Cumbria
Educational Activities

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Our most recommended Cumbria Educational Activities

From Manchester: Lake District, Windermere, and Lancaster

1. From Manchester: Lake District, Windermere, and Lancaster

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." Enjoy spectacular views of Ullswater Lake as you continue on back roads to the southern shore, and then onwards out of the Lake District to Lancaster.  A contrast to the already-visited villages, this town boasts majestic medieval architecture and a spectacular castle that looms over the surrounding district. From Lancaster, head back toward Manchester, arriving in the early evening.

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Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman Fort Entry Ticket

2. Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman Fort Entry Ticket

Rising over ridges and snaking through moorland, the 73 mile-long Hadrian's Wall is an incredible monument with incredible stories to tell. Go on a journey back to life on the frontier and into the Roman Empire's extraordinary tale of power and ambition. Start your Hadrian's Wall adventure at Birdoswald Roman Fort, where you can still see the remains of all of the Wall's defining features. Birdoswald Roman Fort is set on a spectacular ridge above the river Irthing, offering fabulous views down into the gorge below. To the east are the crags of the Whin Sill, where the remains of Hadrian's Wall can be seen tracing the contours of the dramatic landscape. Stand in awe of more than 1,800 years of history as the longest remaining stretch of the Wall spans as far as your eye can see, and explore the ruins of the Roman fort, a turret, and milecastle. Delve into the story of the most famous Roman frontier with the exhibition in the visitor center. Find out how the Wall was constructed, check out some Roman artifacts, and gaze through a periscope to take in the view from the original height of Hadrian's Wall.

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Lake District: 3-Day Small Group Tour from Manchester

3. 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.

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Hadrian's Wall: Housesteads Roman Fort Entry Ticket

4. Hadrian's Wall: Housesteads Roman Fort Entry Ticket

Visit the historic Housesteads Roman Fort with a pre-booked entrance ticket. Set on an escarpment and flanked by dramatic stretches of Hadrian's Wall, uncover the lives of the self-sufficient soldiers who lived here. Stand on the edge of a formidable empire and take in awe-inspiring 360-degree vantage points. During your tour of the site, imagine what life was like for the 800 soldiers living and working here during the Roman period. Learn about every aspect of their life including clothing, tools, weaponry, religious beliefs, and medicine. See the barracks block, hospital, Commander's House, granaries, and communal toilets. Then, head into the museum to visit the mini-cinema. See the fort brought to life in film with stunning recreations of the original Roman buildings and meet Felix, the character who guides younger visitors around. Next, discover the fascinating collection of Roman finds to give you a snapshot of life, 2000 years ago. See Roman altars, dedication stones, jewellery, tools and weapons, all excavated from the fort. Look out for the impressive winged statue, Victory, a wonderful example of classical sculpture found lying in the landscape around the fort. Finally, take the Housesteads Trail covering some of the most tranquil parts of Northumberland National Park. Run wild in 5 acres, dress-up as a Roman soldier and play a game of 'I spy' on the edge of the Roman Empire.

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Hadrian's Wall: Chesters Roman Fort and Museum Entry Ticket

5. Hadrian's Wall: Chesters Roman Fort and Museum Entry Ticket

Come and see what life was like at one of the Roman Empire's most northern outposts. Chesters Roman Fort is the most complete Roman cavalry fort in Britain. Wander around the unusually well-preserved baths and steam room, and the officers' quarters. Discover an amazing collection of Roman objects and inscriptions in the museum, which were found at the fort and along Hadrian's Wall. Chesters is home to a spectacular Roman bathhouse, a place to relax on Hadrian's Wall for both Roman and modern visitors. The tranquil riverside spa on the banks of the North Tyne consists of a complex of rooms where weary soldiers could take hot, cold, and steam baths. Browse the recently updated Clayton Museum to discover a myriad of Roman artifacts, and find out about the "Savior of the Wall," the Victorian lawyer John Clayton. The museum first opened in 1896 on behalf of the Trustees of the Clayton Collection, and still has many of its original Edwardian display cabinets. Pick up a Chesters Fort takeover trail sheet from the admissions team and set off on a Roman adventure. Take a stroll through history around the fort, the headquarters building and courtyard, hall and regimental shrine. Plus, don't miss the ruins of an elaborate and luxurious commandant's house. Fuel up after your adventure in the Chesters tearooms. Here you will find light lunches made from locally sourced ingredients, sweet treats, and hot and cold drinks. Try a traditional stottie cake for a truly Northumbrian culinary experience.

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Many Lives of Beatrix Potter: Full Day All-Inclusive Tour

6. Many Lives of Beatrix Potter: Full Day All-Inclusive Tour

Make your first stop at Wray Castle. Discover its part in Beatrix's life and the people that she met there. Head along the steep and narrow Lakeland roads to her home in Near Sawrey. Take a guided walk through the village, into Hill Top and its gardens. Have plenty of time to visit the house, gardens and gift shop. Stop for lunch in Hawkshead, and visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery. See original manuscripts and illustrations by Beatrix. Take a short guided walk around the village, and then explore the village at your own pace. Move on to the beautiful Tarn Hows, part of the considerable Monk Coniston Estate bought by Potter, bequeathed to The National Trust. Discover more about the life of Beatrix as a farmer and conservationist. Travel to Yew Tree Farm, once owned by Beatrix and used in the film Miss Potter. Stop to snap some pictures and drive back to Ambleside. Head into the Armitt Library and Museum to uncover Potter's life as a scientific researcher and illustrator. Get fascinating insights into Beatrix's interest in mycology as a young woman, illustrated by her detailed illustrations, bequeathed to the library in her will.

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William Wordsworth and Dove Cottage Half-Day Tour

7. William Wordsworth and Dove Cottage Half-Day Tour

Start your tour as you drive out of Ambleside to the pretty village of Grasmere. Discover the places the Wordsworths spent their daily lives and the village where they lived. See the Wordsworth family graves, one of the most visited places in the Lake District. Explore Dove Cottage, where Wordsworth lived with his sister, and the Wordsworth Museum. See where William wrote Ode: Intimations of Immortality, Ode to Duty, My Heart Leaps Up, and I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud, together with parts of his autobiographical epic, The Prelude. Head to Rydal Mount, the second family home, and take the option to explore. Alternatively, visit the beautiful and tranquil Rydal Hall Gardens. See the sculpture path throughout the grounds, and hear the sound of rushing water running over a series of high waterfalls down a rocky ravine, through the rocky banks of a wooded garden. The oldest viewing house in the country, from 1669, is sited below the lower fall.

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

8. The Best of Northern England: 5-Day Tour from Edinburgh

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 Roman’s, 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 towards York. [Overnight in York. * The minicoach 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 centre. 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 a rich cultural heritage. Continuing West, your route takes us through the Northern Dales, a beautiful area of natural beauty that is the centre 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 Yorkshires best known breweries and the cheese-making centre 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 Hadrians 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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Hadrian's Wall: 2-Hour Guided Tour

9. Hadrian's Wall: 2-Hour Guided Tour

Feel Roman history come to life as you discover just what Britain was like under the Caesars on this 2-hour tour of Hadrian's Wall. Explore this breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage Site with a local guide dressed in an authentic costume of the era, and discover hidden archaeological gems. Hear your guide weave a narrative from both sides of the wall — the tales of the natives and the stories told by the occupying forces — and walk along the iconic central section of Hadrian's Wall. See a milecastle (a rectangular fortification) and one of the best sections of the Vallum defensive ditch. Throughout your tour, admire the magnificent backdrop of the Northumberland National Park, and enjoy some of the best views across the rugged moorland vistas.

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Other Sightseeing Options in Cumbria

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What people are saying about Cumbria

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3 reviews

Darren i think was the best tour guide we ever had and we have seen alot. Well done to Rabbies. Definitely recommended tour. Even if its raining we enjoyed it. Goes to show how good the tour and Darren was. Thank you!

Brilliant trip to the Lake District visiting Windermere and villages close by and seeing other lakes along the way. We had good timing for each spot and did not feel rushed.

Felt like we had a private tour . Held in traffc for almost 2hrs, but Charly, whose very knowledgeable and experienced tour guide/driver made it a brilliant tour.

It was lovely, the guide Darin knows what he is doing and he surely made the trip awesome!

It was a great trip mainly because of Darren, our driver, guide, narrator and dj.