Lakeland Waterfalls & Tarns


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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Newly Refurbished


  • Easy
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 £779.00 - 7 nights


Prices are per person

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Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Celebrating the features that make the Lake District so iconic – this holiday visits some of the best loved natural water features - so inspiring to poets, artists and walkers alike.

In total, there are over 250 waterfalls and tarns in the Lake District. Indeed, the noted author of walking guides, Alfred Wainwright, refers to the delights of ‘the memories in miniature, the more intimate charm of sparkling waterfalls in ferny dells' and  'of translucent waters in rocky pools …’

Through the week, we will visit numerous lakes (and even travel on some); admire waterfalls both large and small; and gaze upon the most picturesque of tarns.

Holiday highlights

  • Walk by the renowned natural water features that make the Lake District so special
  • Delight in the views celebrated by Lakeland poets such as William Wordsworth; so often captured by artists and landscape photographers
  • Relax at the end of the day at our charming house situated on the banks of Derwentwater

Great reasons to join us

  • Great Value: all prices include full board en-suite accommodation, five varied walks, with transport to and from the walks, as well as cruises on Ullswater & Derwentwater
  • Great walking: on a unique set of new walks with our experienced and informative leader
  • Accommodation: enjoy the lakeside location just two miles from Keswick, situated on the shores of Derwentwater


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


This itinerary may be subject to change, depending on walking conditions during the week.

Saturday: Ullswater & Aira Force

We start by heading to Glenridding to take the Ullswater steamer along to the Aira Force pier. We then walk up alongside the powerful Aira Force, through the Pinetum and on past High Force. We continue up to circle Gowbarrow Fell, pausing at the Memorial Seat for extensive views to both ends of Ullswater and the fells beyond. We descend on a the path above Lyulph’s Tower and walk along the shore area which inspired William Wordsworth’s poem ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’. We pass through Glencoyne Park and complete our loop at Glenridding.

11.25km / 7 miles & 425m / 1,400 ft ascent.

Sunday: Loweswater to Buttermere

Today we begin at Waterend and pass Loweswater, visiting Holme Force en route. We continue up the valley above Crummock Water and ascend to see the Lake District’s highest waterfall Scale Force. We then descend to the outflow of Buttermere, admiring Sourmilk Gill behind, as we finish in the village by the famous Fish Hotel.

12.25km / 7.75 miles & 395m / 1,300 ft ascent.

Monday: Free day

Tuesday: Borrowdale Falls & Derwentwater

Travelling up Borrowdale valley we head to Seathwaite – famed for the highest rainfall of any habited place in England. We walk under a mile up the valley below Glaramara, to view the falls at Stockley Bridge and the lower reaches of Taylor Gill Force. We then walk back to Seathwaite, carry on past the Borrowdale Yews to Seatoller, so that we can follow the River Derwent to Derwentwater and call at the Lodore Falls. We then return to Nichol End marina by Derwent Bank on the lake, using the Keswick Launch.

13km / 8 miles & 260m / 850 ft ascent.

Wednesday: Tarn Hows to Skelwith Bridge

This route visits sites you will recognise from many a photograph. We begin at Tarn Hows, walking on a delightful path above the water and on to meet the Cumbria Way. We pass through woods over a saddle and down to meet our first waterfall, Colwith Force. From there we head up past old slate quarries and mines, to cross below Little Langdale Tarn on the delightful Slater’s Bridge. We then head north over another saddle below Lingmoor Fell, onto Elterwater village. We carry on past the ‘swan’ lake of Elterwater and reach Skelwith Force to end at Skelwith Bridge, on the road between Ambleside & Coniston.

12.25km / 7.75 miles & 290m / 900ft ascent.

Thursday: Ambleside to Grasmere

Today is very much a day spent in ‘William Wordsworth country.’ We begin by visiting the impressive Stockghyll Force at Ambleside, then pass via Low Sweden Falls to Rydal Hall and the ‘framed’ Rydal Beck Falls. Carrying on through Dora’s Field by Rydal Church, we ascend above Rydal Water to admire Rydal Cave. We carry on, to descend again and cross over the outflow of Grasmere. Passing via White Moss and Town End (with Dove Cottage), we end at the beautiful village of Grasmere.

10.5km / 6.5 miles & 425m / 1,400ft ascent.

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.


Howard Matthewson

Howard has been a mountain leader for HF Holidays since 2006. He has led numerous walking holidays in the UK, on continental Europe and as far afield as China and Morocco. He particularly enjoys researching about the holiday destinations and sharing this with our guests. In his career, he has run large international industrial businesses and been fortunate to travel to innumerable countries (for work and leisure). He now works part time as a business turnaround consultant but also combines this with voluntary work as a qualified National Park Ranger in the Peak District and Director of the Community Forest Trust. When not leading for HF Holidays, he enjoys exploring the outdoors − walking, cycling or indulging his passion for downhill skiing.

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
21 Jul 2017 DBWHP - Lakelands Waterfalls & Tarns - Derwent 7 £819.00 £779.00 Early Booking Offer Save- £40 off pp Book Now
1 Sep 2017 DBWHP - Lakelands Waterfalls & Tarns - Derwent 7 £819.00 £779.00 Early Booking Offer Save- £40 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