Northern Lake District Wainwright Bagging Holiday - the Northern Fells

Derwent Bank - Walking - Skiddaw - AdobeStock_78218409.jpeg
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Adventure Walks
Walking Grade: 6
from £949pp £909pp

Wainwright bagging, perfect when you want to release your inner explorer! Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides have provided the inspiration for many a fell walker, with over two million copies of the books selling since their publication. There are 214 fells described within his books and this holiday takes in all of the fells he enthuses about in his Northern Fells pictorial guide, in one fabulous, challenging holiday. Bag the Northern Fell Wainwrights of the Lake District with fellow walking enthusiasts as you experience a moorland feel in a quiet, remote area north of the other ranges. Each day, our experienced leaders will be taking you to 4 to 6 Wainwrights covering over 10 miles of ground – discovering magnificent views to Scotland, walking the well known Skiddaw mountain and visiting local, upbeat market towns.

Holiday Highlights

  • Follow in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright exploring some of his favourite fells
  • Bag all of the summits in his Northern Fells Pictorial Guide
  • Enjoy challenging walking with wonderful views and a great sense of achievement
  • Admire panoramic mountain, lake and river views from fells and peaks
  • Let an experienced walking leader bring classic routes and offbeat areas to life
  • Enjoy magnificent Lake District scenery
  • Stay in a beautiful country house where you can relax and share stories of your day in the evenings

What’s included

  • 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 Northern 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

Trip Notes

Trip notes are detailed, downloadable PDFs for each holiday.

Download Trip Notes

You're welcome to check-in to your room from 2:30 p.m. onwards (upgraded rooms from 1 p.m.) Please join us for afternoon tea and take time to settle in at Derwent Bank and discuss the week’s programme.

Distance: 10½ miles (16.5km)

Total Ascent: 3,130 feet (950m)

Today’s challenge takes in five of the Wainwrights. After a short coach ride we begin our walk via Ullock Pike, and towards the summit of Skiddaw - the highest of the Wainwright’s in the Northern Fells pictorial guide. From there we continue, bagging Long Side, Carl Side, and Skiddaw itself. We descend taking in Bakestall, before dropping down to Bassenthwaite village, and a well-earned break.


Distance: 13½ miles (22km)

Total Ascent: 2,510 feet (7650m)

Our walk explores the quieter side of the Lake District and the most northerly of the Wainwrights. Our first summit is Carrock Fell from where we continue along the ridge to High Pike to enjoy the best views into Scotland from the Northern Fells. We retrace our steps briefly, and take in Knott and Great Calva before descending into the River Caldew valley to return past Carrock Mine to Mosedale, where we meet our coach back to Derwent Bank. We'll cover 5 Wainwrights today.


Explore the local area of Keswick and Borrowdale or take a well-earned break to enjoy the facilities at Derwent Bank.

Distance: 10½ miles (17km)

Total Ascent: 2,920 feet (900m)

We return to Mosedale this morning and continue our journey to bag 5 more Wainwrights. Our first summit of the day is Bowscale Fell via Bowscale Tarn, and then we follow the ridgeline to Bannerdale Crags, Mungrisdale Common, and the iconic peak of Blencathra. Our descent takes us onto Souther Fell and down to Mungrisdale village. 

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Total Ascent: 2,890 feet (880m)

On the northern edge of the Lake District we'll tackle 6 more Wainwrights. Our first fell today is Binsey, we then walk via Over Water and Orthwaite to climb Great Cockup, Meal Fell and Great Sca Fell. Our descent takes in Brae Fell and Longlands Fell before we head back. This is the quietest, lowest and least rugged part of the Northern Fells range.


Distance: 13½ miles (21.5km)

Total Ascent: 3,400 feet (1,030m)

Our first fell stands proud above Keswick's skyline – Latrigg. After admiring the views from the top, we continue along the Cumbria Way into the Glenderaterra Valley to ascend Lonscale Fell. Our route takes us next onto Skiddaw Little Man, Broad End, Carl Side and on to Dodd. We take the Keswick launch back to Derwent Bank smug with the knowledge that we’ve ticked off the final 4, and therefore all, of Wainwright’s favourite Northern Fells, and ready for a little celebration.

Depart after breakfast

Derwent Bank

Close to Keswick and situated slap bang on the shore of Derwentwater, with the glassy lake on one side and the razor-edged ridges, humpbacked fells and muscular mountains of the Lake District on the other, beautiful Derwent Bank has been entrancing walkers since 1785. Extensive refurbishment and investment have seen this established walkers’ retreat transformed into a beautiful country house hotel perfect for people looking to explore the great outdoors. It’s also perfect for drinking in the views over a glass of something chilled on the terrace. With 41 bedrooms across the main house and garden rooms as well as a rustic ‘pod’ to sleep in, there’s plenty of space, along with a pretty orangery, large lounge and relaxed vibe. The lakeside land encompasses a formal garden, extensive lawns and mature trees. The emphasis is on enjoying the great outdoors and it’s all made super easy with walkers’ facilities from an inspiration point equipped with maps and route ideas to a boot room and drying space – this is the Lakes, after all. With views of Cat Bells and Grizedale Pike, the inspiration for adventure is never far away. Venture out from the house to head to the high peaks such as Scafell Pike, Blencathra and Helvellyn or stick to the lower slopes and lakes; Ullswater, arguably the most beautiful of the Cumbrian lakes, Borrowdale and Buttermere are all within easy reach.



Tea & coffee-making facilities, TV, Hairdryer, Toiletries, Wi-Fi

Stay in one of the main building’s beautifully presented rooms or in the stylish outhouse where there are eight garden rooms with exceptional views for stylish, laid-back Lake District accommodation. In the main house, we’d pick room 12 for the extra space and stunning views over the gardens and Derwentwater. Alternatively, ask for rooms 46, 47, 48 and 49 in the outhouse, all first-floor garden bedrooms with their own glass balcony looking over the ornate formal garden and with views of the lake. There’s easy access to the boot room and orangery too, making these rooms a must to stay in. If you’re after somewhere a little more unusual to stay overnight, there’s a ‘pod’ in the garden that offers extra privacy, sleeps up to four and gives you a great story to take away!

All ‘Good’ rooms are ensuite and furnished to a high standard. There are also several ‘Better’ and ‘Best’ Rooms that are either larger or have a desirable view, a more luxurious mattress, larger television, enhanced toiletries and a fluffy bathrobe & slippers – upgrade your stay for just an extra £15-20 per person per night. You can choose a specific room for an extra £30 per room, subject to availability. Upgrade supplements still apply.


Free Wi-Fi, boot room and drying room, formal garden, extensive garden, putting green, orangery, lounge and board games to borrow

After a day exploring the Lake District, settle in at our country house. Walk the pretty gardens, pause on the pier that juts out in to Derwentwater and look for the boats and ferry that sail on the lake. Try your hand on the putting green or at croquet. Grab a drink and sit on the terrace above the sloping lawns. Indoors, the spectacular orangery with its superb views, is the ideal setting for a bit of peace and quiet, or sink into the sofas in the large, comfortable lounge. Head to the bar for a great local ale and a cracking conversation with fellow guests.

Food & Drink

As at all our country houses, holidays are full board, from afternoon tea and cakes served as a welcome treat through that evening’s meal to a hearty breakfast on the day of departure. Lunch is a chance to stock up on our famous picnic snacks. Food at Derwent Bank is varied and eclectic but has a strong emphasis on ingredients from the area and seasonal produce. Once a week the dining room hosts a Local Food Night, when, over a sociable evening, you might tuck in to traditional Cumbrian fare from local river trout with samphire to a duo of local lamb. Look out for Eden Valley brie and red onion tart or Whinlatter Forest wild mushroom risotto. And to cap it all, Cumbrian sticky toffee pudding with English Lakes thunder and lightning ice cream.


For accessibility and assistance information, please contact our expert team on 020 3974 8865

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.

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What to Bring

Essential Equipment

To enjoy walking/hiking comfortably and safely, footwear, clothing and equipment needs to be suitable for the conditions. Safety is our priority and Britain is famous for its changeable weather, so our advice is to come prepared for all eventualities.

  • Footwear with a good grip on the sole (e.g.Vibram sole) is the key to avoiding accidents
  • Walking/hiking boots providing ankle support and good grip are recommended (ideally worn in), and specialist walking socks to avoid blisters
  • Several layers of clothing, which can be added or removed, are better than a single layer (include spares)
  • Fabrics (lightweight and fast drying) designed for the outdoors are recommended
  • Waterproof jacket and waterproof over trousers
  • Warm hat and gloves. Gaiters are an optional but useful extra
  • Denim jeans and capes are not suitable on any walks
  • Rucksack with a waterproof liner
  • Thermos flask for hot drink
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre)
  • Spare high-energy food such as a chocolate bar
  • Small torch
  • First aid kit – your leader’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any medication or blister kits (such as Compeed)

Optional Equipment

  • Walking poles are useful, particularly for descents
  • Insect repellent
  • Sun hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun cream
  • Camera

Guest Reviews

All holidays are subject to availability. Prices are subject to change.
Prices based on two people sharing. Supplements may apply.
Non-member fee: £10 per person.

Holiday Prices

Date (Start - End) Nights Itinerary Price Status Trip Notes Book
12 Jun - 19 Jun
7 Adventure Walk £949 £909 Save £40 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
7 nights
Adventure Walks
Walking Grade:

7 nights from £949pp £909pp

...or call 020 3974 8865

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