England: The Lake District

Guided Walking Tour, England: The Lake DistrictGuided Walking Tour, England: The Lake District

England

The Lake District

overview

The scenic tranquility of England’s Lake District has inspired writers and artists for centuries. Its slower way of life is well suited to leisurely adventures. Rolling hills, gentle mountains, and sparkling lakes merge into deep green fields edged by thick forests. Whitewashed cottages and medieval hamlets dot the landscape. Start at Aira Force, the renowned Lake District waterfall, where your guides set the stage with stories from the region’s romantic past. In Lake District National Park, settlements like the Celtic era Pooley Bridge feature ancient pubs replete with traditional drink, food, and hospitality. Old copper mines open a fascinating window into the region’s industrial past, while villages like Grange-in-Borrowdale maintain the long pastoral heritage. At impressive Whinlatter Pass, a wilder nature is revealed amidst peaks surrounding Crummock Water and Buttermere Lake. Stay at the country estate where Beatrix Potter lived; ride a Victorian steam yacht on Lake Coniston; explore the charms of Hawkshead village; and recall Shakespeare’s words: “this sceptred isle, this earth of majesty…this other Eden, demi-paradise.

 

Activity Level
Easy to moderate;
4-7 miles daily
Meet
Penrith, England
Depart
Penrith, England
Daily Itinerary
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itinerary
Reading List
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From our blog

Guided Walking 
7 days, 6 nights Trip Includes 

Trip Includes

  • Two expert, local guides (for groups of 8 or more), with you 24/7
  • All meals except for one lunch and one dinner; wine and local beer included with dinners
  • All accommodations while on tour
  • Transportation from the meeting to the departure point
  • Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary
  • The unbeatable and cumulative experience of the Country Walkers staff
per person double occupancy
Single supplement + $325
 

Solo surcharge + $0
 

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION
Number of Travelers
Total in your party
Price From
per person double occupancy

Call 800.234.6900 to book this trip.

REQUEST RESERVATION

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Itinerary and Accommodations

Days
Destination
1
Grange-in-Borrowdale
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2
Grange-in-Borrowdale
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3
Grange-in-Borrowdale
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4
Bowness-on-Windermere
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5
Bowness-on-Windermere
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6
Bowness-on-Windermere
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7
Bowness-on-Windermere
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Day 1

Grange-in-Borrowdale

Arrival – Penrith. Askham to Pooley Bridge; 3.5 miles, easy. Afternoon walk Dockray to Aira Force; 2 miles, easy

The George Hotel is your meeting point, and you immediately transfer to the village of Askham to walk through the Lowther Estate, owned by Lord Lonsdale. Continuing on over the fell and into the Lake District National Park, you pass ancient prehistoric settlements and enjoy first views of the Cumbrian Mountains and Ullswater. Descending to the village of Pooley Bridge at the edge of the lake, you pause for lunch in a local pub. This village was one of the earliest settlements on the lake, dating back to the Celts.

Following lunch, you transfer to the hamlet of Dockray, overlooking the lake, and walk by Aira Beck toward Aira Force, probably the most famous of the Lake District’s waterfalls. Here you admire the views and are regaled with tales from your guides about the romanticism that the region has long inspired.

The short drive to the hotel just a few miles outside of Keswick allows plenty of time to settle in before meeting for a pre-dinner drink and a fuller introduction to the week ahead. The hotel restaurant features local produce whenever possible, so tonight’s dinner promises excellent cuisine.

Borrowdale Gates Hotel

Grange-in-Borrowdale

This property is set on two acres of woodland and located in a valley with beautiful views in every direction. All rooms are well equipped and individually decorated.

Day 2

Grange-in-Borrowdale

Walking in the footsteps of the men of Borrowdale; 5.8 miles, easy to moderate

After a breakfast buffet consisting of cereal, fruit, pastries, and cold meats, or a traditional hot Cumbrian breakfast, you follow in the footsteps of the men of Borrowdale, quarrymen and miners of yesteryear. This valley was once home to many working slate mines, most of which are now closed. Beginning at the head of the valley, you follow a rambling trail along the side of the dale before descending to the hamlet of Grange.

This village is noteworthy for its double-arched bridge of 1675 that crosses the River Derwent. Stone and whitewashed cottages sit snugly here in the heart of the Borrowdale Valley.

After lunch, take a lakeshore path which provides a relatively flat walk and traverses the pretty woodlands, revealing glimpses of the lake. Finish the afternoon in Brandlehow for a fun ride on a Victorian ferryboat across the lake and a walk back to the hotel.

Dinner tonight is at the Lyzzick Hall Hotel. located on the lower slopes of Skiddaw Mountain, with stunning views across the vale. The restaurant here prides itself on using freshly prepared local ingredients and herbs from their own garden.

Borrowdale Gates Hotel

Grange-in-Borrowdale

This property is set on two acres of woodland and located in a valley with beautiful views in every direction. All rooms are well equipped and individually decorated.

Day 3

Grange-in-Borrowdale

Whinlatter Pass to Buttermere Valley; 5 miles, easy to moderate

Today you cross Whinlatter Pass, which connects the beauty of the Keswick Valley to Buttermere and beyond. Here magnificent nature predominates, and as you walk along the shores of Crummock Water, you see stirring views of the high mountains surrounding this pretty vale.

Completing the walk at the hamlet of Buttermere, you enjoy a pub lunch and afterward walk along the picturesque shore of Buttermere Lake, before boarding the coach to ride over Honister Pass and back to the hotel via Borrowdale.

There is time to refresh at the hotel and enjoy its beautiful surroundings, before heading back into Keswick, where you enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.

Borrowdale Gates Hotel

Grange-in-Borrowdale

This property is set on two acres of woodland and located in a valley with beautiful views in every direction. All rooms are well equipped and individually decorated.

Day 4

Bowness-on-Windermere

The Vale of Grasmere, Rydal Mount; 5.5 miles, easy to moderate. Optional Loughrigg Fell walk; 1 mile, moderate

Today you meander through one of the region’s prettiest dales, walking in the area around two of the smaller lakes, Grasmere and Rydal Water, and in the footsteps of William Wordsworth, one of England’s most famous poets of the early 19th century. You begin the walk around the valley along level tracks, enjoying lovely views along the way. If you are feeling more adventurous, you ascend Loughrigg. This wooded fell hill was the backdrop for scenes filmed in the latest Beatrix Potter film. You break for lunch in the village of Grasmere, site of Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s first home. The day is complete with a walk to his last home at Rydal Mount, where you take a tour and admire the views and the gardens he designed.

At day’s end, you transfer to the next hotel on the itinerary, located on the edge of the lakeside town of Bowness-on-Windermere. Here a warm welcome awaits, and later you enjoy a delicious dinner prepared by the hotel’s chef. Local favorites such as steak-and-ale pie or delicious Cumbrian beef are presented.

Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Bowness-on-Windermere, England

A classic country-house hotel, once owned by children’s author Beatrix Potter. The property features a sauna, swimming pool, and rooms overlooking a peaceful lake, gardens, and woodlands.

Day 5

Bowness-on-Windermere

Beatrix Potter’s Tarns over Windermere; 5.5 miles, easy to moderate

Following a full English breakfast, you set off for a walk that provides superb vistas across Lake Windermere—the region’s second-deepest lake—which snakes its way between the hills of the Southern Lakeland. Departing on foot from the hotel, you board the ferry to cross the lake and, once on land, amble up an easy path past small mountain tarns with open distant views of the undulating and treeless central hills. At the highest point of Latterbarrow, only about a 650-foot elevation gain, there are superb 360-degree views of all of the Lakeland. From this point, you descend to the charming village of Hawkshead for lunch in a traditional 18th-century pub featuring home-cooked fare. Here in Hawkshead you’ll find not only young William Wordsworth’s school, but also the home of Beatrix Potter, and there is time to visit the gallery of her original paintings in a beautiful 17th-century building. The pedestrian streets, squares, and quaint architecture of this ancient market town invite exploration.

Later, a minibus returns you to the lakeside ferry back to your hotel, and your evening is free to explore the town of Bowness on the shores of Windermere Lake, and eat in a local pub or restaurant.

Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Bowness-on-Windermere, England

A classic country-house hotel, once owned by children’s author Beatrix Potter. The property features a sauna, swimming pool, and rooms overlooking a peaceful lake, gardens, and woodlands.

Day 6

Bowness-on-Windermere

Coniston and the Copper Mines Valley; 4.7 miles, moderate

Coniston is a charming locale, alive with history that reaches back to Roman times. Today you explore the famous Copper Mines Valley, a source of this valuable metal through the 19th century. In the 20th century, Coniston gained recognition as the site of Donald Campbell’s speedboat record attempts. After a morning walk, you picnic by a mountain stream. This afternoon, hardier souls can attempt an ascent to Lever Waters tarn (the name for a small mountain lake in Cumbria). Coniston Old Man is the mountain towering over the village and lake. Despite its relatively low height of 2,600 feet, it forms a grand ridge with an east-facing escarpment.

On our descent, on clear days, you can see breathtaking views over Morecambe Bay and the hills of Wales. Should you decide not to take this option, you can descend into Coniston Village and visit the Ruskin and Campbell Museum. This museum is a celebration of the area’s heritage, with exhibits relating to slate mining, geology, the copper mines, and Donald Campbell himself.

This evening you toast your explorations with a farewell drink and celebratory dinner in a local restaurant.

Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Bowness-on-Windermere, England

A classic country-house hotel, once owned by children’s author Beatrix Potter. The property features a sauna, swimming pool, and rooms overlooking a peaceful lake, gardens, and woodlands.

Day 7

Bowness-on-Windermere

Orrest Head; 1.8 miles, easy. Departure to Penrith

Departing the hotel, you ascend Orrest Head, which presides above the village; magnificent, lasting views of Lake Windermere are yours to carry home. Orrest Head was the hill first climbed by Alfred Wainwright, Britain’s most famous hillwalker, on his first visit to the Lake District, an ascent that inspired him to begin authoring the guidebooks for which he is renowned. You then transfer to the Penrith train station, where you bid farewell to your newfound friends before departing for your next destination.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Bear in mind that this is a typical itinerary, and the actual activities, sites, and accommodations may vary due to season, special events, weather, or transportation schedules. We reserve the right to alter the itinerary since tour arrangements are made up to a year in advance, and unforeseen circumstances that mandate change may arise. Itinerary changes are made to improve the tour and your experience. If you are currently booked on a CW adventure, an itinerary has been sent to you for your exact departure date. Please call CW at 800.464.9255 if you have any questions about the exact itinerary or hotels selected for any of our tours.

Guides

Rob O'Hara

Rob has taught in many different countries, schools, and work environments for 30 years. He loves new challenges and has varied interests from acting and singing in local plays to road running. He was once among the top 20 road runners in England. He is well-known for his keen sense of humor and positive attitude and is looking forward to showing Country Walkers guests the beauty of the English Lake District and the Scottish Highlands.

Geoff Price

Geoff has been a registered tourist guide since 1990, specializing in hill-walking tours of northern England. Growing up on the edge of the Pennine Hills, near Manchester gave him a love of the mountains. He lived in Switzerland for 9 years, returning to England with his family and settling down in a small borders village near Carlisle. He is a fountain of local knowledge and enjoys sharing his love of this area.

Guest Comments

L. Lewis, Washington, May 2013

The guides on this tour were absolutely fantastic. They set a wonderful pace and included enough (but not too much) historical and anecdotal info about the sites we visited and the routes we walked to make them more interesting and fulfilling. Each day’s walk was challenging, but totally do-able for all the abilities in our group. The scenery was beyond compare!

S.J. Horton, New York, May 2013

Geoff and Rob where amazing guides. They paced our walks perfectly and were able to adapt them to the individual abilities of the walkers as well as to the very changeable weather. My father and I had a wonderful time bonding together as well as making some new friends! Bravo CW!

B. Chadwick, Tennessee, July 2011

This tour combined great walking, compatible guests, much local color and incredibly knowledgeable and talented guides. One of the best I've been on (and this is my 12th tour).

B. Keast, California, July 2011

The guides were outstanding and the balance of walking and times to explore villages was perfect. Special events such as learning more about farming from a local sheep farmer, a musical evening, and a tour of Wordsworth's home added special interest.

A. Sheffield, Washington, DC, June 2009

A delightful experience, better than I could have imagined. Superior guides, awesome scenery, variety to walks and sights, and great camaraderie in the group. (I am widowed/single and never felt lonely or awkward).

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