01694 723600 info@secrethillswalking.co.uk

Northern Lake District – Hills and Valleys around Borrowdale

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Why Book With Us?

  • Value for Money
  • Personal Service
  • Hand-picked Tours & Activities
  • No single supplement (UK only)
  • Flights from local airports (Europe only)

Make an Enquiry

Do not hesitate to contact us. We are an expert team and we are always happy to talk to you.


01694 723600

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.

  • Five days
  • Refund guarantee
  • Expert Tour Guides
  • Four Nights
  • Location: Northern Lakes

The Northern Lakes – big mountains and glorious lakes- walking at it’s finest. Our solos guided walking holiday provides a contrast to the Southern Lakes holidays we run from Ambleside, the terrain is perhaps wilder, but the walking, on a magnificent network of paths is stunning.

Our company specialises in solos and singles. We offer guided walking holidays in some of the world’s most magnificent landscapes – Europe and the UK. We  also design bespoke holidays for special groups.


What you get on a Secret Hills Break
  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite four nights
  • Dinner- three course.
  • Lunch- except first day
  • Sole Occupancy
  • Personal service
  • Expert guiding- friendly, local guides that know the area superbly well
  • Transport to walks start and finish as needed
  • Flexibility
  • No single supplement
  • A social, relaxed approach
  • Full joining details prior to your holiday
  • Our administration support from the point of booking to you joining the holiday

Hotel and Meals

We stay at the Glaramara Hotel in Borrowdale. 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.Guided walking for singles and solos in the Lake District

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 hotel’s 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 very recently  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.  However there is an additional charge per night for these rooms.


Dinner is a feature of our holiday with a three course evening meal and 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.


We offer you the opportunity to stay additional nights, and many people extend their weekend as they wish. Just reserve what nights you need.

Great reasons to join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover the countryside but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….

  • We specialise in organising guided walking holidays for single and solos travellers
  • We are a small friendly company
  • We have a loyal customer base who return again and again (so we must be doing something right) – read our testimonials page on the website
  • We offer a lot of flexibility – you can stay extra nights which we are happy to organise for you. We are also very flexible on the walks we provide, adapting to suit walkers and weather conditions
  • Our walk leading is second to none. Unlike some other large Walking Companies, we use LOCAL leaders who live in the area and who love their surroundings. They have expert knowledge of everything you need to know to make an area come alive.
  • You are safe in our hands – our guides are experts, fully qualified in first aid. Also, because of their local knowledge of the hills, they can respond to any situation that might for example demand cutting short a route. They don’t need to consult maps – they know the hills intimately.
  • Our leaders are all easy-going, genuinely sociable people who want to ensure that you have the best time you can with the rest of the group. They make the weekend fun by engaging with all members of a group, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the group experience.
  • We give great value for money. Because we recognise that lots of walkers holiday on their own, we have negotiated no single supplement deals with all our hotels to ensure the best possible deal.
  • We always use good hotels. 
  • We have smaller groups than some of the larger walking companies, because we believe the social experience is much better in a smaller group. People can talk to everyone, especially at dinner where you can all sit on one table in a small group. Our numbers vary from holiday to holiday but an average group size would be 8-12.


Getting to Borrowdale

By car – follow your SatNav 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 National Rail

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


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 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.

Guided walking in the Lake District

Our location opens up the options of visiting the following valleys of  Honister, Buttermere, Crummock 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. 

We start walking on the first day – the start date of the holiday- at 2.30pm, with a lovely introductory walk of about 2.5 hours- get to know us, and each other on the holiday.

We walk on days 2, 3 and 4 and on day 5 we finish about 2.30pm.

Grades and Difficulty

The walks on this trip vary between Moderate and Challenging levels and each day involves a fair amount of ascent and descent. The trip requires a reasonable amount of fitness, ideally with previous hill walking experience.

The Northern Lake District offers a wide variety of terrains and walking opportunities. We will describe each walk the night before and what it entails. We walk at a steady pace, we don’t rush – we want you to enjoy our lovely scenery. These fells are a walker’s paradise with good, mainly well marked paths and an ever changing landscape.

 This is a land of ever changing vistas – on any walk we get four or five different landscapes to enjoy. Don’t forget your camera.

We walk between 9 and 10 miles per day. 

Paths on this Lake District holiday are mostly well marked and walked but can have rough and uneven with stony parts to them. The terrain and path types vary but many can be rocky and steep.

These we take carefully, bearing in mind your safety at all times.

You need good walking footwear, preferably waterproof walking boots with good soles for protection. You may find that walking poles will aid your enjoyment of this land.

Whilst we do not ascend the high fells- we will ascend and descend on our walks – up to a total in a day of 750 metres. So, there will be some short, sharp ascents and descents.

Sample Walks

We will discuss each day’s walk during dinner on the previous evening. Our walk selection each day will be based upon the ability of the group assembled and importantly, the expected weather conditions.

Day One

A short walk over Thornthwaite Fell to stretch our ‘hill legs’.  We head towards the cairn at 574m.  Taking time to enjoy the fabulous views and see some of the routes for the following week. Guided walking in the Lake District

The following are a selection of the walks we use on this holiday.  Your guide will use them according to weather and conditions.  There is a good bus service in the Borrowdale valley which we use to facilitate linear walks. 


A 10 mile, 16K route over Brund Fell, 350m.   The pretty Watendlath valley has a pretty tarn hamlet, and with luck the tea room may be open.  Our return may include, Ladore Falls, Ashness Bridge and surprise view. 


One of the most walked Wainwrights.  We walk from the door through the Borrowdale valley.  Catbells summit is 451m and gives a wonderful view of Derwent and the Borrowdale Valley.  We return by Derwent shore and take the bus to the hotel. 

Castle Crag

A relatively small hill which can be seen from throughout the area.  It’s a mere 290m but  its slippery slate means we only go to the top in dry weather. 

Seathwaite and Sprinkling Tarn

This route takes us in to the heart of the fells.  A steady ascent to around 450m.  We follow Grains Gill with tumbling waterfalls.  There will be time to stop and appreciate the remote fells and see the track up to Sca Fell Pike and Wasdale to the west.   15.5K

Walla Crag

This is one of the most accessible Wainwright hills.  The eastern side of Derwent with fabulous views over to Catbells on the far shore.  376m.  There are several routes we can take to incorporate this hill.Guided walking for solos and singles in the Lake District


This route starts from the picturesque village of Buttermere, we go by bus.  We walk along the lake shore and then head up Scarth Gap to Hay stacks, 579m.  After savouring the magnificent views we drop down over Fleetwith and the slate mine at Honister, then back to our accommodation.

Other options for routes:

Keswick to Threkeld railway.

Keswick Stone Circle.

A circuit of Buttermere

A circuit of Derwent

A circuit of Crummock water.


Although our leaders are well trained and experienced in dealing with different capabilities of our walking clients, if they have any concerns about any client’s ability or suitability to undertake safely any walking activity we plan or feel that participation of an individual may affect the groups safety and cohesion, then they have full permission to exclude that client from an activity.

They will always try to provide and alternative suggested activity, though this may involve the client in additional local cost.

We rarely have to enforce this above recommendation, but it is a sensible and necessary protection for the individual client, the group, and the leaders.



Meet New Friends

Its all about meeting new friends. Each holiday is designed to be a friendly, relaxed and stress free occasion. Talking is as important as walking on Secrethills Walking Holidays. We don’t go in for discos, we may use an event that is taking place in the area we are in to boost the weekends activities – but its good, old fashioned chat that makes our short breaks successful.

“Make new friends that turn into old friends” – that’s our motto.

You might be surprised by what fun you’ll have with people who are older or younger than you during a holiday with us, and that’s exactly the sort of atmosphere we encourage; people find it very rewarding. It doesn’t matter what your reasons for traveling with us are, we’ve had people who are single, divorced or widowed, people who have partners that are unable to travel, and people who can’t holiday with their friends anymore as they’ve all got married themselves. There are people who want to make friends, see sights, and experience something completely new. Whatever your reason, we’ll welcome you with open arms and our friendly hosts will help you to get the most out of your holiday.

Don’t worry if this is the first time you have ventured to join a group holiday – its always a bit daunting – but we will look after you and ensure that you get used to being amongst friends again. Trust us to to get you back into the swing of things.

Oh – by the way – its not a dating agency – over the years we have had people meet and fall in love – but that’s just chance. Our aim is that you make like minded friends – just relax and enjoy.

Just arrive and enjoy.

How to Book

To reserve a place on any of our holidays, please follow these simple instructions.

Reserve online  – once you have chosen your holiday, click on Proceed Booking and complete the online form. If you have difficulty reserving online, please  contact us (tel: 01694 723600, email: info@secrethillswalking.co.uk) and we will assist you to complete your booking.


Please note we cannot take credit/debit card details over the phone. You may pay by the following methods when you book online…

  • Paypal – if you have a Paypal account, simply click on the link to the Paypal website.
  • Credit / Debit card – we use Paypal to host our credit/debit cards facility because it is a very secure system. So if you want to pay with a card, simply click on this option which will take you to our page on the PayPal website. Check in there as a “Guest” to enable your card payment. You do not need to have a Paypal account for this transaction.
  • We will also accept a Bank Transfer – you will find our account details on the booking form.
  • Finally, we will also accept a cheque payable to Secret Hills Walking Holidays and sent to: Secret Hills Walking Holidays, 35 Sandford Avenue, Church Stretton, Shropshire, SY6 6BH

Please note than an initial deposit is required with each booking regardless of which payment method you choose. Your booking will be accepted when your payment (deposit or full balance) is received. Note – if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.

It is important that you read the terms and conditions before you sign the booking form.

Note – if you are reserving a holiday within a month of the start date then the full amount is due immediately and no deposit should be paid.


The Northern region of the English Lake District National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty. There are lakes, mountains, delightful small towns, villages and hamlets set amongst 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.Guided walking for solos and singles in the Lake District

It is hard to believe that the Borrowdale valley, 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 and visitors play an important role in sustaining the local community.

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.
Keswick, situated between the huge bulk of Skiddaw and the gentle beauty of Derwentwater, has become the major centre for tourism in the northern Lake District. This pretty market town offer a wide range of attractions for visitors, from shops and restaurants to museums with a difference, and boating trips around lake Derwentwater.




19 Reviews
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Caroline Payne

Solo Traveller

Bridget, our walking guide, was excellent, researched the walks, briefed us every evening about the following day and did her utmost to keep the group together and to meet everyone’s walking abilities. Hotel Glaramara was excellent and the evening meals were superb. I would recommend to others.

October 4, 2023

Linda McGivern

Solo Traveller

The pre holiday information was effective, I knew exactly what to expect.
The guided holiday exceeded my expectations, Bridget (walk leader) was brilliant! I loved every minute of it, even the weather!
The hotel and holiday exceeded my expectations Glaramara Mara was wonderful, the food was excellent.
Thank you, for a wonderful holiday…

October 2, 2023

Lance Burgess

Solo Traveller

Guided walking – very good, Bridget is a very experienced guide and good to be with on some challenging climbs and nice walks.
Hotel – great location, friendly staff, nice food. Organisation of holiday – all good thanks.

October 1, 2023

Sarah Cotena

Solo Traveller

Guided walking was excellent; it was challenging terrain at times but Alvina went at the pace of the group to ensure we all enjoyed the experience. Good weather, superb views each day and a lovely group of people to share it with created a memorable holiday.
Hotel was perfect, peaceful and comfortable and the food was the best I’ve had on a Secret Hills Holiday – 5 stars!
Will look forward to another break with you in the future!

May 3, 2023

Steve Oxenham

Solo Traveller

The hotel was really excellent with very helpful staff, good food and it gave good value for money.
Alvina was an excellent guide, professional and knowledgeable. The organization overall was first class and I would certainly be prepared to join you again… thanks to you and all your team for giving me a great holiday.

April 30, 2023