Under 18s GO FREE

7-Night Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure

Duration: 7 nights
Type: Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade: 1, 3 & 5
from £999pp

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


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


  • 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.

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.

Arrive at Derwent Water

Option 1 - Latrigg

Distance: 3½ miles (6km)

Total ascent: 400 feet (120m)

In Summary: Latrigg is one of the best summit views in the Lakes. We’re dropped off at nearly 1,000 feet (300m) to take in the cracking panorama. Downhill all the way after this into Keswick itself, through Fitz Park (with a great playground) then to the lake for the launch* back to Derwent Bank.

HighlightThe magnificent view from Latrigg.

 *Keswick Launch is subject to availability

Option 2 - Ashness Bridge

Distance:  5½ miles (9km)

Total ascent:850 feet (260m)

In Summary: Follow the eastern shore of Derwent Water, with views of the lake and the Borrowdale Fells, to the picture-postcard Ashness Bridge. From the head of the lake we take the coach back to Derwent Bank.

Highlight: Soak up one of the Lake District's classic views from Ashness Bridge.


Option 3 - Glenderaterra Valley

Distance:10½ miles (17km)

Total ascent: 1,950 feet (580m)

In Summary: Walk from the village of Threlkeld into the lonely valley of Glenderaterra Beck. We follow a terraced path high above the valley and take in the stunning viewpoint of Latrigg on our return via Keswick.

Highlight: Look out for the graves of Robert Southey and Canon Rawnsley as you pass Crossthwaite Church.


Option 4 - Skiddaw

Distance: 12½ miles (20.5km)

Ascent: 3,250 feet (1,000m)

In summary: Ascend to the top of Skiddaw via Ullock Pike and Longside Edge, with views over Bassenthwaite Lake and even to Scotland on a clear day. Our descent takes us via the remote Skiddaw House to Keswick.

Highlight: The curving ridge that leads to the lofty summit of Skiddaw. England's 4th highest mountain. 

Option 1 - The Bowder Stone

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

Total ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In SummaryAfter a short hop by coach we walk to the famous Bowder Stone, with time to clamber the (easy) ladder up this gigantic balanced boulder. We then circle above Cummacatta Wood before following the path around the head of the lake to Manesty.

Highlight: Climb the steps and balance on top of the Bowder Stone - they'll love it!


Option 2 - Around Grange Fell

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

In Summary Deep in the Borrowdale Valley, we begin by walking from the pretty village of Rosthwaite over the hill to Watendlath Tarn, before returning via the head of Derwentwater as far as the village of Grange with its unusual double bridge.

Highlight: Paddling in the River Derwent surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.


Option 3 - Borrowdale to Keswick

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 2,000 feet (620m)

In Summary: Cross the hill from Rosthwaite to Watendlath Tarn, then explore the elevated paths of the eastern side of Derwentwater as we head to Ashness Bridge and Walla Crag.

HighlightWalla Crag is an inspirational viewpoint that enjoys a breathtaking panorama over the lake and the surrounding fells.


Option 4 - Scafell Pike

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Total ascent: 3,550 feet (1080m)

In SummaryHead to England’s highest summit, Scafell Pike. We'll ascend via Grains Gill and Esk Hause over large boulders and scree, then descend via the Corridor Route.

Highlight: Expect rough and steep paths; however there's plenty to celebrate when you cross the final boulders to reach the summit.


Option 1 - Castlerigg Stone Circle

Distance:  5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)

In Summary: Just a few miles east of our Country House, we walk from near Threlkeld to Tewet Tarn and Goosewell Farm where there is a café, before visiting fabulous Castlerigg Stone Circle. Paths lead us to Castlerigg Farm and a walk down into Keswick where we take the launch* back.

Highlight Counting the ancient standing stones of Castlerigg.

*Keswick Launch is subject to availability

Option 2 - 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 3 - Cat Bells & Derwent Water

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)

In Summary: Climb to the top of Cat Bells, then descend steeply to the lakeside path for a beautiful walk back to Derwent Bank along a part of The Cumbria Way.

Highlight: The shapely summit of Cat Bells is one of the most popular fells in the Lake District. There are a few rocky sections, but your efforts will be rewarded with a breathtaking view over the lake and the surrounding fells.


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 - Around Buttermere

Distance: 4 miles (7km)

Total ascent:  400 feet (120m)

In Summary: The coach will drop us in Buttermere village, our starting point for a circular walk around the beautiful lake, with a very short section in a tunnel.  

Highlight: A refreshing ice cream at the end!


Option 2 - Crummock Water

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (200m)

In Summary:  Walk along the wild western shore of Crummock Water to Buttermere village where you can enjoy a juice or a pint (adults only!) in the Fish Inn, or an ice cream from the nearby café.

Highlight: The twin lakes of Crummock Water and Buttermere are surrounded by an array of stunning hills and mountains.




Option 3 - Haystacks

The walk in a nutshell: Walk around Buttermere and up onto the summit of Haystacks. We return via Innominate Tarn and the lakeside path through the short tunnel.

Don’t miss: Haystacks achieved fame as the favourite mountain of legendary hillwalker and author Alfred Wainwright - we think its pretty special too!

Distance: 7½ miles (12km) Total ascent: 2,000 feet (620m)

Option 4 - Buttermere Skyline

In Summary: A great high-level traverse along the Buttermere skyline. There's a steep ascent to the top of Red Pike before we head along the stunning ridge.

Highlight: A memorable day is assured as we enjoy the mountain panoramas and gaze down on the lake below.

Distance: 9½ miles (15½km) Total ascent: 3,350 feet (1,020m)

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. 

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

Our easiest routes allow plenty of time to savour the magnificent mountain landscapes. All our walk notes suggest the best places to stop, great pubs, and tea rooms.

  • Latrigg short walk - 1½ miles
  • Mirehouse & St Bega's Church - 1½ miles
  • Friar's Crag - 2 miles
  • Brandlehow Woods - 2½ miles
  • Through the Jaws of Borrowdale - 4 miles
  • Around Buttermere - 4 miles
  • Around Swinside - 5 miles
  • Ashness Bridge - 5 miles

Some longer walks on valley and lakeside paths, plus a few of the easier lower fells. Experience the true flavour of Lakeland as you follow these varied routes.

  • Walla Crag & Ashness Bridge - 6 miles
  • Borrowdale & Derwent Water - 6 miles
  • Cat Bells Terrace - 7 miles
  • Cat Bells - 7 miles
  • Watendlath & Derwent Water - 8 miles
  • Newlands Valley - 9 miles
  • Latrigg via Keswick - 9 miles
  • Around Derwent Water - 9 miles

For those who love the high mountains. Expect some rough paths as you head to some of these famous summits, but there are plenty of rewards when you reach the top.

  • Haystacks - 5 miles
  • Blencathra - 7 miles
  • High Stile - 9 miles
  • Scafell Pike - 9 miles
  • Cat Bells, Maiden Moor & High Spy - 12 miles
  • Newlands Round - 13 miles

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

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.


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.


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.


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

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

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
06 Aug - 13 Aug
7 Guided Family Walks £999 Available Trip Notes Enquire

Important Information

Maximum 3 free child places per full paying adult. Child price up to 17 years. Sole occupancy charges may apply. Family rooms are subject to availability.

7 nights
Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade:
1 & 3

7 nights from £999pp

Under 18s GO FREE

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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