Lakeland Waterfalls & Tarns at Derwentwater


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Choosing the level of your walks

Our easy grading system shows whether a region offer gentle strolls or more challenging routes to help you choose the right holiday for you. 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 grade our walks 1 to 5 (where 1 is easy and 5 hard). Our challenger holidays require a high level of fitness and stamina.

More about difficulty levels

Holiday overview

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

In pictures...


Derwentback Accommodation

Set right on the shores of Derwent Water our Country House treats you to scenic walking straight from its door. Admire stunning panoramas across the mirror-smooth lake set against the backdrop of razor-edged ridges and humpbacked fells.


 Choose your room

Classic Rooms
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with bath or shower
• 23 inch TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• Double or two single beds
• Toiletries
• Sole occupancy available on request for an extra £20 per night
Premium Rooms
• Same facilities as our classic rooms plus...
• Check in from 1pm
• Enjoy extra space or exceptional views
• Larger beds
• Toweling robe, complimentary slippers
• Ultradown pillows
• Monarch 1500 spring bed
• Smalls drying rack
• Small welcome gift
• Luxury tea tray
• Enhanced toiletries
• Available from an extra £15 per person per night
Family Rooms
• Check in from 2:30pm
• 3 or 4 beds
• Same facilities as our classic rooms 
• 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
• Free WiFi in some public rooms
• Large, comfortable lounge
• Attractive dining room
• Board games and books
• Mini-golf


All holidays at our Country Houses are full board accommodation including evening meal on arrival to breakfast on the day of your departure. 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

An example of Derwentwater evening meal

Your evenings

Make the most of your evening or join us at the bar

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 optional 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


View of Ullswater from GowbarrowSaturday: Ullswater & Aira Force

We start by heading to Pooley Bridge to take the Ullswater steamer along the lake to 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 exploration at Glenridding.

View over Grasmere from Lougrigg TerraceSunday: 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. 6½ miles (10½km) with 1,400ft (425m) of ascent.

Monday: Free day

A day to explore independently or just relex at Derwent Bank.

View over BorrowdaleTuesday: 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. 8 miles (13km) with 850ft (260m) of ascent.

Colwith Force waterfallWednesday: Tarn Hows to Skelwith Bridge

This route visits sites you will recognise from many a photograph. We begin at Glen Mary Bridge in Yewdale and ascend past the wooded Tom Gill waterfalls up to Tarn Hows. From there we follow a delightful path above the water and on to meet the Cumbria Way. We pass through woods over a saddle and down to view our next 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. 7 miles (12km) with 1,200ft (365m) of ascent

View looking over Crummock WaterThursday: 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. 7½ miles (12km) with 1,300ft (400m) of ascent



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

Image 1 credit Andrew Bowden

Local area

Discover the Lake District

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.


Travel to Derwentwater

Our address is: Derwent Bank, Portinscale, Nr Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5TY

How to get to us by train

By train:

The nearest train station is at Penrith on the main line between London and Glasgow. For train times and general rail enquiries visit or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).

Pendolino train at speed 

Use an HF transfer

HF station transfer - great value!

Our station transfer operates every Friday and Monday between Penrith station and Derwent Bank. 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 costs just £16 return, however a place must be reserved at least 7 days 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. Pre-booked taxis cost approx £30 per journey (or around £50 if not pre-booked). 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.



By bus:

The X5 bus runs approximately every hour from Penrith station. The nearest bus stop is on the A66, about ¾ mile walk from Derwent Bank. Alight at the Portinscale bus stop and take the road on the left (signposted to Portinscale, Grange and the Newlands Valley). Follow this road through Portinscale village - Derwent Bank is on the left-hand side after the Derwentwater Marina.

Alternatively catch the bus to Keswick and then take a short taxi journey to Derwent Bank in Portinscale.

For bus times see

Bus in Keswick

Driving to us

 By car:

From Penrith - leave the M6 motorway at junction 40 and take the A66 towards Keswick. After 17 miles you'll reach a roundabout in Keswick - continue ahead following signs to Cockermouth and Workington. One mile beyond the roundabout, and 200yds beyond the B5289 turning to Keswick, turn left off off the A66 signposted to Portinscale, Grange and the Newlands Valley. Derwent Bank is approx ¾ mile along this road on the left after the Derwentwater Marina and before the Nichol End Marina. There is a large car park available at Derwent Bank.


Travel by plane

Travelling from overseas

For most guests the most convenient option is to book a flight to Manchester Airport. There are direct trains every hour from Manchester Airport to Penrith - this is straightforward journey - allow 2 hours to Penrith. See for train times.

From Penrith station you can complete the journey to Derwent Bank using our transfer, by bus, or by taxi (see above).

Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option, but has a longer onward train journey - allow at least 4½ hours to reach Penrith. From Heathrow first take the train to London Paddington station. Next take the Underground train to London Euston. Finally the main line train from London Euston to Penith takes 3 hours. See for train times.

 Quantas Boeing 747


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


  • Premium single room: £15 per night
  • Premium twin/double room: £15 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: £10 per person

We like to reward early bookers with our best rooms so book early to avoid disappointment.
Please note that we aren't able to take room number requests as we are unable to guarantee them. 

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