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Cumbria

Off the beaten track

Our most recommended Cumbria Off the beaten track

Lake District: Ten Lakes Full-Day Tour

1. Lake District: Ten Lakes Full-Day Tour

The Lake District is renowned for being the most beautiful corner of England and this full-day tour introduces you to just that; magnificent scenery of mountains, valleys and lakes from the south to the north. From within the circle, get picture-perfect views of some of the Lake District’s highest peaks. Travel over the famous Kirkstone and Honister passes whilst enjoying some spectacular mountain scenery. From beautiful valleys to waterfalls and traditional Lakeland villages, enjoy plenty of stops for admiring the views and taking photographs.  Eat lunch at the market town of Keswick, where you can try a typical pub lunch, or seek out a charming restaurant. Get the chance to stretch your legs at either the magnificent lake of Derwent water or Ullswater, where you can see the tranquility of the Lake.

Lake District: Western Lakes Full-Day Tour

2. Lake District: Western Lakes Full-Day Tour

Discover the beautiful sights of the Western Lake District on this adventurous full-day tour. This tour will take you off the beaten track as you discover the magnificent scenery of the Lake District with its beautiful mountains and dramatic lakes. Make your way over the Wrynose and Hardknott passes, the steepest passes in England we drive past the extraordinary remains of Hardknott Roman Fort, 1,000 feet up on the fells. Enjoy lunch at a traditional country inn. In the afternoon you will drive onward to “Britain’s Favorite View” at Wastwater, England’s deepest and most dramatic lake. Your next destination is the splendid 14th Century Muncaster Castle, where you can explore its internationally acclaimed gardens and World Owl Trust. The beautiful scenery of the Coniston Fells and Coniston Water bring an end to this classic tour of the Lake District.

From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

3. From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

Depart from Manchester in the morning and head straight for the lovely Lake District. Stop first at Bowness, situated on the shores of Lake Windermere. Take some free time to stroll along the lake, opt for a scenic cruise, or wander around the town and admire the sublime views.  Travel around the southern tip of Windermere toward Coniston Water. Take in views of this lake before arriving in the picturesque village of Hawkshead. This is where poet William Wordsworth attended grammar school.  After exploring the quaint village, take the narrow country roads north towards Grasmere, a place Wordsworth described as "the loveliest spot that man hath found."  There's free time to visit Wordsworth's Dove Cottage, taste the legendary gingerbread, or enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy.  We then take in spectacular views of Ullswater Lake as we head along country roads to its southern shores before returning to Manchester in the early evening.

Ultimate Lake District Tour Visiting 10 Lakes

4. Ultimate Lake District Tour Visiting 10 Lakes

Your day starts with a climb, all the way up to the Kirkstone Pass Inn for a stop to take in the views back down the valley right the way down to Lake Windermere and Ambleside. From here the road plunges down into the Kirkstone Pass and descends down to Brothers Water. As you arrive at the village of Glenridding, you join a 1-hour cruise on Ullswater to relax and see the stunning fells as the boat cruises the full length of the lake. You then leave Ullswater and head north and west towards Castlerigg. Castlerigg Stone Circle stands on a superb natural plateau commanding a superb 360 degree view over the surrounding fells. Made up of 38 free standing stones, some up to 3 metres (10 feet) high, it is one of Britain's earliest stone circles dating back to the Neolithic period 4000 to 5000 years ago. Your journey now takes you a short distance to the head of Derwentwater where you stop at Lakeside near Keswick, for lunch. You then travel to 'Surprise View', one of the most stunning viewpoints in the Lake District. The road now rises higher as you climb the fell to the Honister Slate Mine at the head of the pass. You have a brief stop here. You now descend slowly down the steep track as it twists and turns into the Honister Pass and on to Buttermere. Buttermere could not be more of a contrast to the magnificent yet hard scenery of Honister. You are now entering the Vale of Lorton, one of the lushest and prettiest parts of the Northern Lakes. The spectacular scenery continues as you move along the shore of Crummock Water with unparalleled views and also the site of an ancient battle. From here the scenery softens and the fells decline into hills. You now take the road which will bring you into the Whinlatter Pass, your third mountain pass on this tour. The pass winds through Whinlatter Forest. Then on to the Whinlatter Viewpoint where you will stop again to allow you to admire the magnificent views of Bassenthwaite. You now head back towards Keswick and start the journey down towards Ambleside. On the way you will pass Thirlmere, and at the foot of the water, you then head back along your fourth, and last, mountain pass of Dunmail Raise. You pass Grasmere village to drive along the shores of Grasmere, your ninth lake. The road winds along the shore until you come to Rydal Water, your tenth and final lake.

From Manchester: Lake District Sightseeing Day Trip

5. From Manchester: Lake District Sightseeing Day Trip

The tour departs from Manchester and drives out of the city into the luscious surrounding countryside. Admire the views as you travel to the UK’s largest national park, the Lake District, stopping at the underground Rheged Discovery Center along the way. During the partially narrated 2-hour journey to the Lake District, the tour also stops by the famous Castlerigg Neolithic Stone Circle where you can feel ancient mythical energy flowing around you. Continue on to Grasmere Village, which boasts an array of beautiful 19th century architecture as well as the grave of well-known poet William Wordsworth. Afterwards, let your nose lead the way to Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop, where you can taste a selection of traditional sweet treats from the region. After you’ve filled up on gingerbread, it’s time to explore the national park and navigate through the Langdales, also known as “Little Switzerland”. As you wander around the park, marvel at the breathtaking views that sprawl across the landscape, which offers some of the most dramatic and diverse scenery in the UK. Throughout the tour there’s plenty of stops both on and off the bus to make the most of your trip to the Lake District. One of the highlights of the day includes an amble around Blea Tarn before a stop at Ambleside where you can get lost in the maze of twisting streets or shop at a selection of picturesque stores.

From Liverpool: Full-Day Yorkshire Sightseeing Adventure

6. From Liverpool: Full-Day Yorkshire Sightseeing Adventure

Get a taste of Yorkshire on a full-day minibus tour from Liverpool. Explore the county's history and cuisine, admire feats of Victorian engineering, and see the picturesque Hardraw Force waterfall. After a partially-narrated 2-hour journey, arrive in Haworth to discover the stories of the Bronte Sisters – Anne, Charlotte, and Emily. From there, head to the stunning limestone feature of Malham Cove, formed by melt-water from glaciers over 12,000 years ago. See the impressive Ribblehead Viaduct, a masterpiece of 19th-century engineering, and take a stroll to get a closer look at its 1.5 million bricks. A stop at the must-visit Wensleydale Creamery follows. Sample some of its famous cheeses, made originally by Cistercian Monks. Next, visit the pretty village of Hawes, a honeypot of a town boasting shops, cafes, pubs, and locals sipping John Smith's while munching a Yorkshire Pudding. Once you have explored Hawes, head to Hardraw Force, the UK's highest single-drop waterfall, which is over 100 feet tall. Enjoy the splash pool and the breathtaking natural “amphitheater” before beginning your journey back to Liverpool.

Half-Day Tour of Beatrix Potter Country and Places

7. Half-Day Tour of Beatrix Potter Country and Places

Your tour starts with a visit to Wray Castle for spectacular scenery and lake views. This is the holiday home where Beatrix first visited and fell in love with the landscape and culture of the Lake District. You then visit Near Sawrey. This village features in many of her "little books" illustrations, the Tower Bank Arms is immediately recognisable as the place where Kep, the collie-dog goes looking for the two fox-hound puppies to rescue Jemima Puddle-duck. You will be amazed when you see it, exactly like it is in the book! Hill Top Farm was bought by Beatrix with the profits from publishing Peter Rabbit. She often visited Hill Top and wrote many more books here which were inspired by the people and the places around her in this beautiful part of England. Entrance to the gardens of Hill Top and the House are included in this tour. William Heelis was a solicitor who advised Beatrix about her land purchases. His offices were in Hawkshead village. Today, these offices house the Beatrix Potter Gallery where many of Beatrix's documents are kept, including the copy she made of her original Peter Rabbit letter. The gallery is not included in the tour. Your guide will take you on a short tour of the most picturesque village in the Lake District. Beatrix bought a lot of land in the Lake District and owned the beautiful spot of Tarn Hows, known as one of the most beautiful places in the Lake District. You have a photo opportunity here and then, after a short scenic drive, Coniston Water comes into view. Coniston Water is the third largest lake in the Lake District and is the straightest. You will have a short stop here to admire the view and see the famous fell of Coniston Old Man towering over the village and the lake - beautiful scenery which Beatrix knew well. Beatrix also owned a lot of farms in the area and as you travel down the Yewdale Valley back to Ambleside, you will see Yew Tree Farm, famous as a location in the film "Miss Potter".

Lake District: 3-Day Small Group Tour from Manchester

8. Lake District: 3-Day Small Group Tour from Manchester

Day 1: Collect your train ticket at the station, travel from Manchester to Penrith, and meet your tour guide on arrival. The tour begins by entering the Lake District National Park and travels along the northern shores of Ullswater. This lake is often described as England’s most beautiful lake, and it is here you get the chance to take a forest walk and see the mighty Aira Force waterfall. You then travel towards Keswick, stopping outside the town to visit the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, thought to have been built over 5,000 years ago and once a lively hub of ancient pagan rituals. You have a short journey into the lively market town of Keswick where you are dropped off at your accommodation and free to explore the charming town. During July/early August this tour stays in Windermere. Day 2: After breakfast, you take in views of Ullswater Lake as you head along country roads to its southern shores. You continue further south and travel over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass towards the lovely Lake Windermere. Here you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the Lake or eat lunch while enjoying sublime views of the surrounding scenery. After lunch, you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water. Your next stop is the picturesque conservation village of Hawkshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School. After exploring the cozy village, you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as the loveliest spot that man hath found. There is free time to enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. And there is Sarah Nelson's Gingerbread shop you have to visit to try the best gingerbread in the world. In the late afternoon, you return to Keswick. Day 3: After a leisurely breakfast, you are picked up at your accommodation and head for the Whinlatter Forest Park and over the Whinlatter Pass into the most dramatic landscapes that the Lake District has to offer. Your journey along winding lanes, past the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere, and towards the Honister Mountain Pass. Stopping amongst the mountains you have the opportunity to visit old slate workings, where a small number of Cumbrians continue to make their living. After refreshments, you continue through the forests of Borrowdale, passing Derwent Water, where there is free time for lunch and shopping. Once you have eaten lunch, you begin your return journey, heading towards Penrith where you join your comfortable train for your journey back to Manchester or Manchester Airport.

From Chester: Lake District Full-Day Guided Sightseeing Tour

9. From Chester: Lake District Full-Day Guided Sightseeing Tour

This full-day adventure departs from Chester and heads straight towards the luscious countryside. Admire the views as you travel to the UK’s largest national park, the Lake District, stopping at the underground Rheged Discovery Center along the way. During the partially narrated 2-hour journey to the Lake District, the tour also stops by the famous Castlerigg Neolithic Stone Circle where you can feel ancient, mythical energy flowing around you. Afterwards, continue onto Grasmere Village which boasts an array of beautiful 19th-century architecture, as well as the grave of well-known poet William Wordsworth. Afterwards, let your nose lead the way to Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop, where you can taste a selection of traditional sweet treats from the region. After you’ve filled up on gingerbread, it’s time to explore the national park and navigate through the Langdales, also known as “Little Switzerland.” As you wander around the park, marvel at the breathtaking views that sprawl across the landscape, which offer some of the most dramatic and diverse scenery in the UK. Throughout the tour, there are plenty of stops to make the most of your trip to the Lake District. One of the highlights of the day includes an amble around Blea Tarn before a stop at Ambleside where you can get lost in the maze of twisting streets or shop at a selection of picturesque stores.

From Edinburgh: The Best of Northern England 5-Day Tour

10. From Edinburgh: The Best of Northern England 5-Day Tour

Spend 5 glorious days exploring the very best of northern England on this exciting multi-day tour. Discover the beautiful East Lothian coastline and the amazing Alnwick Castle, spend some time in the city of York, and explore nature in the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Visit the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, travel to the shores of Ullswater,, said to be England's most beautiful lake and much more along the way. Day 1 Your tour starts with a beautiful drive down the magnificent East Lothian coastline as you travel towards the walled border town of Berwick Upon Tweed. After stopping to admire the fortifications, continue to Alnwick Castle, whose magnificent interior and gardens have appeared in many films and television programs. Leaving Alnwick behind, travel towards the City of York on the Great North Road, and arrive in York in the late afternoon. [Overnight in York.] Day 2 This leisurely day gives you the flexibility to spend time exploring the medieval heart of York, a city whose rich history goes back to the time of the Romans, Vikings, and the Normans before traveling to the North Sea coast of Yorkshire. Your journey begins in the late morning when you head for the magnificent North Yorkshire Moors National Park. Lunch will be in Whitby, a bustling fishing port and the inspiration for the fertile imagination of author Bram Stoker. After lunch and free time in Whitby, travel to the fishing village of Robin Hood’s Bay*, a perfectly preserved conservation village of winding lanes and narrow alleys before returning to York. [Overnight in York. * The mini coach cannot access the main village because of local restrictions. The coach will drop you at the top of the village and you must walk down (and back up!) a steep hill to reach the old village center. Day 3 Head west in the morning into the heart of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Established in 1954, the Yorkshire Dales National Park has outstanding scenery, a range of wildlife habitats, and rich cultural heritage. Continuing West, your route takes us through the Northern Dales, a beautiful area of natural beauty that is the center of the Dales cattle trade. Throughout the day, you will have the opportunity to taste the flavors of Yorkshire when you visit the town of Masham, home to two of Yorkshire's best-known breweries, and the cheese-making center in historic Hawes. The final leg of the journey takes you high up into the remote hill of the Yorkshire Dales before descending into the lively market town of Keswick, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation and are then free to explore this charming town. [Overnight in Keswick.] [**During July this tour may stay in Windermere instead.] Day 4 After breakfast, head a short distance out of town to the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, thought by many to have been built over 5,000 years ago. Then travel on to the shores of Ullswater, described as England’s most beautiful lake, for a forest walk to see the mighty Aira Force waterfall. Continuing south over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass, stop at Lake Windermere for a leisurely cruise on the lake or simply eat lunch while enjoying views of the mountains and lakes. After lunch, travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water, arriving at the picturesque conservation village of Hawkeshead. After exploring the village, take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, and enjoy some free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage or to enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. Return to Keswick In the late afternoon. [Overnight in Keswick.] Day 5 Leaving the Lakes behind, start your climb towards Hartside Pass, at over 1900 feet above sea level, with the hills and mountains of Scotland and the English Lake District easily visible on a clear day. Follow the route of the old sheep drovers road between England and Scotland, stopping at Hadrian's Wall along the way, and crossing the border into Scotland and towards the town of Jedburgh for refreshments by the ruins of Jedburgh Abbey. The final stop of the tour is at the world-famous Scott’s view with stunning views over the River Tweed and the Cheviot hills that form the border between Scotland before continuing North to Edinburgh.

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What people are saying about Cumbria

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 212 reviews

Our driver/ guide Mark Shipley who was a wonderful person giving us the most of the information along with the side seeing. He made the day full of excitement, humour and information while showing the beautiful site seeing.

An excellent day full of beautiful sights and great information. Our guide Peter was wonderful and so knowledgeable about the area. Highly recommend this tour.

Tim was a delightful guide and very informative. He was kind and respectful. We had plenty of time at each stop.

Mark is a great tour guide. He’s very informative and have a great sense of humor. Highly recommended

Great tour, well worth the money. Advice: sit on the left hand side, it has better views.