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Lake District - Derwent Water

Guided Leisure Bike Tour




5 days

Prices from

$1,190 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 three rides, you will explore quiet country lanes, fells and pretty lakeside roads.
We are treated to a few climbs throughout the week however, so we have introduced an exclusive E-bike departure (09 Sep 2024) for those looking to enjoy the journey with a group of like-minded e-bikers who'd like a little boost up those cheeky hills!
The area is also rich in heritage, from the ancient stone circle at Castlerigg to signs of the more recent small-scale mining industry. 
Come and join us and other like-minded bikers 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.


  • 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 Keswick / Portinscale
  • 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
36 Miles / 57 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 900 Metres Approx.

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
Whinlatter, Cockermouth and Bassenthwaite
29 Miles / 46 Kms Approx
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 800 Metres Approx.

We’ll start today’s ride heading west, towards High Lorton. We’ll warm up our legs with a ride through Whinlatter before heading north to Cockermouth, where we’ll pass by Cockermouth Castle and Wordsworth House.

We’ll then wind our way east via Wythop Woods, to meet Bassenthwaite on its western edge halfway down the lake. This is the only official “lake” in the Lake District and we’ll have a great view as we meander along its shoreline.

We’ll then make our way back to our accommodation for an evening meal at Derwent Bank.

Day 4
Derwent Water, Thirlmere, Castlerigg
37 Miles / 59 Kms Approx.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
  • Ascent: 900 Metres Approx.

This morning we’ll head south through Little Town and Stair to 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. Following a short detour to Bowder Stone we’ll cycle north up the east side of Derwent Water stopping at 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.

From Ashness Bridge we’ll make our way through Keswick and towards Castlerigg Stone Circle, an ancient monument built around 3000 BC, taking some essential photos in this marvellous English Heritage site. We’ll then head south down through St John’s in the Vale and to the north west bank of Thirlmere Reservoir with the dramatic Helvellyn towering above to the east.

The final section of today’s ride sees us heading back north to pick up the Keswick to Threlkeld Railway path back to our accommodation in Portinscale.

Day 5
Departure Keswick / Portinscale
  • Meals: Breakfast

Today we’ll have a leisurely breakfast together, and with plenty of miles in our legs and memories made, you’ll set off on your onward journeys home.

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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. (Particularly of note, a short section of rough and steep terrain on Day 3 close to Bassenthwaite)

We have e-bikes available on both departures, with the September 2024 departure being exclusively e-bikes, so there’s always the option of a cheeky boost if you need it!


Leisure Cycling Grade

Grade 2-3: Gentle/ Moderate

Aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 trips

Suitable for those looking for some cycle friendly routes

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?

Trips that are graded as a 2-3, will have aspects of both our grade 2 and 3 rides. 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

Secure Your Holiday With A Deposit

Book your trip with a deposit of $125 per person until 30 days before departure.

Choose your dates to start the booking
Start Date
End Date
Price p.p.
Start Date
Return Date
5 days
Start Date
Return Date
5 days
Start Date
09/09/2024 E-Bike Departure
Return Date
5 days

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

G) Financial Protection through ABTOT

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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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.

The Essentials

Travel Options

Your destination is Derwent Bank in Portinscale.

The nearest international airport is Manchester (MAN) and there are a number of direct flights from North America. From there you can catch a train to the route – 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.

On the departure day (day 5) there will be a Skedaddle transfer from Portinscale to Penrith train station at 09.30. Please do not book any return trains from Penrith prior to 11.00.

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 note 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.

On our standard departures, you will have the choice between a hybrid bike (generally Giant Roam (male frame) or Liv Rove (female frame) with a wide gear range suitable for the route and terrain, semi-slick tyres, hydraulic disc brakes and a relaxed riding position), or an electric bike (generally Giant E+ pedal assist bikes with batteries suitable for the daily distances and hydraulic disc brakes). E-bikes come with step through frames as standard but some cross bar frames may be available if preferred. Please let us know if you have a preference.

On the e-bike exclusive tour, only e-bikes will be available

Please note if opting to bring an e-bike on a standard departure, the pace of the day’s riding will be set by the hybrid riders.

If you choose to bring your own e-bike, please contact us so we can discuss the bike specification and ensure it is suitable for the tour.

A rack and two panniers, and one bottle cage are provided with all our rental bikes, along with an emergency repair kit in a seat-post bag containing a puncture repair kit, a multi-tool, a spare innertube and a bike pump.

We are also able to provide helmets, if you’d like one to be provided, please request this at the time of booking.

You are welcome to bring along your own saddles, or own pedals if renting a hybrid bike, but please let us know if advance if you plan to do so.

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