4-Night Northern Lake District Christmas & New Year Guided Walking Holiday

Winter Sunrise on Skiddaw
Duration: 4 nights
Type: Guided Walking
Walking Grade: 2, 3 & 5
from £709pp £709pp

The landscaped gardens sloping down to the stunning lake coupled with the variety of walks on offer make Derwentwater an ideal location for your festive holiday. Warm, welcoming inns round off both lakeside and high mountain walks, where you can enjoy a camaraderie special for this time of year. There’s something magical about walking in winter. Whether it’s the frosty footsteps, the clear crisp air, or the breathtaking views, it’s a wonderful time to go walking. Join our festive breaks and choose from a guided walking holiday in the company of one of our knowledgeable leaders. We pull out all the stops on our festive holidays, with fabulous food, lots of seasonal entertainment and great walks and activities. The walks are tailored to the time of year and will remain flexible to suit the weather conditions. Each day three grades of walk will be offered. So wrap up warm, lace up your boots and go for an invigorating walk.

Holiday Highlights

  • Stay in the comfort of our Country House on the shores of Derwent Water
  • Enjoy an excellent variety of walks boasting stunning views of Lakeland fells, lakes and tumbling waterfalls

What’s included

  • Wonderful meals - full selection at breakfast, your choice of picnic lunch, an excellent evening meal and plenty of festive treats. 
  • A full programme of guided walks or activities 
  • The services of experienced HF Holidays' leaders
  • Transport to and from the walks
  • Activities in the evenings
  • A packed programme of evening activities offering something festive for everyone, including some old HF favourites
  • A celebration dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day and New Years Eve 

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

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


Option 1 - 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 2 - Forest Trail via Comb Beck

Distance: 9.5 miles (15.5km)

Ascent: 1,850 feet (560m)

In Summary: We use the minor roads and field paths to Braithwaite and enter the woodland to reach Comb Beck. Tracing the beck's course through the forest we arrive at Whinlatter Visitor Centre. Our descent takes us through the trees emerging on the ridge path from Grisedale Pike where with luck we will have extensive views before returning via Braithwaite.

Highlight: Superb views from below Grisedale Pike.

Option 3 - Causey Pike and Stonycroft Gill

Distance: 10 miles (16.1km)

Ascent: 2 638 feet (804m)

In Summary: We use minor roads and tracks to reach the base of Causey Pike. We then follow the ridge along to Sleet Hause and ascend Causey Pike, descending above Scar Craggs and down alongside Stonycroft Ghyll.

Highlight: Fine views throughout make this a superb walk of great variety.


Option 1 - Catbells Terrace

Distance: 6½ miles (11km) 

Total ascent: 320 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 2 - Catbells shortened

Distance: 6.1 miles (9.8km)
Ascent: 1817 feet (554m)
In Summary: We ascend Catbells and then walk back along the base of the mountain before reaching a beautiful walk along part of the Cumbrian Way.
Highlight: Catbells’ shapely summit is one of the most popular fells in the Lake District and affords magnificent views of the Northern Fells.

Option 3 - Catbells

Distance:  7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,600 feet (500m)

In Summary: We begin by heading up the ridge to the summit of Catbells. We then descend to the lakeside path and a beautiful walk along part of the Cumbria Way.

Highlight: Catbells’ shapely summit is one of the most popular fells in the Lake District and affords magnificent views of the Northern Fells.


Option 1 - Friar's Crag and Castle Head

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In summary: We follow minor roads and a field path to Keswick. From the centre of town we head for the lake shore and view point. We then ascend to a rocky summit affording views over Derwentwater before returning to the town centre through woodland. 

Highlight: Delightful views over Derwentwater and beyond from Castlehead. 

Option 2 - Around Derwentwater

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In summary: Following footpaths and the lake shore for much of this walk, we will make a complete circuit of stunning Derwentwater. Beginning from the house we first walk through Keswick before heading along the east of the lake then returning through beautiful woodland along the western shores to our country house.

Highlight: Spectacular, ever changing views of the all the fells around the lake including the imposing Skiddaw range and famous Cat Bells.

Option 3 - Grisedale Pike

Distance: 8 miles (12.8km)

Ascent: 2560ft (750m)

In Summary: Grisedale Pike is the prominent and elegant peak seen from the front of Derwent Bank. We leave from Thornthwaite and walk up forest paths and tracks to Hobcarton Ridge and follow this to the summit. We then follow the well worn ridge path down towards Braithwaite and walk back to Derwent Bank.

Highlight: On a clear day there are views in all directions from the summit of Grisedale Pike including the impressive neighbouring Hopegill Head.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


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


Option 1 - 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 2 - Forest Trail via Comb Beck

Distance: 9.5 miles (15.5km)

Ascent: 1,850 feet (560m)

In Summary: We use the minor roads and field paths to Braithwaite and enter the woodland to reach Comb Beck. Tracing the beck's course through the forest we arrive at Whinlatter Visitor Centre. Our descent takes us through the trees emerging on the ridge path from Grisedale Pike where with luck we will have extensive views before returning via Braithwaite.

Highlight: Superb views from below Grisedale Pike.

Option 3 - Causey Pike and Stonycroft Gill

Distance: 10 miles (16.1km)

Ascent: 2 638 feet (804m)

In Summary: We use minor roads and tracks to reach the base of Causey Pike. We then follow the ridge along to Sleet Hause and ascend Causey Pike, descending above Scar Craggs and down alongside Stonycroft Ghyll.

Highlight: Fine views throughout make this a superb walk of great variety.


Option 1 - Catbells Terrace

Distance: 6½ miles (11km) 

Total ascent: 320 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 2 - Catbells shortened

Distance: 6.1 miles (9.8km)
Ascent: 1817 feet (554m)
In Summary: We ascend Catbells and then walk back along the base of the mountain before reaching a beautiful walk along part of the Cumbrian Way.
Highlight: Catbells’ shapely summit is one of the most popular fells in the Lake District and affords magnificent views of the Northern Fells.

Option 3 - Catbells

Distance:  7 miles (11km)

Ascent: 1,600 feet (500m)

In Summary: We begin by heading up the ridge to the summit of Catbells. We then descend to the lakeside path and a beautiful walk along part of the Cumbria Way.

Highlight: Catbells’ shapely summit is one of the most popular fells in the Lake District and affords magnificent views of the Northern Fells.


Option 1 - Friar's Crag and Castle Head

Distance: 6 miles (9.5km)

Ascent: 450 feet (140m)

In summary: We follow minor roads and a field path to Keswick. From the centre of town we head for the lake shore and view point. We then ascend to a rocky summit affording views over Derwentwater before returning to the town centre through woodland. 

Highlight: Delightful views over Derwentwater and beyond from Castlehead. 

Option 2 - Around Derwentwater

Distance: 9 miles (14.5km)

Ascent: 850 feet (260m)

In summary: Following footpaths and the lake shore for much of this walk, we will make a complete circuit of stunning Derwentwater. Beginning from the house we first walk through Keswick before heading along the east of the lake then returning through beautiful woodland along the western shores to our country house.

Highlight: Spectacular, ever changing views of the all the fells around the lake including the imposing Skiddaw range and famous Cat Bells.

Option 3 - Grisedale Pike

Distance: 8 miles (12.8km)

Ascent: 2560ft (750m)

In Summary: Grisedale Pike is the prominent and elegant peak seen from the front of Derwent Bank. We leave from Thornthwaite and walk up forest paths and tracks to Hobcarton Ridge and follow this to the summit. We then follow the well worn ridge path down towards Braithwaite and walk back to Derwent Bank.

Highlight: On a clear day there are views in all directions from the summit of Grisedale Pike including the impressive neighbouring Hopegill Head.

 


Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 


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.

Rooms

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.

Facilities

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.

Accessibility

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

“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong type of clothing!” goes the adage. Come prepared for all eventualities and you’ll walk in comfort as well as safety. Britain’s famous for its changeable weather, so here’s our advice on what to wear and bring.

Essentials

  • Walking boots providing ankle support and good grip.
  • A waterproof jacket and over-trousers
  • Gloves and a warm hat (it can be chilly at any time of the year)
  • Rucksack
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)
  • A small torch (everywhere in winter, year round in mountains)

Recommended

  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed
  • Specialist walking socks to avoid blisters.
  • A first aid kit inc plasters– your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication
  • Sit mat (insulated pad to sit on when you stop for a break)

You might also want

  • Walking poles, particularly useful for descents.
  • Insect repellent
  • Flask for hot drinks
  • Rigid lunch box
  • Gaiters
  • Blister kit (eg Compeed) just in case
  • Waterproof rucksack liner
  • Sun hat and sunscreen (we may just get lucky and have some festive sunshine!)

Denim jeans and waterproof capes are not suitable on any walks.

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
2020
23 Dec - 27 Dec
4 Christmas £759 Available Trip Notes Book Now
30 Dec - 03 Jan
4 New Year £709 Available Trip Notes Book Now
2021
23 Dec - 27 Dec
4 Christmas £799 Available Trip Notes Book Now
30 Dec - 03 Jan
4 New Year £745 Available Trip Notes Book Now
Duration:
4 nights
Type:
Guided Walking
Walking Grade:
2 & 3

4 nights from £709pp £709pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ people click here

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