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.
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.
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 can discuss arrangements with you the previous evening, should you wish to be included on a guided walk.
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.
Self-guided participants are accepted on the understanding that they will be suitably equipped for a walking holiday, and aware of the risks involved in walking in the country. Essentially, you must be able to cope reasonably with the demands of a stay at Hassness Country House 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.
- Breakfast and packed lunches each day
- Three course evening meals (except on one day on some departures)
- Renowned Hassness Country House hospitality
What's not included?
- Guided walks (there is an option to join a guided walk for a small charge)
- Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
- Discretionary tips
- Optional excursions
- Insurance (you can add this when you book)
- Local transport is not included on this holiday
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.
There will be an evening talk in the lounge at 6.30pm before dinner which you are welcome to join. You can meet the group of guided walkers, our leader and find out which walk the group are doing the following day.
Day 2 to 7
Day 2 to 7
Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner
Hassness Country House
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 Country House. 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 Wainwright'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).
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
As this is a self-guided holiday, you are free to explore the area at your leisure using your preferred method of transport. If you wish to join our leader and group staying at Hassness Country House, who have booked a guided walking holiday, we do not include local transport costs or entrance fees in conjunction with the walks programme.
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.
Your Travel Details
To reach Hassness 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 and the estate will be on your left.
Parking is available at Hassness County House. If driving, please note that there is no opportunity to fuel vehicles in the immediate Buttermere area, so please ensure you have enough fuel to get you to the house and away on your return journey. The nearest filling station is in Keswick or Cockermouth.
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 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/kes/kestic.htm
- 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
There may be others staying at Hassness Country House who have booked a guided walking holiday, therefore a leader will be present throughout your stay. The group will plan to meet in the lounge at 6.30pm and you are more than welcome to join them before dinner.
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 (excluding Tuesdays when there is a cold buffet breakfast and dinner can be taken in one of the local restaurants or 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.
Footwear & Kit List
Holiday Specific Kit
In addition, we recommend that you bring a flask with you on your walks each day. Due to the time of year, it is sensible to bring a hot drink out with you to help keep warm.
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
If you cannot find the maps or books locally we recommend:
The Map Shop
5 High Street
Upton upon Severn, Worcs
Tel: 01684 593 146
E-mail: [email protected]
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.
Visit the following websites for an idea of the climate in your destination:
Staying Healthy On Holiday
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 & Development 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.
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:
- 09.00 to 17.00 Monday to Friday
Please quote your Booking Reference number and Tour Code whenever contacting us.
We wish you an enjoyable holiday!