Guided Walking for Solos 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

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

This Guided Walking holiday at Derwent Bank, based near Keswick on the shores of Derwent Water is the ideal way to follow the charming valley, lakeside rambles and challenging mountain ascents of the Lake District National Park.

Great reasons to join us

  • Great value: all prices include Full Board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, and light-hearted evening activities. There's no extra charge for single rooms
  • Choice: choose from up to 3 guided walks each walking day, with expert guides
  • Accommodation: enjoy a lakeside location just two miles from Keswick, with fantastic views of the surrounding fells
  • Sociability: we pride ourselves on the social atmosphere of our holidays - walk together, eat together and relax together

In pictures...


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


Our experienced guides offer the choice of up to three different walks each day – you can choose an Easier Walk one day and switch to a Harder Walk the next.

HF Holidays walks grade 2 easy


Easier walks

HF Holidays walks level 3 medium


Medium walks

HF Holidays walks grade 5 harder

Harder walks

We’ve a fantastic selection of walks for 2016 - see below. Please check back here in November for any variations for our 2017 holidays.

Group A: St John's in the Vale and Blencathra

Easier Walk: In the shadow of Castle Rock we walk along the Vale of St John below High Rigg. We reach the highlight of Castlerigg Stone Circle (c3,000BC) before we return to Keswick and the launch back. 7 miles (11km) with 1,100 feet (330m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: From the north end of Thirlmere we enjoy the wonderful low-lying fell of High Rigg before joining the same route as the Easier Walk. 8 miles (13km) with 1,500 feet (450m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: From Threlkeld, the steep and airy arête of Hall’s Fell to the top of Blencathra is described by Wainwright as the finest way to any mountain top and is our challenge today. The route down is on grassy Blease Fell to the Blencathra Field Centre and over Latrigg to Portinscale. Some sections of scrambling, requiring a head for heights. 11 miles (17.5km) with 3,300 feet (990m) of ascent. 

Group B: Scafell Pike and Derwent Water

Easier Walk: Deep in the Borrowdale Valley, we begin our walk from the pretty village of Rosthwaite over to Watendlath. Following Watendlath Beck we take a diversion to view Lodore Falls before strolling back along the shores of Derwent Water. 7 miles (11km) with 1,300 feet (390m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: From the edge of Keswick we ascend gradually via Spring Wood to reach the superlative viewpoint of Walla Crag. We continue down to the beautiful setting of Ashness Bridge, then follow the very edge of the lake back to Keswick and eventually, Derwent Bank. 8 miles (13 km) with 1,300 feet (390m) of ascent.

Walk changed from that originally advertised due to flood damage to footpaths in the Keswick area

Harder Walk: The ascent of England’s highest summit, Scafell Pike, is our objective today and we walk from Seathwaite up to Styhead Tarn and then ascend via the spectacular Corridor Route. We descend via Esk Hause and Grains Gill back to Seathwaite. Some rough, steep paths over rock, large boulders and scree, requiring a head for heights, make this a challenging walk. 9 miles (14.5km) with 3,100 feet (930m) of ascent. 

Group C: West of Derwent Water

Easier Walk: circular walk with lovely views,contouring along the Cat Bells ridge by an old mine route before dropping down to the shore of Derwent Water to meander along the lakeshore. 7 miles (11km) with 300 feet (90m) of ascent.

Walk changed from that originally advertised due to flood damage to footpaths in the Keswick area

Medium Walk: We cross Newlands Beck to climb the neighbouring fells of Outerside and Barrow in the Coledale Valley, before returning to Derwent Bank via Braithwaite and Ullock. 9 miles (14.5km) with 2,200 feet (660m) of ascent.  

Harder Walk: After crossing Newlands Beck, we ascend the steep ridges of Rowling End and Causey Pike, descending via Outerside and Stile End to Braithwaite and Portinscale. Some steep, rocky sections. 10 miles (16km) with 2,800 feet (840m) of ascent.

Group D: Buttermere

Easier Walk: From Lanthwaite Green we walk through woodland to the tranquil west shore of Crummock Water, which we follow all the way to Buttermere village. 6 miles (9.5km) with 700 feet (210m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: After walking the northern shore of Buttermere we ascend Haystacks, a hill of multiple crags and tarns and the scattering place of Alfred Wainwright’s ashes. Our return to Buttermere is via Innominate Tarn, Blackbeck Tarn and Warnscale Bottom. Rough, steep and rocky in sections. 7 miles (11km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: Today we climb Red Pike from Buttermere. Beyond Red Pike the route takes us via High Stile and High Crag before dropping steeply to Scarth Gap; we return to Buttermere via Haystacks and Warnscale Bottom. Some short sections of easy scrambling. 9 miles (14.5km) with 3,200 feet (960m) of ascent. 

Group E: Around Patterdale

Easier Walk: From Glenridding we take the Ullswater Steamer to the small settlement of Howtown half way along the eastern side of the lake. From here we take the attractive and varied lakeside path back to Side Farm, Patterdale and Glenridding. On occasions when the Ullswater steamer isn’t running, we take a walk through Grisedale, up to Lanty’s Tarn for fantastic views over Ullswater, and finish in Glenridding. 7 miles (11km) with 1,000 feet (300m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: The picturesque waterfalls at Aira Force are a highlight today as we walk to Glencoyne Head and ascend Sheffield Pike. We then head down Glencoyne Valley, past the old miners’ cottages, to Glenridding. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,900 feet (570m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: A fine mountain walk along the long ridge of Hartsop-above-How to the rough top of Hart Crag and the summit of Fairfield. Then Cofa Pike leads us into Deepdale Hause and up St Sunday Crag before descending into Glenridding. Some short sections of easy scrambling, requiring a head for heights. 8 miles (13km) with 3,300 feet (990m) of ascent. 

Group F: Derwent water Latrigg and Skiddaw

Easier Walk: We follow the eastern shore of Derwent Water to the picture-postcard Ashness Bridge, descending to the western shore to take the launch from Brandelhow back to Derwent Bank. 7 miles (11km) with 900 feet (270m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: From Threlkeld we ascend the lonely valley of Glenderaterra Beck before turning south to the stunning viewpoint top of Latrigg. Passing Crossthwaite church – with the graves of Robert Southey and Canon Rawnsley – we reach Derwent Bank via Portinscale. 10 miles (16km) with 1,600 feet (480m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: Starting on the east side of Bassenthwaite Lake we head up Ullock Pike and Carl Side, then via a slight path on scree and some rock to the summit of Skiddaw, overlooking Keswick. Dropping to Skiddaw House we take the Cumbria Way through the Glenderaterra Valley to Crossthwaite church then on to Derwent Bank. 12 miles (19km) with 2,900 feet (870m) of ascent. 

Group G: Ullswater and Helvellyn

Easier Walk: We visit Gowbarrow Fell summit with extensive views all round by starting steeply up from Dockray, then descending gradually with bird’s-eye views over Ullswater. We reach the large waterfall of Aira Force before taking the new Ullswater Steamer service to Glenridding. 5 miles (8 km) with 1000feet (300m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: With amazing views from the top, our route first takes us from Patterdale up Place Fell; then down past becks and waterfalls in the valley of Scalehow to the picturesque undulating lakeside path along Ullswater to Glenridding. 8 miles (13km) with 2,100 feet (630m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: Helvellyn via the glacial arête of Striding Edge is today’s iconic mountain walk, and Swirral Edge soon follows, taking us to the pyramid shaped Catstycam and the beautiful and moody Red Tarn. Our gradual descent through the Glenridding valley ends the perfect day. Some scrambling and one short but very steep descent requiring a head for heights. 8 miles (13km) with 2,900 feet (870m) of ascent. 

Group H: Around Keswick and Derwent Water

Easier Walk: From the House we walk around the edge of Keswick up towards mighty Skiddaw, before looping round the lovely Latrigg Fell and back along a disused road through Brundholme Wood and eventually back to Derwent Bank. 7 miles (11 km) with 1200 feet (360m) of ascent.

Walk changed from that originally advertised due to flood damage to footpaths in the Keswick area

Medium Walk: Heading over the popular fell Cat Bells, we drop down to the lake shore from Hause Gate and follow it back to Derwent Bank. 8 miles (13km) with with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: We head over Cat Bells, Maiden Moor and High Spy before descending past Rigghead Quarries to pick up the course of the Allerdale Ramble to the lakeshore, which we follow back to Derwent Bank. 12 miles (19km) with 2,900 feet (870m) of ascent. Both the Medium and the Harder Walks have some short steep rocky sections. 

Group I: High Borrowdale

Easier Walk: A lovely walk from Grange along the River Derwent to Stonethwaite village and the glacial valley of Langstrath, past the Galleny Force waterfalls to Rosthwaite. 6 miles (9.5km) with 400 feet (120m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: From Seathwaite Bridge we ascend Grains Gill to Sprinkling and Styhead Tarns, set in the iconic mountain scenery of central Lakeland. The descent is via Taylorgill Force to Seathwaite and down the valley to Rosthwaite. 9 miles (14.5km) with 2,200 feet (660m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: Today’s mountain walk is Great Gable with its poignant memorial to the war dead. Starting from Seathwaite, we walk steeply beside Taylor Gill Force to Styhead then on continuously demanding terrain across scree slopes and boulders to pass below the famous Napes Needle and Sphinx Rock on the way to the summit. The descent is via Windy Gap and Green Gable to Honister Pass. Needs a head for heights. 6 miles (9.5km) with 3,300 feet (990m) of ascent. 

Group J: Buttermere

Easier Walk: Beautiful Crummock Water marks the start of a walk which takes us around the slopes of Rannerdale Knotts to Buttermere village and an attractive circuit of the lake. 6 miles (9.5km) with 800 feet (240m) of ascent.

Medium Walk: Starting from Buttermere, we follow a valley route to Sail Pass, cross the summit of Barrow and then take a gradual downhill path to Braithwaite and back home. 8 miles (13km) with 2,100 feet (630m) of ascent.

Harder Walk: From Cinderdale Common we make a steep ascent of Grasmoor, followed by an easy descent into Coledale Hause. We then climb once again onto the shapely summit of Grisedale Pike, after which it’s downhill all the way via Braithwaite and Portinscale to Derwent Bank. 9 miles (14.5km) with 3,400 feet (1,020m) of ascent. 

Holiday information

Terrain and transport: Easier Walks are on valley, fell and lakeside paths. Medium Walks on good, but sometimes rocky paths, to lower summits and moorland fells. Harder Walks take us to mountain summits on steep and rough paths, and some walks need a head for heights. You might occasionally feel the need to use your hands.

On some days the walks start or finish at Derwentbank; on other days we use hired transport at the start and/or end of the walks. The cost of all transport to and from the walks is included in the price of your holiday.

Our guests: The atmosphere is relaxed and friendly. There is normally a good mix of ages, of new guests and 'regulars' from Britain and overseas, and of people travelling alone, with a partner or with friends.

Free day: Each seven and six night holiday has a day without any organised walks, so you can explore the Lake District independently.

In the evenings: 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 organised activity such as a quiz or a talk about the local area, relax in the bar or use the Country House facilities. Every Tuesday (April to October) we organise a trip to Keswick’s Theatre by the Lake (payable locally).

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.

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
5 May 2015, 6:29 p.m.

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Service review:

I love the way the walking holidays are organised - they especially suit someone holidaying on their own. The weather meant the walks needed to be modified but this was careful explained and the 2 leader I walked with were brilliant. The hotel is in a spectacular location.

Product review:

I was not impressed with the room allocated. I thought that no single supplement would have given me a normal double or single room as I had last year when I did pay the supplement. Many other single guests had beautiful large rooms. At booking it was not made clear what my options were - should I have elected to pay more? I really felt I was in the broom cupboard.
16 Apr 2015, 8:13 p.m.

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all that I expected. everyone was very friendly. food excellent

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very good guides who kept us safe during some bad weather on the first two days
15 Apr 2015, 4:12 p.m.

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No review provided

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Poor communication. Booking systems need to be improved.
Thank you for your comments.

I was disappointed to read that you had problems with the initial stage of your booking.

We have put in place a new booking system and have had teething issues which we are working on as quickly as possible to improve.

I am pleased that, overall, you had a good holiday experience with HF.

I do hope we will be able to welcome you on another holiday in the future.

Kind regards

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
15 Apr 2015, 12:33 p.m.

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as always an excellent holiday

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everyone pleasant and helpful
15 Apr 2015, 7:46 a.m.

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Accom food and staff and back office all good!

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Disappointed that hard walks cut short and we were not allowed to reach summits due to a little snow. At this time of year snow is to be expected . Is insurance the problem?
15 Apr 2015, 5:23 a.m.

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it was my first holiday with HF and I was very impressed with the whole package. The service was excellent.

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I was so impressed with the holiday. The care and organisation was excellent. Amazing food, good company, fantastic leaders and lovely hotel. I will certainly book again.
We're so pleased you enjoyed your first HF Holidays experience, the Lake District is a great place to start.

HF Holidays Ltd.
29 Jul 2014, 9:04 p.m.

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Enjoyable holiday food good overall although portions sometimes measly e.g one veg dish between 8 people!!

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Good but tough walks
27 Jul 2014, 2:49 p.m.

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The catering was extremely good and thehouse staff lovely

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The leaders got on well with each other and the guests and were well preparedThe catering was extremely good and the house staff lovely.
24 Jul 2014, 8:26 p.m.

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No review provided

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ticks most of the box's
24 Jul 2014, 11:39 a.m.

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Very satisfied with HF holidays.

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The hotel clean and comfortable. The staff are friendly and professional. Food excellent . A good choice of walks . Walk leaders friendly and professional. Overall good value for money . I will be booking another solo holiday with HF in the future .

Read more reviews from feefo

Dates & Prices

We're sorry, there are no dates available for this holiday at the moment. Please check out our other tours and breaks or call our team on 0345 470 8558 to be notified of new dates as soon as they become available.

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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