Literary Walking in the Lake District Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Premium Adventures, Private Group Adventures
Destinations:
United Kingdom, Lake District
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W06LD
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

7 Days Land only
Ages: 8+

Trip Overview

Jaw-dropping scenery, world-famous lakes and incredible literary connections - this 6-night holiday in the South Lakes has it all. The inspiration for writers like Wordsworth, Ransome and Potter, not to mention a plethora of other artists and poets, the Lake District is a place of incredible natural beauty; idyllic and exhilarating in equal measure. In 2017, it was awarded World Heritage status, with the committee praising the area's beauty, farming and the inspiration it had provided to artists and writers. 

At a Glance

  • 6 nights in 4-star accommodation
  • 2 days hotel to hotel walking, optional walks on days 2, 4 and 6; averaging 4 hours per day
  • Altitude maximum 273m, average 80m
  • Wordsworth's Grasmere, Beatrix Potter's Hawkshead, and Coniston: the inspiration for Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons

Trip Highlights

  • Idyllic lakeside paths and quiet country lanes
  • Sections along the famous Cumbria Way
  • High fells, gushing streams and traditional Cumbrian stone villages
  • High-quality hotels serving excellent local fare

Is This Trip for You?

The walks on this holiday take you to some of the Lake District's most charming villages, where olde-worlde inns and speciality shops nestle against a backdrop of majestic fells, staggering mountains and shimmering waters. Your routes follow quiet country lanes and lakeside paths, dotted with babbling brooks, thundering waterfalls and shady forest. National Trust properties abound including Beatrix Potter's former farm, Hilltop, while gems like the award-winning Hawkshead Brewery offer the best kind of refreshment.

This is a self-guided tour, as such there will be no group or tour leader and you are free to complete the walks at your own pace. We have suggested that 8yrs is the minimum age for this trip, but as it is self-guided and you will be leading your own family we will ultimately leave this decision up to you.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain an emergency telephone number. In an emergency, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi. They may wish to charge for this service. Please note: the walking and luggage transfers included in this tour are subject to a minimum of 2 people (in total) booked on the departure. A supplement of £65 (payable in advance) to cover these transfers and sole occupancy of a room will apply if only 1 person travelling on a departure date.

Adult min age:
8
Min group size:
1
Max group size:
6

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Windermere
End City:
Hawkshead

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Windermere

    Arrive in Windermere, on the shores of the largest natural lake in England. We'll transfer you by taxi to the Wordsworth Hotel & Spa in Grasmere.
    Premium Hotel

    Meals included:
    Dinner
  • Day 2

    Grasmere Circular Walk

    Welcome to Wordsworth country! After a gentle walk this morning around the meandering River Rothay, you’ll leave the village along the shores of Grasmere Lake, passing St Oswald’s Church - Wordsworth’s final resting place - and Rydal Water, of which the poet wrote: “Like a fair sister of the sky, Unruffled doth the blue lake lie, The Mountains looking on.” You’ll visit majestic Rydal Hall and Gardens - Wordsworth’s family home - and perhaps stop for a tasty pub lunch before following the old coffin road back to Grasmere; Nab Scar looms ominously above you and there are wonderful views across the water to Silver Howe. Back in Grasmere you can spend time at the Wordsworth Museum, Dove Cottage (where the poet lived with his sister from 1799) and the renowned Grasmere Gingerbread Shop!

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 3

    Grasmere to Coniston

    It’s all about stunning scenery today as you make your way to the village of Coniston. After a short climb through either Hammerscar Plantation - overlooked by Loughrigg Fell and with incredible views over Langdale - or the shaded paths of the National Trust’s High Close Estate, you’ll descend into the breathtaking Great Langdale Valley where you’ll pick up the Cumbria Way walking trail. Here you’ll find Elterwater, the smallest of the Lake District’s 16 lakes and popular with huge Whooper Swans from Scandinavia! Follow the foaming River Brathay, enjoying spectacular views of the striking Langdale Pikes, and you’ll reach charming Skelwith Bridge - a perfect spot for riverside refreshments. We recommend a visit to the cascading waterfalls of Skelwith Force and Colwith Force, and the picturesque fishing spot of Tarn Hows, en route to your elegant hotel.

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 17 km / 11 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 4

    Coniston Circular Walk

    Coniston has inspired many literary greats and it’s not hard to see why. Heading south along the Cumbria Way you’ll meet the shores of the pristine Coniston Water which served as the inspiration for Arthur Ransome’s much-loved Swallows and Amazons. The majestic Old Man of Coniston - the local area’s highest fell at 803m – dominates the village skyline and presides over your route. Heading away from the lake you’ll find the old Viking village of Torver; the Church House Inn, which dates from 1378, is a great place to stop for a drink before making your way back to Coniston. This afternoon you could pay a visit to the Ruskin Museum, or head to the Black Bull, Coniston’s compact, multi-award winning brewery. The bar here has hosted several famous names including Turner, Coleridge and more recently, Sir Anthony Hopkins!

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 11 km / 7 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 5

    Coniston to Hawkshead

    Today you’ll visit Brantwood, the former home of Victorian writer, philosopher and artist John Ruskin. In a picturesque setting overlooking the lake, Brantwood is filled with fine paintings, beautiful furniture and a collection of Ruskin’s personal treasures. After your visit, head into the peaceful Grizedale Forest, a shady gem located between the lakes of Coniston and Windermere. The forest offers superb lake and mountain views and - perhaps unusually - a number of sculptures hidden away in the trees! Grizedale extends across Monk Coniston Moor and your last stretch of today’s walk takes you all the way to Hawkshead Moor, from where you’ll descend into Hawkshead village. Your home for the next two nights is the superb, 17th century Queens Head Inn which overlooks the cobbled village square.

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 12 km / 8 miles
    Activity (hours):
    3.5
  • Day 6

    At Hawkshead

    The choice is yours today. Fans of Beatrix Potter will enjoy the National Trust's Beatrix Potter Gallery in the centre of Hawkshead, followed by a visit to Near Sawrey's Hilltop Farm, the former retreat of the world-famous children's author. Now in the hands of the National Trust, Hill Top is a delight to explore. Wander the 17th century rooms where you'll find Potter's original writing desk, and walk through the pretty cottage garden - the inspiration for many of Potter's tales! Another option is to head east, via pretty green meadows and the shimmering Blelham Tarn, to visit the National Trust's beautiful Wray Castle. Back in Hawkshead, be sure to reward yourself with one of the brewery's award-winning ales!

    Premium Hotel

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 13 km / 8 miles
    Activity (hours):
    4
  • Day 7

    Leave Hawkshead

    After breakfast, if you have pre-booked a transfer, a taxi will take you to Windermere station.

    We recommend adding an extra night to your holiday, to take advantage of our walk from Hawkshead to the popular lakeside town of Bowness-on-Windermere (12km/7.5mi/3.5hr). The route takes you through pretty meadows and woodland and up to Latterbarrow Fell (245m) from where you’ll enjoy incredible views across Windermere to Bowness. Descending to the lakeside, you’ll follow a waterside path along Windermere’s tranquil western shore; catch a ferry across to Bowness and take some time to explore this ever-popular town, before retiring to your Laura Ashley-designed hotel overlooking Lake Windermere.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotels

You'll stay in a 4 star country house hotel in Grasmere, a charming 17th century inn serving fine local ales in Hawkshead, and cosy B&B gem in Coniston. Add an extra night in Bowness and you'll stay in the stunning Laura Ashley-designed Belsfield hotel, in an enviable location overlooking Lake Windermere.

All prices are based on 2 persons sharing, so if there is an odd number of people travelling in your party or you are travelling alone, there will be a compulsory supplement for a single room for the tour duration. For a solo traveller there is an additional charge to cover transfer costs.

 

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £338.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

Full English Breakfasts included throughout as well as the evening meal on the first night.

Try out traditional English country pubs for lunch or enjoy a picnic in the countryside. Please note, if you order a picnic from the hotel, please do so the evening before.

Transportation

Your luggage will be transported between the hotels by taxi or minibus. The local representative is often able to dispatch a taxi should you need it in an emergency, but may wish to charge you for this service.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

Summers here tend to be slightly cooler and winters milder to what one might expect. The warmest months to visit are from June through to August, temperatures start to warm up around April and remain pleasant until October time. We advise you take waterproofs as showers can occur anytime of year.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

For the Literary Walking in the Lake District holiday, you will arrive into Windermere by train. Our friendly local taxi service will be there to meet you upon your arrival and you will then be transferred (15 mins) to the first hotel and the start of your holiday. Please just ensure that you have informed either ourselves or the agent about your time of arrival. The briefing will be given at 6.00pm on the day of arrival.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start:
Windermere
Location end:
Hawkshead

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Walking boots
Water bottle
Daypack
Sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses
Warm jumper
Waterproofs

Optional Equipment

Walking poles

GPS Route Navigation

Ride with GPS logo

We've teamed up with RideWithGPS to provide our carefully researched and checked itineraries in a convenient format, similar to a car satnav, with turn-by-turn instructions all along your route.

Before you travel we'll send you everything you need to download your route notes and the free RideWithGPS app. It's available for iPhone and Android and the routes can also be used on any regular GPS device such as the Garmin Edge bike computers or Forerunner fitness devices. 

 For more details and to watch the demonstration video, please visit our GPS Route Navigation page.

Reading List

Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
The Tale of Peter Rabbit - Beatrix Potter
Wordsworth and the Lake District: A Guide to the Poems and Their Places - David McCracken

view of the lake

Practical Information

Visa

United Kingdom

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

United Kingdom

No vaccinations are obligatory.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

As we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

United Kingdom's Timezone:
Europe/London BST (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

United Kingdom's Electricity:

220-240V. 50Hz. You will need a 3 pinned type G plug.

Money

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some GBP cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need money for lunches, snacks, drinks, dinners and entry to any sites you wish to visit. Lunches can be inexpensive if you buy them from local shops and make up a picnic, however if you stop at a pub you can easily spend £15 each. Dinner can also vary in price between £15 in a pub to £30+ in a restaurant.
We would recommend budgeting £20‐50 a day for lunches and dinners and allow an additional £10 a day for any extras. At time of publication, the main sites of interest have entrance fees (pp) as follows: Rydal Mount £7.50, Dove Cottage £8.95, Coniston Steam Gondola from £11 (price for the Full Lake Cruise is £21), Brantwood £7.70, Beatrix Potter Gallery £7, Hilltop Farm £11.50. Anyone staying for extra nights in Bowness will need 50p each for The Windermere ferry.

Please note: A number of these sites are owned by the National Trust, members of the National Trust will get free or reduced entry so don't forget your members card if you have one.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

 

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.