Photography - Focus on Light at Derwentwater


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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Newly Refurbished
From £429.00 - 4 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

Calling all keen and aspiring landscape photographers. Offering the best in both classic and unexpected shoot locations, your expert leader will encourage you to capture your personal response to the landscape in the best light of the day. This holiday goes the extra mile with sunrise outings and after-dinner excursions to lake, coastal or mountain vistas. Each day we'll walk up to 3 miles (5km).

Holiday Highlights:

  • Learn how to capture the best light of the day
  • Our professional photography leader will guide and encourage
  • Share inspiration and exchange ideas
  • Gain knowledge to continue your photography at home

Great Reasons to Join Us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, transport to photography locations and tuition from our expert leader
  • Accommodation: enjoy highquality accommodation and excellent food at our Country Houses
  • Expert leaders: all our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
  • Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a relaxed and friendly environment


Image courtesy of HF Holidays' leader Derek Forss


Enjoy beautiful views over Derwent Water and the surrounding fells from this stunning property on the shores of the lake itself. 

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
• Check in from 2:30pm
• 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
• Check in from 1:30pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Toweling robe Comfortable slippers TV, DVD and safe Hairdryer
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
Family Rooms
• Check in from 2:30pm
• 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


• 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


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.


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


Monday: Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday. 

Tuesday: Light in the Lake District

Our first day will start with a discussion on light and photography with particular reference to Cumbria, it’s lakes and mountains. After this we'll go out around the house, garden and the lake shore to develop this theme in our immediate surroundings. This will be followed by a review session back at the house.

Wednesday: Light in town and country

Today we'll begin with a pre-breakfast sunrise session. After breakfast we'll travel by mini bus to find suitable landscapes in both urban and rural settings. Weather permitting this will include the busy streets of Keswick, morning light on the lake, the secluded hamlet of Watendlath, Ashness bridge and the stone circle at Castlerigg under the late afternoon sun. If conditions are right we'll stop off by the lake for the setting sun or return to the house for a review session.

Thursday: Light on rock and water

To make best use of the short daylight at this time of year, we'll embark on a round trip to the west of the Country House. Our transport will take us via the woods and river at Grange, with the possibility of river and mountain views, into Borrowdale and through the Honister Pass down to the tranquil lakes of Buttermere and Crummock Water and then back via the Whinlatter Pass. We'll finish the day back at the Country House with time to review some of our images from the holiday and some thoughts on processing our images.

Friday: depart after a leisurely breakfast.

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

What to bring

  • Your camera and other essential accessories
  • Memory card or memory stick
  • Battery and charger
  • Your camera’s instruction manual (especially if you are a beginner, and because even your leader hasn’t memorised every digital camera menu settings!)
  • Waterproof clothing and outdoor footwear, ideally walking boots
  • Bag or bags for your camera equipment, spare clothing, lunch, water, etc
  • Notebook and pencil (pencils work better in the rain!)

Optional items (remember you will have to carry some of these):

  • Spare memory cards
  • Spare camera battery
  • Spare camera (you never know)
  • Small selection of lenses: wide angle, telephoto, macro, for example
  • Filters: neutral density and graduated, polarising
  • Laptop plus accessories for viewing, editing and sharing images (whilst not absolutely essential, bringing your own laptop will mean you get more from your photography holiday)
  • Memory stick or CD for storing images
  • Tripod or monopod if you feel more comfortable with one
  • Camera rain-protector—a shower cap or plastic bag, or something more expensive if you prefer

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:

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.


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.


Steve Boniwell

Steve is a Freelance IT Consultant who has been engaged in photography for 50 years. During this period he developed and printed his own photographs before moving to digital photography several years ago. In 2010 he produced his first photobook following a spring break in France. As a keen hill walker and observer of the natural world, he has always been enthusiastic in portraying this in his work.



Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
14 Mar 2014, 3:18 p.m.

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Product rating:


Service review:

Would be excellent if dropped the single supplement on rooms.

Product review:

Would be excellent if dropped the single supplement on rooms
12 Mar 2014, 9:22 p.m.

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Product rating:


Service review:


Product review:

Not happy with leader
Thank you for your holiday feedback. We ask our leaders to strike a fine balance between providing a holiday and a course, and we would like to apologise if, on this occasion, our leader did not meet your expectations.

Thanks, Sarah Davis
Research & Development Manager
HF Holidays Ltd
11 Mar 2014, 5:13 a.m.

Service rating:


Product rating:


Service review:

Many holidays with HF - all of a consistently high standard

Product review:

Photography Holiday - some evening tuition would be appreciated

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
13 Mar 2017 DBEMN - Focus on Light - Derwentwater 4 £459.00 £429.00 Special Early Booking offer - £30.00 off pp 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

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