Wainwright Bagging – The Central Fells
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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.
Wainwright's third fell guide covers the high ground bordered by Borrowdale, Thirlmere, Grasmere, Rydal and Langdale, and includes hills ranging from the iconic mountain classics of the Langdale Pikes to little-explored ridges above Watendlath. In this week not only do we climb all 27 of Wainwright's named Central Fells but we explore routes between these well-loved valleys that would be impracticable if travelling by car.
Please note that this itinerary may be subject to change depending on walking conditions during the week. This is a challenging week of fell-walking, best suited to experienced and fit fell-walkers.
- Follow in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright exploring some of his favourite fells
- Bag all of the summits in his Central Pictorial Guide
- Enjoy challenging walking with wonderful views and a great sense of achievement
Great reasons to join us
- Great value: all prices include full board en-suite accommodation, a full programme of walks with all transport to and from the walks, and evening activities
- Great walking: enjoy the challenge of bagging all of the summits in Wainwright’s Central Fells pictorial guide, accompanied by an experienced leader
- Accommodation: enjoy a lakeside location just two miles from Keswick, with fantastic views of the surrounding fells
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
• 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
• 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
• 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
|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.
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.
- 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
This itinerary may be subject to change, depending on walking conditions during the week. Please note this is a challenging week of fell walking, best suited to experienced fell walkers.
Friday: Arrival day
Time to settle in at Derwent Bank and discuss the week’s programme.
Saturday: Grasmere and Rydal summits
An easier start to a spectacular week. We travel to Rydal, and climb lovely Loughrigg Fell. The ridge continues over Silver Howe above Grasmere and onto Blea Rigg above Langdale. Return via our highest point Tarn Crag (1801') and Far Easdale to Grasmere for well-earned refreshments and the coach home.
4 Wainwrights; 11 miles /17kms with 2,750 feet / 850 m of ascent
Sunday: Above Watendlath
We begin with a short coach or Derwentwater launch journey to Lodore, then ascend the beautiful Grange Fell via King's How and above Watendlath Tarn to Great Crag. We climb onto the central spine of the Central Fells at Ullscarf (2,370ft, 726m), then continue northwards over the lonely Armboth Fell to High Tove before dropping down to Watendlath hamlet. A chance for a cuppa at the tea shop, then down to Derwentwater and the coach/launch home. A long but adventurous day.
5 Wainwrights; 13 miles /21 km with 3,300 feet /1,020 m of ascent
Monday: Free day
Explore the local area of Keswick and Borrowdale or take a well-earned break to enjoy the facilities at Derwent Bank, perhaps reading about ascending mountains.
Tuesday: Langdale Pikes to Borrowdale
Journey to Dungeon Ghyll in Langdale, where we start with our first summit of the day, Pike o'Stickle via Loft Crag - high above the magnificent rock scenery of Langdale. Our route continues over Harrison Stickle, at 2,403ft, the highest of the Langdale Pikes, and via Pavey Ark and Thunacar Knott to Sergeant Man and High Raise, the highest Central Fell at 2,500ft (762m). An unusual descent takes us along the Coast-to-Coast path down Greenup Gill to Rosthwaite in Borrowdale and the coach home.
7 Wainwrights; 8 miles /13 km with 2,850 feet/880m of ascent
Wednesday: Cross-country from Borrowdale to Grasmere
We travel back to Rosthwaite to tackle the exciting ascent of lowly Eagle Crag with its fabulous views of Borrowdale. We follow the ridge to Sergeant's Crag, to cross the central spine at Greenup Edge, then along the long ridge to Calf Crag and on to Steel Fell. Our walk back takes us via Gibson Knott to the delightful Helm Crag, from where we descend to Grasmere in time of a pint or a cuppa before our coach home. A day of magnificent rock scenery and delightful views.
6 Wainwrights; 11.5 miles /18.5 km with 2,900 feet /900 m of ascent
Thursday: From Thirlmere to Keswick
Our final day is spent high above Thirlmere and Derwentwater. We travel to Dale Bottom and ascend High Rigg, then drop down to the shores of Thirlmere amd onto Raven Crag, set impressively above the reservoir dam. A long detour takes us on to High Seat (1,995ft, 608m) and northwards along a fine ridge to Bleaberry Fell and Walla Crag. We return from Keswick on foot or by the Keswick launch.
5 Wainwrights; 11.5 miles/ 18.5km with 2,850ft/880m of ascent
Depart after breakfast.
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 general rail enquiries visit www.nationalrail.co.uk or call 03457 484950 (from outside the UK call +44 20 7278 5240).
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.
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.
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
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.
Andrew has been a mountain leader for HF Holidays since 1969 but admits to a forty-year gap in the middle! He has led numerous guided walking holidays in the mountains of Britain and has completed all the Lakeland Wainwrights from his base in Penrith, Cumbria. He’s now retired, but he worked for the Geological Surveys of Britain and Ireland and lectured geology at the Open University and Galway University. Most recently he ran a small enterprise leading geological tours in Britain and Ireland for individuals just like ourselves. When not leading for HF Holidays, he enjoys walking, orienteering, mountain biking, and long-distance cycling. In the spring of 2015 he cycled solo from Land’s End to John O'Groats.
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: £10 per person per night
- Non-member associate fee: £10 per person