Immerse yourself in the mystical landscapes of England’s Lake District during a week’s stay in a charming village on the shores of Lake Windermere. Venture to family-owned castles and English gardens, prehistoric monuments, and Roman ruins. Sample local whiskeys and cheeses, and set off in the footsteps of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter on a literary tour.

Starting at: $6,090 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The beautiful landscape of Lake Windermere
The beautiful landscape of Lake Windermere
 Rowing boats on Lake Windermere, England's Lake District
Rowing boats on Lake Windermere, England's Lake District
 View of the landscape overlooking Grasmere
View of the landscape overlooking Grasmere
 Castlerigg Stone Circle in Cumbria
Castlerigg Stone Circle in Cumbria
 Muncaster Castle
Muncaster Castle
 Rydal Mount, the home of William Wordsworth
Rydal Mount, the home of William Wordsworth
 The town of Hawkshead, known for William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter
The town of Hawkshead, known for William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter
 Typical lane in medieval Hawkshead
Typical lane in medieval Hawkshead
 Landscape of England's Lake District, near Hawkshead
Landscape of England's Lake District, near Hawkshead
 Ruskin's home Brantwood, near Coniston Water
Ruskin's home Brantwood, near Coniston Water
 Holehird Gardens
Holehird Gardens
 Wastwater with Scafell Pike in the distance
Wastwater with Scafell Pike in the distance
 Mist over Hadrian's wall
Mist over Hadrian's wall
 Roman ruins of Vindolanda
Roman ruins of Vindolanda
 Remains of Roman fort at Hardknot Pass
Remains of Roman fort at Hardknot Pass
 Aysgarth Waterfalls
Aysgarth Waterfalls
 Panoramic view of Buttermere Lake
Panoramic view of Buttermere Lake
 Sheep at pasture
Sheep at pasture

England's Lake District: A One-Week Stay in Historic Cumbria

9 days from $6,090

Immerse yourself in the mystical landscapes of England’s Lake District during a week’s stay in a charming village on the shores of Lake Windermere. Venture to family-owned castles and English gardens, prehistoric monuments, and Roman ruins. Sample local whiskeys and cheeses, and set off in the footsteps of William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter on a literary tour.

or Call 855-330-1542

SPECIAL OFFER

Save $250 per person when you book by August 30, 2024!

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 

Overview

Experience the evocative beauty of England’s Lake District, settling in for a full week to explore the region in depth. On excursions by foot, boat, and road, discover silver lakes and sweeping emerald slopes that have inspired poets and artists over the centuries. Visit castles, ancient ruins, and timeless villages. Venture up breathtaking mountain passes and take in views of Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England. Then venture out of the park to explore Hadrian’s Wall and the beautiful Yorkshire Dales.

Highlights Include:

  • Bowness-on-Windermere: Explore the Lake District from your base at a waterfront hotel in Bowness-on-Windermere. Admire views of Lake Windermere and the surrounding mountains, and enjoy free time during the week to discover the hidden gems of this Victorian village.
  • Northern Lake District: Take in stunning vistas on a driving tour through the northern reaches of Lake District National Park. Visit picturesque Grasmere, admire panoramic views at a 5,000-year-old stone circle, and stop for a bistro lunch and a tasting tour at a renowned whisky distillery. From the town of Keswick, cruise beautiful Derwentwater, one of the region’s largest lakes.
  • Hadrian’s Wall: Head north on a full-day excursion to Hadrian’s Wall, an ancient Roman fortification that stretches 73 miles from coast to coast. Explore turrets and observation towers of this World Heritage site, follow the wall on foot, and visit the Roman Army Museum.
  • Castles and Gardens: Tour Muncaster Castle, a 14th-century family home surrounded by lovely gardens and parklands, and visit its Hawk and Owl Centre. Later, hike along the shores of Lake Windermere to Wray Castle, or meander through Holehird Gardens, home to the Lake District Horticultural Society.
  • Lake District Literary Tour: Set out with a guide to discover the haunts of the writers who settled here. Take a private garden tour at William Wordsworth’s house at Rydal Mount, and visit the homes of John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter.
  • Yorkshire Dales: Encounter waterfalls and expansive moors on a morning excursion to the Yorkshire Dales. Go on a hike, sample local cheeses at a creamery, and take a walk through the charming village of Grassington.

Itinerary

Days 1 & 2 — Depart the U.S. for Manchester, England

Take an overnight transatlantic flight to Manchester. Upon arrival, you’ll be met by your Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director and assisted with the transfer to your lakeside lodging in the picturesque village of Bowness-on-Windermere. The approximate transfer time is two hours. Upon arrival at the hotel, each guest will receive a customized Welcome Kit containing general information about the Lakes District, as well as a map of the Windermere area. The Smithsonian Journeys Travel Director will be available this afternoon and throughout the program for suggestions regarding tours, restaurants and independent activities. Gather for a welcome reception and dinner this evening at the hotel. (Meals: R,D)

Day 3 — Northern Lake District

Start each day of your stay with a full English-style buffet breakfast. Set off into the misty mountains of the northern Lake District to experience some of the park’s most magnificent vistas. As you wind past pewter lakes and craggy peaks, a guide will illuminate the history and geology of the region, as well as the local characters and famous people who have imbued the Lake District with its character and charm. Stop in Grasmere, once the home of William Wordsworth, and see the poet’s gravesite and the legendary bakery that has served up Grasmere gingerbread since the 1850s. Take in sweeping views from Castlerigg stone circle, a 5,000-year-old Neolithic site set high on the fells, and admire the placid waters of Buttermere Lake before a lunch, tour, and whisky tasting at the Lakes Distillery. From the town of Keswick, take a cruise on Derwentwater, one of the largest lakes in the park. Enjoy a free evening to explore the dining options in Bowness-on-Windermere. (Meals: B,L)

Day 4 — Hardknott Pass and Wastwater

Join a local expert for a lecture on the history of the Lake District—from its stone circles and Roman roads to the advent of train travel. Then set out to discover some of the park’s most dramatic landmarks. Ascend the breathtaking hairpins of the Wrynose and Hardknott passes, the steepest mountain passes in England. Hike up to the Hardknott Roman Fort—a 1,000 foot climb—to take in spectacular views of the surrounding lakes and valleys, as well as Scafell Pike, England’s highest peak. Enjoy lunch at a country inn, and then journey to beautiful Wastwater, England’s deepest lake. Tour the splendid Muncaster Castle, a 14th-century family home surrounded by lovely gardens and parklands, and visit its Hawk and Owl Centre. Join fellow travelers and Smithsonian Journeys Expert this evening in the Travelers Corner for an informal discussion about the day’s discoveries. (Meals: B,L)

Day 5 — Hadrian’s Wall

Drive north out of the Lake District, passing through picturesque Cumbrian towns on the way toward the Scottish border. Stop to visit Lanercost Priory, a tranquil 12th-century church with a turbulent past, having been subjected to numerous attacks during the wars between England and Scotland. Continue to Hadrian’s Wall, a coast-to-coast defensive wall built by Roman Emperor Hadrian nearly 2,000 years ago to keep “barbarians”  at bay. At Banks East, explore one of the wall’s best-preserved turrets or observation towers—in use until the fourth century AD. Follow the wall from here, discovering traces of milecastles and towers, and see an exhibition about the site. After lunch at a local restaurant, delve further into the legacy of the Romans at the Roman Army Museum and the excavated fortress at Vindolanda. Continue along Hadrian’s Wall before turning south, and stop for tea and lovely views at Hartside Pass. (Meals: B,L)

Day 6 — Lake District

Enjoy a full day at leisure to discover the Lake District at your own pace, or choose from two morning excursions.

Choice #1 - Wray Castle Walk: Cross Lake Windermere by ferry for a walk along the western shores to Wray Castle. Take in views of the lake’s islands and stroll through quiet woodlands on your way to the castle, where refreshments await.

Choice #2 - Holehird Gardens: Head to Holehird Gardens, the home of the Lakeland Horticultural Society, and meander through a variety of gardens to stunning botanical collections, set against views of the Lake District. After time at leisure, join your fellow travelers for dinner at a nearby restaurant. (Meals: B,D)

Day 7 — Yorkshire Dales

Set out this morning by coach for a drive through the undulating landscapes of the Yorkshire Dales, where streams and waterfalls tumble through the hills and stunning views appear around every bend. Opt for a walk from Hardraw to Hawes, or head straight to Hawes and enjoy free time to explore this market town. Meet up at Wensleydale Creamery for a tasting of local cheeses and a coffee. Venture further into the Dales, stopping to admire the triple cascades of Aysgarth Falls. Travel through Kettlewell to Grassington, one of the loveliest villages in the Dales. Take a walking tour before lunch on your own. Join fellow travelers and Smithsonian Journeys Expert this evening for an informal discussion about the day’s excursion. (Meals: B)

Day 8 — Literary Lake District

Take a literary tour of the Lake District, visiting the haunts of the many writers and poets drawn to these hills. At William Wordsworth's home at Rydal Mount, enjoy a poetry reading and a private tour of the gardens—originally designed by the poet himself. Journey to Tarn Hows and opt to walk along the scenic lake once owned by Beatrix Potter. Then take a short drive to Coniston Water, a major inspiration for the 20th-century children’s writer Arthur Ransome. Visit Brantwood, the home of John Ruskin, a Victorian philosopher, writer, and painter. After lunch, visit the medieval monastic village of Hawkshead, where Wordsworth attended grammar school. Cap off your tour of literary haunts at Hill Top Farm, the home of Beatrix Potter. Tonight, toast your Lake District sojourn at a farewell reception and dinner. (Meals: B,L,R,D)

Day 9 — Return to the U.S.

After breakfast, transfer to Manchester airport to catch your flight home. (Meals: B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

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