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. We offer a wide range of trails to suit all walking abilities.
See what's planned
- Good food, comfortable accommodation and incredible views
- Choose between more walking experiences than you can shake a trekking pole at!
- Discover the less visited Western Lakes
- Magnificent Lake District scenery
- Buttermere walking trails - as featured in ITV's Britain's Top 100 favourite walks
- Alfred Wainwright's ashes are scattered by Innominate Tarn - near to 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.
You’ll visit some of the more quintessential mountains but also those off the well worn path. Peaks with intriguing names can be reached from the house and are often the more memorable experiences of the walking programme. You won’t run out of incredible walking options, magnificent views or panoramic skylines. On some dates throughout the season, we organise leisurely walks at the easier end of our holiday grades scale, whilst on other dates we focus on higher grades of walking.
There are gentle strolls around the valley floor and Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater, as well as some more strenuous and exhilarating days on the summits and ridges of the Western Fells. You’ll get to some of the well-known places, see or ascend the famous peaks, walk the valley floors or high ridges, wander the lakesides and discover hidden tarns.
All holidays are based at Hassness Country House, a welcoming and authentic lakeland retreat, from which to venture into the fells at the walking grade of your choice.
New - some of our guided walking departures are for women only.
We also operate festive breaks from Hassness Country House over the Christmas and New Year periods.
We also offer Christmas / New Year breaks at other locations in the UK;
* Loxton & the Mendips at New Year (Grade 5) - 30 December 2020 for 3 nights
* The Four Corners of Anglesey at Christmas (Grade 4) - 23 December 2020 for 4 nights
* The Four Corners of Anglesey at New Year (Grade 4) - 30 December 2020 for 3 nights
* Festive Cheltenham at Christmas (Grade 4) - 22 December 2020 for 5 nights
* Festive Cheltenham at New Year (Grade 4) - 29 December 2020 for 4 nights
* Walking the Malvern Hills at Christmas (Grade 5) - 23 December 2020 for 4 nights
- Breakfast & packed lunches each day
- Home cooked three course evening meals (except on one night on some departures)
- Renowned Hassness House hospitality
What's not included?
- Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
- Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary tips
- Optional excursions
- Local transport is not included on this holiday
Our programme of grade 4 walks is designed to take in many of the most famous areas in the northwestern Lakes, including Haystacks, for example, on terrain which presents few challenges in fine weather. There may be occasional steep or rough sections, but these can be taken slowly. Note however that in the spring and autumn icy patches can be encountered and after heavy rain at any time of year streams or rivers may break their banks and some paths will become slippery and muddy. The walks range in distance between 6 to 11 miles with ascents and descents normally in the range of 300m to 500m. Where ascents and descents are higher, the length of the walk will normally be shorter, and vice versa.
Our bottom line is happy travellers, and to that end we trust our tour leaders to use the itinerary below as a basis for providing you with a great holiday. We expect our leaders to make adjustments to the itinerary if the weather, group ability or other local conditions make that necessary. There are normally more options available to our leaders than those listed below and one or more of these options may well be chosen. All distances, heights & timings are approximate.
Hassness Country House
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.
Day 2 to 3
Day 2 to 3
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Hassness Country House
Your holiday includes two days of guided walking with all meals included in the beautiful English Lake District.
Below is a selection of walking trails commonly experienced on our Hassness Country House 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.
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).
Watendlath and Derwentwater - this walk may not literally scale the heights but it is full of interest, even when the clouds cover the high tops. We start in the village of Rosthwaite and follow a well engineered bridleway east, up through woods and then open fell, to Puddingstone Bank. Then we descend to the tarn and Farm at Watendlath and its welcome tearoom. Following the Watendlath Beck north our route takes us down into more oak woodland before Surprise View presents magnificent photo opportunities over Derwentwater. Further on the ancient stonework of Ashness Bridge provides another photo stop before the path contours round above the eastern side of Derwentwater then down to the shore at Great Wood. We follow the shore line paths to Keswick, and optional retail therapy, before catching the regular bus service back on Rosthwaite. Total distance covered: 8.4 miles (335m ascent).
Borrowdale - the Borrowdale Valley is one of the most beautiful in the Lake District. This walk takes in many of the best views and points of interest. We start at Seatoller and ascend gently into the ancient oaks in Johnny Wood before dropping down to cross the River Derwent. We then follow footpaths through the fields over ice age moraines to Rosthwaite, where we will have time to walk round the village. We cross New Bridge and follow the Cumbria Way downstream stopping to explore the cave of the eccentric Millican Dalton under the shadow of Castle Crag. Continuing north we loop round to Swanesty How before approaching the village of Grange from the north. After stopping in Grange we follow the Allerdale Ramble footpath up past Castle Crag, with the option of tackling the winding footpath to the top, before our route contours round above the tree line affording us open views of the Upper Borrowdale Fells and then drops us back down to our starting place in Seatoller. Total distance covered: 8.4 miles (420m ascent).
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.
Walks & Excursions
Local Transport Costs
We do not include local transport costs or entrance fees in conjunction with the walks programme on this holiday.
To reduce local costs in getting to and from the walks, we may ask those taking their cars to Hassness Country House to assist in transportation and to offer their walking companions a lift to and from the trailheads. You need to bring your motor insurance policy certificate with you and accept that any use by your travelling companions is for social purposes only for which you will not be able to receive any payment. You may travel by public bus on some days therefore if you have a bus pass please bring this with you.
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.
Tour Leaders & Local Guides
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 (www.keswick.org).
Travel information contact details:
- UK rail information: www.nationalrail.co.uk
- 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: www.visitcumbria.com/
- 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: www.rome2rio.com
- 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: www.theaa.co.uk or www.rac.co.uk
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.
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. Substantial picnic lunches are also provided on each of your walking days. Hassness Country House 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
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:
- 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 block
- 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 (more than 1 bottle may be required)
- Basic first aid kit
- Walking poles (should you find them useful)
- Sit mat
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
National Trust & English Heritage
If you’re a member of either of these organisations don’t forget to bring your membership cards as this holiday may include sites relevant to these memberships or you may wish to visit any local sites on a free day should they be nearby.
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 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.
Maps, Guidebooks & Other Information
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Ordnance Survey. Outdoor Leisure series (1:25,000):
Map no 4:
English Lakes - North Western area
Map no 6:
English Lakes - South Western area
‘Wainwright' Guide books:
Book 6 - `The North Western Fells'
Book 7 - `The Western Fells'
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:
Staying Healthy On Holiday
We would like to take this opportunity to update you on the latest Coronavirus information. If you have returned from either of the following countries, or any of the affected areas in the two-weeks prior to your stay at Hassness Country House and you are showing any flu-like symptoms, please contact us to discuss;
Whilst at Hassness Country House, please ensure you use the antiseptic handwash provided by the front door as a precaution. If you are concerned, please refer to the ABTA Coronavirus advice for customers. https://www.abta.com/news/coronavirus-outbreak
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
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.
Staying In Touch
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.
We welcome all comments about our holidays and value ideas for the future. If you have provided us with an email address we will invite you to complete an online questionnaire or to add feedback to our page on the independent review site 'Feefo'.
Please note that this Holiday Information sheet may be periodically updated and reissued.
In most cases the revisions will be minor and the overall nature
of the holiday will remain unchanged. Should we make a major change
to your holiday arrangements between you booking your holiday and
your date of travel we will notify you to specifically draw your
attention to any significant change.
You may wish to review the latest version of this Holiday Information Sheet online prior to travel.
Please note that any advertised offers, benefits or initiatives may be discontinued at any time.
Ramblers Walking Holidays
Our office is open and our Sales & Reservations team are available to speak to you from:
- 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday
- 9.15am to Midday on Saturdays
- 9.15am to 3pm on Saturdays in January & February only
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!
Our holiday walking grades
Full and half day walks at a moderate pace over hilly terrain.
Most of these holidays have an element of sightseeing as well.
Half day walks will probably involve about 3 hours of walking, with full day walks having around 5 hours. Expect ascents and descents of up to 600m.
Discover more about our walking grades