Herdwick Trail

Guided Trail

Code: DBLHF

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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Newly Refurbished

Level

  • Medium
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

The Herdwick Trail is a short break for those who enjoy walking in the Lake District at a predominantly low-level.

The trail starts from the eastern edge of the National Park and passes through some of the better less well known parts of The Lakes to finish at Great Langdale in the heart of the Lake District. 

Join us as we lead you on this trail through this breath-taking landscape.

In pictures...

Accommodation

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

Bedrooms

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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Facilities

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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Food

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

Breakfast:

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

Lunch:

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

Dinner:

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

Bar:

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

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Evening

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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Accessibility
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

Holiday Overview

Holiday highlights:

  • Wonderful views of the eastern fells from little-known Knipe Scar
  • Explore the stone circles and Neolithic remains of Barton Fell
  • Visit a mountain rescue base and herdwick sheep farm
  • A classic through route from the eastern Lakes to the heart of the high fells
  • Discover the Victorian gardens and woodlands of High Close

Prices include:

  • 4 nights' Full Board, en-suite accommodation
  • The services of an experienced HF Holidays’ trails leader
  • All transport on walking days

Holiday itinerary

Planned itinerary

Penrith to Howtown

We start south of Penrith and head west to gently ascend the little known Knipe Scar with its panoramic views of Mardale (Haweswater), Swindale and the Lowther Valley. We cross the River Lowther over a small suspension bridge to the lovely hamlet of Butterwick and up to Askham Fell with its many prehistoric cairns, burial mounds and stone circles. We then head roughly south with lovely views of Ullswater below us. (Wordsworth said of Ullswater, “It is the happiest combination of beauty and grandeur which any of the lakes affords”).  From Howtown pier on the east shore of Ullswater we take the ferry to Glenridding. 9½ miles (15km), with 1,250 feet (380m) of ascent

Patterdale to Ambleside

We start from Patterdale to the south of Ullswater, following a good track to Hartsop.  On the way we may visit a Herdwick sheep farm to see some of the famous Herdwick sheep.  From Hartsop we pass Brothers Water then climb steadily to Scandale pass at the heart of the Lake District fells before we descend to the bustling town of Ambleside. 9 miles (14.5km) with 1,800 feet (540m) of ascent

Ambleside to Great Langdale

We start with a visit to Ambleside Mountain Rescue Centre, and then walk through Ambleside and along a good track to Rydal where Wordsworth lived at Rydal Mount for most of his life.  We head to Rydal Water and gently ascend to the lovely Loughrigg Terrace with its beautiful views over Grasmere and beyond and visit the impressive Rydal Caves.  We ascend Loughrigg itself (height 1,099 feet, 335m) to enjoy panoramic views over the south of The Lake District.  We head for the lovely gardens of High Close then down to the village of Elterwater.  A short walk to Chapel Stile at the start of Great Langdale and then up the dale to the Old Dungeon Ghyll with the imposing Langdale Pikes in full view brings us to the end of our holiday. 9.5 miles (15 km), with 1,950 feet (585m) of ascent.

The itinerary may be subject to change at the discretion of the leader with regard to the weather and other external factors 

Local area

The Lake District is England’s premier national park with outstanding mountain scenery.

Keswick
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. www.keswick-launch.co.uk

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. www.theatrebythelake.com

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. www.honister.com

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. www.forestry.gov.uk/whinlatter or www.goape.co.uk

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. www.derwentwatermarina.co.uk

Grasmere
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. www.wordsworth.org.uk

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. www.lakedistrictwildlifepark.co.uk

Ullswater
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. www.ullswater-steamers.co.uk or www.dalemain.com

Carlisle
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. www.tulliehouse.co.uk

Travel

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 www.nationalrail.co.uk 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.

Reviews

Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
23 May 2016, 11:18 a.m.

Service rating:

+

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Service review:

Excellent, but not exactly cheap, therefore 'good'

Product review:

All staff encountered on the holiday were excellent, as was the experience. Caveat: I had no issue with the daily mileages being longer than advertised; others might disagree.
22 Sep 2015, 3:49 p.m.

Service rating:

-

Product rating:

+

Service review:

Joining papers not received until 4 days before holiday and then walk descriptions were on an A4 Photocopy.

Product review:

Very good leader and interesting trail although it could do with a tweak here and there.
Thank you for your feedback. I am sorry for the late and poor quality despatch. This will be investigated and improved.

Toni McNulty
Customer Relations Manager
HF Holidays
21 Sep 2015, 11:36 a.m.

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+

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Service review:

Still an issue receiving holiday documentation only received it a few days before the holiday this issues seems to effect people you booked there holiday early in the year is there an issue transferring early booked holidays to the new system

Product review:

The Herdwick Way was an excellent idea for a trail short break
24 May 2015, 5:15 p.m.

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Service review:

well organised and friendly as usual

Product review:

Excellent short trail with interest added by visit to a Herdwick sheep farm and Ambleside Mountain rescue.
21 May 2015, 5:14 p.m.

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Service review:

I like the format and the consistency of delivery.

Product review:

I have not done a trail before. This was only three days but was just what I wanted in terms of length, challenge, interest and good company.
21 May 2015, 8:48 a.m.

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+

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Service review:

Everything was very good except the lack of transparency over various hotel room option prices. I don't think anyone in our party paid the same. Deals on office via HF office varied as to who people spoke to!!

Product review:

Very good. Lovely leader - walks just to right length and severity, fun leader giving us just the right amount of info on places we visited.
29 Oct 2014, 8:15 p.m.

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Great

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Super
2 Jun 2014, 2:02 p.m.

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Service review:

The best uk walking holiday company!

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A superb long distance trail
1 Jun 2014, 7:23 p.m.

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No review provided

Product review:

the holiday was good the herwick trail i walked on was well thought out
9 Apr 2014, 9:25 a.m.

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No review provided

Product review:

Service rating : As always, everything was well organised and the leader was excellent.

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

Information

  • 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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