Under 11s Go Free

7-Night Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure

Duration: 7 nights
Type: Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade: 1, 3 & 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 the quaint Glenridding. 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
  • Canoeing on Derwent Water
  • 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 PDF’s for each holiday, please click the button below to find the right trip notes for your departure date.

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. Some of our breaks have more than one itinerary. To check which itinerary is running on your holiday date please refer to the Dates, Prices & Trip Notes tab.

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

Enjoy a complimentary Afternoon Tea on arrival.

Option 1 - Braithwaite via Hodgson's How

Distance: 3.5 miles (6km) 

Ascent: 300 feet (80m) 

In summary: From Derwent Bank we take a private road with fine houses and even finer mountain views. Our walk takes us around the raised ground of Hodgson's How with mighty Skiddaw ahead of us. We continue into the quaint village of Braithwaite, before closely following attractive Newlands Beck and quiet minor roads back to the house. 

Highlight: A lovely valley walk surrounded by magnificent lakeland fells. 

Option 2 - Words in the Woods above Braithwaite

Distance: 7 miles (11.5km)

Ascent: 1,200 feet (380m)

In Summary: We cross the entrance to Newlands Valley where passing through Braithwaite we reach fine deciduous woods and Masmill Beck. The beck is followed into conifer woods and Whinlatter's walking trails.  We descend to Noble Knott, a pleasant picnic area. Our return follows easy forest tracks to the open hillside above Braithwaite before we make our way back to the house on lanes and field paths.

Highlight: Fine views over Bassenthwaite Lake from Noble Knott.

Option 3 - Barrow and Outerside

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km) 

Ascent: 2,200 feet (680m)

In Summary: Cross the Newlands Valley to climb the neighbouring fells of Outerside and Barrow in the Coledale Valley.

Highlight: The grassy slopes of Outerside and Barrow are two delightful lower fells with great views over Bassenthwaite Lake and Derwentwater.

Option 4 - Causey Pike

Distance: 9.5 miles (15.5km)

Ascent: 2,750 feet (840m)

In Summary: We'll leave from the house for this circular walk, reaching the summit of Causey Pike and Outerside before making our way back.

Highlight: Spectacular views of the surrounding fells and Derwentwater.

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 - Watendlath & Walla Crag

Distance: 9 miles (14.6km)

Ascent: 1850ft (560m)

In Summary: From the small village of Rosthwaite we head to the idyllic Watendlath Tarn. We then follow paths back towards Keswick, taking in some superb views along the way.

Highlight: Excellent views over Derwentwater.

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.


There are lots of things to see and do around the area. To get some ideas, see the 'Local Area' tab on our Derwent Bank page

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: 7 miles (11km) 

Total ascent: 350 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: 7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,600 feet (500m)

In summary: We begin heading up the ridge to the summit of Cat Bells you'll need your hands for some fun rocky scrambling just before the top. We then descend to the lakeside path and a beautiful walk along part of the Cumbria Way.  

Highlight: Cat Bells' shapely summit is one of the most popular fells in the Lake District for all ages. 

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 - Keswick and Friar's Crag

Distance: 4.5 miles (7.5km) 

Ascent: 250 feet (70m) 

In summary: On paths and minor roads we have no uneven ground to contend with on this gentle walk which makes admiring splendid views very easy. Having crossed the level field path we take the main street through attractive Keswick before walking, via formal gardens, to the moorings on the lake. From here we walk to the view point of Friar's Crag before returning the same way.  

Highlight: Look out over beautiful Derwent Water and the surrounding fells from Friar's Crag. 


Option 2 - Applethwaite and Latrigg

Distance: 7.5 miles (12.5km)

Ascent: 1,000 feet (300m)

In Summary: This walk takes us across flat fields towards the imposing mass of Skiddaw. From the hamlet of Applethwaite we start our gentle climb to the summit of Latrigg. We descend into the market town of Keswick before a level walk across fields and rivers back to the country house.

Highlight: Latrigg packs a real punch for a smaller fell with superb views across Keswick and Derwentwater towards Borrowdale.

Option 3 - Dodd

Distance: 9.5 miles (15.5km)

Ascent: 2,000 feet (600m)

In Summary: This walk follows the same route out and back making the most of the views in both directions. After crossing fields to the hamlet of Applethwaite, the path rises quite steeply through Thornthwaite forest to the summit of Dodd. From the top the views over Bassenthwaite Lake are beautiful.

Highlight: Keep your eyes peeled, if you are lucky you may be able to spot Ospreys.

Option 4 - Skiddaw

Distance: 11.5 miles (18km)

Ascent: 3,200 feet (980m)

In summary: Skiddaw dominates the skyline at the northern end of Derwentwater. This route visits the quiet hamlet of Millbeck before a steep but steady climb to Carl Side. From here, we take a challenging route over steep and loose ground to the broad summit of Lakeland's 4th highest peak. We then descend a well used path to the Cumbria Way and then Keswick, taking in outstanding views of Derwentwater towards Borrowdale. From Keswick, fields and quiet roads take us back to the house.

Highlight: Hopefully we will be rewarded with fantastic views in every direction from the lofty summit of Skiddaw.

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.



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.


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. 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.


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

7 nights
Family Walking Holidays
Walking Grade:
1 & 3

Fully Booked

Under 11s Go Free

020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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