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from £679
A challenging hiking holiday conquering the major peaks and high ridges. 

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, Striding Edge and Swirral Edge, Bowfel via the Climbers' Traverse and Great Slab, Scafell Pike, Skiddaw via Ullock Pike and Carl Side, Fleetwith Pike to Buttermere.  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 
  • Reach the major peaks and high ridges of Lakeland
  • One of our more challenging walks
  • Some of Britain's and Lake District's finest views 
  • Magnificent Lake District mountainscape scenery 
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.
      All meals except for dinner on Tuesday night.
      Six days of spectacular high level walking.
      All transport necessary for the walking programme.
      Services of some 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 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.

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 conrm your expected arrival time.


  2. Day 2 to 7

    Examples of walks on this holiday are as follows; 

    The High Stile Ridge - a walk from Buttermere village, taking in Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag, descending to Scarth Gap before reaching the summit of Haystacks. We then return to Buttermere and Hassness Country House. Total distance covered: 8.5 miles, 875m ascent and 6 hours walking.

    Striding Edge and Swirral Edge - from the shore of Ullswater, we ascend Helvellyn by Striding Edge before coming down Swirral Edge taking in Catstycam before walking back to Ullswater where our day ends. Total distance covered: 8 miles, 900m ascent and 5.5 hours walking.

    Bowfell via the Climbers' Traverse and Great Slab - from Great Langdale we ascend Bowfell keeping to the high ridges with views of a spectacular skyline. We then traverse to Crinkle Crags with the notorious 'bad step' before descending back into the Langdale Valley. Total distance covered: 8.5 miles, 1,060m ascent and 6.5 hours walking.

    Skiddaw - the curving ridge of Ullock Pike and Longside is a stimulating walk and provides a great way to walk to the summit of Skiddaw. By contrast, the descent down Birketts Edge explores a quiet and different Lake District. Total distance covered: 8.5 miles, 930m ascent and 6 hours walking.

    Scafell Pike - the summit of Scafell Pike is the highest point in England. This is an excellent walk, particularly the ascent to the summit via the corridor route. Total distance covered: 8 miles, 980m ascent and 6 hours walking.

    Fleetwith Pike to Buttermere - from Hassness Country House we climb Fleetwith Pike, dropping down to the Honister Pass from where we climb up to Dale Head, Hindscarth and Robinson before descending to Buttermere. Total distance covered: 9.5 miles, 1,220m ascent and 7 hours walking.

  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 9 miles).


Trip Map

See where this holiday travels to.

The map will be available soon...

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 each of your walking days. 

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.