This tour provides you with the opportunity to enjoy the best of the top and bottom of The Lakes in a day. The tour will start at the nearest point to your pick up location but is shown as starting at Windermere to simplify it.
You will begin with a leisurely drive along the east side of Windermere before cutting up to Gummers How which provides your first view, and photo opportunity, of the south end of the lake and the hills beyond. As we round the bottom of the lake we come back up the opposite shore through Lakeside and along some classic Lakes lanes.
This will bring us to our first proper stop, Hill Top*, famous as the home of Beatrix Potter and the inspiration for many of her literary works. Here you will have time to enjoy the beautiful house and gardens. Once back in the car you will pass through Hawkshead, where Wordsworth was schooled as a young boy, and on to Tarn Hows where, as we pass over the brow, you will be greeted by a classic “picture postcard” Lakeland vista.
On leaving there you will stop at the head of Coniston Water, famed for the ill-fated world water speed record attempt by Donald Campbell in 1967 and the setting for Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons.
We then head north on our way to Grasmere, passing Yew Tree Farm which is known for its location as Beatrix Potter’s house in the Miss Potter movie. It’s abundantly clear why Hollywood chose this setting to portray her home.
After a short stop at Skelwith Force we detour from the main road and continue along old pack roads via Elterwater and Skelwith Bridge until we reach Grasmere. Once there you have an opportunity to see Dove Cottage**or Rydal Mount**, where the poet Wordsworth lived from 1799 until his death in 1850. His grave can also be found here in St Oswald’s Church. This is also where you will stop for lunch as there is a plethora of great eateries to choose from here.
Once replete, settle back into the sumptuous seats of your car, relax and take in the wonderful countryside as you travel northwards along the shores of Thirlmere, shadowed by Helvellyn mountain to our right, on our way to Derwent Water.
On arrival it’s time to dip your toe in the water, well not literally, as you board the Keswick Launch***, to get a different visual perspective of the Lakes. You will disembark at Lodore Falls where your car will be waiting to take you to see “the most photographed bridge in The Lakes” and onwards to Surprise View where you will have a stunning vista over the water you’ve just sailed on.
The Borrow dale Valley is our next destination which has the unenviable, if incorrect, title of the “wettest place in England”, but hopefully not when you’re there. This takes us to our first pass, Honister, world famous for slate mining but now used by thrill seekers. We drop down into the valley where you are rewarded with stunning views of Buttermere, framed by the majestic Haystacks. Although much less visited than other areas it has a splendour all of its own and your camera fingers will be twitching as soon as you see it.
Catch a glimpse of Crummock Water before turning sharp right and 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. Continuing through quintessential Lakeland scenery of small villages and streams we reach our next stop; the Castlerigg Stones.
Once described as one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain the Castlerigg stones date back to around 3000BC. The beauty of these impressive Neolithic structures are emphasised by the stunning “picture perfect” backdrop of Helvellyn and surrounding hills
Onwards towards our final Lake, Ullswater. A majestic lake, and much loved by Wordsworth, the route down to it affords you the opportunity to take in all its glory. Time allowing we will stop at Aira Force to see the beautiful falls and as we skirt the lake you will pass the point where the great man was inspired to write ” I wandered lonely as a cloud”
Homeward bound now there is still have one more pass to conquer before you reach our final destination; Kirkstone Pass is the highest pass open to motor vehicles and takes us out of Patterdale Valley and back towards Windermere. En route you will be greeted by stunning views of the lake ahead.
Those of you on the Platinum package will have a couple of hours to rest before being collected for your Michelin dining experience.
Coniston, Tarn Hows, Newlands Pass, Yew Tree Farm, Elterwater, Grasmere, Dove Cottage, Thirlmere, Derwent Water, Keswick Launch, Hill Top, Hawkshead, Brotherswater, Ashness Bridge, Rydal Mount, Surprise View, Borrowdale, Coniston Water, Honister Pass, Buttermere, Moss Force, Esthwaite Water, Castlerigg Stones, Ullswater, Aira Force, Kirkstone Pass, Gummers How, Crummock Water.
* included with Gold & Platinum packages
** included with Silver, Gold & Platinum packages
*** included with all packages