This tour is a wonderful way to see The Lakes from the warmth and comfort of a cosy luxurious environment. Of course, you can hop out to embrace the cold fresh air but please ensure you’ve brought suitable clothing with you!!
Due to the potential weather conditions this tour concentrates solely on showing you the unique wonderful scenery of the Lakes in Winter which, in our opinion, can be the very best time to appreciate the beauty of the area as the roads are quiet yet the views are just as stunning as at any other time, especially on a cold crisp day with the tops dusted with snow.
As with all our trips your tour will start at the nearest point to your pick up location but for simplicity we show your day starting at Windermere.
We begin by crossing Windermere on the ferry which gives you the opportunity to see the lake awakening from the comfort and warmth of the Range Rover. Hopefully we may have some inverted cloud cover to add some atmospherics to the wonderful view.
Once on dry land we will make a quick visit to Claife Heights Viewing Station. One of many erected in the late 18th century to attract wealthy tourists to the Lakes these viewing stations blossomed from Gilpin’s “Picturesque Movement” and allows you to see Windermere as those original visitors did all those years ago.
Passing Hill Top, the most well known home of Beatrix Potter, we continue to Hawkshead; a typical Lakeland village where Wordsworth was schooled as a young boy and where you can find the Beatrix Potter Gallery and a collection of curiosity shops to mooch around.
The manmade, yet nonetheless beautiful, Tarn Hows is our next destination where, as we pass over the brow, you will be greeted by a feast for the eyes of a classic “picture postcard” Lakeland vista.
When we leave there we come to the head of Coniston Water which is famed for the ill-fated world water speed record attempt by Donald Campbell in 1967 and also the setting for Arthur Ransome’s pirate tales; the much loved Swallows and Amazons.
Heading northwards now we pass Yew Tree Farm which you may recognise as the location for Beatrix Potter’s house in the Miss Potter movie. On seeing it you will know why Hollywood chose this setting to portray her home on the big screen.
On entering the Langdale Valley you’ll be greeted by the famous Herdwick “Herdy” Sheep. Native to the Lakes they are known for their hardiness to the harsh weather and provide the opportunity for some very cute photographs! Climbing up the valley you are treated to a stunning panorama of the surrounding peaks and as we exit the valley you will pass the serenely beautiful Blea Tarn, which has been used as a backdrop for many movies and TV productions.
An old pack road takes us into Grasmere where, as well as grabbing some refreshments, you have an opportunity to see Dove Cottage, where the poet Wordsworth lived in 1799, and also visit his grave in St Oswald’s Church. You may not be able to resist the urge to treat yourself to some famous Grasmere Gingerbread too which has been being made here since 1854.
Time to sit back and relax now as we cover some ground, continuing northwards along the shores of Thirlmere, shadowed by Helvellyn mountain to our right, on our way to Derwent Water. Thought by some to be the most beautiful lake of them all we skirt along its shores before deviating off to see what is probably the most photogenic bridge in The Lakes, Ashness Bridge, and onwards to Surprise View where you will have a stunning vista over the Water below.
Journeying onwards we enter the Borrowdale Valley which has the unenviable title of the “wettest place in England”, but hopefully not when you’re there. The depth markers at the side of the road are a clue to how bad it can get! Climbing out of the valley via Honister Pass we will stop at the summit where the slate mine is situated. Although still mined it is better known now as a destination for thrill seekers but also provides an amazing spot for a photo opportunity.
Dropping down into the valley we reach Buttermere whcih is especially loved for its photogenic qualities with the backdrop of Wainwright’s beloved Haystacks providing a photographer’s perfect shot. If the weather is kind you have the opportunity to walk along the shore path where you can really absorb the beauty of this lake and its surroundings.
It’s upwards again now as we head over the wilds of the Newlands Pass towards Braithwaite, passing Moss Force; an impressive cascade when in full flow and easily visible from the roadside it was beloved by the Romantic Poets as a place for creative stimulation.
By now you’ve probably rustled up an appetite for some lunch so we will head to one of the many fine eating establishments specialising in local fare which suits your requirements.
Once sated it’s back on the road to see the Castlerigg Stones; described as one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain the Neolithic stones date back to around 3000BC. The beauty of these impressive structures are emphasised by the stunning “picture perfect” backdrop of the surrounding fells and mountains.
Our next port of call is Ullswater but before then you have the opportunity to walk off some of that lunch and view Aira Force, a beautiful waterfall set under a Victorian bridge, where you can shoot some artistic photographs. Ullswater itself is very popular with watersport fanatics, although they don’t seem to be that keen at this time of the year! It’s here that you will pass the spot which inspired Wordsworth to pen his famous “I wandered lonely as a cloud”.
It’s time for our last pass now; Kirkstone. This is the highest pass open to motor vehicles in the Lakes and takes us out of Patterdale Valley and back towards Windermere. As we crest the summit you will be greeted by stunning views of the lake ahead before dropping down and back to your lodgings.
Grasmere, Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s Grave, Claife Viewing Station, Hawkshead, Thirlmere, Newlands Pass, Windermere, Moss Force, Esthwaite Water, Honister Pass, Tarn Hows, Aira Force, Borrowdale Valley, Buttermere, Derwent Water, Ashness Bridge, Surprise View, Castlerigg Stones, Ullswater, Kirkstone Pass, Brotherswater, Coniston, Langdale Valley, Yew Tree Farm.