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The Cumberland Way

from £699
A route through the valleys of the old Lakeland county 

Guided Walking Holidays - The Cumberland Way

This 62 mile walk takes you on a west to east route from coastal Ravenglass to Brougham Hall, near Penrith, with between 9 and 13 miles walked daily. 

We'll walk towards remote Wastwater, the most atmospheric of all the lakes, through spectacular scenery over Black Sail Pass and then under the shadow of the high peaks - Great Gable, Scafell Pike, Pillar and Haystacks being amongst them. 

Continuing east there's another stunning high level route to the gentler scenery of the Newlands Valley and the shores of Derwent Water, before arriving at Keswick. From here we gently ascend to the Castlerigg stone circle, with far reaching views back to Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake. We then pick up a lonely coach road through thousands of acres of high moorland to walk down into Dockray and Ullswater. Journey's end is at Brougham Hall (rather than continuing for another day to the official end at Appleby), before returning to Hassness Country House for a farewell dinner. 


If you really like to stay in our Hassness Country House, you might also be interested in holidays like Navigation & Hill SkillsGreat Lakeland Ridge WalksLakeland Explorer and Mindfulness in the Mountains.

Holiday Highlights

  • The 62 mile walk takes you on a west to east route from Ravenglass, where the Lake District meets the sea. 
  • You’ll cover the route over 6 days, with between 9 and 13 miles covered daily. 
  • Pass stunning scenery over Black Sail Pass for views of the high peaks (Great Gable, Scafell Pike, Pillar and Haystacks). 
  • Ascend the Castlerigg stone circle with views to Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake. 
  • Journey’s end is at Brougham Hall, rather than the official end at Appleby. 
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      One week accommodation at Hassness Country House
      All meals except for dinner on Tuesday
      Transport, if necessary for the advertised programme
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 4

  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

    Ravenglass to Wasdale.  Begin walking at Ravenglass which is near the terminus of the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway, before reaching Wasdale, said to be the most atmospheric of all the lakes. About 11.7 miles, 300m ascent & descent.  

  3. Day 3

    Over Black Sail Pass to Buttermere.  Walk over Black Sail Pass and under the shadow of the high peaks such as Great Gable, Scafell Pike, Pillar and Haystacks. We then descend to Hassness Country House. About 11 miles, 700m ascent & descent. 

  4. Day 4

    Newlands Valley to Keswick.  A walk along the high level route of the Newlands Valley and the shores of Derwentwater before arriving at Keswick. About 9 miles, 500m ascent & descent. Dinner is not included this evening but it can be taken in one of the two pubs in Buttermere. 

  5. Day 5

    Keswick to Dockray. Ascend to Castlerigg stone circle at Keswick,with views of Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite Lake, passing St Johns in the Vale church. A coach road then takes us to the high moorland before we walk into Dockray. Please note that this day is longer than usual, however the ascents are spread out and the going is fairly easy underfoot. About 12 miles, 900m ascent & 750m descent. 

  6. Day 6

    Ullswater.  On this day we will visit Ullswater where the route will take us along its western flank with outstanding scenic views. About 9 miles, 500m ascent & 600m descent.  

  7. Day 7

    Dacre to Brougham Hall and a circuit of Buttermere. The River Eamont brings the walk to a close with more history at Dalemain Hall and Yanwath Hall and the ancient henges at Eamont Bridge. The walk concludes at Brougham Hall to be followed by an optional walk around the shores of Buttermere. About 7 miles, 200m ascent & descent. 

  8. 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.