Although not far in distance the Northern Lakes has a completely different feel to the South and Central Lakes; In our opinion more dramatic and inspiring than the softer “classic” feel further down.
The tour will start at the nearest point to your pick up location but all Lakes tour itineraries are shown as starting at Windermere to simplify it.
We begin our journey as we mean to go on with spectacular views as we rise up over Kirkstone Pass away from Windermere towards Ullswater. This the highest pass in the Lake District open to motor vehicles and so affords great views of the surrounding area.
Onwards and downwards you will pass Brothers Water to reach Glenridding. This is the southern gateway to Ullswater, which some think is the most beautiful of all the lakes, and is very popular with watersport fanatics. After passing the spot which inspired Wordsworth to pen his famous “I wandered lonely as a cloud” you will reach Aira Force, a beautiful waterfall set under a Victorian bridge, where you can stretch your legs and shoot some artistic photographs.
It’s a short trip along the lake’s shores to visit Dalemain House*, a privately owned stately mansion and home of the” World’s Original Marmalade Awards”. Located in a wonderful position, Dalemain is a classic example of beautiful architecture combined with a wonderful Lakes setting. Here you can enjoy a tour of the house and gardens or simply enjoy a cup of tea. It’s up to you.
The next point of interest is the Castlerigg Stones; described as one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain the 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.
Another short hop in the car takes us down to the shores of Derwent Water and the town of Keswick. Here you will get the chance to test out your sea, well, lake, legs as you board the Keswick Launch**, and see the Lakes from a different perspective.
After half an hour you arrive on the opposite shores where your car will be waiting to convey you to your well earned lunch venue.
Once replete our journey continues over the Newlands Pass where you will come across Moss Force, an impressive roadside cascade of water easily viewed from the roadside, before dropping down into the junction between Crummock Water and Buttermere. Both are strikingly beautiful, especially the latter which is framed by the Haystacks mountain.
As you leave the shores of Buttermere you will see the road to the next pass, Honister, rising up in front of you. At the top of the pass is the Honister Slate Mine; once the centre of slate mining in the district, it is now a destination for thrill seekers who test their mettle on the various activities there. After stopping briefly for some photos we will drop down into Borrowdale Valley, which has the reputation of being the wettest place in the UK; it isn’t, but it certainly has its fair share of downpours as is indicated by the roadside depth gauges!
You now find yourselves on the south shores of Derwent Water where you will stop at Ashness Bridge, famed for being the most photographed place in The Lakes and then Surprise View; one of the best and easiest reached viewpoints in the whole district but with spectacular vistas.
Time to sit back and relax now as we start our journey southwards passing the banks of Thirlmere, with views up to Helvellyn, to arrive in Grasmere. Whilst very “touristy” Grasmere is still a lovely place to see and you’ll have chance to view Dove Cottage** or Rydal Mount** and St Oswald’s Church, the homes and burial site of the poet, William Wordsworth. You may even wish to purchase some famous Grasmere Gingerbread which has been being made here since 1854.
The final leg of our journey takes us past the serene waters of Rydal Waters and back to Windermere.
Those of you on the Platinum package will have a couple of hours to rest before being collected for your Michelin dining experience.
Windermere, Kirkstone Pass, Brotherswater, Keswick Launch, Ullswater, Aira Force, Castlerigg Stones, Moss Force, Newlands Pass, Dalemain House, Crummock Water, Buttermere, Honister Pass, Ashness Bridge, Surprise View, Derwent Water, Thirlmere, Grasmere, Rydal Water, Dove Cottage, Elterwater, Skelwith Bridge.
* included in Gold & Platinum packages
** included in all packages
*** included in Silver, Gold & Platinum packages