Hampshire Hikes & Historical Sites
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Walking the Cumbria Way takes visitors into the heart of the Lake District, between Ulverston and Carlisle. This long-distance footpath passes through several popular towns like Keswick, as well as the attractive Borrowdale valleys.
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 76107
Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.
The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.
Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.
Starting in Ulverston market square, the Cumbria Way heads northwards to the great border city of Carlisle, with daily walking distances of about 12 miles.
We cross the low Southern Fells, with fantastic views back to Morecambe Bay, before arriving at Coniston Water at the end of our first day. Watched over by Coniston Old Man, we'll then ascend to Tarn Hows, as we continue on to the impressive setting of Elter water.
From Dungeon Ghyll in Great Langdale, we take the old packhorse route over Stake Pass, then descend into Borrowdale, where immense rocky crags surround us. We'll amble along the shore of Derwent Water, before skirting the eastern edges of Skiddaw and heading into the grandeur of the wild Northern Fells.
On our final day's walk, we follow the River Caldew through wooded pastures and out of the Lake District National Park towards Carlisle, completing this 75-mile classic trek. We then return to Hassness Country House after a week of excellent hiking and spectacular scenery.
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
Itinerary & Travel
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.
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 confirm your expected arrival time.
The Cumbria Way starts at Ulverston. This is the birthplace of Stan Laurel (Arthur Stanley Jefferson) of Laurel and Hardy fame. From the market square of Ulverston we follow the wooded banks of Gilligan’s Beck then pass across the low southern fells. Just a short hill walk, before commencing the trail, will lead to a splendid stone monument built to commemorate Sir John Barrow. From here, there are (on a clear day) remarkable views to the West across to Morecombe Bay and to the Northwest, the Lakeland fells that the trail follows.
The day’s trail starts with footpaths through fertile farm land, then leading on to views of the Lake District mountains with the famous “Old Man of Coniston” ahead. Lake Coniston is where Donal Campbell’s effort to achieve the World boat speed record in Bluebird will be remembered.
Starting with a three mile (5 Km) tree lined path alongside Coniston Water, passing the National Trust owned “Coniston Hall” with its incongruous large chimneys and built in the 1500s. On the opposite side of Coniston Water is Brentwood House – lived in by John Ruskin, the Victorian artist and philosopher. Continuing with the trail it passes through Tarn Hows, an estate bought by Beatrix Potter who subsequently bequeathed the area to the National Trust with the intention of retaining the area for public access. Just before we complete our trail for the day we pass the beauty spot of Elterwater with views of the next day’s hike to Langdale Pikes.
Passing Dungeon Ghyll, we follow the old packhorse route over Stake Pass then descend to Langstrath and Stonewaite Becks down into Borrowdale. Today the area is devoid of industry but up until the 1940s, copper mining took place and remnants of those mines will be seen on our route.
For a change in scenery, the path follows a trail through the splendid High Hows Wood and alongside Castle Crag with the nearby River Derwent. Our hike is completed at the hamlet of Grange.
We begin by walking along the shores of Derwentwater then climb the eastern flanks of Skiddaw. Derwentwater footpath provides another opportunity to enjoy the splendour of the Lakes. We take the eastern route of the Cumbria Way to Mosedale by Grainsgill Beck.
The nearby areas of Seathwaite and Borrowdale carved by glaciers during the ice age and creating deep valleys now provide graphite – used for pencil making.
After Keswick the trail leads through Lonscale Fell, past Skiddaw House; now a Youth Hostel but originally a remote hunting lodge. We look up at Skiddaw, the fourth highest mountain in England, whilst our path carries on to the Carrock mining area where we will be transported back to Hassness Country House.
Walk in the grandeur of the northern fells before ascending to the summit of High Pike-the most northerly of the Lakeland peaks, then descend to Caldbeck village.
Returning to the Carrock mining area we walk past disused mine structures within an area designated as an SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest). Here the ore of tungsten (used in light bulbs) used to be mined along with a reputed 23 different ores. With a trail rising to High Pike at 658m this allows for fine views and the last of the Cumbrian Fells, before moving on through the village of Caldbeck where the path follows the River Caldew towards Sebergham.
After our time in the Cumbrian Fells we take the last section of mainly level paths alongside the River Caldew into Carlisle. The River Caldew passes through the village of Dalston where we take a lunch stop before following a cycle route into Carlisle. Subject to our arrival time in Carlisle, there could be an opportunity to visit the large sandstone castle built to defend against Scottish incursion and the resplendent Cathedral of the City.
The Cumbria Way route is completed at the Carlisle City information centre where an essential purchase is to buy a certificate recording the hike achievement.
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
21st Aug 2021 - 28th Aug 2021 (7 Nights)
Transport to and from the trailheads, if necessary, is included. So you’ll be ready for your dinner each night!
It is important to note that these journeys will vary in length and time each day. The shortest journey from your accommodation will take 30 minutes and the longest journey will take 2 hours.
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).
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, 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.
This is a Grade 5 moderate holiday which includes full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent. The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground. Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding but equally rewarding. See the 'Proposed Itinerary' for more information.
Due to the nature of this long distance footpath and being accommodated at one centre throughout, it is important to note that some journeys to and from the trailheads will be long. All transfers are taken by private minibus/coach and some journeys will be a short as 30 minutes each way, however the longest one way journey will take as much as 2 hours. This together with the walking each day, makes for long days.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 (www.keswick.org).
Travel information contact details:
You may also wish to look at the following website for advice on the best way to travel to the accommodation: www.rome2rio.com
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 www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, 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.
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.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
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:
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:
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 www.watertogo.eu. 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 www.watertogo.eu 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.
The Map Shop
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
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.
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.
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.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. 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.
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.
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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