Cumbria
Literary Activities

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Our most recommended Cumbria Literary Activities

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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From Manchester: Lake District Sightseeing Day Trip

3. 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.

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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.

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Half-Day Tour of Beatrix Potter Country and Places

5. 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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From London: Lake District Tour with Cream Tea & Cruise

6. From London: Lake District Tour with Cream Tea & Cruise

Meet a local tour representative at Euston Station to collect your tickets and itinerary for the day, then enjoy a relaxing train journey to Oxenholme in the spectacular Lake District National Park. On arrival at Oxenholme you will be met by a local guide, who will take you on your tour of the Lake District. This tour is the ideal way to explore the best of the Lake District, which is famous for its Beatrix Potter and Wordsworth connections.  Enter the National Park and travel north alongside Lake Windermere to the medieval village of Hawkshead. Explore this fascinating village where Wordsworth went to school. Continue on towards the renowned beauty spot of Tarn Hows for a photo stop before driving through Yewdale, passing Yew Tree Tarn, used in the film Miss Potter. Next journey into the famous mountainous valleys of the Langdales, which have been carved by glaciers to form spectacular u-shaped valleys. Arriving at the lakeside village of Waterhead you will join a lake cruise on England’s largest lake, Windermere, and sit back and enjoy the views of the Lakeland Fells (local word for mountains). Arriving at Bowness Bay, enjoy a cream tea at the Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel, once owned by Beatrix Potter. You will then be taken back to Oxenholme Station for the train back to London.

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Lake District: 3-Day Small Group Tour from Manchester

7. 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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From Liverpool: Lake District Tour

8. From Liverpool: Lake District Tour

You will start the Lake District tour at the medieval village of Hawkshead, famous for its connection with Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. You will have time here to explore the cobbled alleys and get something to eat, from shops to cafe's, galleries and so much more. It's a beautiful village and a highlight of the tour. William Wordsworth's old Grammar School can also be found here, along with St Michael and All Angels Church which overlooks the village of Hawkshead. Enjoy the scenic views of the Lake District. Make your way back to Coniston, famous for its links with Arthur Ransome, John Ruskin and the Bluebird Water Speed record. Take in the stunning scenery and look out for Brantwood, the former home of social reformer and art critic John Ruskin. As your Lake District tour comes to an end, you will then continue your journey back to Liverpool.

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Lake District Day Trip from London with Afternoon Tea

9. Lake District Day Trip from London with Afternoon Tea

Explore the picturesque Lake District, considered among the most beautiful parts of England, and enjoy a wonderful tour of medieval Hawkshead, the former home of Beatrix Potter, and much more. A tour representative will meet you early in the morning at Euston Station to hand you all your travel documents. Then, sit back and relax as you watch the English countryside speed by. Winter Itinerary: Train to Hawkshead village We make our way through the Southern Lake District arriving at the medieval village of Hawkshead, the home of William Wordsworth’s old Grammar School, to see an enchanting mix of whitewashed houses and cobblestone streets.  Tarn Hows Onwards then, to the renowned beauty spot of Tarn Hows, which is one of the most photographed locations in the Lake District. Langdale Valley We then make our journey into the Mountains and the Langdale Valley, which was formed by glaciers millions of years ago. Stop at the picturesque Blea Tarn where you might even see a few of the local Herdwick Sheep. Windermere cruise from Waterhead to Bowness  Make your way from Waterhead to Bowness Bay by cruising on England’s largest lake, Windermere. Cream Tea at Bowness-on-Windermere Finish the tour with a traditional English Cream Tea at Lindeth Howe Country Hotel, another former home of Beatrix Potter. Summer Itinerary:  Windermere cruise from Bowness Bay to Waterhead Start the afternoon by making your way from Bowness Bay towards Waterhead cruising on England’s largest Lake, Windermere. Hill Top Farm Make your way to Hill Top Farm, former home of Beatrix Potter, and discover the inspiration for so many of her characters. You will also get the chance to browse around the shop. Hawkshead village Next, visit the medieval village of Hawkshead, the home of William Wordsworth’s old Grammar School, to see an enchanting mix of whitewashed houses and cobblestone streets.  Tam Hows  Onwards then, to the renowned beauty spot of Tarn Hows, which is one of the most photographed locations in the Lake District. Cream Tea at Bowness-on-Windermere Finish the tour with a traditional English Cream Tea at Lindeth Howe Country Hotel, another former home of Beatrix Potter.

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From Chester: Lake District Tour

10. From Chester: Lake District Tour

Leaving Chester 3 times a week, this tour heads approximately 2 hours North to the Lake District via the M6 Motorway.  Your driver and guide will take you to the medieval village of Hawkshead, famous for its connection with Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. Have time here to explore the cobbled alleys and get something to eat, wandering through shops, cafés, galleries, and so much more. It's a beautiful village, and a definite highlight of the tour. William Wordsworth's old Grammar School can also be found here, along with St. Michael and All Angels Church, which overlooks the village of Hawkshead. Explore some of the Lake District's most incredibly beautiful spots as you travel towards and through the Langdale Valley. When your Lake District tour comes to an end, you will be transported back to Chester.

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What people are saying about Cumbria

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 258 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!

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.

Perfect timing. Not too long and not too short. Frank was such a treat! Will definitely be signing up to busybus other tours!

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.