Wainwright Bagging – the Western 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.
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 Western Fells pictorial guide, in one fabulous, challenging holiday.
- Follow in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright exploring some of his favourite fells
- Bag all of the summits in his Western 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 Western 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
• Laundry facilities
|• 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.
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.
- 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: Wainwright’s favourite - Haystacks
Starting from Ennerdale, we ascend the high ridge south of Buttermere visiting 6 Wainwrights including Red Pike(Buttermere), High Stile and Haystacks, Wainwrights favourite of all the fells. 10 miles (16km) with 3,500ft (1,060m) of ascent.
Sunday: Five fantastic fells
Today includes two walks. Our first bags the summits of Fellbarrow and Low Fell above Lorton Vale, and our second walk of the day takes in Grike, Crag Fell and Lank Rigg, to the south of Ennerdale. 13 miles (22km) with 3,500ft (1,060m) of ascent.
Monday: traversing the skyline west of Crummock Water
Starting near Loweswater, we visit five tops to the west of Crummock Water, including Burnbank Fell, Hen Comb and Mellbreak. 9 miles (15km) with 2,850ft (860m) of ascent.
Tuesday: from Wastwater to the Buttermere Valley
On walk begins on the shores of Wastwater, where we take in the classic Lake District tops of Yewbarrow, Red Pike(Wasdale), Steeple and Pillar before returning, via Black Sail, to Gatesgarth in the Buttermere Valley. 12 miles (20km) with 4,620ft (1,400m) of ascent.
Wednesday: Five more summits to add to the collection
Again starting from the shores of Wastwater, we make a long valley ascent before visiting five summits including Haycock, Seatallan and Buckbarrow. 12 miles (20km) with 3,380ft (1,025m) of ascent.
Thursday: the Grand Finale
Our final day starts at Honister Pass with visits to seven summits including Fleetwith Pike, Kirk Fell and Great Gable before finishing in Borrowdale at Seathwaite Farm. 11 miles (18.5km) with 3,500ft (1,060m) of ascent.
Friday: 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.
Chris has been leading walks in the Lake District and other UK mountain areas for over 40 years. As a teacher in London he regularly led groups of pupils on mountain holidays and after retiring in 2007 he took up leading with HF. He completed his round of the Wainwright summits a few years ago and is now working towards completing a second round; only 64 to go! When not hillwalking Chris is an occasional orienteer and a regular player in amateur orchestras.
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