Explore the lush valleys and charming villages in the exquisite Heart of Lakeland before venturing northeast to the border of Cumbria, now famous for its World Heritage site – Hadrian’s Wall.
Occupying 885 square miles of scenic splendor, England’s Lake District is a National Park containing the highest peaks, deepest valleys and longest lakes in the country. The natural beauty of its picturesque villages and emerald green hills and vales enthralls walkers. Breathe in the stunning vistas and peaceful scenery, and connect with the history of the Lakeland.
The Lake District highlights include:
- The precariously balanced Bowder Stone
- The Neolithic Castlerigg Stone Circle
- Keswick- spectacularly situated between the Skiddaw mountains and the crystal shores of Derwent Water
- Dramatic scenery of the Borrowdale Valley
- Hard Knott Fort, one of the loneliest outposts of the Roman Empire, built between AD120 and AD138
In 122 AD, Emperor Hadrian began his massive project to link the east and west coasts of Britain in order to keep his empire intact and to control movement of the Barbarians. Upon completion, Hadrian’s Wall, constructed of local stone and turf, stretched over 73 miles across the north of England. Exploring the forts, milecastles, turrets and museums along the wall helps visitors imagine life on the front line of Emperor Hadrian’s formidable British frontier.
As you explore Hadrian’s Wall, you will also:
- Visit Birdoswald Fort and its extensive collection of Roman finds
- Walk to Willowford- the best preserved western section of the Wall
- Immerse yourself in the life of a Roman soldier at the Roman Army Museum
- Walk along a section of the wall to Caw Gap with commanding views of the area
- Explore Vindolanda- a remote outpost of the Roman empire
- Discover Housesteads- the best preserved of the Roman Wall Forts
Day 1 Arrive during the morning and settle into the Northern Lakeland hotel, where lunch is available. In the afternoon, take an exploratory tour by minibus and on foot through the stupendous Borrowdale Valley, which will be home for the next three nights. This will include a walk to the Bowder Stone, a much sought after destination of 19th century tourists, and a drive to visit Honister Slate Mine, where the world famous Lakeland Green Slate is produced. Return to the hotel for the orientation meeting, followed by our Welcome Dinner. 1/2 (half a) mile (D)
Day 2 After breakfast we drive to Castlerigg Stone Circle, set in a dramatic position at the heart of the northern Lake District fells. After viewing the Neolithic site, our walk leads by Walla Crag, Ashness Bridge and Surprise View to the village of Lodore. We continue to the landing stage on the lakeshore where we take the Keswick launch service to the town of Keswick. There is time to pick up any last-minute items required for the tour, or simply to browse in this exquisite town. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight. 7 miles, 590 feet of climb (B, L, D)
Day 3 Today’s walk leads directly from the hotel to the village of Lodore, then explores the Watendlath valley, well known to readers of the Rogue Herries series of books by Hugh Walpole. From Watendlath the walk leads over heather-covered moorland to the vintage Lakeland village of Rosthwaite in Borrowdale. Return to the hotel, with an optional detour to the top of Castle Crag, a proud little peak with an Iron Age fort, set amidst the rugged grandeur of the valley. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. 6½ miles, 950 feet of climb (not including Castle Crag) (B, L, D)
Day 4 This day sees a change of base from Borrowdale to Cumbria’s border region, which is now famous for its World Heritage site – Hadrian’s Wall.
Following the Roman theme, the visit to the Lake District would not be complete without a visit to Hard Knott Fort, constructed by the Romans in a strategic position on a mountain side over 40 years before the Emperor Hadrian conceived the massive project of linking the east and west coasts of Britain by his amazing Wall. We drive by a mountainous road across Wrynose and Hard Knott Passes, with a stop at the Fort, then continue to the tiny village of Boot, and visit Eskdale Corn Mill, where packed lunches may be eaten.
then continue to the tiny village of Boot, and visit Eskdale Corn Mill, where packed lunches may be eaten (option of a pub lunch in case of bad weather). The journey continues by Wastwater, Bassenthwaite and the Caldbeck Fells to Hallbankgate, just south of the line of Hadrian’s Wall. Check into the hotel, our base for the next three nights. No Walk (B, L D)
Day 5 Our explorations of Hadrian’s Wall start with a visit to Birdoswald Fort and a short walk by a section of the Wall to Willowford, where the Romans spanned the River Irthing with a stone bridge. We then drive to the Roman Army Museum, where visitors can step into the life of a Roman soldier and experience existence “at the Edge of Empire”.
After lunch, which is taken at the museum’s cafeteria, the afternoon walk leads along a section of the wall eastwards to Caw Gap, where we rejoin the minibus for the drive back to the hotel. Dinner and overnight. 4½ miles, 250 feet of climb (if line of wall is followed rigorously) (B, L, D)
Day 6 We drive to the Roman town of Vindolanda, where it is possible to see the world famous Writing Tablets, besides many other artefacts revealing much about the Roman way of life at this remote outpost of their empire. We then return to Caw Gap and resume our eastwards journey along the wall, arriving at one of the best preserved of all the Wall Forts, Housesteads. There is time to explore the fort before returning to the hotel. Our Farewell Dinner rounds off a memorable week. 5 miles, 300 feet of climb (if line of wall is followed rigorously) (B, L, D)
Day 7 Departure after breakfast. (B)
(ELR reserves the right to make changes to 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.
Choose your own departure with 4 person minimum. Subject to availability.
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.
- 6 scenic and historical walks in the heart of England's Lakeland and north Cumbrian regions
- 6 nights' lodging in delightful country inns and hotels
- Double-occupancy room with private bath
- Meals: 6 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 6 dinners
- Sightseeing visits and admission fees
- Luggage transported between inns
“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
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
Manchester Airport (MAN)
Traveling By Rail
There are direct trains from Manchester Airport to both Penrith and Windermere, though at certain times of day the quickest option may involve a change of train at Preston, Lancaster or Oxenholme. From Windermere to the hotel will take about 50 minutes in a taxi, and from Penrith about 40 minutes. Both journeys are possible by bus, but both will require one change at Keswick. For rail information including reservations, time schedules and current fares please refer to BritRail at (800) 677-8585 or www.britrail.comIn the UK the number to call is (08457) 484950, or you may visit www.nationalrail.co.uk. Another useful resource is The Train Line at www.thetrainline.com.
Follow this link to the Meteorological Office for information on climate and rainfall averages.