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Encompassing some of the most beautiful scenery in Britain, the Lake District remains untouched by the ravages of time. With masses of attractive woodland interspersed with shimmering lakes and majestic mountains you cannot fail to be inspired by this area. Immortalised by artists, poets and writers, Cumbria plays host to the many visitors who return year after year to enjoy the magnificent scenery, which provides a backcloth to a wealth of attractions. This unique area offers fascinating places to visit from historic houses and castles, steeped in legend to delightful country gardens and craft workshops. Our centre for this Autumn break is the superbly appointed Shap Wells Hotel.
Monday We embark on our journey north to Cumbria and the Shap Wells Hotel, situated high in the Cumbrian Fells.
Tuesday We head into the delightful English Lakes National Park where we have a steam train ride from Haverthwaite to Lakeside, then a cruise on Lake Windermere, the largest and most famous lake in the National Park. We arrive in Bowness on Windermere and disembark then some free time to explore and enjoy the wonderful setting.
Wednesday Today we visit the historic market town of Kendal. Technically Kendal isn't in the Lake District, but it's a major gateway town. Often known as the 'Auld Grey Town' thanks to the sombre grey stone used for many of its buildings, Kendal is a bustling shopping centre with some good restaurants, a funky arts centre and intriguing museums. But it'll forever be synonymous in many people's minds with its famous mint cake, a staple item in the nation's hiking packs ever since Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay munched it during their ascent of Everest in 1953. We then continue to Grasmere, cradled in a vale in the heart of the Lake District, is crowned with magnificent fells and mountains all around. The natural beauty of the area has provided inspiration for painters, poets, writers and craftsmen for years. The vale of Grasmere and Rydal, described by Wordsworth as ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’, became his adopted home. Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey and Sir Walter Scott also stayed here, whilst the writer Thomas de Quincey moved into Dove Cottage on Wordsworth’s departure.
Thursday This morning we head to Keswick, sandwiched between the towering mass of Skiddaw and Derwent Water, one of the most stunning stretches of water in Britain. Free time to explore and enjoy the atmosphere of this pretty market town on market day. Take a stroll to the shore for stunning lakeside views, or possibly visit the Keswick Museum & Art Gallery. This afternoon we make our way to Ullswater ‘Steamers’ an award winning Lake District attraction celebrating over 150 years of sailing on England’s most beautiful lake. Our pre booked 65 minute cruise will take us from Pooley Bridge down to Glenridding. Rejoin the coach for the journey over the spectacular Kirkstone Pass with an altitude of 1,489 feet, the Lake District's highest pass open to motor traffic.
Friday We depart Shap and begin our homeward journey with suitable comfort stops en route. On our return to Wiltshire your taxi will be waiting to return you to your home.
Shap Wells Hotel, Shap
This beautiful retreat boasts ample character with its original features and comfortable rooms looking out over the picturesque Cumbrian landscape. Set in a secluded valley the hotel grounds hold host to a colony of red squirrels as well as roaming deer and cattle. A stay at this fantastic hotel is the perfect way to take in the Lake District National Park. The restaurant overlooks the hills, stream and woodland and is complemented by extensive lounge and bar areas. There are 90 en-suite bedrooms equipped with television, telephone, radio, hairdryer and tea/coffee making facilities. There is a lift serving many of the rooms.
Look what's included!
4 nights Dinner, Bed & Breakfast
Platinum coach travel with extra leg room
Home pick up
Excursions and visits
Haverthwaite to Lakeside steam train journey
Cruises on Windermere and Ullswater