Family Walking Adventure at Derwentwater

Lake District

Code: DBFAM

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Activity types:

  • Families
  • High Mountains
  • Newly Refurbished

Level

  • Easy
  • Medium
  • Hard
  • Harder
More information

Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £349.00 - 3 to 7 nights

Book

Prices are per person

Holiday overview

The Lake District is a great destination for families with older children, where they can enjoy the challenge of exciting mountain walking and outdoor activities.

Holiday highlights

  • Clamber up the famous Bowder Stone, a gigantic boulder
  • Ride on a launch across Derwent Water
  • Discover 5,000 year old Castlerigg Stone Circle
  • Climb to the summit of mighty Skiddaw, one of only four mountains in England over 3,000 feet high

Great reasons to join us

  • Family friendly: children under 11 go FREE, children up to 17 get a 50% discount and grandparents travelling with you get a 10% discount  
  • Little-legs friendly: designed for younger families, as well as our usual selection of up to 3 walks, these holidays also offer an extra-short, part-day walking option  
  • Child friendly: the part-day walks leave the afternoons to check out local family attractions, before dinner at 6.30pm to keep the little ones happy
  • Expert leaders: our friendly walks leaders will ensure that families get the most out of the walks
  • Activity leaders: our activity leaders organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner, and for the whole family after dinner 
  • Peace of mind: only families can book on our dedicated Family Adventures − the kids get the run of the Country House in a safe environment
  • Free day: on our 7 night holidays, enjoy a day without walks to get out and make the most of the nearby family-friendly attractions

See our Family Adventure Guide for more information about our holidays and accommodation.

Accommodation

With the best waterfront of any hotel on Derwent Water, and splendid views of the surrounding fells, Derwent Bank offers a truly exceptional location. 

Choose your room

Classic bedrooms at Derwent BankPremium Rooms at Derwent BankFamily Room at Derwent Bank4-star Visit Britain Guest AccommodationGreen Tourism logo
Classic Rooms
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with either bath or shower
• Large double or two single beds • Sole occupancy available for an extra £15 per night
Premium Rooms
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe Comfortable slippers TV, DVD and safe Hairdryer
• Available from an extra £5 per person per night
Family Rooms
• 3 or 4 beds
• These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children
 

Facilities

• Welcoming bar with local beer
• Conservatory with superb views
• Extensive gardens
• Lake jetty
• Formal Garden
• Putting green
• Croquet lawn
• Boot Room
• Drying room
• Laundry facilities
• Free WiFi in some public rooms
• Large, comfortable lounge
• Attractive dining room
• Board games and books
And our favourite
Dandelion cafe with
comfortable chairs,
delicious local produce and
a great cup of tea of coffee

Dining

All holidays at our Country Houses are full board with breakfast, picnic lunch and evening meal. All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

Start your day with our extensive breakfast.
 Take your fill from our famous self service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

Dinner at Derwent Bank

Your evenings

Two guests enjoying a drink

Just relax and take it easy, or if you'd like to continue to chat with our guides and fellow guests then why not grab a drink or take part in one of our option evening activities.

All of our bars are stocked with locally sourced drinks so you can really soak up your surroundings.

Accessibility

Due to the layout and age of Derwent Bank, bedrooms within the main house are not accessible for wheelchair users, with all accommodation being reached by stairs. We do have some chalets in the grounds which are on the ground floor which can be used for wheelchair users, however mobility will be restricted in the room. Once you have gained access to the house all public rooms are accessible for wheelchairs.

More details on Derwent Bank accessibilty

Additional information

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance in an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards issed
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good in te main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying a visually or hearing impaired guest are welcome. Dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at al times
  • Information can be provided in large print
  • Staff have received disability awareness training
  • Special diets can be catered for. Specialist food can be obtained with prior notive
  • Fridge for medicationis provided

Itinerary

We’ve a fantastic selection of walks for 2016 - see below. Please check back here in November for any variations for our 2017 holidays.


Saturday: Skiddaw and Derwent Water

Family Walk: Latrigg is one of the best summit views in the Lakes for the least effort. We’re dropped off at nearly 1,000 feet (300m) and after a gentle ascent we’ll have Keswick, Derwent Water and Borrowdale stretched out at our feet. Downhill all the way after this into Keswick itself, through Fitz Park (with great playground and loads of space to run around), before reaching the lake for the launch back to Derwent Bank. 3 miles (5.5km) with 400ft (130m) of ascent.

Easier Walk: Step into one of the most famous postcard scenes in the  Lakes as we first walk along the shores of Derwent Water before ascending to the famous Ashness Bridge. We go back down to the edge of the lake and take the launch back to Derwent Bank. 5.5miles (9k) with 900ft (270m) of ascent.

Medium Walk:  From Threlkeld we go up the lonely valley of Glenderaterra Beck before turning south to the top of Latrigg, one of the best viewpoints in the Lakes, with Derwent Water framed by shapely ridges and fells. We’ll linger here before passing Crossthwaite church - with the graves of Robert Southey and Canon Rawnsley - and reach Portinscale. 10 miles (16km) with 1,600 feet (480) of ascent.

Harder Walk: Starting on the east side of Bassenthwaite Lake we head up Ullock Pike and Carl Side to the summit of mighty Skiddaw, one of only 4 mountains in England over 3,000 feet. Dropping to Skiddaw House we take the Cumbria Way through the Glenderaterra Valley to Crossthwaite church. 12 miles (19km) with 2,900 feet (870m) of ascent. 


Sunday: Scafell Pike and Borrowdale

Family Walk: After a short hop by coach we walk to the famous Bowder Stone, with time to clamber the (easy) ladder up this gigantic boulder. We then circle above Cummacatta Wood and reach Derwent Water at Derwent House. We follow the path around the bottom of the lake to Brandlehow Bay jetty, and enjoy a ride back on the launch. 4 miles (6 kms) with 500ft (150m) of ascent.

Easier Walk: Starting at Rosthwaite, in the “Jaws of Borrowdale” we go up a broad track to the pretty hamlet and tarn at Watendlath. We follow the valley along and then go back down to Derwent Water at Lodore. From here we take the path around the bottom of the lake as far as Hawes End, where we catch the launch back. 6 miles (10kms), with 1,200ft (370m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: This one reaches Watendlath from Rosthwaite, but continues to the famous Ashness Bridge. From here we ascend Walla Crag before walking back via Keswick. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,500ft (450m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: Walk with us from Seathwaite to Styhead Tarn and then up via the spectacular Corridor Route and you’ll be standing higher than anyone else in England when we reach the summit of Scafell Pike. We descend via Esk Hause and Grains Gill, all the way back down to Seathwaite. Some rough, steep paths which will occasionally need a head for heights. 9 miles (14.5km) with 3,100ft (930m) of ascent. 


Tuesday: Cat Bells and Castlerigg Stone Circle

Family Walk: From the church at St John’s in the Vale, a few miles east of our Country House, we walk to Tewet Tarn Goosewell Farm  (indoor climbing wall and 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. 5 miles (8.2km) with 650ft (200m) of ascent.

Easier Walk: 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 at the lake shore, the launch from Brandlehow Jetty will return us the 2 miles back to Derwent Bank. 5.5 miles (9km) with 1,500ft (460m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: This walk too heads up and over the popular Cat Bells, but once we’ve dropped down to the lake shore from Hause Gate we follow a delightful path back through woods and by the water. 8 miles (13km) with 1,800ft (540m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: We head over Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and our highest point (great views of course!) High Spy, before descending past Rigghead Quarries to eventually meet the edge of the lake, which we follow back to Derwent Bank on the Cumbria Way. 12 miles (19km) with 2,900ft (870m) of ascent.

N.B. Both the medium and the harder walks have some steep rocky sections.


Wednesday: Buttermere

Family Walk: 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. Ice creams at the end! 4 miles (6.8km) with 400ft (120m)of ascent 

Easier Walk: From Lanthwaite Green we walk through woodland to the tranquil west shore of Crummock Water, which we follow all the way to Buttermere village. 5 miles (8km) with 300ft (90m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: After walking the northern shore of Buttermere we tackle Haystacks, with its of multiple crags and tarns and the scattering place of famous guidebook writer Alfred Wainwright’s ashes. Our return to Buttermere is via Innominate Tarn, Blackbeck Tarn and Warnscale Bottom. Rough, steep and rocky in sections. 7 miles (11km) with 1,800ft (540m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: Today we climb Red Pike from Buttermere. Beyond Red Pike the route takes us via High Stile and High Crag before dropping steeply to Scarth Gap; we return to Buttermere via Haystacks and Warnscale Bottom. Some short sections of easy scrambling. 9 miles (14.5km) with 3,200ft (960m) of ascent.  


Thursday: Helvellyn and Ullswater

Family Walk: From Glenridding we take paths through the wood to delightful Lanty’s Tarn. We descend into Grizedale, and join the main path down the valley before briefly joining paths along the road, before we go round the head of Ullswater to Side Farm,where there is a café. We retrace our steps back to main road, and return to Glenridding, which has cafés and shops. 3 miles (5.5km) with 650ft (200m) of ascent.

Easier Walk: starting close to Brotherswater, we’ll first enjoy the hamlet of Hartsop with its traditional Lakeland houses. We take a path towards Patterdale, and pause for a drink and maybe an ice cream at Side Farm. Close by Ullswater now, we head up into Grizedale, and a short steep path up to Lanty’s Tarn. From here we go down through the wood to Glenridding. 6 miles (7.5km) with 750ft (230m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: With amazing views from the top, our route first takes us from Patterdale up to the summit of Place Fell; then down past becks and waterfalls in the valley of Scalehow to the picturesque lakeside path along Ullswater to Glenridding. 8 miles (13km) with 2,100ft (630m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: From Glenridding we walk past the old lead mine and take the zig-zag track up onto the ridge to the summit of White Side and eventually to the summit of Helvellyn with its spectacular ridges dropping away in front of us. We continue along the high ground, over Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike, before descending into Grizedale and  Lanty’s Tarn before reaching Glenridding. A challenging, fabulous day! 11.2 miles (18.7km) with 3,600ft (1,100m) of ascent.


Holiday Information

Terrain and transport: Our Family and Easier Walks are generally on well-graded valley, fell and lakeside paths, but can be occasionally rough. Medium Walks are on good, but sometimes rocky paths, to lower summits and moorland fells; you might occasionally feel the need to use your hands. Harder Walks use steep and rough paths to mountain summits and some walks need a head for heights.

On some days the walks start or finish at Derwent Bank; on other days we use hired transport at the start and/or end of the walks. The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in the price of your holiday.

Our guests: Only families can book on this holiday. These holidays are designed for families with older children and teenagers.

Free day: Each seven night holiday has a day without any organised walks, so you can explore the Lake District independently - see the Local Area tab.

Activities at Derwent Bank: In the late afternoons and evenings our activity leader will help to organise a range of activities. These could include a game of rounders on the lawn, a treasure hunt, or crafts.

Your leaders will inform you about the choice of walks for the next day and answer any questions you may have. After a sociable evening meal you could join in an evening activity created specifically for all the family or use the Country House facilities.

See our Family Adventure Guide for more information about our holidays and accommodation.

Local area

The Lake District is England’s premier national park with outstanding mountain scenery.

Keswick
The nearest town is Keswick, about two miles away. As a popular tourist destination it has a range of facilities including supermarkets, banks, a post office, pubs and cafés. It is also well known for its huge number of outdoor shops where you can buy an array of clothing and equipment for the outdoors.

During your visit to Derwent Bank you may enjoy visiting the following places of interest:

Derwentwater Launch
Take a leisurely journey around Derwentwater on the ferry - a great way to see the surrounding mountains from a different perspective. The nearest stop at Nichol End is just a few minutes’ walk from Derwent Bank. www.keswick-launch.co.uk

Theatre by the Lake
Situated by the lakeshore in Keswick, the theatre offers an excellent repertoire of plays in the main house and smaller studio theatre. The theatre’s popularity means that advance booking is recommended, especially in the high season. www.theatrebythelake.com

Honister Slate Mine
Go underground on the mine tour at this famous Lake District mine which is situated at the top of Honister Pass between Borrowdale and Buttermere. Here you can travel underground and learn about the history of Lake District slate production. Honister is around 30 minutes' drive from Derwent Bank, and can also be reached directly using the Honister Rambler bus. www.honister.com

Whinlatter Forest & Go Ape!
Relax at the visitors centre and cafe, or follow the excellent new mountain bike trail; one of the best in Britain. The high-ropes Go Ape course is great option for active teenagers. www.forestry.gov.uk/whinlatter or www.goape.co.uk

Derwent Water Marina
Hire a canoe or sailing boat and enjoy one of England’s most beautiful lakes. Just five minutes’ walk from Derwent Bank. www.derwentwatermarina.co.uk

Grasmere
Grasmere is about 30 minutes’ drive from Derwent Bank and is famous with its connections with William Wordsworth. The poet’s homes at Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount can be visited, the former of which includes the Wordsworth Museum. Wordsworth’s birthplace can also be visited in Cockermouth; a pleasant market town to the north-west of Derwent Bank. Both Grasmere and Cockermouth can be reached by local bus from Keswick. www.wordsworth.org.uk

Lake District Wildlife Park
Well worth a visit for the whole family. You can watch the antics of the otters, apes and monkeys and marvel at the flying displays of eagles and vultures. www.lakedistrictwildlifepark.co.uk

Ullswater
About 30 minutes’ drive from Derwent Bank is Ullswater, arguably the most beautiful of the Cumbrian lakes. Enjoy its glorious scenery either on foot or by steamer. If you are visiting the Ullswater area you could also visit the superb waterfall of Aira Force or the country house and gardens at Dalemain. www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk or www.dalemain.com

Carlisle
Carlisle, about 45 minutes from Derwent Bank is the historic county town of Cumbria. Here you’ll find a good selection of shops, the cathedral, and castle. Of particular interest is the Tullie House Museum which is recognised for its exciting, varied events and exhibitions programme and is full of exciting interactive displays. www.tulliehouse.co.uk

Travel

Our address: Derwent Bank, Portinscale, Nr Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5TY

How to get to us by train

By train:

The nearest train station is Penrith. 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).

Use an HF transfer

HF station transfer:

We offer a reduced price taxi transfer between Penrith railway station and Derwent Bank every Friday and Monday. The pickup is at 4.50pm from Penrith railway station. On departure day the transfer will get you back to Penrith station by 9.50am. This transfer only costs £10 per person, however a place must be reserved in advance by calling 0345 470 7558.

Get to us by Taxi

By taxi:

If you can’t meet our station transfer, the 20 mile journey from Penrith to Derwent Bank can be made by taxi. Taxis cost approx £30 per journey (if pre- booked; taxis at Penrith station can be considerably more expensive). Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. Details of our current recommended taxi company and rates will be sent to you with your booking. The return taxi journey can be arranged on your behalf by the Derwent Bank Manager.

Driving to us

By car:

From Penrith - take the A66 past Keswick towards Cockermouth. One mile beyond the roundabout to Keswick and 200yds beyond the B5289 turning to Keswick, turn left off of the A66 signposted to Portinscale, Grange and the Newlands Valley. Derwent Bank (not Derwentwater Hotel) is approx half a mile along this road on the left after the Derwentwater Marina and before the Nichol End Marina. Look out for our sign.

From Kendal - take the A591 to Keswick. To avoid the town centre turn right following signs to the A66 and Cockermouth, then follow the directions as above.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
20 Aug 2016, 5:55 a.m.

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Service review:

fantastic location at derwentwater

Product review:

amazing food, weather, leaders, great activities for families
16 Aug 2016, 10:44 a.m.

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Service review:

We are from Austria and this is the third HF family holiday we have participated in. We are very pleased with the service provided by HF. It is a unique kind of a vacation type, we do not have the same in Austria, which is why we are coming to England. We would appreciate more HF family weeks in Austria as well : )

Product review:

We have been very pleased in every aspect with the HF family week in Derwentwater. The leaders did an absolutely great job, we really enjoyed all the walks. Food was absolutely great and fabulous and the manager as well as the assistant manager were extremely forthcoming and friendly, we did feel at home and welcome. The house is very nice, clean, nicely located. The staff was very friendly and helpful, there is just nothing I could think of that would prompt me for a negative comment. We were happy and will definitely go on many more HF weeks : ) Big thank you to everybody who made our stay so nice...
15 Aug 2016, 11:03 a.m.

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Service review:

Good service Staff attentive to guests needs.

Product review:

Staff very welcoming in every way Good hotel
Leaders adaptable and very helpful
Coach too large to access walk starting points Perhaps look into hiring smaller coaches
11 Apr 2016, 4:43 p.m.

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Good friendly holiday great time had by all

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Great walks
11 Apr 2016, 1:15 p.m.

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The HF ethos is great and an excellent way of getting away from the real world for a few days. Thoroughly recommend the holidays whatever age group involved.

Product review:

A lovely house in beautiful surroundings. The family weeks are an absolutely brilliant concept although on this occasion we were a tad disappointed with changes to the food offers and service at dinner. The latter due solely to insufficient staff numbers.
11 Apr 2016, 10:27 a.m.

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The waiter from Consett was excellent

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All staff super, especially the geologist...
11 Apr 2016, 5:17 a.m.

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Friendly and helpful

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Hotel leaders walking fantastic
9 Aug 2015, 10:46 a.m.

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Service review:

I find the new website really confusing compared to the old one, and this year resulted in my ending up with the wrong holiday initially booked, and having to make several phone calls to do the initial booking and then sort out the wrong booking. Whereas in the past it was possible to see and do a lot more online. Being a working parent getting home at 6.15pm it is then quite difficult to find the time to quickly call to book and/or sort out any problems before 7pm when the booking office shuts.

Product review:

Generally I found the holiday excellent, in a wonderful house in a beautiful location. I did however find the walk gradings inconsistent and then on two of the later days the medium walks were harder than usual (in distance and ascent) whilst the easier one were even easier, resulting in a massive gap between the two walks. So people like ourselves wanting to do medium needed to transfer to the easier (which was too easy), but then people from the family also moved to easier since the easier had become shorter than previous ones, resulting in the family walk then being totally cancelled, and no-one quite feeling the easier was right for them, either being a bit too easy, or a bit too difficult. So it did feel that the needs of the harder walkers were catered for more than the medium/easier/family, especially since the 'spare' leader moved to the harder group, rather than helping the easier split into two natural groups, which I have seen done with no problem on other holidays.

I would recommend some kind of Family Holidays standard and consistent grading system to help better rate walks, otherwise you end up with a medium in one place being the same as an easier in another place - resulting in confusion and frustration for walkers and leaders alike. Maybe a scale of 1-7 or something. And also then some way to ensure there is always a minimum and maximum gap between one category and another, to ensure balance across the categories.
7 Aug 2015, 7:14 p.m.

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Service review:

This was our first holiday with HF and we will definitely be going with them again - we had a great time.

Product review:

Lovely accommodation, great food, excellent walking, good company and really first class walking guides.
Thank you for reviewing your Guided Walking holiday at Derwentwater. We're really pleased that you enjoyed your first HF Holidays experience. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

HF Holidays Ltd.
5 Aug 2015, 10:03 a.m.

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Service review:

HF holidays are always well thought out and very enjoyable. The information supplied is comprehensive and informative. The HF UK holiday houses are always a pleasure to visit.

Product review:

This was a family week and we, and our two grandchildren, thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at this lovely house. In addition to the excellent walking leaders there was an activity leader who rounded up the young people on their return and led outside play activities. Our grandchildren thought it was a great holiday and are already talking about next year.
Thank you for reviewing your Family Walking Adventure at Derwent Bank. We're really pleased that you all enjoyed your HF Holidays experience in the Lake District. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.

HF Holidays Ltd.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
13 Feb 2017 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Derwent Water 4 £375.00 Book Now
7 Apr 2017 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Derwent Water 3 £349.00 Book Now
10 Apr 2017 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Derwent Water 4 £479.00 Book Now
5 Aug 2017 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Derwent Water 4 £519.00 Book Now
5 Aug 2017 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Derwent Water 7 £839.00 Book Now
9 Aug 2017 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Derwent Water 3 £375.00 Book Now
12 Aug 2017 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventures - Derwent Water 6 £719.00 Book Now

Prices are per person

Information

  • All child prices are based on sharing with an adult. Children not sharing an adult's room will be subject to a £50 surcharge per child per stay. A single room charge of £5 per child per night will be made where applicable.
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person