Wainwright Bagging Eastern Fells Challenge

Approaching storm clouds from Glenridding Dodd
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Challenge walks
Walking Grade: 6
from £1,249pp

Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells have inspired many a walker, and on this holiday, you’ll bag no less than 35 of the fells the legendary author describes in his Eastern Fells book. Bordered by Thirlmere on one side and Ullswater on the other, the Eastern Fells provide a spectacular backdrop to a week of serious walking. We’ll criss-cross the mountains and include a few extensions to make sure we tick off the lot on what promises to be a challenging but immensely rewarding Wainright bagging experience.

What you’ll love

  • Exploring some of Alfred Wainwright’s favourite fells 
  • Bagging all 35 summits in his The Eastern Fells walking guide 
  • Enjoying challenging walking with wonderful views and a great sense of achievement 
  • Admiring panoramic mountain, lake, and river views from fells and peaks 
  • Summiting Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in the Lake District 

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee 
  • Guided walks with an experienced HF Holidays Leader  
  • All transport to and from walks where necessary 

Trip Notes

Easy to download as a PDF, our trip notes provide detailed information for every holiday. Please click below to find the trip notes for your departure date.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take alternative routes or adapt the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

You're welcome to check in from 4pm onwards. Enjoy a complimentary cream tea on arrival.

Distance: 8 miles (13km)

Ascent: 3,300 feet (1,000m)

We’ll tackle our own Deepdale Round, starting at Deepdale bridge to head up onto Hartsop above How and Hart Crag, followed by a stop at Fairfield for stunning views across the Lakes. Fairfield is our high point of the day before heading over to St Sunday Crag, onto Birks, and back down to Patterdale for a well-earned drink. 

Sunlight on Saint sunday Crag

Distance: 5.5 miles (8.5km)

Ascent: 2,450 feet (1,250m)

A steep ascent will take us to Stone Arthur, our first Wainwright of the day with views over Grasmere. From Stone Arthur, we’ll follow the path up to the highest point, Great Rigg, where we’ll have far-reaching vistas as a reward. We’ll then descend to Heron Pike and bag Nab Scar before heading to our final destination, Rydal. 

View of Rydal Fell from Great Rigg in Cumbria, UK

Distance: 9.5 miles (15km)

Total Ascent: 4,050 feet (1,220m)

We’ll follow Glenridding Beck west, before a steep climb takes us to Birkhouse Moor and on to Hole in the Wall (nowadays a step stile). With Red Tarn to our left, we’ll carry on to Catstye Cam before starting our ascent of Helvellyn via Swirral Edge.  

From the summit of Helvellyn, we’ll bag two more Wainwrights - Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike. After descending steeply to Grisedale Tarn, we’ll tackle Seat Sandal, the final summit of today's walk, which gives fantastic views across to Steel Fell. Our final descent takes us to the Travellers Rest for a well-earned refreshment. 

Views of Helvellyn, Striding & Swirral Edge and surrounding mountains above Glenridding in the Lake District, UK.

Distance: 8.5 miles (13.5km)

Total Ascent: 3,800 feet (1,160m)

We’ll start with a steady ascent from Kirkstone Pass, which gradually becomes steeper as we make our way up to Red Screes. Taking a small diversion to Middle Dodd and High Hartsop Dodd, we’ll continue along the ridge to Dove Crag – the pinnacle of today's walk. From here we’ll begin our descent to Ambleside, passing High Pike and Low Pike as we go. 


Distance: 13.5 miles (21.5km)

Total Ascent: 4,050 feet (1,240m)

A steep climb takes us out of Glenridding to Glenridding Dodd, where we’ll continue our ascent over Heron Pike and onto Sheffield Pike. As we head along Glencoyn Head, we’ll pass Hart Side before heading southwest to Raise, the highest of today’s Wainwrights.   

From here we’ll follow the Dodds northwards (Stybarrow, Watson’s, and Great Dodd), before reaching Clough Head which offers breathtaking views across to Blencathra. We’ll finish with a steady descent along the old coach road to Threlkeld Quarry. 

Approaching storm clouds from Glenridding Dodd

Distance: 7.5 miles (12km)

Total Ascent: 2,450 feet (760m)

A short climb takes us to the summit of Great Mell Fell, before we descend and cross the valley to Little Mell Fell. Passing through Swinburn's Park towards Gowbarrow - the final Wainwright of the week - we’ll be rewarded with unspoilt views of Ullswater before descending to Dockray where we can celebrate our achievements. 

View of Ullswater in the Lake District from Gowbarrow Fell.

Challenge complete, it's time to pack up and enjoy a leisurely breakfast before making your way home. 

Derwent Bank

Adored by poets, painters, and literary giants for centuries, the Lake District has always had an irresistible pull. It’s no surprise, then, that this country house near the market town of Keswick holds such appeal, not least for its setting in lovely grounds that slope down to the shores of Derwentwater. The location couldn’t be more perfect; to the west is Cat Bells, to the east is Keswick, Walla Crag, and Latrigg, and to the south is the entrance to the Borrowdale valley. There’s a wealth of big-name attractions within easy travelling distance, including Blencathra, Helvellyn, and Ullswater. Also visit-worthy for walkers is Scafell Pike for its well-trodden routes and trails and the 73-mile-long Cumbria Way for its mist-shrouded peaks, glacial valleys, and many excuses for pit-stops and picnics.  



Designed with your comfort in mind, Derwent Bank has 40 well-appointed guest rooms available in three categories: Classic, Premium, and Superior. 

Classic Rooms are comfortable en-suite guest rooms, ideal for a peaceful night's sleep. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, and shower gel), and a TV. 

Premium Rooms are more spacious en-suite guest rooms. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

Superior Rooms are even more spacious en-suite guest rooms offering upgraded views of the surrounds. Amenities include free Wi-Fi, tea and coffee-making facilities, toiletries (hand wash, shampoo, body lotion, shower gel), and a 32-inch TV. Extras include bathrobes, slippers, and comfortable mattresses.

We love: Room 12 for its extra space and lovely views across the gardens and Derwentwater. Rooms 46, 47, 48, and 49 are first-floor garden rooms, each with their own balcony. 

The Choose Your Room service is available at our UK country houses, allowing you the option of choosing and confirming a specific room for an extra charge of £30 per room. This is subject to availability. Upgrade supplements apply. 

Check in & check out
You are welcome to check in from 4:00pm at the earliest. On arrival, you’ll enjoy a complimentary cream tea and get to meet your fellow guests, our HF Holidays Leaders, and the rest of the friendly team.  

On the day of departure, we kindly ask all guests to check out by 10:00am. You’ll be asked to settle your bill prior to leaving. You may, of course, make a charitable donation to our HF Holidays Pathways Fund if you wish. Please note that we only accept card payments.  

Room supplements

Superior Premium single Premium double/twin Choose your room
£25 pppn £20 pppn £20 pppn £30 per room

About your stay

A warm welcome
We want you to feel comfortable from the moment you arrive. You’ll find a welcome pack in your room with guest registration forms, menus, order forms for dinners and picnic lunches, the Wi-Fi password, and the front door code. Our houses are locked at night, so we recommend noting the Duty Manager’s number on arrival in case of an emergency (or getting locked out). 

Evening entertainment
While evening entertainment varies from house to house, the HF Holidays Big Pub Quiz held after dinner on Wednesdays is a weekly staple. Your HF Holidays Leader may be around for tips on guided and self-guided walking routes as well as visit-worthy local attractions. 

Walks talks 
Our HF Holidays Leaders host guided walking information briefings before dinner on arrival days. This is followed by a group Walks Talk for information on the following day’s walking delights (held before dinner every evening). Self-guided walking guests are, of course, welcome.  

The walking day
Prior to setting off on walks, your HF Holidays Leader will run you through a short safety briefing. There’s also an up-to-date weather forecast on display at the house to ensure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. If you choose to do your own walks or are on a self-guided walking holiday, we ask that you please complete an Independent Walker Card each day. These can be found near the Discovery Point in the house. 

Food & drink

Led by experienced chefs, we serve a wide range of dishes made with fresh and seasonal ingredients. We always aim to source the best produce available and use home-grown herbs and vegetables from our own gardens whenever possible. Additionally, we have a licensed bar with beers, soft drinks, and a superb selection of spirits. Full-board comes as standard and includes a cream tea on arrival and a hearty breakfast on departure day.

HF Holidays understands the importance of managing allergens effectively to ensure food is safe for guests with food allergies. Whilst we are always able to confidently inform guests which allergens are present in our ingredients and dishes, we are unable to guarantee absolute freedom from the 14 main allergens in our kitchens. Vegetarian and vegan menu choices are available. If you have allergies, food intolerances, or any special dietary requirements, please inform our reservation team at the time of booking.


For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865 or view the accessibility information online for Derwent Bank

Derwent Bank hotel and Derwent Water area. Stills from drone.

Getting to Derwent Bank

Find out more about this location including travel details and room types.

More Information


Derwent Bank
Nr Keswick
Cumbria CA12 5TY

Tel: +44 (0)1768 773667

By train

The nearest station is Penrith, on the main line between London and Glasgow. 

Check National Rail for train times and routes.

By shared transfer

If you’re travelling to or from Derwent Bank on Mondays or Fridays from 19 February to 16 December 2024, or on Mondays and Fridays over the festive period, you can join our group transfer from Penrith Railway Station.

2024 prices are £50 per person for a return transfer or £25 per person for a single transfer.

Outward journey: Depart Penrith Railway Station at 16:50; arrive at Derwent Bank at 17:30.

Return journey: Depart Derwent Bank at 09:15; arrive at Penrith Railway Station at 10:00.

Places are limited so booking is essential. We recommend booking at least 14 days in advance by contacting:

HF Holidays Sales and Support Team
Tel: +44 (0)203 974 8865
Email: reservations@hfholidays.co.uk

By taxi

The 20-mile journey from Penrith railway station to Derwent Bank takes about 40 minutes by taxi in normal traffic conditions. 

For pricing, please contact Davies Taxis directly.

Davies Taxis
You can pre-book a taxi from our recommended company, Davies Taxis*. We recommend booking your taxi at least seven days in advance by contacting:

Tel: +44 (0)1768 772676
Email: info@daviestaxis.co.uk

A return journey can be arranged on your behalf by the HF Holidays House Manager at Derwent Bank.

*Davies Taxis is not owned or managed by HF Holidays.

By bus

The X5 bus runs approximately every hour from Penrith station and the journey takes around 50 minutes. The nearest bus stop is on the A66, about a three-quarter mile walk from the house.

As you alight the bus at the Portinscale bus stop, turn to your right and go down the road signposted to Portinscale, Grange, and the Newlands Valley. Follow this road through Portinscale village - Derwent Bank is on your left-hand side after the Derwentwater Marina.

Alternatively, catch the X4 or X5 bus to Keswick bus station and take a 10-minute taxi ride to Derwent Bank. As of 2023, this should cost around £6 for a 4-seat taxi if using a pre-booked service with our recommended taxi provider listed above.

By car

There is a large car park at Derwent Bank if you decide to drive. 

From Penrith, you’ll need to leave the M6 motorway at junction 40, taking the A66 towards Keswick. After 17 miles you'll reach a roundabout - continue ahead following signs to Cockermouth and Workington. Turn left off the A66 towards Portinscale, Grange, and the Newlands Valley. Derwent Bank is about three quarters of a mile further on the left. 

By air

The nearest airport is Manchester International Airport.  

There are direct trains every hour from Manchester Airport to Penrith and the journey time is about two hours.  

Flying to London Heathrow airport is another option but you’ll have a longer onward train journey – it could take at least 4.5 hours to reach Penrith. From Heathrow, take the train to London Paddington, then the London Underground to London Euston connecting to the main line train to Penrith, which takes three hours. 

The UK has a famously unpredictable climate so it's best to be prepared for weather that’s sunny one minute and raining the next.  To make it easier, here’s a list of items you should consider packing.   


  • Suitable footwear such as waterproof walking boots that provide ankle support and good grip  
  • Waterproof and windproof jacket 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable)  
  • Mid-layer(s) to keep you warm. Fleeces make a good choice
  • Waterproof overtrousers  
  • Gloves and a warm hat  
  • Rucksack with waterproof liner 
  • Spotting scope and/or binoculars 
  • Flask for hot drinks   
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity)  
  • Sunscreen  
  • UV sunglasses  


  • Several base layers (long-sleeve or short-sleeve)  
  • Cushioned walking socks to avoid blisters  
  • First aid kit, including plasters and insect repellent 
  • Sit mat   
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables  
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace)  
  • Wallet/purse  
  • Camera 
  • First-aid kit 

Derwent Bank Calendar

  • Guided Walking
  • Self-Guided Walking
  • Special Interests
  • Unavailable to Book

Guest reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Supplements may apply.

Non-member fee: £30 per person.

All our carefully-curated itineraries are designed by our experts. While we make every effort to adhere to the described itinerary, we may take an alternative route, or vary the running order for weather and/or operational reasons.

Holiday prices

Date (Start - End) Itinerary Double / Twin Room Single Room Notes / Offers Trip Notes Book

05 Jul - 12 Jul 2024

7 nights

Challenge Walk

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
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30 Aug - 06 Sep 2024

7 nights

Challenge Walk

Single Call to Enquire
Double Call to Enquire
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20 Sep - 27 Sep 2024

7 nights

Challenge Walk

Single Call to Enquire

Double from

£1,249 pp


£1,249 pp

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7 nights
Challenge walks
Walking Grade:

7 nights from £1,249pp

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