Wainwright Bagging – the Northern Fells

Lake District


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Activity types:

  • High Mountains
  • Newly Refurbished


  • Challenger
More information

Difficulty indicator

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.

More about difficulty levels

From £794.00 - 7 nights


Prices are per person

Room 1:
Room 2:
Room 3:

Holiday overview

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.

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

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 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


Enjoy beautiful views over Derwent Water and the surrounding fells from this stunning property on the shores of the lake itself. 

Choose your room

Classic bedrooms at Derwent BankPremium Rooms at Derwent BankFamily Room at Derwent Bank4-star Visit Britain Guest AccommodationGreen Tourism logo
Classic Rooms
• Check in from 2:30pm
• Comfortable accommodation
• En-suite bathroom with either bath or shower
• 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 Comfortable slippers TV, DVD and safe Hairdryer
• Available from an extra £10 per person per night
Family Rooms
• 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
• Laundry facilities
• Free WiFi in some public rooms
• Large, comfortable lounge
• Attractive dining room
• Board games and books
And our favourite
Dandelion cafe with
comfortable chairs,
delicious local produce and
a great cup of tea of coffee


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.
 Take your fill from our famous self service picnic lunches
A relaxed social dinner is a highlight of any stay at our Country Houses

Dinner at Derwent Bank

Your evenings

Two guests enjoying a drink

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 option evening activities.

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.

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


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: Skiddaw via Ullock Pike 

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 Bassethwaite village, and a well earned break. 5 Wainwrights; 10.4 miles (16.6 km) with 3,130ft (95 m) of ascent.

Sunday: Carrock Fell, High Pike and Knott

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. 5 Wainwrights; 13.7 miles (21.9 km) with 2,510ft (765m) 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: Blencathra and the Glenderamackin Skyline

We return to Mosedale this morning and continue our journey. Our first summit of the day is Bowscale Fell via Bowscale Tarn, and then we follow the ridgeline to Bannerdale Crags, Mungrisedale Common, and the iconic peak of Blencathra. Our descent takes us onto Souther Fell and down to Mungrisedale village. 5 Wainwrights; 10.7 miles (17.1 km) with 2,920ft (892 m) of ascent.

Wednesday: Uldale Fells

On the northern edge of the Lake District, 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. 6 Wainwights (only one over 2,000ft); 11 miles (17.6 km) with 2,885ft (881m) of ascent.

Thursday: Keswick Skyline

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 all of Wainwright’s favourite Northern Fells, and ready for a little celebration. 4 Wainwrights; 13.5 miles (21.5 km) with 3,395 ft (1,037 m) of ascent.

Friday: Depart after breakfast.

Local area

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:

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, 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


Our address: Derwent Bank, Portinscale, Nr Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5TY

How to get to us by train

By train:

The nearest train station is Penrith. 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).

Use an HF transfer

HF station transfer:

We offer a reduced price taxi transfer between Penrith railway station and Derwent Bank every Friday and Monday. 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 only costs £10 per person, however a place must be reserved 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. Taxis cost approx £30 per journey (if pre- booked; taxis at Penrith station can be considerably more expensive). Every year we negotiate a pre-booked rate for these journeys. 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.

Driving to us

By car:

From Penrith - take the A66 past Keswick towards Cockermouth. One mile beyond the roundabout to Keswick and 200yds beyond the B5289 turning to Keswick, turn left off of the A66 signposted to Portinscale, Grange and the Newlands Valley. Derwent Bank (not Derwentwater Hotel) is approx half a mile along this road on the left after the Derwentwater Marina and before the Nichol End Marina. Look out for our sign.

From Kendal - take the A591 to Keswick. To avoid the town centre turn right following signs to the A66 and Cockermouth, then follow the directions as above.


Andrew Bell

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.


Date & Rating Customer Review HF Holidays says
12 Jul 2016, 10:07 a.m.

Service rating:


Product rating:


Service review:

Seemed well organised.

Product review:

The walks leader was very knowledgeable about all aspects of the walks, there seemed to be no fell or tarn for which he did not know the name! He was sensitive and diplomatic in dealing with the group. I found the downstairs area of the hotel to be very cold as the front doors were kept open much of the time.
11 Jul 2016, 10:07 a.m.

Service rating:


Product rating:


Service review:

A well-arranged, enjoyable week arranged by the company

Product review:

A really good week's walking amid great company

Dates & Prices

Date Description Nights Brochure price Buy today for Book
15 Sep 2017 DBWBC - Wainwright Bagging - The Northern Fells - Derwent 7 £819.00 £794.00 Early Booking Offer Save- £25 off pp Book Now

Prices are per person


  • Standard single room: (2016) £8 per night; (2017) no supplement
  • Premium single room: £15 per night (2017 only)
  • Premium twin/double room: (2016) £5 per person per night; (2017) £10 per person per night
  • Non-member associate fee: (2016) £5 per person; (2017) £10 per person

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