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United Kingdom

Lake District - Derwent Water

Guided Leisure Cycling Holiday




3 days

Prices from

£420 P.P.
With its dramatic contrast between mighty mountains and still water, Derwent Water is surely the highlight of the Northern Lake District and this trip gives you the perfect opportunity to explore this stunning area by bike.
This fantastic cycling holiday will be based out of Derwent Bank. You will find the perfect mix of relaxation and challenge as you tackle the rolling roads of the Lakes, before returning to comfort and views of the mountains. Here you can relax with your choice of tipple on the sun terrace or shelter from the elements in the conservatory.
Over the course of the rides, you will explore quiet country lanes, fells and pretty lakeside roads. The area is also rich in heritage, from the ancient stone circle at Castlerigg to signs of the more recent small-scale mining industry. So join us for this wonderful tour of the Lake District, all set in a friendly and social environment and led by at least two of our experienced guides.

Holiday Highlights

  • Stay at Derwent Bank, Keswick – a comfortable HF Country House sitting directly on the banks of Derwent Water
  • Spin your legs gently along country lanes or challenge them as you climb up towards some Lakeland fells
  • Admire the vista across the lake to Skiddaw and Blencathra
  • Treat yourself to delicious cake pit-stops in charming local cafés
  • Let the lovely Lakeland landscapes inspire your daily cycling
  • Visit Castlerigg Stone Circle – an ancient monument built around 3000 BC

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Day 1
Arrival in Keswick
  • Meals: Dinner

Today is set aside to allow you to arrive into Keswick at your convenience. Your accommodation at Derwent Bank is situated just a mile from town. You will meet your leader and the rest of the group, and enjoy a leisurely evening meal.

Day 2
Surrounding Skiddaw
37 Miles / 60 kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 1250m

Today we head out on a circular route taking in some of the best views of Skiddaw, Blencathra, and Bassenthwaite Lake National Nature Reserve. There are a few challenging climbs today, the first out of Bassenthwaite and especially the ascent out of the small village of Uldale. Once up at a higher elevation the views are spectacular, with only a few trees and majestic rolling hills as far as the eye can see. After a final climb to Calebreck, there are plenty of gentle and medium-grade descents to make up for the climbs and give your legs a rest, allowing you to appreciate the beautiful surroundings before completing the loop back to Keswick.

Day 3
Bassenthwaite Lake, Castlerigg and Derwent Water
33 Miles / 54 kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch
  • Ascent: 1120m

Today begins with a ride alongside Bassenthwaite Lake – the only official “lake” in the Lake District. After cycling along the lush Lorton Valley we’ll warm up the legs with a ride over Whinlatter before descending into Braithwaite and riding on to Keswick. After the pretty market town with its typical slate buildings we enjoy a short and rewarding climb taking us up to Castlerigg Stone Circle, an ancient monument built around 3000 BC. After taking some essential photos in this marvellous English Heritage site, we take an alternate route back toward Keswick featuring some elevated glimpses of the pristine Derwent Water below. After an enjoyable descent, we head south along the east bank of Derwent Water, heading to Ashness Bridge, one of the Lake District’s most photographed sites. On a clear day, the viewpoint looks out over both Derwent Water and Bassenthwaite Lake in the distance. At the base of the lake we pass through the postcard village of Grange, at the entrance to the “Jaws of Borrowdale.” We cycle over the impressive double-arched bridge crossing the River Derwent, past its quaint slate cottages and tea shops and head north through peaceful sections of woodland to our accommodation in Portinscale, for a shower before heading home with plenty of great memories!

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The Cycling


The Lake District is known for its rugged beauty, but also its hills! Most of the routes around Keswick are fairly undulating, although there are also some less challenging options that bypass the climbs. You will be riding on a mixture of quiet country lanes and purpose-built cycleways, with possible sections along more gravelly tracks.


Leisure Cycling Grade

Grade 2-3: Gentle/Moderate

Aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 holidays

Suitable for those looking for some cycle friendly routes

Features some modest climbs

Possibly sections of varying terrain (eg. forest tracks, gravel paths etc).

Our grading guidelines have been carefully created based on our many years of cycling experience, as well as customer feedback from our trips. Of course, if you're still struggling to figure out where you fit on the scale, do feel free to give us a quick call and we'll be more than happy to help!

For more information about our grading system click here.

Is this suitable for you?

Holidays that are graded as a 2-3, will have aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 holidays. These tours are still suitable for those perhaps who have recently got into cycling, and offer an array of accessible, cycle friendly routes, cycle paths and quiet roads, however there will be some days / sections where you may have to tackle some ups and downs, the occasional steeper climb and perhaps some varying terrain (forest tracks, gravel paths etc). Suitable for those with a decent level of physical fitness, looking for some leisurely rides with occasional (achievable!) challenges along the way.

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Dates & Prices

Private Departures

Private Departures

Are you keen to only travel with your family or friends? Struggling to find the right date? Well, we can organise a private departure for this tour and tailor aspects to suit your group's specific needs. Contact our friendly team and we'll help you turn your dream into reality.

Whats Included Tick

A) Shared twin (or double) room (single room may be available on request, for a supplement)

B) Full tour service including guides and a back-up vehicle carrying spares, snacks and extra equipment not needed on your bike

C) At least one leader qualified in First Aid

D) Full-board including picnic lunch and en route refreshments

E) Secure bike storage and bike wash facilities

F) Train station collections / drop-offs on scheduled arrival and departure days

What's not Included Cross

A) Personal clothing and equipment

B) Travel insurance

C) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.

D) Bike & helmet rental (available if required)

E) Travel or flight costs and charges for travelling with your bike (if applicable)

F) Single room option (may be available if required)

G) Entrance fees to cultural or historical sites and visitor centres

H) Other optional activities

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The Essentials

Travel Options

Your destination is Derwent Bank in Portinscale. If you intend to drive we will provide directions. Parking is available at the accommodation where vehicles can be left at the owner’s risk.

If you prefer to travel by train the most convenient station is Penrith. Group train station transfers are included in the holiday price and there will be a Skedaddle transfer at 16.00 from Penrith train station to Portinscale.

Following completion of the ride there will be a Skedaddle transfer from Portinscale to Penrith train station at 16.00. Please do not book any return trains from Penrith prior to 17.30.

Please check with us before making any travel arrangements to make sure we have reached the minimum number required to guarantee your holiday and to ensure your arrangements fit with our scheduled transfers and logistics.

Please not If you make alternative travel arrangements, which fall outside of the planned train station transfers, there may be an additional charge for individual transfers.


On this holiday, you will be based at an HF Country House. HF Holidays run a number of Country Houses around the UK, which are all within National Parks or Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and which offer the perfect comfortable environment to return to after a day out on two wheels.

With one of best waterfronts of any hotel on Derwent Water, your accommodation provides splendid views of the surrounding fells, and a lovely location to explore the Lake District.

At Derwent Bank there is a large, comfortable lounge, an attractive dining room and a welcoming bar stocking local beer. The house sits in extensive gardens with a sloping lawn down to the lake jetty, perfect for a post-ride leg stretch wander!

Bike Hire

If you would like to rent a bike we have both hybrid and electric bikes available.

The hybrid bikes are generally Giant Roam or Liv Rove with a large 27 speed gear range, semi-slick tyres and a relaxed riding position. Our electric bikes are generally Giant Entour E+ Disc pedal assist bikes with batteries suitable for the daily distances on this holiday but please bear in mind that the range can depend on several variables. You can chat to our team to get the most from riding your e-bike. The e-bikes some come in both step-through and cross-bar frames and we may be able to allocate your preferred style on a first come, first served basis.

Helmets and panniers are provided on request with all our hire bikes along with an emergency repair kit including a spare innertube, bike pump and bike lock.

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