Your holiday includes two days of guided walking with all meals included in the beautiful English Lake District.
Below is a selection of walking trails commonly experienced on our Hassness Country House holidays. This will give you an indication of the nature of the walking terrain and the format for your chosen holiday. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list and other walks are available depending on the local weather conditions at the time.
Grade 4 Walks
Buttermere and Rannerdale Knotts - the well trodden track round Buttermere is a superb introduction to the delights of the valley. It's likely that the local Herdwick sheep will be dotting the hillside and red squirrels can often be seen in the woods. Many bird species can be seen and heard in the area. Behind us the imposing ridge of Fleetwith Pike separates the deep gash of Honister Pass from the meandering river and tumbling waterfalls in Warnscale Bottom. Ahead of us the looming mass of Grasmoor is a backdrop to the green ridge leading down from Whiteless Pike to Buttermere Village below. We cross the bridge over Combe Beck and enter the quieter Burtness Wood, finally reaching Buttermere Village for a refreshment stop. We may look into the church to see the Wainwright Memorial, in a window framing a view of Haystacks in the distance. Then our path winds towards Crummock Water where we turn up a steep stone staircase to the viewpoint of Rannerdale Knotts (355m). Turning south east we traverse the ridge to the head of Rannerdale before descending back to Buttermere Village and the short shore-side walk back to Hassness. Total distance covered: 8.1 miles (390m ascent).
Haystacks from Honister - this walk takes us to the top of Haystacks, favourite fell of Alfred Wainwright, and the resting place for his ashes. Starting from Honister Pass we ascend the track of an old mining tramway to the Drumhouse, then follow the quaintly named Moses Trod, here part of the Coast to Coast long distance footpath, onto the side of Brandreth and Grey Knotts. We see Haystacks over to our right, and hopefully enjoy views over Buttermere and Crummock Water to the Solway Coast and beyond to Scotland. Turning down below Great Round How we pass the sheltered Blackbeck Tarn, and then Innominate Tarn where Wainsright's ashes are scattered. The summit of Haystacks (597m) soon follows where we can admire the views below. Retracing our steps past the tarns we cross Warnscale Beck and come to Dubs Hut, recently renovated with financial assistance from Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust. After inspecting the Hut, we follow the Miners Road back down to Honister. Total distance covered: 6.2 miles (525m ascent).
Crummock Water and Loweswater Village - no trip to the valley would be complete without a circuit of Crummock Water, taking in the site of the fabled Battle of Rannerdale, and a visit to the little village of Loweswater. We start in Buttermere Village and make our way to the shores of Crummock Water and Hause Point. Descending to the road we enter lower Rannerdale, where bluebells grow in profusion in May. At all times of the year the hills are a patchwork of greens and browns with the grey of the rock and boulders and the white tumbling water of the Rannerdale Beck. Crossing the footbridge, we make our way back to Crummock Water where the path follows the shore through woodland and pastures to the end of the lake. Crossing the river, we follow footpaths up to Loweswater Village and the famous Kirkstile Inn. We may take lunch here or in the quiet churchyard. After lunch we head back southwards along the western shore of Crummock Water. When we come to footbridges over Scale Beck, which flows down from Scale Force waterfall, the highest in the Lake District, it may be possible to walk up to inspect the Falls if time allows. The improving track then takes us to Scale Bridge and a lane leading back to Buttermere VIllage. Total distance covered: 9.5 miles (245m ascent).
Watendlath and Derwentwater - this walk may not literally scale the heights but it is full of interest, even when the clouds cover the high tops. We start in the village of Rosthwaite and follow a well-engineered bridleway east, up through woods and then open fell, to Puddingstone Bank. Then we descend to the tarn and Farm at Watendlath and its welcome tearoom. Following the Watendlath Beck north our route takes us down into more oak woodland before Surprise View presents magnificent photo opportunities over Derwentwater. Further on the ancient stonework of Ashness Bridge provides another photo stop before the path contours round above the eastern side of Derwentwater then down to the shore at Great Wood. We follow the shore line paths to Keswick, and optional retail therapy, before catching the regular bus service back on Rosthwaite. Total distance covered: 8.4 miles (335m ascent).
Borrowdale - the Borrowdale Valley is one of the most beautiful in the Lake District. This walk takes in many of the best views and points of interest. We start at Seatoller and ascend gently into the ancient oaks in Johnny Wood before dropping down to cross the River Derwent. We then follow footpaths through the fields over ice age moraines to Rosthwaite, where we will have time to walk round the village. We cross New Bridge and follow the Cumbria Way downstream stopping to explore the cave of the eccentric Millican Dalton under the shadow of Castle Crag. Continuing north we loop round to Swanesty How before approaching the village of Grange from the north. After stopping in Grange we follow the Allerdale Ramble footpath up past Castle Crag, with the option of tackling the winding footpath to the top, before our route contours round above the tree line affording us open views of the Upper Borrowdale Fells and then drops us back down to our starting place in Seatoller. Total distance covered: 8.4 miles (420m ascent).
Grade 7 Walks
The High Stile Ridge - the classic ridge walk on the south west side of Buttermere. We walk along the shores of Buttermere then ascend through oak woodland and open hill to a resting place by Bleaberry Tarn. Continuing on the good path to The Saddle we then pick our way up the track, over the stones which give Red Pike (755m) its name, to the summit. Our reward is hopefully open views stretching from the Isle of Man to the Southern Uplands of Scotland, and of course the other peaks of the Lake District. Our onward course takes up striding along the airy but never exposed ridge to High Stile (807m) and High Crag (744m) with unexpected views down into the combs which bite into the north eastern side of the ridge and over Buttermere to the oasis of Hassness Country House far below. We then descend on an ever-improving path over Seat (562m) to Scarth Gap where we turn for the steady descent down to the lakeside and Hassness Country House. Total distance covered: 8.8 miles (920m ascent).
The Robinson Ridge - the other Buttermere classic - the high-level ridge on the north east side of the lake. We start at Honister Pass beside the mine workings and take a straight route up the fence line to the north. The path takes us past more old workings as the views towards Great Gable and Helvellyn open up. When we arrive at Dale Head (753m) panoramic views down the Newlands Valley and towards Skiddaw are revealed. We turn west and stroll along the wide ridge to further viewpoints at Hindscarth (727m) and Robinson (737m). The descent down over Buttermere Moss can be wet, however rounding High Snockrigg we find the going firmer and the sight of Buttermere Village below which promises refreshments before the pleasant lakeside walk back to Hassness Country House. Total distance covered: 7.7 miles (745m ascent).
Haystacks to Grey Knotts or Fleetwith Pike - Haystacks, or "The High Stacks" was Alfred Wainwright's favourite hill - he described it as "a shaggy terrier in the company of foxhounds". We start our ascent by following Buttermere to Gatesgarth Farm and taking the Public Bridleway up to Scarth Gap. Some short sections of easy scrambling follow giving added entertainment to the twisting path up to the rocky summit of Haytstacks (597m). We then traverse south east past Innominate Tarn and the idyllic Blackbeck Tarn before turning south east to follow the path up a fence line to the open viewpoint of Brandreth (715m). After walking north east along the wide ridge to the lumpy summit of Grey Knotts (697m) we drop down to inspect or take shelter in Dubs Hut. Finally we may descend the old miners' track, or the path on the other side of the Beck, into Warnscale Bottom and on to Gatesgarth, or climb up to Fleetwith Pike (648m) and descend its north ridge, spurred on by the thought of drinks and cake at Hassness Country House. Total distance covered: 9.8 miles (855m ascent, 1000m including Fleethwith Pike).
Dale Head to Cat Bells - this walk starts at Honister Pass and follows a path on the fence line north towards Dale Head (753m). If the summit is cloud-covered and the views north can't be savoured, we contour round its eastern flank to a sheltered break stop by the peaceful Dale Head Tarn where the well constructed path from the top re-joins our route. A short ascent brings us to High Spy (655m) and a stroll down the wide airy ridge to Maiden Moor (576m) with ever-changing views down into the patchwork fields and woods in Borrowdale and to Derwentwater and Skiddaw beyond. At Hause Gate we have the option of making the short extra ascent to the iconic viewpoint of Cat Bells (451m) to share vistas over Derwentwater and its numerous islands with walkers up from the the landing stages and car parks at Hawse End below. Descending east to Manesty, the tearoom and other facilities at Grange beckon. All that remains is a scenic return to Honister up sections of the Cumbria Way and Allerdale Ramble footpaths, unless the bus proves too tempting. Total distance covered: 11 miles (850m ascent) or 12.3 miles (1020m ascent) including Dale Head.
Dock Tarn, Watendlath and Walla Crag to Keswick - we start in the village of Stonethwaite in Borrowdale and follow a well engineered path east, up through ancient oak woods and then open fell, to the lonely Dock Tarn. Turning north we descend to another tarn and the Farm at Watendlath and its welcome tearoom. Following the Watendlath Beck north, our route takes us down into more oak woodland before Surprise View presents magnificant photo opportunities over Derwentwater. Further on the ancient stonework of Ashness Bridge provides another photo stop before the path rises up the eastern side of Derwentwater to Walla Crag (379m). We descend to Keswick, and optional retail therapy, before catching the regular bus service back on Stonethwaite and a short walk back to our starting point. Total distance covered: 9.6 miles (590m ascent).