We are spoilt at Hazel Bank for local walks. We believe our hotel is situated in one of the loveliest areas in the British Isles. When we’re not hard at work welcoming guests, we are trying our very best to take advantage of the area and the fantastic Borrowdale walks accessible directly from our garden gate.
The changing seasons, conditions and times of day, make even the same walk feel like a new experience. We have some of the most beautiful walks in the Lake District located close by. Castle Crag was recently featured on Julia Bradbury’s Best Walks With a View and is located just a stone’s throw away.
At Hazel Bank Country House Hotel, we’re able to walk directly out of our garden gate and onto the Lake District fells.
The Borrowdale landscape is varied, with hidden coves, cascading waterfalls, dense native oak woodland, towering fells, and Herdwick sheep dotted across the fells. Borrowdale is a much quieter part of the Lake District, ideally situated to escape the hustle and bustle.
Gary MacRae: Dock Tarn to Watendlath from Rosthwaite
Owner, Gary’s favourite Borrowdale walk is from Dock Tarn to Watendlath. He said: “It’s a really pleasant, easy-going stroll following good paths with picturesque views.”
Gary admitted: “I like this walk as it doesn’t matter how stressful and busy your day has been, I can go straight out from the house and within minutes I’m amidst the beautiful countryside, it really is one of the most stunning areas I’ve known.”
Direct from Hazel Bank you go toward Stonethwaite and through a crag that looks like a staircase from Lord of the Rings.
From the crag, you go over toward a little tarn known as Dock Tarn, which is a hidden gem that many tourists don’t often get to hear about. Gary admits: “It’s a beautiful, little tranquil and serene tarn.”
From there he continues onwards to a lovely little village that sits above Hazel bank, known as Watendlath.
It’s an ancient little village, owned by the National Trust. It sits next to Watendlath Tarn. The area is an area of scientific interest, lying 847 feet above sea level on a ‘hanging valley’.
A ‘hanging valley’ is the product of varying levels of erosion, where the floor of the valley erodes at different rates, so it’s a valley above a valley, which is somewhat unusual.
As you walk down from Watendlath you are treated to beautiful views looking down into Borrowdale.
That path actually ends up right at the back door of the hotel. Gary explained: “It truly is a beautiful walk. It has everything the Lake District has to offer in a four and a half mile walk”
Donna MacRae: High Spy, Maiden Moor and Catbells
Donna’s favourite Borrowdale walk takes you up three iconic Borrowdale fells. The views are fantastic overlooking both the Newlands and Borrowdale Valley. She said: “I chose this Borrowdale walk as it’s not particularly strenuous but the views are astounding, it’s well worth every effort.”
The first part of the walk requires the most effort as you hike to the top of Rigg Head Quarry. This takes around thirty minutes and after this exert it’s relative plain sailing.
You then continue towards High Spy, walking along the ridge over Maiden Moor and Catbells.
The views overlook both the valleys of Borrowdale and Newlands and down toward Keswick and Derwentwater. Donna describes them as nothing short of ‘breathtaking’.
The area is made up of the Borrowdale volcanics, which are dramatic in their appearance.
The peaceful nature of the walk is what appeals to Donna most. Allowing her to completely switch off and enjoy the scenery. She explained: “No two days are ever the same. The mood changes with the time of day, weather and seasons.”
David ‘the Chef’: Galleny Force (The Fairy Glen)
David, the chef’s favourite walk in Borrowdale is to Galleny Force Waterfall. The walk goes in a loop and takes just a few hours to complete. There are several paths off the main track for the those feeling a little more adventurous.
David explains: “The area, just feels magical, I’ve been walking up there all my life. Every time I go up there it feels like I’m eight years old again.”
“As a child, my dad would take me fishing along the river bank and amongst the countless pools. He was often ill so it was always really special when he managed to take me to the falls. I have some really lovely childhood memories of the area.”
The walk itself takes you up the Langstrath Beck, with beauty around every turn from cascading waterfalls to fern-clad knolls, ancient Rowan trees and countless fells. The views are straight out of a storybook – it’s little wonder that Galleny Falls is also known as Fairy Glen.
David said: ‘It feels remote and you will often fail to come across a single person for miles along the route.’
There’s nowhere more idyllic to spend a summer’s day. A picnic perched on a grassy hillock, swimming and splashing amongst the countless wild swimming pools you encounter along the route.
Hazel Bank Country House is a luxurious, five star Borrowdale Hotel situated at the heart of the valley. With award-winning, locally sourced foods, to find out more about us please see here. And to see more of our Borrowdale walks visit here.