Cumbria & The Lake District
Day 1 London
You are welcome to arrive in London at any time, as today is a designated arrival day with no planned activities. Please note that there will be an important welcome meeting this evening at our joining point. Please check the hotel notice board for more information on the location of this meeting or ask at reception. Please bring your passport and travel insurance documents to this meeting, as you will be required to fill out some important pre-trip admin documents. After learning more about our tour and plans for the following day, you are welcome to join our leader and your travelling companions for an optional dinner nearby.
Day 2 Ulverston
Travel by train across the UK through rolling countryside to Ulverston, in the heart of the Lake District. The town of Ulverston is surrounded by hills and lakes on all sides. We arrive here in the afternoon after a journey of around 4 hours. The evening is free to wander the town and maybe visit some of the local pubs.
Day 3 Coniston (1B)
After a short bus ride out of town, we pick up The Cumbria Way along a quiet 'beck' or stream walking through woods and fields in the Lakes. Once you get out of Ulverston, then you will notice the peace and quiet along the trail. The first section of the trail gradually gains altitude as we are walking, crossing farmland until we are able to look around and see the Lakeland expanding below us. Shortly we arrive at the entrance to the Lake District National Park at Gawthwaite, and the terrain changes to become more open moorland. We can see Grizedale Forest as you walk past, and views of the Old Man of Coniston and Dow Crag as we pass Coniston Water. It was on Coniston Water where Donald Campbell made his il-fated final attempt to set the waterspeed record in Bluebird. This is also the setting for many of the children's books by Arthur Ransom, essential reading to get to know the Lakes! As we see the roofs of Coniston come into view, we are reaching the end of today's hike. Coniston was a slate mining town, but is now a popular destination for a variety of activities. Coniston itself is famous as the home of the social thinker John Ruskin in the nineteenth century, and is a delightful little village. Stop here to enjoy some delicious pub food and maybe sample some of the beer from one of the microbreweries. Tonight we stay in the first of our bunkhouses on the trip. These are historic barns/shooting lodges/cottages which have been converted to basic self-catering accommodation to allow individuals and groups to stay cheaply in interesting properties in some of the most beautiful locations in England. These bunkhouses are very basic accommodation. You will likely be staying in multi share accommodation, and the washing facilities are very simple. Distance walking: approx. 18km
Day 4 Langdale
Today is a great day of Lakeland hiking. If the sun is shining, you will have views across the Lakes region. Starting from Coniston, we walk up to Tarn Hows, where the views are spectacular, including views to the Langdale Pikes and, on a clear day, to Scafell Pike, England's highest mountain. Tarn Hows came into possession of National Trust after the author Beatrix Potter sold the land in order to preserve it. In the Lake District there is only one actual lake - Bassenthwaite. All other bodies of water take local terms, and are either tarns, or meres. We continue walking along the Cumbria Way, passing the waterfalls of Colwith Force along the way into the Langdale Valley, where we loop around Langdale Beck, passing through Skelwith Bridge, where we can stop for some great food. Accommodation tonight in bunkhouse accommodation. Walking distance: 14-17km
Day 5 Borrowdale
We continue along the Cumbria Way to Borrowdale. Passing Mickleden Beck, with the Langdale Pikes to our east, this is among the most scenic sections of the trail. Climbing over Stake Pass, we drop down towards Borrowdale. After reaching the end of the zig-zag path to the pass, the views down into Borrowdale are spectacular, and no doubt the pub grub at the end of the day is something to keep us going in the last section of the walk. Accommodation tonight in bunkhouse accommodation. Walking distance: 14-17km
Day 6 Keswick
Our final day of walking today on the Cumbria Way from Borrowdale to Keswick. We walk out of Borrowdale, along to Dale Head, where there are views down over Buttermere and to Honister Crag. Continuing around past Derwent Water there are great views out from Brandlehow Bay where views open up to see the mountain of Skiddaw. We continue on the trail until we arrive in the town of Keswick, our final destination.
Day 7 London (1B)
Transfer to Penrith, then travel by train to London. On arrival in London, depart at any time.