Family Walking Adventure at Derwentwater

Lake District


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Activity types:

  • Families
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  • High Mountains


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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 £358.00 - 3 to 7 nights


Special offer: UNDER 18s GO FREE on selected dates

Prices are per person

Holiday overview

Under 18s go free

PLUS under 11s GO FREE on all our 2018 UK Family Adventures

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. Highlights include clambering up the Bowder Stone, the boat ride across Derwent Water, or reaching the top of an iconic peak.


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.


 Choose your room

Classic Rooms
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Large double or two single beds
• Sole occupancy available for an extra £15 per night
Premium Rooms
• Check in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms 
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
Family Rooms
• Check in from 2:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms 
• Full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk or occasional beds for children


• 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


All 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

An example of Derwentwater evening meal

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the bar

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 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. 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

  • 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


Two teenage boys about to go walkingFamily-friendly walks

Our 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.


Family adventures lineSaturday: Skiddaw and Derwent Water

Option 1: Latrigg

Tree in Fitz Park KeswickDistance: 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 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

Ashness BridgeDistance: 5½ miles (9k) 

Total ascent: 900ft (270m) 

The walk in a nutshell: Follow the eastern shore of Derwent Water to the picture-postcard Ashness Bridge. We walk around the head of the lake then take the launch from the Lodore Jetty back to Derwent Bank.

Don’t miss: Soak up one of the Lake District's classic views from Ashness Bridge, then see this beautiful landscape from a different perspective as you cruise up the lake at the end of the walk.

Option 3: Glenderaterra 

Latrigg ViewDistance: 10½ miles (17km)

Total ascent: 1,950 feet (580)

The walk in a nutshell: Walk from the village of Threlkeld into the lonely valley of Glenderaterra Beck. We 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

Harder Mountain Walkers

Distance: 12½ miles (20.5km)

Total ascent: 3,250 feet (980m)

The walk in a nutshell: Ascend to the top of Skiddaw via Ullock Pike and Longside Edge, with views over Bassenthwaite Lake. 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.



Sunday: Scafell Pike and Derwent Water

Option 1: The Bowder Stone

Bowder Stone

Distance: 3½ miles (6 kms)

Total ascent: 500ft (160m)

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 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. 

Don’t miss: Frayed nerves as the kids balance on top of the Bowder Stone -they'll love it!

Photo Credit: Brian Hopper

Option 2: Watendlath


 Distance: 6½ miles (10kms)

Total ascent: 1,200ft (380m)

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 shores of Derwentwater as far as Hawes End, where we catch the launch back.

Don’t miss: The justifiably popular lakeside path is a real delight.  Spot the launches, rowing boats and sailing boats as you meander along.

Option 3: Walla Crag

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

Scafell PikeDistance: 9 miles (14 km)

Total ascent: 3,150 ft (960m)

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.



Tuesday: Cat Bells and Castlerigg Stone Circle

Option 1: Castlerigg

CastleriggDistance: 5 miles (8km)

Total ascent: 700ft (200m)

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  (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. 

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

Option 2: Cat Bells

View of Cat Bells Path

Distance: 5½ (9km) 

Total ascent: 1,550ft (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 at the lake shore, the launch from Brandlehow Jetty will return us the 2 miles back to Derwent Bank. 

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

Option 3: Cat Bells Longer

Cat Bells ViewDistance: 8 miles (13km)

Total ascent: 1,800 feet (560m)

The walk in a nutshell: Climb to the top of Cat Bells, then descent steeply to the lakeside path for a beautiful walk back to Derwent Bank.

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: High Spy

Cat BellsDistance: 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. Descend to the Borrowdale Valley, then return along the shores of Derwentwater. Be ready for steep rocky sections.

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



Wednesday: Buttermere

Option 1: Buttermere

ButtermereDistance: 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

Crummock WaterDistance: 6 miles (9½km)

Total ascent: 700 feet (200m) of ascent.

The walk in a nutshell: Walk along the western shore of Crummock Water to Buttermere village where you can enjoy a juice or a pint (adults only!) in the Fish Inn.

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

Option 3: Haystacks

HaystacksDistance: 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.

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

Option 4: High Stile Ridge

High StileDistance: 9½ miles (15½ km)

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.



Thursday: Ullswater and Helvellyn

Option 1: Lanty's Tarn

Ullswater SteamerDistance: 3½ miles (5.5km)

Total ascent: 650ft (200m)

The walk in a nutshell: From Glenridding we head through the wood to delightful Lanty’s Tarn. Onto Grizedale, and down the valley before we go 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: Aira Force 

Aira ForceDistance: 4½ miles (7.5km) 

Total ascent: 750ft (240m)

The walk in a nutshell: we’ll see 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. We head up into Grizedale, and a short steep path up to Lanty’s Tarn and back to Glenridding. 

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

Option 3: Place Fell 

Ullswater viewDistance: 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 

HelvellynDistance: 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 feint 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

  • Family friendly: KIDS GO FREE if booked by 29 December 2017. After this date children under 11 go FREE and children up to 17 get a 50% discount
  • 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

Two girls eating an ice cream sundae

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 a coach at the start and/or end of the walks.

Family playing JengaActivities 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 general rail enquiries visit or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

Pendolino train at speed 

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 £16 return, however a place must be reserved at least 7 days 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. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £30 per journey (or around £50 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

Bus in Keswick

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.

 Quantas Boeing 747


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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
6 Apr 2018 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 3 £359.00 £358.00 Kids Go FREE to book 0345 470 7558 Book Now
6 Apr 2018 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 7 £799.00 £799.00 Book Now
9 Apr 2018 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 4 £499.00 £499.00 Book Now
10 Aug 2018 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 3 £399.00 £398.00 Kids Go FREE to book 0345 470 7558 Book Now
10 Aug 2018 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 7 £899.00 £899.00 Book Now
13 Aug 2018 DBFAM - Family Walking Adventure - Derwent Water 4 £559.00 £559.00 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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