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Great Lakeland Ridge Walks

A challenging hiking holiday conquering the major peaks and high ridges

  • Lake District

  • 7 nights
  • Hutting & High Level

  • Sep


What does this mean?

Tour codes: 70027

Book now from £775

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Our holiday walking grades


Grade 8

Hard mountain walking every day in the Alps, the Balkans and the Pyrenees, with long ascents, descents and scrambling.

Stamina and a good head for heights are essential.

Distances will probably not exceed 12 miles, but cumulative ascents and descents will normally be between 1000 and 1500m each day.


Holiday Highlights

  • Reach the major peaks and high ridges of Lakeland
  • Good food, comfortable accommodation and incredible views
  • Some of Britain's and Lake District's finest views
  • One of our more challenging walks

Your muscles ache, your feet feel the miles, and you certainly know you’ve exerted yourself to the full – but the views and the sense of achievement more than compensate as you finally relax in the comfort back at Hassness Country House.

This high-grade itinerary based at Hassness Country House is one of the toughest and most exhilarating week’s walking available in Britain! This challenging six-day programme is for experienced mountain walkers, includes several walks at the top end of the grade and, in less than optimal conditions, may be closer to grade 9. Expect to walk 9 - 13 miles each day with ascents between 925 - 1250m, some rock scrambling and exposure. You’ll need to be fit and have a head for heights. 

We aim for Lakeland Ridges, those long narrow elevated crests which run between peaks or from the mountain base to the top; the goal being to offer some of the most attractive and challenging forms of fell walking. Moreover, a full itinerary, possible with a strong group and good weather, might expect to summit as many as 22 of the highest Wainwrights, the group of 214 Lakeland peaks named after the hills and mountains described in Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides.   

These ridges allow you to really stride out and admire the panoramic views. We aim to include some of the following routes: the High Stile Ridge, Helvellyn via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge, Bowfell and Esk Pike via Crinkle Crags, Scafell Pike via the Corridor Route, Pillar and the Mosedale Horsehoe and Grasmoor and its Satellites. 

We plan to operate this tour with two leaders to allow smaller group sizes on challenging terrain and extra flexibility in route choice and options.

  • Accommodation and all meals except dinner on Tuesday (which can be taken in one of Buttermere’s village pubs)
  • Six days of spectacular high-level walking
  • Services of some of our highest qualified leaders
  • All private transport necessary for the walking programme
  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance

Holiday Information

Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.

NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen

View Holiday Information Sheet

Itinerary & Travel

Itinerary Details

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.

Your Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival day




We wish you a very warm welcome to Hassness Country House. Your hosts Debbie and Laurie will be there to welcome you and ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. 

Your holiday starts upon arrival at Hassness Country House in Buttermere where you are welcome to arrive from 3pm. Your evening meal will be served at 7pm. If you anticipate arriving after this time, we kindly request that you telephone Hassness Country House to conrm your expected arrival time.

Day 2 to 7



Breakfast, Packed Lunches & Dinner


Examples of walks on this holiday are as follows; 

The High Stile Ridge

The classic ridge walk overlooking Buttermere. From Hassness we head north-west around Buttermere to Sour Milk Gill and the ascent to Bleaberry Tarn and Red Pike. The ridge then leads us over High Stile and High Crag with tantalising views of Buttermere and Hassness far below. Dropping down to Scarth Gap we can then continue over Haystacks and past Innominate Tarn where Wainwright’s ashes are scattered before descending into Warnscale Bottom and back to Hassness. Total distance covered: 11 miles, 1145m of ascent/descent. A shorter variant is possible omitting Haystacks.

The Helvellyn Edges

A challenging route on Helvellyn, recently voted Britain’s Favourite Walk by ITV viewers. Our walk wasn’t highlighted on the TV programme as it is not for the faint hearted. We start at Grisedale Bridge and climb via Hole-in-the-Wall to the famous Striding Edge. There is an alternative path avoiding part of the ridge but the traverse is a hands-on experience for those with a head for heights. A final scramble brings us to the summit of Helvellyn from where an equally adventurous descent route brings us down Swirral Edge and over Catstycam before we drop back down to the Red Tarn Beck for the return to the valley at Glenridding. Total distance covered: 11 miles, 930m of ascent/descent. Longer variants are possible omitting Striding Edge and Swirral Edge.  

Best of the Mosedale Horseshoe

A walk into the wild side. We start from Hassness and cross via Scarth Gap into wild Ennerdale and Black Sail Youth Hostel. Then onwards and upwards to Black Sail Pass and Pillar, the highest point of the day and a renowned viewpoint above the imposing Pillar Rock. Heading west then south around the horseshoe we can cross over or skirt the peaks of Scoat Fell, Steeple and Wasdale’s Red Pike before dropping down to Dore Head Tarn and then into Overbeckdale to our finish on Wast Water, before transport takes us back to Hassness. Total distance covered: 13 miles, 1245m of ascent, 1300m of descent. Shorter variants are possible omitting the tops of Scoat Fell, Steeple and/or Red Pike.  

Esk Pike, Bowfell & Crinkle Crags

Borrowdale to Langdale via the high route. After the short coach trip to Seathwaite in upper Borrowdale, we walk up Ruddy Gill to the multi-path junction at Esk Hause and ascend Esk Pike. Then follows a delightful high traverse over Bowfell to the five Crinkles of Crinkle Crags before we descend into Greater Langdale via Red Tarn to the famous Old Dungeon Ghyll Hikers Bar. Private transport is waiting for us to return back to Hassness. Total distance covered: 10 miles, 1105m of ascent, 1140m of descent. Shorter variants are possible omitting the tops of Esk Pike or Crinkle Crags.  

Grasmoor and its Satellites

Another classic ridge on our doorstep at Hassness. From Hassness we walk into Buttermere Village and then climb steadily to Whiteless Pike where the ridge narrows as we walk along Whiteless Edge to Wandope. There is then an optional ascent to Grasmoor before we head east over Crag Hill and Sail to Sail Pass. If you're feeling energetic, you may wish to continue east along the narrow ridge to Scar Crags and the viewpoint of Causey Pike overlooking Keswick before returning to Sail Pass. We then drop down and head south-west towards the beckoning pubs and ice-cream shops in Buttermere. Total distance covered: 13 miles, 1060m of ascent/descent. A shorter variant is possible omitting Grasmoor or starting/finishing at Buttermere. A longer variant is also possible taking in Scar Crags and Causey Pike.  

Scafell Pike to Glaramara

The high return from the top of England. Today our taxi takes us to Seathwaite in Borrowdale for the start of our walk towards Stockley Bridge and Styhead Tarn. Then we make our way up the Corridor Route to Lingmell Col and turn east to Scafell Pike summit, the highest point in England. Turning north-east peak baggers may wish to deviate the short distance to the other Scafell Pikes - Broad Crag and Ill Crag and/or to Great End before we drop down to Esk Hause. The direct route home now takes us down Ruddy Gill to Seathwaite, but those with energy may be minded to stay high and return to Seatoller via the ridge between Allen Crags, Glaramara and Thornythwaite Fell. Total distance covered: 12 miles, 1035m of ascent, 1050m of descent excluding Broad Crag & Ill Crag only. Shorter variants are possible omitting Broad End, Allen Crags, Glaramara and Thornythwaite Fell. 

Great Gable to Fleetwith Pike   -  Walk to the centre of the fells.  Great Gable is the hub from which the spokes of many of the Lake District ridges radiate.  Today we start at Hassness and walk up beside Warnscale Beck and past Great Round How to the quaintly named Moses Trod footpath.  Following it to Beck Head we climb up the steep and craggy north-west ridge of Great Gable to the summit, with its famous War Memorial.  We can then return to Hassness via Green Gable, Brandreth and Grey Knotts, before taking stock or shelter at Dubs Hut and descending back to Hassness either via the miners’ track or over Fleetwith Pike and its spectacular north-west ridge, Fleetwith Edge. Total distance covered: 12 miles, 1210m of ascent/descent. Shorter variants are possible omitting Brandreth and/or Grey Knotts or Fleetwith Pike or starting/finishing at Honister Pass.

Day 8

Departure day



After a hearty breakfast, Debbie and Laurie wave you goodbye when you'll leave with memories from your Lake District experience. Check out is by 10am. We hope you enjoyed your stay and we look forward to welcoming you again soon.

Departure dates for your selected tour

11th Sep 2021 - 18th Sep 2021 (7 Nights)

Travel Details

Private coach transport to and from the trailheads, if necessary, is included. 

See our Holiday Information Sheet for more details on how to reach Hassness Country House by car or public transport. There is ample guest parking outside the house.

Nearest railway station: Penrith (approx 28 miles). 

Nearest bus station: Keswick (approx 9 miles).


Accommodation information

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.

Hassness Country House


Hassness Country House, beautifully located in its own extensive grounds on the shores of Buttermere in the Western Lake District, provides a welcoming and peaceful atmosphere for each and every guest.  

You can find sheep grazing and red squirrels scurrying around just outside the door. This is one of the remotest parts of the Lake District and has been recognised as offering some of Britain’s finest views.

Accommodation is in twins, doubles and single rooms, accommodating 19 people in total, with 7 out of 11 bedrooms having en-suite facilities. All bedrooms are lakeside with many overlooking the lake and the fells beyond. Some of the rooms have a garden view. All rooms are very comfortable, either with en-suite facilities or sharing high-powered modern shower rooms and toilets, which are located across the hall from the bedrooms. Toiletries and towels (both hand & bath) are provided for each guest.

All of our bedrooms have stunning views; whether it be of the rugged and imposing hillsides across the water, garden views or views of the lake itself.

The lounge is a delightful place to relax, with a large picture window looking out across the lake. Comfortable and welcoming, it’s a great place to enjoy your own company or that of your fellow guests, to read a book or simply enjoy one of the most dramatic vantage points in the world. It’s also a perfect starting point for some truly remarkable days in the hills.

Hassness Country House offers a retreat from today’s always connected world. There's no TV, no phones in the bedrooms, and very little mobile reception in this sparsely populated valley of West Cumbria. If you do need to contact the outside world there is a payphone available and Wi-Fi is also available throughout the property. At Hassness Country House you’ll take a step back from the frantic world beyond the fells. It’s far enough away yet convenient for the main tourist hubs of Keswick; this is a quieter, less trodden part of the Lake District with dramatic and tranquil scenery. Our friendly managers, Debbie and Laurie, will make you feel welcome.

Hassness Country House has a small licensed bar which offers a selection of red and white wines, beer and a small assortment of spirits at reasonable prices (payment by card only). You can walk the mile into Buttermere village (a tiny hamlet) for a drink or something to eat at one of the two pubs, but otherwise you can just get away from it all. The madding crowds don’t come anywhere nearby, and the surrounding hills are generally less well stomped than the more readily accessible peaks.

Trip Information

All the details you need

Holiday Grade

This is a Grade 8 challenging holiday. It will include hard mountain walking every day with long ascents and descents and scrambling. Stamina and a good head for heights is essential. Distances will probably not exceed 13 miles, but ascents and descents will normally be between 925m and 1,250m. Expect long and exhilarating days. See the Itinerary section for more information.

Walks & Excursions

Our accommodation is spectacularly set by the lake and surrounded by the great western fells, as the view out of your bedroom window will confirm. The Lake District consists of a compact area of rugged mountainsides, high peaks and lakes which provide a variety of wonderful walks. 

This challenging holiday is graded 8. We will walk 9 - 13 miles each day with ascents of between about 925m - 1250m and with walking times of about 6 - 7 hours per day. Several walks are at the upper end of the grade. Given that this walking is on the ridges of Lakeland, the walks may well include some rock scrambles and ‘exposure’ with care needed. Please note that some planned works may be altered or shortened in poor weather conditions. 

Our programme includes six days walking the highlights of some of the ridges in Lakeland. We will use hired transport to drop us off at the start and pick us up at the end of our daily walks as required. 

Local Transport Costs

All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.

Optional Excursions

A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.

Spending Money

Holiday Budgeting

When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.


Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.

Tour Leaders & Local Guides

Tour Leaders

Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.

Leader's Evening Briefing

Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.

Your Travel Details

To reach Hassness Country House…

By car: from Preston (M6) leave the motorway at junction 40 to join the A66 to just beyond Keswick and continue on the minor road following Newlands Valley via Stair and Keskadale to Buttermere. Reaching the edge of Buttermere village, turn left on to the B5289 and continue for approximately 1¼ miles and Hassness estate is on the right. Please note this route is not suitable for nervous drivers.
Alternatively take the B5289 from Keswick via Grange, Borrowdale and Gatesgarth direct to Hassness Country House and the estate will be on your left.

By rail and coach: the nearest railway station to Hassness is Penrith. You will need to take a bus from Penrith railway station to Keswick bus station. Once here a taxi (check the price first) or 50 minute bus ride will take you to Hassness Country House.
There are several buses a day from Keswick to Hassness (just beyond Buttermere Village towards the Honister Pass) usually departing from about 09.20. Please check the timetables before departing. The journey takes about an hour. Alternatively, a taxi should cost about £20 but we do advise you to get a quote before you travel. Unfortunately Hassness is not reachable by public bus in the winter months (from November to Easter).
Alternatively, you could stay overnight in Penrith or Keswick – they’re only half an hour apart (although Keswick is probably the nicer base). Contact Keswick Tourist Information Centre for hotel and guesthouse information (

Travel information contact details:

  • UK rail information: 
  • Local bus services between Penrith and Keswick (Services X4 or X5):
  • Local bus services between Keswick and Buttermere (Services 77 or 77A): Tel: 0870 608 2608
  • Keswick Tourist Information Office: 
  • Davies taxies - Tel: 017687 72676
  • Keswick Taxis - Tel: 017687 75585

You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the accommodation: 

  • The AA and RAC both offer free and detailed on-line route planning facilities on their websites which may help you find our hotels. Details can be found at: or 

Meeting your tour leader: Please aim to be in the lounge at 6.30pm - half an hour before dinner - for an introduction to your tour leader, an outline of the planned programme for your holiday and the chance to get together with your holiday companions. 

Personal Details Check

To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.

Passports and Visas

Passport Information for United Kingdom

Any non UK or EU citizens may be subject to passport, identity card or visa requirements to enter the United Kingdom.


Cereal and cooked breakfast available every morning, cakes in the afternoon and a three-course evening meal are provided every day (excluding Tuesdays when there is a cold buffet breakfast and dinner can be taken in one of Buttermere’s village pubs). Substantial picnic lunches are also provided on each of your walking days. Hassness is equipped with a bar with reasonably priced wine, beer and spirits.

Free tea and coffee are always available to enjoy in the spacious lounge overlooking the lake. There is also a guests’ kitchen with a large fridge for storage should you need it.

Footwear & Kit List


Good quality waterproof walking boots with a moulded sole with a deep tread and good ankle support are essential for holidays at grade 7 and above.

General Kit List

Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.

If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:

  • Waterproof jacket (Goretex or similar) and trousers
  • Lightweight quick-drying trousers
  • Walking T-shirt/shirts
  • Walking socks
  • Fleece or jumper
  • Sun hat, sunglasses, lip salve and sun screen
  • Warm hat and gloves (if appropriate)
  • Swimwear (if appropriate)
  • Day sack (this should be able to carry all you would need for the day's activity)
  • Day sack liner
  • Water bottle - at least 1 litre capacity
  • Basic first aid kit
  • Lunchbox
  • Walking poles (should you find them useful)
  • Sit mat
  • Head torch
  • Survival bag - What is a survival bag? Click here!

This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.

Travel Documents Checklist

Documents and Information to take with you:

  • Holiday money
  • Credit or debit cards (and separate details of who to call if lost)
  • Car parking ticket and car park directions (if prebooked)
  • Coach or rail travel tickets (if prebooked)
  • Holiday booking confirmation document
  • Travel insurance details (if applicable)
  • Details of any medical condition or allergy your holiday leader should know about

Water To Go

An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.

We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.

Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information

Maps, Guidebooks & More

Our ridge walks are covered by the following maps:

Ordnance Survey. Outdoor Leisure series (1:25,000):
Map no 4:
English Lakes - North Eastern area
Map no 5:
English Lakes - North Western area
Map no 6:
English Lakes - South Western area

BMC Mountain Maps (1:40,000): 
Lake District

The Map Shop

If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:

The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs

Tel: 01684 593 146
E-mail: [email protected]

If you key many of the local places mentioned in this holiday fact sheet into YouTube, you will find a vast array of spectacular footage of the area.


Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:

Staying Healthy On Holiday


Following government, public health and industry advice we have introduced additional hygiene and safety measures to protect you whilst holidaying with us during this time of heightened health concerns. Please take a look at our essential information relating to You & Your Safety at Hassness Country House.

For more general information and advice see our latest travel safety updates on coronavirus.

Health Advice for United Kingdom

No compulsory immunisations are required for holidays in the UK although you should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended for life in Britain. Tetanus immunisation is recommended.

Further Travel Advice

For further advice please visit:

You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.

Travel Insurance

Although not compulsory for British and EU citizens resident in the UK, we strongly recommend that you take out travel insurance to cover you in the event of eventualities such as unexpected cancellation, accident or illness before your holiday or the loss of personal possessions.

Visitors who are not British Citizens (or who are not EU citizens resident in the UK), must be adequately insured to join our holidays and will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.

Personal Safety

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.

Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.

Cultural Awareness

Responsible Travel

We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.

The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust

Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.

Heart and Sole

We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.

Staying In Touch

Mobile Phones

Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements. 

Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.  

As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.


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