Northern Lake District Outdoor Escapes Holiday
Exhilarating weekends - as adventurous or relaxing as you choose
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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.
Get away from work for a long weekend's walking (or stay for the week) and be surprised!
- By the range of guided walks, from low level climbs of Latrigg, to ascents of Skiddaw via Ullock Pike and Longside Edge before a return via remote Skiddaw House and the Cumbria Way, to celebrate with a pint in the Dog & Gun, and harder climbs of Helvellyn via Striding Edge, returning via the equally impressive Swirral Edge.
- By how much you can do in a weekend when your guides know their stuff, from a trek to the spectacular Aira Force waterfall and a balcony walk on the Ullswater Way followed by a cruise back the length of one of Cumbria's most beautiful lakes, to strolls on Cat Bells Terrace and a visit to the 2,000-ton Bowder Stone.
- By the camaraderie and craic that comes from making discoveries and having adventures in a small group of like-minded people.
Moment of the weekend
When you visit the Mountain Rescue Base in Keswick. We'll introduce you to one or two of the unsung heroes who provide a 24/7 emergency service for thousands of fell walkers over a wide chunk of the Lake District, so you can get the inside track on one of the busiest teams in the UK - they've notched up more than 3,600 rescues - and gain a real insight into the people and community here.
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.
These rooms are all ensuite and furnished to a good standard. They include:
These rooms are slightly larger and/or have a better view. They include:
Only an extra £15 per person per night
These rooms truly are the best in the house for extra luxury during your stay. They include:
Only an extra £20 per person per night
Choose Your Room: Our new “Choose Your Room” service is available at our UK country houses, providing the option to choose and confirm a specific room for an extra £30 per room. Supplements to upgrade to 'Better' or 'Best' rooms still apply. The choice of room number must be of the same room type as originally booked and is subject to availability.
At your house
|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.
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.
- 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
Explore the very best of the Lake District on our guided walks. We offer the opportunity to climb famous summits including Great Gable, Helvellyn and Cat Bells. Alternatively explore the beautiful valleys and lakeside paths seeking out the best viewpoints. Join our friendly and knowledgeable guides who will bring this stunning national park to life.
For those of you who've booked a 7 night holiday, there's a free day in the middle of the holiday, a great chance to head off and explore independently or to kick back and relax.
Select the date of your holiday to see which walks are running during your stay.
Outdoor Escapes at Derwentwater - 3 night breaks
Available on: 26 Jul 2019, 18 Oct 2019
Day 1: Arrival Day
Join us at our Derwent Bank Country House for an action-packed short break. If the weather is fine we can take a short pre-dinner stroll down to the lakeshore or around Portinscale village to help get your bearings. After a delicious 3-course evening meal, there's time to relax with the rest of the group and look forward to the adventures to come.
Day 2: Skiddaw & Latrigg
Enjoy a choice of 3 guided walks that head to the summit of Skiddaw, or its foothill of Latrigg. Either way you'll enjoy a commanding view over Derwent Water and the surrounding fells.
Option 1: Latrigg
Distance: 5½ - 7 miles
Total ascent: 1,300 feet
The walk in a nutshell: Walk through Brundholme Woods then up onto the summit of Lattrigg; one of the Lake District's finest lower hills.
Don’t miss: Latrigg is one of the lowest of the Lakeland fells but it really packs a punch - an outstanding view over Derwentwater.
Option 2: Ullock Pike & Carlside
Distance: 8 miles
Total ascent: 2,300 feet
The walk in a nutshell: Ascend to the top of Carlside, in the Skiddaw range, via Ullock Pike and Longside Edge then back to Keswick.
Don’t miss: The great views over Bassenthwaite Lake - the only 'lake' in the Lake District!
Option 3: Skiddaw via Ullock Pike
Distance: 11½ miles
Total ascent: 3,150 feet
The walk in a nutshell: Ascend to the top of Skiddaw via Ullock Pike and Longside Edge, with views over Bassenthwaite Lake. Our descent takes us via the remote Skiddaw House and follow the Cumbria Way to Keswick.
Don’t miss: Celebrate your achievement with a pint at the Dog & Gun.
Day 3: Ullswater & Helvellyn
Today we head to beautiful Ullswater, where our walks include the Aira Force waterfall, the summit of Place Fell, or the challenging route up Helvellyn via Striding Edge.
Option 1: Aira Force & Ullswater
Distance: 6½ miles (10½km)
Total ascent: 1,300 feet (400m) of ascent.
The walk in a nutshell: Visit the spectacular Aira Force waterfall, then follow the Ullswater Way along the panoramic balcony path beneath Gowbarrow Fell. We finish at Pooley Bridge for a cruise along the length of the lake to Glenridding.
Don’t miss: See Ullswater from the water, and on foot as you discover this most beautiful of the Cumbrian lakes.
Option 2: Place Fell & Ullswater
Distance: 8 miles
Total ascent: 2,100 feet
The walk in a nutshell: Make the moderately steep ascent to the top of Place Fell that commands an excellent view at the head of Ullswater. We decend to follow the attractive lakeside path to Glenridding.
Don’t miss: Ullswater is one of the area's most attractive lakes. You'll enjoy great views towards Helvellyn and the North Pennines.
Option 3: Helvellyn via the Edges
Distance: 8½ miles
Total ascent: 3,000 feet
The walk in a nutshell: A famous ascent of Helvellyn, England's third highest peak. We'll follow the narrow Striding Edge ridge to the summit, returning via the equally impressive Swirral Edge.
Don’t miss: Striding Edge isn't for the feint hearted; however it is one of the Lake District's classic walks with a great sense of achievement as you climb the final rocky steps onto the summit.
Day 4: Departure Day & Cat Bells Terrace
Make the most of your final morning with the opportunity to join a guided walk along nearby Cat Bells Terrace
Option 1: Cat Bells Terrace (2019 Holidays only)
Distance: 5 miles
Total ascent: 1,100 feet
The walk in a nutshell: Follow the elevated path along Cat Bells terrace, then return along the beautiful lakeshore path.
Don’t miss: This cracking route is right on our doorstep. Throughout the walk you'll enjoy stunning views over Derwentwater and the surrounding Lakeland fells.
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:
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 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
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
The nearest train station is at Penrith on the main line between London and Glasgow. For train times and route planning by train visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or phone 03457 48 49 50.
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 £18 return, however a place must be reserved at least 14 days in advance by calling 020 8732 1220.
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 £38 per journey (or around £55 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.
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 www.traveline.info
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.
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.
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