s GO FREE

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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