Outdoor Escapes at Derwentwater

Guided Walking for guests escaping the working day


Print page

Activity types:

  • High Mountains


  • 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

From £439.00 - 4 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Our Outdoor Escapes are an ideal way to end the working week. Enjoy a few days away, or a longer holiday, with people on the same wavelength as you.

During the day you can enjoy our usual choice of 3 guided walks, a great way to explore the great British countryside - take it easy on our easier walks, or relish the challenge of our longer or mountain walks. In the evening relax with likeminded guests, enjoy a glass of wine at the bar, or relax in the lounge with new-found friends. For those that wish they'll also be informal evening activities on offer; perhaps a team quiz, or talk from a National Park ranger.

Known as the ‘Queen of the Lakes’, Derwent Water’s gentle beauty is easy to explore on our Outdoor Escapes, guided walking holidays. Surrounded by the picture-postcard valleys of Buttermere and Borrowdale and lofty mountains, the sheer splendour of these landscapes is guaranteed to inspire you.

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
• 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
• 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 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

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


Saturday: Derwent Water, Latrigg and Skiddaw

View of Derwentwater from Walla CragThe towering mountain of Skiddaw, the 4th highest peak in England, dominates the landscape to the north of the lake. Our Easier and Medium walks today don't stray too far from Derwent Water, and head to two spectacular viewpoints at Ashness Bridge and the summit of Latrigg.

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 1000 feet (300m) 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. 10½ miles (17km) with 1,950 feet (580m) 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. 12½ miles (20.5km) with 3,250 feet (980m) of ascent.

Sunday: Ullswater and Helvellyn

HelvellynThe beautiful lake of Ullswater is the setting for our three walks today. Our easier walk packs in a lot, with a visit to the Aira Force waterfall and a cruise on the lake. Meanwhile the harder walk makes the classic ascent of Helvellyn via the narrow ridge of Striding Edge.

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. 4½ miles (7.5km) with 1,050 feet (320m) 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 2,250 feet (700m) 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. 8½ miles (13.5 km) with 3,050 feet (920m) of ascent.

Tuesday: Around Keswick and Derwentwater

Walking to the summit of Cat BellsThe shapely summit of Cat Bells is one of the most popular fells in the Lake District - it's also the closest summit to our Derwent Bank country house. The climb to the top has a few rocky sections, but your efforts will be rewarded with a breathtaking view over the lake and the surrounding fells.

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 (11.5km) with 1,200 feet (380m) of ascent.

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 (560m) 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 (880m) of ascent.

Wednesday: High Borrowdale

View from the summit of Great GableThe green valley of Borrowdale provides access to some of the highest peaks in the Lake District. Choose from a delightful valley walk, a Medium walk to two Lakeland tarns, or a Harder walk to the famous summit of Great Gable.

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. 6½ miles (10 km) with 750 feet (240m) 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 (14km) with 2,150 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 (10km) with 3,200 feet (980m) of ascent.

Thursday: Buttermere

Looking down over Buttermere lakeToday's walks head to Buttermere where the lake is surrounded by famous mountains. Our easier walk stays close to the lake, whilst the medium and harder routes walk back to Derwent Bank, taking different routes through the Newlands Fells.

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. 6½ miles (10km) with 1,050 feet (320m) 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 2,250 feet (680m) 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 (1,040m) of ascent.

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. www.keswick-launch.co.uk



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. 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

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. www.wordsworth.org.uk

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


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

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 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 www.nationalrail.co.uk 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 £10 return, 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. 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 approxiately 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. For bus times see www.traveline.info

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 www.nationalrail.co.uk 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 www.nationalrail.co.uk for train times.

 Quantas Boeing 747

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
21 Aug 2017 DBBOE - Guided Walking - Outdoor Escapes - Derwentwater 4 £499.00 £439.00 Save- £60 off pp Book Now

Prices are per person

Sign up for our newsletter

Our newsletters are a great way to receive special offers, inspiring articles, stories and news from HF Holidays.

To subscribe, please enter your email address below and click 'submit'.

We won't pass your details on to any third party unless we have your express permission, you are free to unsubscribe at any time.