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