Christmas & New Year Walking at Derwentwater

Lake District


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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Newly Refurbished


  • Easy
  • Medium
  • 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 £375.00 - 3 to 7 nights


Prices are per person

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Room 2:
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Holiday overview

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.

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
  • Take in a magical theatre performance at Keswick's Theatre by the Lake

What’s included?

        • Full board en-suite accommodation
        • 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 present on Christmas Day
        • A celebration dinner with all the trimmings on Christmas Day and New Years Eve


Freswater Bay refurbished for 2016


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

 Green Tourism logo4-star Visit Britain Guest Accommodation


Derwent Bank has 32 bedrooms in the main building, plus 5 double bedded chalets in the gardens. Some of the rooms have views over the lake, whilst others face towards the mountains of Cat Bells and Grizedale Pike. In addition, in the grounds there is the refurbished Coach House, a luxurious two bedroom apartment.

Classic bedrooms at Derwent Bank

Classic bedrooms – included in your holiday price

Comfortable accommodation with an en-suite bathroom, with either a bath or shower. Single rooms are available for an extra £8 per night. 

Premium Rooms at Derwent Bank

Premium bedrooms – from an extra £5 per person per night

Enjoy extra space or exceptional views, plus additional facilities including a towelling robe and complimentary slippers when you upgrade.

Family Room at Derwent Bank

Family bedrooms 

We have a selection of 3 and 4-bedded rooms. These have all the facilities of our classic rooms plus full sized twin or double beds for adults and bunk beds or occasional beds for children.

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All our Country Houses are tailored to walkers and outdoor enthusiasts and have excellent boot and drying rooms and laundry facilities.

At Derwent Bank there is a large, comfortable lounge, an attractive dining room and a welcoming bar stocking local beer. The conservatory is particularly attractive and has superb views of the lake and the surrounding fells. Free WiFi is available in some public rooms. There is also a range of board games and books.

The house sits in extensive gardens with a sloping lawn down to the lake jetty. Outside there is a formal garden, a putting green and croquet lawn.

Also Derwent Bank has a Dandelion café with comfortable chairs, delectable local produce and a great cup of tea or coffee, making a fantastic place to relax, enjoy and unwind overlooking Derwent Water.

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All holidays at our Country Houses are Full Board with all meals included, from dinner on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure.

Breakfast at Derwent Bank


The most important meal of the day. Choose from a wide selection on the cold buffet and/or a full cooked breakfast. You could choose fruit and yoghurt followed by scrambled egg, porridge followed by a full English breakfast, or anything in between.

Picnic lunch at Derwent Bank


Our famous self-select picnic lunches keep you going on a day outdoors. Your own choice of sandwiches is prepared to order, and you can add crisps and snacks, fruit, nuts, chocolate bars, sweets and biscuits as you wish. Our house-based Leisure Activities include an in-house lunch (typically soup, sandwiches etc).

Dinner at Derwent Bank


The relaxed, sociable dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses. With tables seating up to 10 and no seating plan, it offers a great opportunity to get to know your fellow guests. There is always a choice of dishes for every course, featuring classic British cooking and local specialities. A vegetarian option is always available.

The bar at Derwent Bank


All of our Country Houses have a well-stocked bar serving local beers, wine and spirits.

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After your day’s walk or activity, your evenings are free for you to enjoy however you want. If you would like to continue interacting with our guides and fellow guests we often have extra activities available. Plus you always have the option to just relax in the bar.

Social activities:

Enjoy a glass of wine or local beer in the bar before a talk about the next day's walks. After dinner there will be an activity or entertainment which you will be welcome to join. These vary from week to week but could include a talk on wildlife or the island’s rich history from a local speaker or a team quiz.

Leisure Activities:

Many of our Leisure Activities holidays continue into the evening with programmed sessions. Other holidays will have the evenings free, and you will be welcome to join in other social activities that may be happening in the house.

Family holidays:

Our activity leaders are on hand to organise children’s activities and games for younger children before dinner. These could include rounders, outdoor games, or crafts. After dinner there are further activities for the whole family.

Self-Guided Walking:

There may be evening social activities happening in the house during your holiday, and you will be most welcome to join in. However, not all self-guided holidays will have evening activities available – if these are important to you, please check before booking.

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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 from stairs. We do have 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.

Arrival & car parking facilities

Designated disabled parking bays are available directly in front of the house. The surface of the main car park is graveled with a slight slope. If you need assistance with your luggage, please just ask a member of the team. To gain access to the main building, there are three steps. Once you are, all public rooms are on the same level.

Wheelchair accessibility

Once you have gain access to the house, all public rooms are accessible for wheelchairs. Our bedrooms in the main house aren’t accessible as they are on the first and second floors. If you require a wheelchair friendly room, we recommend our chalets which are situated in the grounds. 

More details on Derwent Bank accessibility ›

Additional information

  • Fire procedure is displayed in each room and explained to guests on arrival. Guests requiring assistance at an evacuation are identified at this time and door hanger cards are issued
  • Mobile phone reception is generally good from the main building
  • Assistance dogs accompanying visually or hearing impaired guests 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 can be supplied


Festive Guided Walking

Climb the mighty summit of Blencathra; explore the intricate Grizedale and Glencoyne valleys carved into the fell-side around Ullswater; visit charming Lakeland Villages; soak up the scenery on lakeside paths around Derwentwater, and Buttermere.

The walks programme

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:
Easier: up to a maximum of 6 miles (9.5km)
Medium: up to a maximum of 9 miles (14.5km)
Harder: up to a maximum of 11 miles (17.5km)

Friday 23 December 2016

Enjoy a warm welcome over afternoon tea at 4 pm.


Saturday 24 December – Christmas Eve

After a short journey by coach we explore the superb Borrowdale Valley; the easier walk heading into Langstrath, the medium enjoying the popular paths around Rosthwaite and Dock Tarn, while the harder has the fabulous summit of Glaramara in its sights.


Sunday 25 December 2016  - Christmas Day

We’ll build up an appetite for our Christmas dinner with a choice of walks to the top of, or along the side of, the shapeliest fell on Derwent Water, Cat Bells. Expect to see a few other walkers out on one of the Lake District’s most popular mountains!

When you return to Derwent Bank there will be presents for all our guests under the tree. Relax and enjoy some mulled wine in the lounge.


Our Christmas meal will be the highlight of the evening – meet in the bar for pre-dinner cocktails, then enjoy our meal of traditional turkey with all the trimmings, or alternative options if you prefer. This is an opportunity to dress up – you are invited to ‘dress to impress’.


Monday 26 December 2016 - Boxing Day

Today’s walks head either south into the gorgeous Newlands Valley (easier and medium), with fell views to rival any in the Lakes, or if you want to bag a top then Barrow, just to the west of Derwent Water, offers great views of the Skiddaw and Blencathra ranges.


Twixmas - Festive Guided Walking

Tuesday 27th December 2016

Enjoy a warm welcome over afternoon tea at 4 pm.


Wednesday 28th December 2016

In the National Park’s northeastern corner lies the incomparable lake of Ullswater, surrounded by famous fells, and intricate valleys carved into the fellside. We explore Gowbarrow on an easier walk, Glencoyne on a medium, and plan to stand on top of Place Fell on the harder walk (which lies to the east of the lake) for views out to the Pennines and Yorkshire.

Thursday 29th December 2016

Follow the western shore of Derwent Water from the pretty hamlet of Grange on the easier walk,  enjoy great views from the east side of the lake from Walla Crag on the medium, or tackle something harder to the west on Grizedale Pike, it’s pointy top at nearly 2,500 ft recognisable from many points in the area.


New Year  - Festive Walking

Friday 30th December 2016

Enjoy a warm welcome over afternoon tea at 4 pm.


Saturday 31 December 2016 – New Year’s Eve

Today’s walks all begin in the village of Threlkeld and walk back to Derwent Bank via Keswick. Blencathra is a familiar sight to the visitor to Keswick as it sits alongside the A66, sending down its five magnificent spurs towards the road. The harder walk aims to get to the top via Scales Fell, whilst the easier and medium walks stay lower down in the valley.


Sunday 1 January 2017 - New Year’s Day

We see in the New Year in fine style with a choice of walks to the top of, or along the side of, the shapeliest fell on Derwent Water, Cat Bells. Expect to see a few other walkers out on one of the Lake District’s most popular mountains!


Monday 2 January 2017

To finish your holiday, you can choose the stunning shoreline of Crummock Water into Buttermere for an easier walk, the super but less well-known fell Mellbreak on one of our more challenging medium walks, or Wainwright’s  (and many others’ favourite!) Haystacks, for the harder option.


Local area

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.


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 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.


Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
18 Jan 2016, 10:32 a.m.

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professional guiding and very friendly, diligent staff.
7 Jan 2016, 5:11 p.m.

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well organised holiday with excellent walking leaders.

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Nice to get away at Christmas and have every thing taken care of.
6 Jan 2016, 7:44 p.m.

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I am a regular visitor with HF and always enjoy their guided walking holidays.

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Despite the bad weather and flooding I had a wonderful walking week. The room and hotel in general were very comfortable, the food was good and the staff very helpful and friendly.
6 Jan 2016, 5:55 p.m.

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Expensive, but very high quality

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Great location, great leaders, lovely walks, excellent food, superb staff, but the refurbishment that will start after this holiday seemed overdue, especially for the "chalets" rooms and the conservatory (that will be replaced)
6 Jan 2016, 5:19 p.m.

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The staff were as usual friendly and helpful and despite fairly appalling weather the Leaders managed to guide us through the floods and remained positive and cheerful.

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We have previously spent several holidays at Derwent Bank including New Year.Overall our experience was good however we were disappointed with the food this year.Perhaps it was budgetary constraints but plated main courses with no opportunity to select vegetables etc looked more like school dinners than country house.Also presentation of food was poor-beige pork,cauliflower and boiled potatoes do not look appetising.We also thought fish cakes as a main choice for New Years Day was a cost cut too far ,especially as the fish cakes were mainly mashed potato with fish a very faint presence! We left desperate to eat a fresh green vegetable and thoroughly fed up with boiled carrot and swede.Hopefully the other houses are keeping up your normal standards.
6 Jan 2016, 11:41 a.m.

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Booking dealt with efficiently

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A very pleasant stay with comfortable accommodation, very good (vegetarian) food and friendly and efficient management and staff. The walk leaders coped well in the face of adversity caused by recent flooding.
6 Jan 2016, 10:54 a.m.

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Reliable and good quality

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Excellent location
6 Jan 2016, 10:06 a.m.

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My daughter and I really enjoyed our stay at Derwentbank over New Year. Although the weather was generally wet we were pleased to get out on the easy walks and were able to complete them successfully.The staff were helpful, friendly and polite, the food was excellent with plenty of it, ( too much sometimes so half portions were ordered!) beds comfy, rooms adequate but warm enough with full hospitality tray. The refurbishment should improve the rooms well.

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My daughter has cerebral palsy and everyone staff and other guests alike talked to her making her feel so comfortable! We enjoyed the entertainment each evening especially the live band on New Year's Eve with dancing and the parlour games! I don't think she held others back on the easy walks and leaders very helpful at tricky stiles etc.We both want to come again we had such a good time!
6 Jan 2016, 7:55 a.m.

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Good organisation with good ethos.

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Food not as good as it used to be and the accommodation needs upgrading.
4 Jan 2016, 7:54 a.m.

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Well organised, relaxed as you have no decisions to make apart from what to eat and which walk you want that day. A successful formula. Recent changes to meals are a very g move.

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Weather was a challenge because of the floods but walks went ahead , g leadership and good management of conditions. The house and leaders put out all the stops for a very fun packed few days. Excellent food and atmosphere.

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Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Book
23 Dec 2016 DBXFW - Festive Walking - Derwentwater 4 £675.00 Book Now
23 Dec 2016 DBXFW - Festive Walking - Derwentwater 7 £939.00 Book Now
27 Dec 2016 DBXFW - Festive Walking - Derwentwater 3 £375.00 Book Now
27 Dec 2016 DBXFW - Festive Walking - Derwentwater 7 £875.00 Book Now
30 Dec 2016 DBXFW - Festive Walking - Derwentwater 4 £625.00 Book Now
23 Dec 2017 DBXFW - Festive Walking - Derwentwater 4 £695.00 Book Now
23 Dec 2017 DBXFW - Festive Walking - Derwentwater 7 £969.00 Book Now
27 Dec 2017 DBXFW - Festive Walking - Derwentwater 3 £389.00 Book Now
27 Dec 2017 DBXFW - Festive Walking - Derwentwater 7 £899.00 Book Now
30 Dec 2017 DBXFW - Festive Walking - Derwentwater 4 £645.00 Book Now

Prices are per person


  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person