Northern Lake District and Borrowdale - Nr Keswick

Northern Lake District and Borrowdale

The Lake District is an area of immense beauty, great diversity and striking contrast from its high fells to deep valleys, by its cascading rivers, tarns and great lakes, by woods, fields and its lovely quaint villages and hamlets. Cumbria’s mountainous landscape, deepest valleys and longest lakes have provided inspiration for generations of artists, poets and writers from Wordsworth, Ruskin, Wainwright and Beatrix Potter

England's largest National Park is now a World Heritage Site, home to Scafell Pike - its highest mountain, Wastwater - its deepest lake and thriving communities like Keswick and Bowness-on-Windermere.

Walking in the Lakes is a lifelong ever changing experience. It offers a vast range of very good, well maintained paths which give you full access to the hills, fells and lakes. No matter where you walk, whether it be along the valley, or to the crest of a low level hill you are rewarded with a 360 degree panorama of fells and beauty.

Whatever the weather, throughout the seasons the Lake District offers an ever changing kaleidoscope of mood and colour. It really is one of the most special places on earth and really needs to be visited and its paths walked.

It is hard to believe that Borrowdale, now part of the National Park, was once a hive of industrial activity with iron smelting, charcoal burning, and mining for copper and graphite.  Scattered hamlets reflect the Nordic influence in their names, while stone walls and vernacular buildings chronicle centuries of farming.  Today farming struggles to make a living Leading south from Derwent water, Borrowdale is surrounded by rugged crags, inviting fells, old mine workings and wooded valleys with clean rivers.  The fine sessile oak woodlands are of particular ecological interest, and the damp, western climate supports internationally important lichens, mosses and insects.  An alder woodland and marsh along the shores of Derwentwater provide an ideal nesting site for wildfowl and waders aisitors play an important role in sustaining the local community.







Accommodation and Food

We stay at the Glaramara Hotel in Borrowdale - see

Glaramara is a privately owned hotel which is run by an experienced and professional team whose aim is to make your visit a memorable and rewarding one.

The serene setting of Glaramara offers you the most perfect Lakeland retreat.The location of the hotel is particularly striking with commanding views of the Borrowdale Fells and the hotel is nestled into the hillside.The hotel is set in over 5 acres of private ground with stunning views from all aspects and nearly all of the hotels elegant rooms provide magnificent views of the surrounding Cumbrian Fells

The hotel facilities include a spacious lounge and bar each with log fires, a wrap around sun terrace to soak up the views, a drying room and free wi fi throughout.

It really is a very tranquil retreat.

The hotel bedrooms are equipped to a very high standard and have been very recently all been renovated. The bedrooms we have been allocted are single rooms - should you wish to guarantee a twin, or double room for sole occupation then please request this when you book as the hotel has many single rooms for us.However there is a charge of £10 per night for these rooms.

Dinner is a feature of our holiday with a three course evening meal with a changing daily menu complimenting our walking and is part of our social atmosphere.

Lunch is either a hearty packed lunch or we aim to call at local pubs where appropriate or we take a heart packed lunch from the hotels kitchen

Your guided walking programme


We have a number of dates fro this holiday- please read the detail below

February 15 - arrive Friday afternoon, stay three nights -Friday/Saturday and Sunday nights - Walk Friday afternoon (optional) Saturday/Sunday and Monday until approx 3.30pm.

April 14 - arrive Sunday afternoon, stay four nights - Sunday/Monday/Tuesday /Wednesday- Walk Sunday afternoon(optional) Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday and Thursday until approx 3.30pm

July 28 - arrive Sunday afternoon, stay four nights-Sunday/Monday/Tuesday /Wednesday- Walk Sunday afternoon(optional) Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday and Thursday until approx 3.30pm

September 22 - arrive Sunday afternoon, stay three  nights-Sunday/Monday/Tuesday - Walk Sunday afternoon(optional) Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday until approx 3.30pm

Our North Lakes holiday is based from the most stunning Lakeland retreat Hotel in Borrowdale which is situated 8 miles south of Keswick in the picturesque hamlet of Seatoller in the very beautiful Borrowdale Valley. Our hotel location offers us a great variety of great walks straight from the hotel door and offers us either low level valley walks or the opportunity to ascend fantastic mid level fells and peaks. Our location opens up the options of visiting the following valleys of  Honister, Buttermere, Crummuck Water, Langstrath and walking through the pretty hamlets of Rosthwaite, Seathwaite, Grange and Watendlath. We will also be able to visit some very well known landmarks such as Ashness Bridge, castle crag, Honister slate mine and Borrowdale Bowder Stone and walk some parts of the Coast to Coast and Cumbria Way path networks.

Our options are endless and we will match our walks to the weather and to the needs of the group. 

Getting to Borrowdale

By car - floow your SatNavs instructions.

M6 - junction 38 for Keswick then follow signs for Borrowdale and Seatoller once you reach Keswick

By Train - Penrith is the nearest station. See

There is a bus service to Keswick from Penrith and from Keswick to Seatoller. Taxis are also available.

Great reasons to join us

- meet new friends in a relaxed walking and social  atmosphere

- beautiful countryside to walk through and enjoy

- super value for money- no single supplement

- professional, friendly walk leaders who are passionate and knowledeable about this area

- lovely country hotel with super food



Holiday Highlights

Fabulous Lake District scenery-  Borrowdale, Skiddaw, Derwentwater

- Fabulous Autumn scenery- the russets, browns and oranges that make our Lake District autumn so vibrant

- Simply superb vista's every day.

- Some of the best walking in this country

- Lovely country house hotel and fabulous food.

- No single supplement 

- Our relaxed social approach

-Meet new friends that turn into old friends


Whats Included

What you get on a Secret Hills break

  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite
  • Sole occupancy- no single supplement
  • Three course dinner
  • Lunch
  • Personal service
  • Expert guiding
  • Transport to walks start if necessary
  • Flexibility
  • A social, relaxed approach
  • No single supplement
  • Joining details prior to the holiday
  • Administration support from reservation to the date of your holiday

Customer Reviews

 Very much enjoyed my holiday in the lakes two weeks ago. Jill and Joe were excellent guides helping the less able of us without fuss. Can't stop showing friends the views and saying how good the hotel was. Warm rooms, hot water, good food and the luxury of a drying room. Met lots of interesting people and will be booking Scotland for next year. Thank Jill again for her leadership in all aspects of the holiday and yes the wow factor was there in abundance. Regards Sandy.

Sandy Baker - Northern Lakes 2018


Easy walks; beautiful scenery, autumn colours and dramatic lake reflections. 5- stars.

CT Yuen- Northern Lakes November 2018


Liz Mills -  Northern Lakes October 2018. Jill (walk leader) was a great host warm and welcoming. She was also caring, listened to what we said and thought on her feet when needed. Moreover,when one of our group had difficulty getting down a rather slippery slope she was there to hold their arm and give support. That to me says a lot.

Northern Lakes October 2018 Today was the best autumn walk I have ever had in my whole life! Thank you Jill, you have been an excellent guide and I would not hesitate to go on another of your holidays x"

- Lynne Dale - November 2018


"Northern Lakes October 2018 Had an amazing time! Thank you Jill for your warm welcome and expertise. Your knowledge and guidance was fantastic. I saw some amazing sights and took an abundance of photos of the most spectacular views I have ever seen. Would definitely recommend this area of the Lakes. In addition, your choice of hotel was brilliant: warm, comfortable and the food was delicious. Well done Secret Hills!"

- Kerry Steele - November 2018 Northern Lakes October 2018 


The Lake District - magnificent in all seasons

The Northern region of the English Lake District National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty. With lakes, mountains, delightful small towns, villages and hamlets set among magnificent landscape this is somewhere to escape from the pressures of modern living. Visitors to this area come for many different reasons, some simply enjoy looking at the scenery, some will paint or use cameras to capture the views, while others will walk the valleys and climb the fells. Cycling as well as walking  is a popular activity here, either on the roads or "mountain biking" on lanes, bridleways and specially created tracks. Open water swimming, kayaking and sailing takes place on some of the lakes, and some of the fells provide perfect "launch platforms" for those who like to paraglide over the valleys and lower fells.

The normally accepted boundary between the North and South areas of the Lake District is a line through Dunmail Raise. This is the pass which connects the Vale of Grasmere in the South to the Thirlmere valley in the North. This is the only low level route between North and South Lakes, reaching only 238 metres above sea level, and is the route for the A591 Keswick to Kendal road. The "Raise" is a stone cairn which is at the top of the pass, now on the reservation between the dual carriageways of the A591. This is the dividing line used for the content of this website.

The region around Keswick including Borrowdale an Derwentwater is probably the most visited in the Lake District after Windermere on account of its dramatic scenery and particularly the manner n which natural attractions such as Lodore Falls, Bowder Stone were dramatized by the Lakeland literary circle of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey and so on, and the Lakeland Painters. Keswick is also a magnet for climbers  while nearby Catbells is probably the most-climbed peak in the lake District. This region also provides a huge diversity of scenery from the high peaks of Scafell and Great Gable above Borrowdale, to the ancient woodlands around Lodore, and tranquil meadows around Bassenthwaite and Wythop. There are also numerous attractions and distractions from sailing and climbing schools, to the boats on Derwentwater, the Cars of the Stars museum in Keswick, the mining museum and railway at Threlkeld, the visitors centre and osprey watch at Whinlatter, the slate mines at Honister and cultural attractions such as Castlerigg Stone Circle, Mirehouse and St Bega's church at Bassenthwaite.
Leading south from Derwent water, Borrowdale is surrounded by rugged crags, inviting fells, old mine workings and wooded valleys with clean rivers.  The fine sessile oak woodlands are of particular ecological interest, and the damp, western climate supports internationally important lichens, mosses and insects.  An alder woodland and marsh along the shores of Derwentwater

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Our Promise To You
You matter to us & we promise to provide you with a superb walking & social holiday, tailored specifically to your needs. We provide walking holidays for walkers & as walkers ourselves, we appreciate & understand the requirements of a walking holiday.

What Others Said...

  Back safely, all the connections ran to time and no problems at all. Thank you for a lovely week, it was most enjoyable, great walking, good weather and pleasant company. Slovenia is an interesting proposition for both of us next year.  Keep us in mind, if at all possible we'd like to fly from Exeter and if that is not possible, Bristol.  

Dena Bird