New holidays

Wainwright Bagging Northern Fells Challenge

Pink morning skies over Skiddaw
Duration: 7 nights
Type: Challenge walks
Walking Grade: 6
from £1,199pp £1,109pp

Bag the fell tops listed in Alfred Wainwright’s legendary guidebook The Northern Fells. Led by an experienced HF Holidays Leader, this week-long exploration of the Lake District sees you and a group of like-minded walkers tackle over 10 miles of remote landscapes and four to six Wainwrights each day. Highlights include the trail to Skiddaw for far-reaching views and the chance to visit a host of charming market towns along the way.

What you’ll love

  • Following in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright on some of his favourite fells 
  • Bagging all the summits in his The Northern Fells guide 
  • Enjoying challenging walking with wonderful views and sense of achievement 
  • Admiring panoramic mountain, lake, and river views from fells and peaks 
  • Summiting Skiddaw, Blencathra, and Skiddaw Little Man amongst others 

What’s included

  • Comfortable en-suite accommodation in our country house 
  • Cream tea on arrival day 
  • Cooked or continental breakfast every morning 
  • Daily packed lunches 
  • Three-course evening meals, plus tea & coffee 
  • Guided walking with experienced HF Holidays Leaders 
  • 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: 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’ll begin our walk via Ullock Pike towards the summit of Skiddaw - the highest of the Wainwrights in The Northern Fells pictorial guide. From there we’ll continue, bagging Long Side, Carl Side, and Skiddaw on the way. We’ll then descend via Bakestall, before dropping down to Bassenthwaite village for a well-earned break.

Views of Carl Side, Ullock Pike, Southerndale and Bassenthwaite Common on Skiddaw in the English Lake District.

Distance: 13½ miles (22km)

Total ascent: 2,510 feet (7650m)

We’ll explore the quieter side of the Lake District and the most northerly of the Wainwrights today. Our first summit will be Carrock Fell from where we’ll continue along the ridge to High Pike to enjoy the best views towards Scotland from the Northern Fells. We’ll retrace our steps briefly to take in Knott and Great Calva before descending into the River Caldew valley. We’ll return past Carrock Mine to Mosedale, where we’ll meet our coach back to Derwent Bank having ticked off five Wainwrights.

Track down to Carrock Beck

Discover more about Derwent Bank and the local area for ideas on how to make the most of your free day.

Distance: 10½ miles (17km)

Total ascent: 2,920 feet (900m)

We’ll return to Mosedale this morning and continue our journey to bag five more Wainwrights. Our first summit will be Bowscale Fell via Bowscale Tarn, and then we’ll 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.

Blencathra from Bannerdale Crags

Distance: 11 miles (17.5km)

Total ascent: 2,890 feet (880m)

On the northern edge of the Lake District, we'll tackle six more Wainwrights. Our first fell will be Binsey before walking via Over Water and Orthwaite to climb Great Cockup, Meal Fell, and Great Sca Fell. Our descent will take in Brae Fell and Longlands Fell before we head back. We’ll explore the quietest, lowest, and least rugged part of the Northern Fells range today.

Trigpoint on the summit of Binsey in the English Lake District with a view of the Skiddaw range in the distance.

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’ll continue along the Cumbria Way into the Glenderaterra Valley to ascend Lonscale Fell. Our route will take us onto Skiddaw Little Man, Broad End, Carl Side, and on to Dodd. We’ll then take the Keswick launch back to Derwent Bank having ticked off the final four, and therefore all, of Wainwright’s favourite Northern Fells, ready for a little celebration.

DerwentBank - Derwentwater - AdobeStock_222050318.jpeg

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

Essential information

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, preferably insulated 
  • Comfortable clothing (jeans & waterproof capes are not suitable) 
  • Waterproof overtrousers 
  • Gloves and a warm hat (or sunhat) 
  • Rucksack 
  • Water bottle (at least 1 litre capacity) 
  • A small torch 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Mobile phone and portable charger 
  • Watch 
  • 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  
  • Spare pair of socks 
  • Energy snacks 
  • Waterproof pouch for valuables 
  • Rubbish bag (remember to always leave no trace) 
  • Wallet/purse 

Optional extras

  • Walking poles, useful for descents 
  • Flask for hot drinks 
  • Durable lunch box 
  • Gaiters 
  • Blister kit  
  • Waterproof rucksack liner 
  • Head torch 
  • GPS device 

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

16 Aug - 23 Aug 2024

7 nights

Challenge Walk

Single from

£1,199 £1,109

Double from

£1,199 £1,109 pp


£1,199 £1,109 pp


£1,199 £1,109

Save £90 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now

27 Sep - 04 Oct 2024

7 nights

Challenge Walk

Single from

£1,339 £1,289

Double from

£1,199 £1,149 pp


£1,199 £1,149 pp


£1,339 £1,289

Save £50 Per Person Trip Notes Book Now
7 nights
Challenge walks
Walking Grade:

7 nights from £1,199pp £1,109pp

New holidays

or call 020 3974 8865

For group bookings of 10+ guests click here

Add to wishlist Added to wishlist