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from £659
Reach for the sky... A challenging hiking holiday aiming for the major peaks and high ridges of Lakeland and some of Britain's best views!

Guided Walking Holidays - Great Lakeland Ridge 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 is a high grade itinerary based at Hassness Country House on the shores of Buttermere – and probably one of the toughest and most exhilarating week’s walking available in Britain! This is a challenging six day programme for experienced mountain walkers and includes several guided trails at the top end of the grade. In less than optimal conditions, these walks may be closer to grade 9. Expect to walk 8-12 miles each day with ascents of between 700-1000m, some rock scrambling and a bit of exposure, so you’ll need to be fit from the word go and have a head for heights.

This is a holiday where we aim for Lakeland Ridges, those long narrow elevated crests which run between peaks or from the mountain base to the top and offer some of the most attractive and challenging forms of hill walking. After reaching the top, you are rewarded with some of the finest mountain walking anywhere in the world. These ridges allow you to really get out into the Lake District and admire the panoramic views. This holiday has been planned to capture the spirit of grandeur and wide ranging diversity of our hills.

We aim to include the following walks in the week: The High Stile Ridge, the best of the Mosedale Horseshoe, Esk Pike - Bowfell and Crinkle Crags, Grasmoor and its Satellites, Scafell Pike to Glaramara and Great Gable to Fleetwith Pike. Due to the nature of the terrain and changes in weather conditions, the itinerary may be subject to change locally.

If you really like to stay in our Hassness Country House, you might also be interested in holidays like Navigation & Hill Skills, Women's Activity Week, Lakeland Explorer and Mindfulness in the Mountains.

Holiday Highlights



  • Hassness Country House's legendary hospitality and stunning lake views - refurbished in 2018 
  • Reaching the major peaks and high ridges of Lakeland
  • One of our more challenging walks in our holiday range
  • Some of Britain's and Lake District's finest views 
  • Magnificent Lake District mountainscape scenery 
  • Alfred Wainwright's ashes are scattered by Innominate Tarn - visible from Hassness Country House
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      A week’s Hassness Country House hospitality.
      B&B each day plus six dinners and six packed lunches. (Dinner is not included on Tuesday night).
      Six days of spectacular high level walking.
      All transport necessary for the walking programme.
      Services of one of our highest qualified leaders.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised program, 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.

This departure: Grade 8

  1. Day 1

    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.

  2. Day 2 to 7

    Your holiday includes six days of guided hiking which challenges walkers on some of Lakeland's major ridge walks and major peaks, with ascents and descents of around 700 - 1000m over rough ground. All meals are included in your holiday. Debbie and Laurie take a well earned rest on Tuesday, therefore no evening meal is included in your holiday on this day. 

    Below is a selection of the hikes commonly experienced on our Great Lakeland Ridge Walks 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. 


    • The High Stile Ridge - this is a classic ridge walk overlooking Buttermere. From Hassness Country House we head around Buttermere to Sour Milk Gill and then 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 Country House 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 Lake Buttermere. Total distance covered: 11 miles (1145m ascent/descent). A shorter variant is possible omitting Haystacks. 

    • Best of the Mosedale Horseshoe - a walk into the wild side. We start from Hassness Country House 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. Total distance covered: 13 miles (1245m ascent / 1300m 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 a short transfer 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 to await our transport back to Hassness Country House. Total distance covered: 10 miles (1105m ascent / 1140m descent). Shorter variants are possible omitting the tops of Esk Pike or Crinkle Crags. 

    • Grasmoor and its Satellites - another classic ridge on our doorstep. From Hassness Country House 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 are 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 ascent/descent). A shorter variant is possible omitting Grasmoor or starting/finishing at Buttermere. A longer variant is possible taking in Scar Crags and Causey Pike. 

    • Scafell Pike to Glaramara - the high return from the top of England. Transport will take 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 if you are feeling up to it, you can stay high and return to Seatoller via the ridge between Allen Crags, Glaramara and Thornythwaite Fell. Total distance covered: 12 miles (1035m ascent / 1050m descent excluding Broad Crag and Ill Crag only). Shorter variants are possible omitting Broad End, Allen Crags, Glaramara and Thornthwaite 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.  We start from Hassness Country House 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 via Green Gable, Brandreth and Grey Knotts, before taking stock or shelter at Dubs Hut and descending back either via the miners’ track or over Fleetwith Pike and its spectacular north-west ridge, Fleetwith Edge. Total distance covered: 12 miles (1210m ascent/descent). Shorter variants are possible omitting Brandreth and/or Grey Knotts or Fleetwith Pike or starting/finishing at Honister Pass. 



    All meals are included except for dinner on Tuesday evening. There are two nearby pubs in Buttermere Village which both serve food and sell an assortment of drinks and ales. 

  3. Day 8

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

Travel Details

Transport to and from the trailheads, if necessary, is included. So you’ll be ready for your dinner each night! 

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 10 miles).


Trip Map

See where this holiday travels to.

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

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.

Following a refurbishment in 2018, 7 of our 11 bedrooms now have en-suite facilities. Accommodation is in twins, doubles and single rooms, accommodating 21 people in total. There is only one single room however twins and doubles for sole occupancy are available at an appropriate supplement. 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.

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.

The lounge at Hassness Country House 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 rooms, and no 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.

New to Hassness Country House is a 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 surrounding hills are generally less well stomped than the more readily accessible peaks.


Cooked breakfast, 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). Picnic lunches are also provided on days including a guided walk. If your stay includes a 'free day', picnic lunches are not included however they can be provided upon request for a small charge. 

Free tea and coffee are available at all times 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.

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