Secret World of Fungi in the Lake District

Derwent Bank

Code: DBWFW

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Activity types:

  • Flora
  • Free WiFi
  • High Mountains

Holiday overview

New at HF Holidays

Explore local woodlands searching for fungi in their many different forms, from the truly beautiful to the outright bizarre. We’ll discover their often strange lifestyles and properties, and their importance to other wildlife. Many species are particularly photogenic, so this holiday will also appeal to the keen photographer.

Holiday Highlights:

  • Enjoy a fungi foray in the woods
  • Leisurely walks with regular stops to enjoy and discuss fungi
  • Our expert leader will guide you around the best sites

Great Reasons to Join Us

  • Great value: price includes Full Board en-suite accommodation, guidance from our expert leader, transport to locations and any entrance fees
  • Accommodation: enjoy high quality accommodation and excellent food at Derwent Bank
  • Expert leaders: our leaders are expert in their field and will ensure that you get the most from your holiday
  • Sociability: spend time with like-minded people in a fun and relaxed environment

In pictures...

Accommodation

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
• TV
• Hairdryer
• Tea and coffee-making facilities
• 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, complimentary slippers
• Same facilities as our classic rooms 
• Available from an extra £10 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

Facilities

• 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

Dining

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.

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 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

Itinerary

Monday: Arrival day

You can check in to your room from 2.30pm onwards. Please join us for afternoon tea at 4pm. All guests are invited – we’ll introduce your leader and welcome you to your holiday.

Other days

On our Natural World holidays we spend most of the day outdoors, exploring by mini-coach or on foot, walking up to 6 miles (9.5km) each day,  with plenty of stops to look for fungi. We'll update this webpage with more details of your holiday's itinerary shortly but meanwhile you can be assured that you will be exploring a number of woodland sites to give you the best opportunity to find a good variety of species.

Tuesday: Hunting for fungi at Derwent Bank and at Great Wood in Borrowdale

After an illustrated talk we’ll explore the grounds of Derwent Bank. In the afternoon we’ll visit Great Wood in Borrowdale. Each evening before dinner we’ll have an identification session of collected specimens.

Wednesday: Seeking out grassland species at Castlerigg, Melkinthorpe Wood, Cliburn Moss and Aira Force

We’ll explore the evocative site of Castlerigg stone circle to search for grassland species. We’ll then continue to Melkinthorpe Wood, and Cliburn Moss nature reserve near Penrith. Later we’ll visit the woodlands of Aira Force waterfall on Ullswater.

Thursday: On the hunt at Bassenthwaite, Whinlatter Forest Park, Crummock Water and Loweswater

Powterhow Wood is a small wood on the shores of Bassenthwaite. After this we’ll visit the extensive Whinlatter Forest Park reserve. We’ll then continue to Lonthwaite Wood on the shores of Crummock Water, and Holme Wood on Loweswater.

Friday: Depart after a leisurely breakfast

Sometimes things happen beyond our control – the weather, traffic jams or changes at the places we visit. If we need to adjust your holiday programme, for whatever reason, your leader will help smooth the way.

What to bring

  • Outdoor clothing appropriate to the season, including waterproofs are essential
  • Strong, comfortable footwear with a good tread is essential
  • Thermos flask (optional but handy to have if the weather is a little chilly)
  • A field guide.  Steve recommends ‘Mushrooms’ by Roger Phillips

Local area

Discover the Lake District

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:

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
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

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 £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.

 

Bus

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 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

Leaders

Steve Bullen

Steve has been leading Natural World and Walking holidays for HF Holidays for over 26 years. His main interests include wildlife, astronomy and geology, and he manages a small nature reserve in Lancaster. Steve is also a keen natural history photographer and his photos have been published in the BBC Wildlife Magazine, The Guardian, and local publications.

Steve has led numerous tours from our Worldwide Journeys range including holidays in the Caribbean, New Zealand, Canada, South America, South Africa and Asia, as well as many of our European destinations.

 

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

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

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