Cumbria
History & Heritage

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Our most recommended Cumbria History & Heritage

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, you will get picture-perfect views of some of the Lake District’s highest peaks. You will travel over the famous Kirkstone and Honister passes whilst enjoying some spectacular mountain scenery. From beautiful valleys to waterfalls and traditional Lakeland villages, there will be plenty of stops for admiring the views and taking photographs.  Your lunch stop will be in the market town of Keswick, where you can try a typical pub lunch, or seek out a charming restaurant. You will also get the chance to stretch your legs at either the magnificent lake of Derwent water or Ullswater, where you can see the Lake District the tranquility of the Lake.

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From Manchester: Lake District, Windermere, and Lancaster

2. 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 & Roman Britain 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

3. Hadrian's Wall & Roman Britain 1-Day Tour from Edinburgh

On this 1-day tour from Edinburgh you travel south on the old Roman Dere Street that linked the supply ports on the south of England with the ancient city of York, and north past Hadrian’s Wall to the Roman settlements in Central Scotland. Your first stop on this tour will be in the border town of Jedburgh, a historic burgh that lies only 12 miles north of the Scotland-England border. Here you have time to take a short walk through the narrow streets that lead to the remains of the Augustinian Abbey, which has been a great symbol of power during its 900 year history. Continuing south you make a brief stop at scenic Carter Bar on the edge of the Cheviot Hills. This crossing point between Scotland and England runs close to the ancient Roman road and has formed the border between the 2 countries for the past 700 years. The tour continues through the magnificent forests of Northumberland National Park before turning west towards the remains of Hadrian’s Wall. You follow the road taking you along the south side of the wall, stopping at Steel Rigg where you come face-to-face with large sections of the wall’s remains. You have time to walk along the wall and experience the isolation that Roman foot soldiers would have experienced as they guarded their empire from the barbarians to the north. You continue your journey west along the wall towards the village of Lanercost, the western gateway to Hadrian’s Wall. After pausing for lunch you travel a short distance to Birdoswald, one of the best preserved of the 16 Roman forts along the length of Hadrian’s Wall. You have time to explore this fascinating site and further sections of the wall before you turn north for the return journey. Travelling through the Galloway hills, you stop in the Victorian spa town of Moffat before continuing through the Southern Uplands and Scottish Borders, and return to Edinburgh.

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English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

4. English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

Get a range of benefits with a 9-day or 16-day single or family English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass, offering free entry to more than 100 stately homes, castles, prehistoric remains and gardens the length and breadth of England. Only available to non-UK residents, the great value pass will save you money even if you only visit 2 or 3 attractions, making a 9-day pass suitable for a weekend break. You can visit as many English Heritage attractions as you like, and come back as many times as you want to. But the more places you visit, the more money you save! Plan your vacation with the help of our overseas visitor Guidebook. The English Heritage website will also help you plan your visit before you travel. Once you have decided which attractions to explore, there is no need to get your money out at every attraction, and no need to keep track of your spending. The monuments bring the story of England to life, and have all been selected for their historic significance. Located in some of the most beautiful settings in England, they include mighty castles, tranquil monastic ruins, pleasant gardens and grand stately homes. Many host special events throughout the year, and your pass also gives you free or reduced price entry. You might even come face-to-face with a knight in shining armor. All sites have reduced opening times during the winter months (October to March). Detailed information available after booking. The full list of places you can access with your pass is as follows: In London: Apsley HouseChiswick HouseEltham Palace and GardensJewel TowerMarble Hill HouseRanger’s House - The Wernher CollectionWellington ArchIn the South East: 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey & BattlefieldBayham Old AbbeyCarisbrooke CastleDeal CastleDover CastleFort Brockhurst (as part of a pre-booked group)Home of Charles Darwin (Down House)Lullingstone Roman VillaMedieval Merchant’s HouseOsborne HousePevensey CastlePortchester CastleRichborough Roman FortRochester CastleSt Augustine’s AbbeyWalmer Castle & GardensYarmouth CastleIn the South West: Berry Pomeroy CastleChysauster Ancient VillageCleeve AbbeyDartmouth CastleFarleigh Hungerford CastleHailes AbbeyLaunceston CastleMuchelney AbbeyOkehampton CastleOld SarumOld Wardour CastlePendennis CastlePortland CastleRestormel CastleSt Mawes CastleSherborne Old CastleStonehengeTintagel CastleTotnes Castle In the East of England: Audley End House & GardensBerney Arms Windmill (as part of a pre-booked group)Castle Acre PrioryDenny Abbey and the Farmland MuseumGreat Yarmouth Row Houses and Greyfriars’ CloisterGrime’s GravesFramlingham CastleOrford CastleSaxtead Green Post MillTilbury FortWrest Park In the East Midlands: Ashby de la Zouch CastleBolsover CastleHardwick Old HallKirby HallKirby Muxloe CastleLyddington Bede HousePeveril CastleSibsey Trader WindmillLincoln Medieval Bishops’ PalaceRushton Triangular LodgeIn the West Midlands: Boscobel House and the Royal OakBuildwas AbbeyGoodrich CastleHaughmond AbbeyKenilworth Castle and Elizabethan GardenStokesay CastleWenlock PrioryWitley Court and GardensWroxeter Roman CityIn Yorkshire: Aldborough Roman SiteBrodsworth Hall and GardensByland AbbeyClifford's TowerHelmsley CastleKirkham PrioryMiddleham CastleMount Grace PrioryPickering CastleRichmond CastleRievaulx AbbeyRoche AbbeySt Peter's ChurchScarborough CastleThornton Abbey and GatehouseWhitby AbbeyYork Cold War Bunker (pre-booked visits only)In the North West: Beeston Castle and Woodland ParkBrougham CastleCarlisle CastleFurness AbbeyLanercost PrioryStott Park Bobbin MillAt Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman FortChesters Roman FortCorbridge Roman TownHousesteads Roman FortIn the North East: Aydon CastleBarnard CastleBerwick-Upon-Tweed-BarracksBelsay Hall, Castle and GardensBrinkburn PrioryDunstanburgh CastleEtal CastleLindisfarne PrioryPrudhoe CastleTynemouth Priory and CastleWarkworth Castle

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Lake District: Western Lakes Full-Day Tour

5. 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.

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Ultimate Lake District Tour Visiting 10 Lakes

6. 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.

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From Manchester: Lake District Tour

7. From Manchester: Lake District Tour

This tour gives you a day in the Lake District National Park from Manchester. It’s an ideal way to see amazing landscapes associated with this stunning National Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Leaving Manchester three times a week, the tour heads North via the M6 Motorway, and in approximately two hours, you will arrive in the beautiful Lake District.   Visit the medieval village of Hawkshead, famous for its connection with Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Explore its many delightful features — there are plenty of photo opportunities as William Wordsworth's old Grammar School is located here, along with St Michael and All Angels Church which overlooks the village. You will also have time to explore and get something to eat; see the cobbled alleys, shops, cafes, galleries, and many more attractions. You will travel past incredible scenery in the Lake District, stopping for photographs at the most beautiful spots as you meander through the central Lakes. Spend time in the Langdale valley and take in views of the Langdale Pikes. As your Lake District tour comes to an end, you will then continue your journey back to Manchester.

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Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour

8. Rosslyn Chapel and Hadrian's Wall Small Group Day Tour

Visit intriguing Rosslyn Chapel, explore the town of Melrose, journey to the Scottish Borders, and see Hadrian’s Wall on this full-day tour from Edinburgh. Rosslyn Chapel has always been mysterious, and has achieved worldwide fame since the publication of The Da Vinci Code. This beautiful and highly ornate 15th-century chapel has long been the subject of speculation about its origins and the meanings of its famous stone carvings. Visit the charming town of Melrose for lunch, then cross the ancient Scotland/England border at Carter Bar. Follow in the footsteps of feuding clans and families, known as Border Reivers, who fought a series of violent raids here until the end of the 16th century. Then visit one of the world's most important Roman monuments: Hadrian’s Wall. Travel to Housesteads Fort (National Trust) in Northumberland National Park, the best preserved Roman fort along Hadrian’s Wall. Enjoy a free nature walk along one of the most dramatic and photographed stretches of the wall. Upon returning to Edinburgh, stop in the Border market town of Jedburgh to stretch your legs and take photos of the famous abbey.

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Lake District: Half-Day 8 Lakes Afternoon Tour

9. Lake District: Half-Day 8 Lakes Afternoon Tour

Your afternoon starts with a climb, all the way up to the Kirkstone Inn, the highest inhabited building in the Lake District, for a stop to take in the views back down the valley right the way down to Lake Windermere. This once important coaching inn sits almost at the summit of the Lake District's highest pass that is open to motor traffic. From here the road plunges down into the Kirkstone Pass properly with the valley walls rising up steeply on either side on to the viewpoint for a photo stop of the ribbon of road as it descends down to Brothers Water. The thin strip of road winds past the lake, down to the Ullswater Valley and on to the charming and popular village of Patterdale. The only other village in this valley is Glenridding and it is here that you get your first glimpse of the National Park's second largest lake, Ullswater. You follow the road along the western shore of the vast and sparkling lake. You then head north towards Keswick. Your next stop is at one of the most spectacularly located Neolithic stone circles anywhere, 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. A short stop here before you head onwards to the shores of Derwentwater. Your journey now takes you along the eastern shores of Derwentwater. Driving along the woodedshore of the lake, the road suddenly forks off and you climb up a narrow, steep track into the wooded fell side. Suddenly, the trees clear and your next destination, Ashness Bridge appears. Ashness Bridge is the most photographed bridge in the Lake District. You will then be taken further up the fell to another well-known beauty spot, the Surprise View: you have an uninterrupted view across Derwent Water to Bassenthwaite. You head back along the shores of Derwentwater and start to head back down towards Ambleside. On the way you will pass Thirlmere, a man-made reservoir. You then head back along the mountain pass of Dunmail Raise. This is also the name of a large cairn which stands on the top of the pass. Legend has it that Dunmail, the last king of Cumberland, is buried beneath the cairn. Now the road drops steadily down from the fells and before long, you drive along the shores of Grasmere, your seventh lake. The road winds along the shore until you come to Rydal Water, your eighth and final lake.

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Half-Day Tour of Beatrix Potter Country and Places

10. 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".

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What people are saying about Cumbria

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 425 reviews

Mark (our driver/tour guide) was amazing! I like how he tells the story of every place we go to - rich and fun! Too bad though, we got caught in a very bad weather and had to end the trip earlier than it should be but it's out of everyone's control and our safety is priority. Nevertheless, I enjoyed every bit and so I am giving 5 stars!

Weather was nice. It wasn’t cold, it was wet definitely. My personal experience I would suggest this Specific place if you are not driving. Best time to visit this place is summertime. Definitely I’ll visit this place again.

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.