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from £240
The English Lake District is one of the most beautiful and dramatic walking areas in this country. A compact area of mountainsides, summits and ridges, lakes and lakeside paths. Have the flexibility to walk at your independence or join a guided walk. 

Self-Guided Walking from Hassness Country House

The English Lake District is one of the most beautiful and dramatic walking areas in this country. A compact area of rugged mountainsides, high summits and open ridges, lakes and lakeside paths, it provides a great variety of wonderful walks for everyone. It caters for both the gentle rambler simply seeking beautiful days out alongside the lakes and on gentler valley paths as well as energetic and adventurous high peak hiker seeking a real challenge. You’ll be walking amongst the Wainwrights, the 214 fells listed in the iconic pictorial guides to the hills and mountains of the Lake District written by the great Alfred Wainwright to document his experiences in the hills and to encourage others to discover the landscape for themselves.


Booking a self-guided break at Hassness Country House will allow you the flexibility to do your own thing each day, but also to be part of the group dynamics in the evening, as all of our self-guided departures coincide with a guided walking holiday. It is therefore likely that there will be others staying at Hassness Country House that have booked a guided walking holiday with us and you will be able to socialise with them in the morning and evening. One of our leaders will also be present and if you decide you would like to join a walk on any particular day where one is offered, you can do so. A charge of £15 per person per day is payable to your managers Debbie and Laurie should you wish to join one of our walks on offer. Please note that transport is not included in the holiday price should you want to join an organised walk. Your leader will discuss arrangements with you the previous evening. 

Laminated National Trust maps and guide books will be available at Hassness Country House should you wish to borrow them to help plan your walk for your own explorations. We do ask that you complete and sign in and out of our Logbook which can be found near the maps, so we are aware that you have left and returned safely. 

Participants on our holidays are accepted that they will be suitably equipped for a walking holiday, and aware of the risks involved in walking in the country and able to cope reasonably with the demands of the holiday without assistance from a third party. You must accept that sole responsibility for your personal safety throughout the holiday remains with you. In the interests of safety you must reasonably follow the advice in any guidebook you read, take note of any warning notices encountered on the walk and take reasonable precautions to ensure your own safety.

Local Transport if you wish to join a guided walk on any particular day, costs to and from trailheads are not included. To get to and from the walks, we ask those taking cars to Hassness Country House to assist and offer their walking companions a lift to and from the trailheads. If cars are not available, private coach hire may be booked at an additional cost. Your leader can assist with this. 

At Ramblers Walking Holidays, we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to peoples’ lives. By travelling with us on this holiday, you can directly help us support the destinations we visit through our staff-managed Heart & Sole charitable project.

Other holidays based at Hassness Country House include Navigation & Hill SkillsGreat Lakeland Ridge WalksWomen's Activity WeekLakeland Explorer and Mindfulness in the Mountains.

Holiday Highlights

  • National Trust Maps and guide books available to use for your own explorations
  • Magnificent Lake District scenery 
  • Innominate Tarn, visible from Hassness Country House, is the resting place of Alfred Wainwright
  • Good food, comfortable accommodation and incredible views
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Breakfast each day.
      Lunches on your walking days.
      Three course evening meals (except on Tuesday).
      Renowned Hassness House hospitality.
      (Local transport if you join a guided walk is not included on this holiday).
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.

  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 seven nights of accommodation at Hassness Country House. Debbie and Laurie take a well earned rest on Tuesday, therefore no evening meal is included on this day. Packed lunches are also provided on six days. 

    There will be a selection of National Trust maps and guide books at Hassness Country House for you to borrow should you wish, otherwise feel free to bring your own maps for your own explorations in the Lake District. 

    Please advise the leader present at Hassness Country House on the evening before, if you wish to join a guided walk the following day. The walk provided will be at Grade 4 and the cost to join is £15 per person per day (payable the managers by cash or card). 

    Below are some examples of Grade 4 walks you may wish to join during your time at Hassness Country House. 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). 



    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

  • Accessing Hassness Country House is both easy and beautiful. Nearest railway station: Penrith (28 miles). Nearest bus station: Keswick (9 miles). 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.

Trip Map

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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 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.