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England's Lake District
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Itineraries

The Best of England:
The Lake District and the Cotswolds

Quintessential English Villages and the Heart of the Lakeland

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This 2 week tour will allow you to experience some of the best walking and scenic sites in all of the UK.

England's Lake District -

Walk through the heart of the Lake District, with lodging along the way at some of the Lakeland's most delightful country hotels and inns. Experience ever-changing spectacular views of fields, moors, woodlands and mountains.

On this tour you will enjoy:

  • 6 scenic guided hikes with talks by Lakeland experts
  • A cruise across Coniston Water
  • A visit to Brantwood- home of the poet, artist and social reformer John Ruskin
  • Views of Beatrix Potter's Hilltop Farm
  • The sheer beauty of Tarn Hows with its thick conifers, clear lake and picturesque views
  • Ancient Roman ruins- a bath house and a fort
  • The World Owl Center- home to a diverse collection of thrilling birds of prey, the largest in existence
  • The same splendid views of Grasmere that inspired Wordsworth's poetry

Each day, we guide you on a robust walk across vales and hills. Sightseeing by minibus rounds out an appreciation of Lake District history and culture. Our minibus brings your luggage to the next inn before you arrive. Walks cover from 5 to 10 miles daily, with ascents of 600 to 1400 feet (you may also opt for only a half day of hiking).

Ramble through rolling pastures, into peaceful valleys and over lush hills. Enjoy the company of friendly groups and appreciate the history of a bountiful area that inspired some of England's most famous poets, artists and writers.

 

The Charming Cotswolds - Spanning nearly 800 square miles of some of the most beautiful countryside in England, and located just 100 miles west of London, the Cotswolds are rightfully designated as "an area of outstanding natural beauty. In the Cotswolds, time looks as if it is standing still. Steeped in history, its tiny villages of honey-colored limestone abound with thatched cottages that cluster around spired churches. The gentle hillsides ('wolds') ooze tranquility and the iconic image of a sheep grazing amidst the lush green hills can easily be seen while rambling from village to village. This superbly picturesque countryside of undulating meadows and beech forests lends itself to our gentlest series of walks, 5 to 10 miles daily, with quite modest elevation changes. From our well-located hotel, we drive daily to ramble in various parts of the region.

Your rambles in the Cotswolds will include the following sights:

  • 4 scenic guided walks with talks led by Lakeland experts
  • Visits to charming and sleepy villages all with the architecturally pleasing honey-colored limestone houses: Stow-on-the-Wold, Stanton and Chipping Campden
  • Hidcote Manor - world renowned gardens designed by the horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston
  • A visit to Bourton-On-The-Water- known as the "Little Venice" of the Cotswolds for its elegant, low bridges
  • A visit to Bibury, a village with the most photographed buildings in the Cotswolds, Arlington Row

 

Day 1 Arrive at our first hotel in Grange-over-Sands, where lunch is available, if required (at own expense). In the afternoon we drive to the medieval village of Cartmel with its imposing 12th-Century Priory church and on the way back take a short walk along the bay promenade. A tea reception and orientation meeting is followed by our Welcome Dinner. (D) **The hotel is next to the train station at Grange-over-Sands.

Day 2 Walk through delightful limestone woodland and up grassy slopes to the top of Hampsfell escarpment to enjoy the spectacular views across Morecambe Bay and towards the Lakeland mountains. In the afternoon, follow country byways through the gentle Cartmel valley and Bigland Estate to our next inn at Newby Bridge. (B, L, D) 9 Miles

Day 3 This walk includes a delightful variety of countryside, with ever-changing views. Woodland, green fields and a moorland ridge bring us to our lunch point in the peaceful Rusland valley. Then an enchanting walk across heather-clad Bethecar Moor, until Coniston Water opens up below. Drive in our minibus to reach the next inn by the shore of Coniston Water, where two nights are spent. (B, L, D) 10 Miles

Day 4 We enjoy a short cruise across Coniston Water to Brantwood, home of the poet, artitst, and social reformer t John Ruskin. Then choose between a walk up the Coppermines Valley to absorb the spectacular scenery (and a fascinating insight into an industry which supported the local economy for over 300 years) or sightseeing in Hawkshead and Sawrey, where Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop Farm is situated.  (B, L, D)  4 Miles/Optional

Day 5 Leave Coniston for a ramble over lush green rises to Tarn Hows, a jewel-like lake built by a Victorian landowner to enhance the view. Walk up the Tilberthwaite Valley, with an optional diversion to Holme Fell to admire the incomparable views in all directions. The next three nights' accomodation will be in either a traditional Lakeland Inn in Little Langdale, or a delightful country guest house, superbly encircled by nearby Lakeland hills. (B, L, D) 8 Miles

Day 6 We motor along England’s steepest road across spectacular Wrynose and Hardknott Passes, stopping to tour a 2nd-century Roman fort. Continue to the tiny village of Boot, and visit Eskdale Corn Mill, where packed lunches may be eaten, or a visit to a nearby pub in case of bad weather. There is time to enjoy the atmosphere of the wonderful Lakeland village of Boot, before rejoining the minibus for the drive to the Irish Sea coast at Ravenglass, and a walk through rolling pastures, past the ruins of a Roman Bath House, for a visit to medieval Muncaster Castle and its world-famous Owl Centre.(B, L, D) 2 1/2 Miles

Day 7 Walk by Elterwater and follow in Wordsworth’s footsteps along Loughrigg Terrace for a superb view of Grasmere lake and vale, the inspiration for many of his great poems. We arrive at the village of Rydal, which Wordsworth made his home for the final 37 years of his life. After lunch in a traditional “tearoom” we visit Rydal Mount, the poet’s home and its gardens, which were lovingly landscaped by the poet during his time there. In the afternoon we walk along the valley side to Dove Cottage in Grasmere, Wordsworth’s home during his nine most productive years as a poet, and visit the cottage and nearby museum (a visit to Grasmere village can be arranged instead of this final walk). Return to our accommodation for the final night, and our Farewell Dinner.
(B, L, D) 7 Miles

Day 8 Departure after breakfast. We will transfer you to the train station in Windermere for a train to Moreton-in-Marsh. The transfer is included in your tour, but the train ticket is not. Our travel advisor will instruct you on which train you will be transferred for.  Upon arriveal in Moreton, you will be transferred to the CHaringworth Manor Hotel. Dinner is on your own.  (B)

Day 9 After your rendezvous with the group, you'll take a short walk to enjoy your first experience of the peace and tranquility of the area. Dinner awaits you on your return to the hotel. (B D) 4 miles

Day 10 Walk via the lovely village of Ebrington to Hidcote Manor, one of England's world renowned gardens. Designed and created by the horticulturist Major Lawrence Johnston in the Arts & Crafts style, it is made up of exquisite garden rooms, each possessing its own special character. Walk on to perhaps the loveliest of all Cotswold villages, Chipping Campden. Time to enjoy this gorgeous village before transferring back to your hotel. (B, L, D) 6 miles

Day 11 Transfer to Moreton-in-the-Marsh. Pass by Sezincote, a unique example of Mughal architecture, then walk through Longborough and Donnington to arrive at pretty Broadwell, with its huge green, ford, and interesting churchyard. Continue to Stow-on-the-Wold, the highest village in the Cotswolds, and unusually, built on a square, for free time. (B, L, D) 6 miles

Day 12 Transfer to Stanway with its beautiful Manor House and walk across the estate to Stanton, which is generally agreed to be a perfect Cotswold village, frozen in time. The main street is lined with beautiful golden limestone houses and it is no surprise that Stanton is frequently used as a movie location. Walk via Buckland along the Cotswold Way to beautiful Broadway for lunch. Free time in Broadway before returning to your hotel for overnight.
(B, L, D) 6 miles

Day 13 After breakfast we leave Charingworth Manor to head south. We stop at Bourton-on-the-Water and then continue to the top of the wolds, from where we walk down to the villages of The Barringtons (Little and Great Barrington), ending with a charming stroll along the river into Burford, where we spend the final two nights. (B, L ,D) 5 miles

Day 14 After a short transfer to Bibury, time to walk around this village, considered by William Morris to be "the most beautiful village in England", and an example of perfect local architecture. Arlington Row is one of the most photogenic group of buildings in the Cotswolds. Across country to Coln St. Alwyns and back to Bibury. Return to Burford for dinner and overnight.
(B, L ,D) 7 miles

Day 15 Departure after breakfast. (B)

(Ramblers reserves the right to make changes in the itinerary when deemed necessary or appropriate)

Tour prices are per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement is only applicable if you are traveling solo and/or have a room to yourself.

Tour
Dates
Tour
Price
Single
Supplement
May 12 to May 25 $6,175 $675
Interested in a different departure date?
Consider a private tour or a self guided tour.

Your trip price includes the following. For additional information, please call or email us at and one of our exceptional Travel Advisors will be happy to share with you all kinds of details.

  • 12 scenic guided walks and hikes
  • 14 nights' lodging in charming country hotels
  • Double-occupancy room with private bath
  • 14 sumptuous breakfasts and 13 dinners
  • 11 packed or pub lunches
  • Lake boast cruise
  • Sightseeing visits and admission fees
  • Talk by Cotswolds and Lakeland experst
  • Ground transportation during tour where applicable



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“Meals at our hotel were superb, outstanding. Pub lunches were excellent. Our guide’s leadership was a high point of the trip — his knowledge of the region (topography, history, social and cultural characteristics), his overall concern for the group, his keen insight and well-developed sense of humor were magnificent.”
D Swoap     Clearwater, FL

“For the Cotswolds — an area steeped in history — one needs a guide who is steeped in the knowledge of it. Ours met this criterion to the max.”
J & C Tate     Malvern, PA

“It was a very friendly group — helping to make the tour an excellent experience. Meals were superb, both the quality of the food and the serving staff.”
A Matz     PA


Best Time to Go

May through September

Convenient Airport

For the Cotswolds- London Heathrow (LHR)
For the Lake District-Manchester Airport (MAN)

Traveling By Rail

To the Cotswolds- Direct trains depart from London Paddington Station to Moreton-in-Marsh. It is approximately a 1hr 30 min. ride. For details on schedule and fares please contact BritRail at (800)677-8585 or www.britrail.com.  Another resource is The Train Line at www.thetrainline.com

You can take a coach and rail connection from Heathrow via Reading train station. Please see www.railair.com.

Weather

Follow this link to the Meteorological Office for information on climate and rainfall averages in the UK..

 

 

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