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Itineraries

The Best of England:
The Cotswolds and Lake District

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.

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

England's Lake District - Then, discover the splendors of the English Lake District at a relaxed pace. Walk in the footsteps of the early conservationists: William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter. Walkers are treated to a visual paradise of green forests, stonewalled fields stretching into the distance, a storybook realm of hills, clear lakes, and whitewashed cottages. From your hotel in the tranquil and exquisite heart of the national park, travel daily with our minibus to different parts of this beautiful region for our daily walk, returning each evening to the same fine lodgings. Enjoy fresh air, tranquil waters, emerald meadows dotted with sheep, and heather-clad hillsides. Sightseeing by foot deepens an appreciation of Lakeland history and landscapes.

Highlights of the Lake District walks include:

  • Scenic walks, hikes and talks by our Lakeland experts
  • Visit to Dove Cottage, the home of William Wordsworth
  • Windermere ferry and walk to Hilltop Farm, home of Beatrix Potter
  • Walk along the shores of scenic Coniston Water
  • Visit to Brantwood, home of John Ruskin
  • The Neolithic Castlerigg Stone Circle
  • A launch ride on Derwentwater


On four days our itinerary offers an alternative longer and steeper hike for those who are tempted by the more robust conditions of the mountain tops, where the exhilarating beauty of rugged mountainsides, lakes and dales can be seen spreading below
.

Easy-to-moderate walks cover 4 to 8 miles, with ascents of 200 to 1000 feet. Challenging options are normally slightly longer, cross rougher terrain and have daily ascents of up to 2500 feet.

Day 1 Arrive at Charingworth Manor Hotel for the first of four nights. Following a light lunch, 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. (D) 4 miles

Day 2 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 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 After breakfast you will be transferred to the rail station for your journey to the Lake District. (Train fare not included in tour price) Arrive and settle into your Lakeland hotel, where lunch is available. Free time for the remainder of the day to rest or explore as you wish. Lunch and dinner- your own choice. (B)

Day 8   Spend the morning relaxing or exploring Grasmere. In the afternoon, take a “get acquainted” tour round the picturesque Lakeland village of Grasmere, which will be your home for the next three nights. This will include a visit to Grasmere Church, with its intricate wooden beams, the Grasmere Gingerbread shop and the corner of the graveyard where William Wordsworth and close family members are buried. Return to the hotel for the orientation meeting, followed by our Welcome Dinner.  (B D)

Day 9 After breakfast we walk directly from the hotel to the resort town of Ambleside – an opportunity to pick up any last-minute items required for the tour. The challenging hike takes a higher level route via the summit of Loughrigg, a stunning viewpoint in fine weather for the Central Lake District. In the afternoon we drive back into Grasmere for a visit to Dove Cottage, the home of the romantic poet William Wordsworth for nine exciting years, and the Wordsworth Museum. Back at the hotel, over tea and biscuits, there will be a talk about Wordsworth, Ruskin and Beatrix Potter, three influential early conservationists. (B, L, D) 5 Miles with diffiicult option

Day 10 Drive to Bowness-on-Windermere and take the passenger ferry to Ferry House on the west shore of Windermere. Walk or drive (depending on timings) to Near Sawrey for a visit to Hilltop Farm, purchased by Beatrix Potter in 1905. Now drive to Brantwood, the home of the poet, artist, social reformer and conservationist John Ruskin for 28 years, and enjoy lunch at the Jumping Jenny restaurant, named after Ruskin’s boat. In the afternoon enjoy a delightful, panoramic walk on the east side of Coniston Water.
(B, L, D) 5 Miles

Day 11 (single accommodation itinerary) Drive by a mountainous road across Wrynose and Hard Knott Passes, with a stop at Hard Knott 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) No Walk

Day 12 (single accommodation itinerary)Again today we have a choice of walks available, both of which visit Silver Howe, the scenic ridge which separates the Rothay valley from Langdale. Superb views unfold on both sides. The shorter walk descends to Grasmere in early afternoon, leaving time free to browse in the village. The longer walk stays on Silver Howe for longer, finally descending into the Easedale Valley, with its secluded tarn of the same name. (B, L, D) 5 Miles with a more difficult 8 Mile alternative

Day 13 (single accommodation itinerary) We drive to the Castlerigg Stone Circle in the northern Lake District. After viewing the Neolithic site, everyone walks by Walla Crag, Ashness Bridge and Surprise View to the village of Lodore. There is then the choice of an easy afternoon walk by the Derwentwater lakeshore path, or a harder alternative crossing the summit of Cat Bells, an outstanding viewpoint for the Keswick area, and Newlands and Borrowdale valleys. Both walks end with a launch ride on Derwentwater, after which we return to the hotel in Grasmere.

Day 14 Departure after breakfast. (B)

(ELR 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
September 17 to October 1 $5,775 $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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