Reach for the sky... A challenging hiking holiday aiming for the major peaks and high ridges of Lakeland and some of Britain's best views!



Holiday Type

Hutting And High Level


Grade 8


7 Nights

All about Great Lakeland Ridge Walks

Holiday Highlights

Guided Walking Holidays - Great Lakeland Ridge Walks

Your muscles ache, your feet feel the miles, and you certainly know you’ve exerted yourself to the full – but the views and the sense of achievement more than compensate as you finally relax in the comfort of your country house hotel.

This is a high grade itinerary based at Hassness on the shores of Buttermere – and probably one of the toughest and most exhilarating week’s walking available in Britain! This challenging six day programme for experienced mountain walkers includes several walks at the top end of the grade and, in less than optimal conditions, may be closer to grade 9; expect to walk 8-12 miles each day with ascents of between 700-1000m, some rock scrambling and a bit of exposure, so you’ll need to be fit from the word go and have a head for heights.

This is a holiday where we aim for Lakeland Ridges, those long narrow elevated crests which run between peaks or from the mountain base to the top and offer some of the most attractive and challenging forms of hill walking. After reaching the top, you are rewarded with some of the finest mountain walking anywhere in the world. These ridges allow you to really stride out and admire the panoramic views. They are planned to capture the spirit of grandeur and wide ranging diversity of our hills.

We plan to include the following walks in the week: the High Stile Ridge; from Ullswater to Striding Edge; Scarfell Pike; Bowfell and crinkle crags; Skiddaw via Ullock Pike and Carl Side; Haystacks; Brandreth and Fleetwith Pike. Due to the nature of the terrain and changes in weather conditions, the itinerary may be subject to change locally.

Holiday Highlights: 

  • Hassness House’s legendary hospitality – completely refurbished in 2018, including some en-suite bedrooms
  • Reaching the heights and sharp places of Lakeland
  • Far and away the toughest walks in our range of holidays
  • Some of Britain’s best views

What's included in this holiday

Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • A week’s Hassness hospitality.
  • B&B each day plus six dinners and six packed lunches.
  • Six days of spectacular high level walking.
  • All transport necessary for the walking programme.
  • Services of some of our highest qualified leaders.

What's included in this holiday

Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • A week’s Hassness hospitality.
  • B&B each day plus six dinners and six packed lunches.
  • Six days of spectacular high level walking.
  • All transport necessary for the walking programme.
  • Services of some of our highest qualified leaders.

This departure: Grade 8

  • Day 1
    Independent arrival at Hassness Country House in Buttermere. Please arrive after 3pm. Dinner is served at 7pm. If you anticipate arriving after this time, we kindly request you telephone Hassness Country House and confirm your arrival time.
  • Day 2
    Six days guided hiking which challenges walkers in some of Lakeland’s major ridge walks and major peaks with ascents and descents of around 700 – 1000m over rough ground. All meals are included except for dinner on Tuesday evening which can be taken in a local pub.
    High Stile Ridge. A walk from Buttermere village, taking in Red Pike, High Stile, and High Crag descending to Scarth Gap before reaching the summit of Haystacks. We then return to Buttermere and Hassness. About 8½ miles, 875m ascent and 6 hours walking.
  • Day 3
    Striding Edge and Swirral Edge. From the shore of Ullswater, we ascend Helvellyn by Striding Edge before coming down Swirral Edge taking in Catstycam before walking back to Ullswater where our day ends. About 8 miles, 900m ascent and 5½ hours walking.
  • Day 4
    Bowfell via the Climbers’ Traverse and Great Slab. From Great Langdale, we ascend Bowfell keeping to the high ridges and a spectacular skyline. We then traverse to Crinkle Crags with the notorious ‘bad step’ before descending back into the Langdale Valley. About 8½ miles, 1,060m ascent and 6½ hours walking.
  • Day 5
    Skiddaw. The curving ridge of Ullock Pike and Longside is a stimulating walk and provides a great way to walk to the summit of Skiddaw. By contrast the descent down Birketts Edge explores a quiet and different Lake District. About 8½ miles, 930m ascent and 6 hours walking.
  • Day 6
    Scafell Pike. The summit of Scafell Pike is the highest point in England. It is also an excellent fell walk, particularly the ascent to the summit via the corridor route. About 8 miles, 3,210ft ascent and 6 hours walking.
  • Day 7
    Fleetwith Pike to Buttermere. From Hassness we climb Fleetwith Pike dropping down to the Honnister Pass from where we climb up to Dale Head, Hindscarth and Robinson before descending to Buttermere. About 9½ miles, 1,220m ascent and 7 hours walking.
  • Day 8
    Departure from Hassness Country House after breakfast.

All about Great Lakeland Ridge Walks

Transport to and from the trailheads, if necessary, is included. So you’ll be ready for your dinner each night!

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.

Nearest railway station: Penrith (approx 28 miles). Nearest bus station: Keswick (approx 10 miles).

Trip Map

See where this holiday travels to.

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 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 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 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 house.

New to Hassness House is a licensed bar which offers a selection of red and white wines, beer and a small assortment of spirits at reasonable prices. 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 days including a guided walk. If your stay includes a ‘free day’, picnic lunches are not included however they can be provided upon request for a small charge.

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.

Departure DateNightsGradeAdventure PriceLand Only PriceSingle Room PriceHoliday InfoAvaliability 
July 20207Grade 8Coming soonN/A-DossierAvailableRESERVE