Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure

Stay at this fantastic Lake District location right on the shores of Derwent Water


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Activity types:

  • High Mountains


  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
More information

Choosing the level of your walks

Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. 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 grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

From £399.00 - 3 to 7 nights


Prices are per person

Holiday overview

Children Aged 5 and Under Go FREE

What's not to love about our country house Derwent Bank? We've amazing walks and fabulous views right on the doorstep. Our massive garden sweeps down to the shore and has lots of space for outdoor games, while there are plenty of indoor activities to enjoy after a day's exploring. 

Older children will particularly enjoy the challenge of the higher mountains, while our easier walk options are perfect for smaller legs! 

Adventure Highlights:

  • Choice of up to 4 walks per day
  • Climb England's highest peak, Scafell Pike, Skiddaw and Helvellyn via Striding Edge
  • Set sail across Derwent Water or clamber up the Bowder Stone
  • Explore the 5,000 year old Castlerigg Stone Circle
  • Chill out with an ice cream at Side Farm with views over Ullswater

In pictures...


Derwentback Accommodation

Set right on the shores of Derwent Water our Country House treats you to scenic walking straight from its door. Admire stunning panoramas across the mirror-smooth lake set against the backdrop of razor-edged ridges and humpbacked fells.



'Good' Rooms 

These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:

  • Check in from 2:30pm
  • Tea and coffee-making facilities
  • 23 inch TV
  • Toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Free WiFi

'Better' Rooms 

These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:

  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £15 per person per night

'Best' Rooms 

These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:

  • Recently refurbished to an exceptional standard
  • Large rooms
  • Stunning views of the surrounding area
  • Early check in from 1pm
  • Tea & Coffee making facilities
  • Fluffy bathrobe & slippers
  • 32 inch TV
  • More luxurious mattress
  • Enhanced toiletries
  • Hairdryer
  • Smalls drying rack
  • Free WiFi

Only an extra £20 per person per night

Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.

At your house

  • Welcoming bar with local beer
  • Conservatory with superb views
  • Extensive gardens
  • Lake jetty
  • Formal Garden
  • Putting green
  • Croquet lawn
  • Boot Room
  • Drying room
  • Free WiFi in some public rooms
  • Large, comfortable lounge
  • Attractive dining room
  • Board games and books
  • Mini-golf


An example of Derwentwater evening mealAll holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. 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

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the barJust 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 optional evening activities.

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


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.

More details on Derwent Bank accessibilty

Additional information

  • The fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance during an evacuation should identify themselves on arrival
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good in the main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying a visually or hearing impaired guest are welcome. Dogs must be kept on a lead or harness at all 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 notice
  • Fridge for medication is provided


Family-friendly walks

Two teenage boys about to go walkingOur family holidays offer the choice of up to 4 guided walks each day  – you can choose an Easier Walk one day and switch to a Harder Walk the next. Our routes range from short lakeside strolls that are ideal for little legs, to challenging mountain ascents that will appeal to active teenagers.



  • Adventure: each day there are opportunities to climb some of the Lake District's best peaks; ideal for active teenagers and adults
  • Expert leaders: our friendly walks leaders will ensure that families get the most out of the walks
  • 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 the Local Area tab

Family adventures line

Skiddaw & Derwentwater

2019: Available on Thurs 21 Feb, Thurs 24 Oct

Option 1: Latrigg

Jetties at Keswick

Distance: 3½ miles (6km) 

Total ascent: 400 feet (120m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: The magnificent view from Latrigg.

Option 2: Ashness Bridge

picturesque Ashness Bridge

Distance: 5½ miles (9km) 

Total ascent: 850 feet (260m) 

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: Soak up one of the Lake District's classic views from Ashness Bridge.

Option 3: Glenderaterra Valley

View from Latrigg over Keswick and Derwentwater

Distance: 10½ miles (17km)

Total ascent: 1,950 feet (580m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: Look out for the graves of Robert Southey and Canon Rawnsley as you pass Crossthwaite Church.

Option 4: Skiddaw

Three walkers climbing a mountain

Distance: 12½ miles (20.5km)

Total ascent: 3,250 feet (1000m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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

Don’t miss: The fabulous curving ridge that leads to the lofty summit of Skiddaw; England's 4th highest mountain.

Scafell Pike and Borrowdale

2019: Available on Wed 20 Feb, Wed 23 Oct

Option 1: The Bowder Stone

The Bowder Stone

Distance: 3 miles (5km)

Total ascent: 450 feet (140m)

The walk in a nutshell: After 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.

Don’t miss: Climb the steps and balance on top of the Bowder Stone - they'll love it!

Option 2: Around Grange Fell

View over Borrowdale

Distance: 6 miles (10km)

Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: Paddling in the River Derwent surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.

Option 3: Borrowdale to Keswick

The mountain of Skiddaw, seen from Walla Crag

Distance: 9 miles (14½km)

Total ascent: 2,000 feet (620m) 

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: Walla Crag is an inspirational viewpoint that enjoys a breathtaking panorama over the lake and the surrounding fells.

Option 4: Scafell Pike

Rocky summit of Scafell Pike

Distance: 9½ miles (15km)

Total ascent: 3,550 feet (1080m)

The walk in a nutshell: Head 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.

Don’t miss: Expect rough and steep paths; however there's plenty to celebrate when you cross the final boulders to reach the summit.

Cat Bells and Castlerigg Stone Circle

2019: Available on Tues 19 Feb, Tues 28 May, Tues 23 July, Tues 22 Oct

Option 1: Castlerigg Stone Circle

View from Castlerigg stone circle down St Johns in the Vale

Distance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (220m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: Counting the ancient standing stones of Castlerigg.

Option 2: Cat Bells

View across the lake to Cat Bells

Distance: 5½ miles (9km) 

Total ascent: 1,500 feet (460m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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. 

Don’t miss: Being ruler of all you survey at the top of Cat Bells!

Option 3: Cat Bells & Derwent Water

View from the top of Cat Bells

Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)

Total ascent: 1,100 feet (340m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: 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

Cat Bells

Distance: 12 miles (19km)

Total ascent: 2,900 feet (880m) 

The walk in a nutshell: A 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.

Don’t miss: This enjoyable high-level walk commands great views over Borrowdale and the Newlands Valley.


2019: Available on Wed 29 May, Wed 24 July

Option 1: Around Buttermere

Fleetwith Pike from Buttermere

Distance: 4 miles (7km)

Total ascent: 400 feet (120m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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. 

Don’t miss: A refreshing ice cream at the end!

Option 2: Crummock Water

View looking over Crummock Water

Distance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (200m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: The twin lakes of Crummock Water and Buttermere are surrounded by an array of stunning hills and mountains.

Option 3: Haystacks

Buttermere lake

Distance: 7½ miles (12km)

Total ascent: 2,000 feet (620m) 

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!

Option 4: Buttermere Skyline

View of Buttermere and the High Stile ridge

Distance: 9½ miles (15½km)

Total ascent: 3,350 feet (1,020m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: A memorable day is assured as we enjoy the mountain panoramas and gaze down on the lake below.

Ullswater and Helvellyn

2019: Available on Thurs 30 May, Thurs 25 July

Option 1: Glenridding & Lanty's Tarn

Steamer on Ullswater

Distance: 3½ miles (5½km)

Total ascent: 650 feet (200m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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. 

Don’t miss: Ice cream at Side Farm and spotting the boats on Ullswater.

Option 2: Brothers Water to Ullswater

View over Ullswater from Gowbarrow Terrace

Distance: 4½ miles (7½km) 

Total ascent: 750 feet (240m)

The walk in a nutshell: 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.

Don’t miss: Lanty's Tarn is a beautiful spot in the heart of Lakeland.

Option 3: Place Fell

View over Ullswater from the slopes of Helvellyn

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 2,250 feet (700m)

The walk in a nutshell: Make 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.

Don’t miss: 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)

The walk in a nutshell: A 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.

Don’t miss: 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.

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.

Family playing JengaOn some days the walks start or finish at Derwent Bank; on other days we use a coach at the start and/or end of the walks.

February & October 2019: At this time of year we'll aim to operate a full programme of valley and mountain walk; however we may need to make sensible adjustments to suit the ground conditions and available daylight.

Activities at Derwent Bank: 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.


Family adventures line


Local area

Discover the Lake District

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

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:

Derwent Water ferryDerwentwater 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.



Outside of the theater by the lakeTheatre 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.



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.

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. or

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.

Dove Cottage, home to William WordsworthGrasmere
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.

Steamer ferry on Ullswater lakeUllswater
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. or


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.

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.


Travel to Derwentwater

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

How to get to us by train

By train:

The nearest train station is at Penrith on the main line between London and Glasgow. For train times and route planning by train visit or phone 03457 48 49 50.

Use an HF transfer

HF station transfer - great value!

Our station transfer operates every Friday and Monday between Penrith station and Derwent Bank. 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 costs just £18 return, however a place must be reserved at least 14 days in advance by calling 020 8732 1220.

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. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £38 per journey (or around £55 if not pre-booked). 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.


By bus:

The X5 bus runs approximately every hour from Penrith station. The nearest bus stop is on the A66, about ¾ mile walk from Derwent Bank. Alight at the Portinscale bus stop and take the road on the left (signposted to Portinscale, Grange and the Newlands Valley). Follow this road through Portinscale village - Derwent Bank is on the left-hand side after the Derwentwater Marina.

Alternatively catch the bus to Keswick and then take a short taxi journey to Derwent Bank in Portinscale.

For bus times see

Driving to us

 By car:

From Penrith - leave the M6 motorway at junction 40 and take the A66 towards Keswick. After 17 miles you'll reach a roundabout in Keswick - continue ahead following signs to Cockermouth and Workington. One mile beyond the roundabout, and 200yds beyond the B5289 turning to Keswick, turn left off off the A66 signposted to Portinscale, Grange and the Newlands Valley. Derwent Bank is approx ¾ mile along this road on the left after the Derwentwater Marina and before the Nichol End Marina. There is a large car park available at Derwent Bank.

Travel by plane

Travelling from overseas

For most guests the most convenient option is to book a flight to Manchester Airport. There are direct trains every hour from Manchester Airport to Penrith - this is straightforward journey - allow 2 hours to Penrith. See for train times.

From Penrith station you can complete the journey to Derwent Bank using our transfer, by bus, or by taxi (see above).

Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4½ hours to reach Penrith. From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. Next take the Underground train to London Euston. Finally the main line train from London Euston to Penith takes 3 hours. See for train times.


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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
22 Jul 2019 DBFAM - Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 4 £579.00 £578.00 Under 18s Go Free Call Reservations To Book 020 8732 1250 Book Now
21 Oct 2019 DBFAM - Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 4 £499.00 £498.00 Under 18s Go Free Call Reservations To Book 020 8732 1250 Book Now
17 Feb 2020 DBFAM - Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 4 £459.00 £459.00 Book Now
6 Apr 2020 DBFAM - Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 4 £539.00 £539.00 Book Now
6 Apr 2020 DBFAM - Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 7 £869.00 £869.00 Book Now
10 Apr 2020 DBFAM - Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 3 £399.00 £399.00 Book Now
24 Jul 2020 DBFAM - Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 3 £429.00 £429.00 Book Now
3 Aug 2020 DBFAM - Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 4 £586.00 £586.00 Book Now
7 Aug 2020 DBFAM - Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 7 £969.00 £969.00 Book Now
21 Aug 2020 DBFAM - Northern Lake District Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 3 £429.00 £429.00 Book Now

Prices are per person


  • 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: £10 per person

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