Caption: Buttermere
Caption: Lakeland Vista
Caption: The Swan, Windermere
Caption: Alpaca
Caption: Langdale Pikes

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Journey Snapshot

Activity level: Physically demanding Involves a very high level of physical activity over an extended period. The activity will be at high altitude on terrain that will be uneven, slippery and steep. You would be expected to carry your own backpack and equipment. These activities require a high level of fitness and are not suitable if you have limited mobility.
Destination: Walking in The Lake District, England
Duration: 10 days, 9 nights
Flight information: If not joining us from the Iconic Scotland tour, please arrange your flights to arrive at Manchester Airport [MAN] on Day 1. Please arrange your flights to depart Manchester Airport [MAN] on Day 10.
Pickup location: Manchester Airport [MAN] or Iconic Scotland Tour


Choose your own departure date for your group

A fully-guided walking tour through the English Lake District, a UNESCO World Heritage Site acclaimed for its stunning natural beauty and breath-taking landscapes.

Travel between the traditional British villages of Ambleside, Grasmere, Loweswater and Rosthwaite on footpaths through English scenery so beautiful that it has inspired poets, artists and nature-lovers for generations. The valley of Great Langdale has taken millennia to form - time spent here must not be rushed. This holiday makes the most of time: time spent in the great outdoors, time to relax and to get back to nature. As Wordsworth himself said, “Nature never did betray the heart that loved her”. This is one of the most picturesque places in the world to visit, and what better way to explore than on foot, accompanied by your own skilled, knowledgeable and experienced local walking guide. The accommodation is a mix of 4-star modern luxury hotels and the more traditional, rural British country pub hospitality - the best of both worlds. 


Itinerary summary: DAY 1 - Kirkby Lonsdale & Low Wood Bay Resort
DAY 2 - Grizedale Forest & The Drunken Duck
DAY 3 - Walking Loughrigg to Grasmere
DAY 4 - Walk Grasmere to Great Langdale, Old Dungeon Ghyll
DAY 5 - Walk Great Langdale to Borrowdale
DAY 6 - A Day at Leisure
DAY 7 - Honister Slate Mine Tour, Walk to Haystacks and Buttermere
DAY 8 - Walk Buttermere to Loweswaer, Night-time Dark Sky Discovery Walk in Low Gillerthwaite
DAY 9 - The Lakes Distillery, Walk with Alpacas to Afternoon Tea at Armathwaite Hall
DAY 10 - Farewell to the Lakes and Home
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Full Itinerary

DAY 1 - Kirkby Lonsdale & Low Wood Bay Resort

We bid a fond farewell to Pine Lake this morning and head north into the very heart of the Lake District to begin this walking tour. First we travel to the historical market town of Kirkby Lonsdale. This beautiful town is just far enough off the beaten track to have successfully retained it's indiviual character. We will have some time here for a gentle stroll along the river and to visit Devil's Bridge, to enjoy Ruskins View and to find the local ice cream parlour or cheese shop for lunch.

After lunch we will continue on to the 4* Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa, right on the shores of Lake Windermere to enjoy the spectacular views and settle in for the next few nights. Tonight we will enoy dinner together at the resort, to discuss the rest of the tour with your Big Journey Company tour leader and the rest of the group.

Included meals: Welcome Dinner 
Accommodation: Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa, Windermere (or similar) 

DAY 2 - Grizedale Forest & The Drunken Duck

This morning we head across Lake Windemere by ferry (weather permitting) to Grizedale Forest. Here we will enjoy a Forest Segway session. The stand-on, self-balancing Segways are a brilliant way to discover the forest and it's breath-taking views of Coniston Water and surrounding mountains. There will be some time to explore some of the self-guided marked trails, most of which are loops starting and ending at the visitors centre.

For lunch, we will enoy some traditional Lakeland hospitality at The Drunken Duck Hotel. Legend has it that the pub got it's name in the 19th Century, when the landlady found a group of unconscious ducks in her cellar. They had gorged themselves on spilled beer. After she had plucked them ready for the cooking pot, they all regained consciousness and so she named her pub in their honour.

After lunch you may wish to return to Grizedale Forest to further enjoy the activities on offer there, which include Zip Trekking, zooming high along 7 ziplines running some 3km through the trees, or a high ropes obstacle course also in the treetops - not for the feint-hearted! (Additional charges apply locally). You may prefer to return to Low Wood Bay Resort to enjoy the spa facilities and treatments they have on offer. 

Included meals: Breakfast & Lunch 
Accommodation: Low Wood Bay Resort and Spa, Windermere (or similar) 

DAY 3 - Walking Loughrigg to Grasmere

Walking distance - approx. 6km / 4 miles
Walking Time - approx. 3hrs
Terrain - Moderate walking on trails – uneven ground, rocky in places with short steeper uphill/downhill gradients.

We begin todays walk from Ambleside, a traditional Cumbrian town at the north end of Lake Windermere. Our second Cumbrian word, used a lot in this area, is 'fell', meaning a hill, or an area of hills. Loughrigg Fell is beautiful, a series of rocky knolls and heather-clad hollows that are very typical in this region of the Lake District. Lily Tarn, overlooking the length of Windermere, affords us a beautiful view of where we have travelled from this morning. The view continues as we walk on ahead, looking north towards Skiddaw and the Helvellyn range in perfect silhouette. We follow the shores of Rydal Water and then Grasmere, continuing into the village of the same name.

For the rest of the day, you will have free time in Grasmere village, called "the loveliest spot that man hath ever found" by William Wordsworth. You may want to stock up with some of the internationally renowned Grasmere Gingerbread for our walk tomorrow. You might also choose to visit Dove Cottage, once the home of William Wordsworth and now a very popular museum, located just a short stroll from the village centre. There are lots of excellent choices available locally for dinner this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast & Packed Lunch 
Accommodation: 4* hotel, Grasmere tbc 

DAY 4 - Walk Grasmere to Great Langdale, Old Dungeon Ghyll

Walking distance - approx 10km / 6 miles
Walking Time - approx 5hrs
Terrain - Footpath with several rockier sections, which require a bit of easy scrambling. Gradual ascent early in the day, but steeper descent at the end back into the valley bottom.

Today we wander in the footsteps of the great English poet, William Wordsworth. We walk together out of the quaint and bustling village of Grasmere, through typical Lake District views with white-washed cottages and sheep grazing among the craggy peaks, views of the Langdale Pikes gradually rising up on the horizon.

Our walk today takes in Easedale Tarn and Stickle Tarn, beneath Pavey Ark. Easedale Tarn proves that you do not have to climb to the tops to enjoy true Lakeland - this tarn is set in a deep valley, scarred by a retreating glacier roughly 20,000 years ago. The retreating glacier has left an excellent selection of glacial erratics scattered like picnic tables right around the Tarn, an idyllic spot for a short break to get your breath back after the climb and take in the surroundings.

We continue to walk through the dramatic landscape of Great Langdale to our rest stop for this evening, The Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel. The Old Dungeon Ghyll is a rustic Lakeland instition. It has been offering traditional Cumbrian hospitality to fell walkers and climbers for more than 300 years. Located in the remote and unspoilt Great Langdale Valley, what the Old Dungeon Ghyll lacks in modern facilities is greatly overshadowed by the majesty of the surrounding Lakeland scenery and Langdale Pikes. Enjoy a traditional local ale and peruse the bar menu this evening in one of the best located public houses in England.

Included meals: Breakfast, & Packed Lunch  
Accommodation: Old Dungeon Ghyll, Great Langdale. Please note that not all rooms here have en-suite bathrooms. However, all rooms do have private, assigned bathrooms. 

DAY 5 - Walk Great Langdale to Borrowdale

Walking distance - approx. 14km / 8.5 miles
Walking Time - approx. 4.5 hrs

Terrain - Tough. Steep climb, with two easier sections walking through valleys

The amazing Mickleden Valley makes up most the walk today, where we will be surrounded by Bowfell and the Pikes. We then make a zig-zag ascent up the fellside, before dropping back down into Langstrath Valley. The view down to Rosthwaite is one you won’t forget in a hurry! Here, we are ringed with mountains and the hustle and bustle of modern-day life feels very far away.

We will be collected by vehicle from Rosthwaite, Borrowdale and transferred along the road to our hotel for this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: 4* Lodore Falls Hotel, Keswick (or similar) 

DAY 6 - A Day at Leisure

Today is a rest day, to take some time to recover from several days walking and to prepare to continue on tomorrow. You may wish to relax and spend the day exploring what is on offer at the hotel, or you may wish to venture out and explore further by yourself.

Your Big Journey Tour Director is on hand to discuss the many options available. Perhaps take the lcoal service bus or Keswick Launch to the nearby town of Keswick. Alternatively, take a short walk to the picturesque village of Grange for ice creams (try the Knickerbocker Glory at the cafe by the river!), an exploration of the lakeshore or you may want to take a look at one of the optional excursions available for today.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: 4* Lodore Falls Hotel, Keswick (or similar) 
Optional extras: Via Ferrata or Via Ferrata Xtreme, Honister (half day, weather dependant) Follow in the footsteps of the original Slate Miners, clambering on narrow ledges and ladders on the hair-raising route to the top of Fleetwith Pike in a thrilling, stunning and safe outdoors activity. This is an adrenaline rush with an essence of natural beauty. And if you feel daring enough to experience even more mountain, why not go for the Via Ferrata Xtreme. On this route, you will experience edge exposure, vertical climbs, cliff edge ladders, plus a Burma Bridge & Cargo Net crossing. You scramble up the huge Cargo Net to reach the summit of Fleetwith Pike and one of the finest views the Lake District has to offer. Buttermere, Crummock and Loweswater all roll out before your very eyes. (extra charge TBC) .

Canoeing Experience on Derwentwater (3 hours) Join Chris for half a day on the lake, canoeing on Derwentwater. All equipment and instruction included. (extra charge TBC)

DAY 7 - Honister Slate Mine Tour, Walk to Haystacks and Buttermere

Walking distance - approx. 9km / 5.6 miles
Walking Time - approx. 5 hrs
Terrain - Moderate, with a couple of rockier sections which require a bit of easy scrambling. Short, moderately steep ascent early in the day, undulating terrain across Haystacks, then gradual descent into the valley for a flat walk along the lakeshore into Buttermere.

To begin the adventure today, we travel by vehicle to Honister Slate Mine. Here we go deep underground to learn about one of the Lake District’s most traditional industries - slate mining. Slate has been mined in these valleys since Neolithic times and continues to be mined here today. Delve deep into the underground tunnels and caverns of the magnificent Fleetwith Pike to experience first-hand what life has been like for slate miners through the ages.

We then continue our journey on foot to Haystacks, Wainwright’s favourite amongst the Lakeland Fells, and down to the southern shores of Buttermere and the village of Buttermere itself. From here we will be transported by vehicle a short distance to our accommodation for this evening. 

Included meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Dinner 
Accommodation: The Fish Inn, Buttermere (or similar) 

DAY 8 - Walk Buttermere to Loweswaer, Night-time Dark Sky Discovery Walk in Low Gillerthwaite

Walking distance - approx. 8km / 5 miles
Walking Time - approx. 3.5 hrs
Terrain - Easy - along the shores of Buttermere then Crummock Water

Today we will enjoy more of the tranquil beauty of the valley of Lake Buttermere, walking along the lake shore and on to Lake Loweswater. Loweswater is one of the smaller lakes in the Lake District and the village of the same name is located at its eastern end. This peaceful spot is surrounded by fells and woodland. 

After a dinner in the pub together this evening, we will head out in the vehicle to Ennerdale, for a night-time stroll to view the dark skies above Low Gillerthwaite (weather permitting). This was once one of the largest and most important sheep farms in England, but it is now an internationally recognised location for its spectacular night-time visibility - the stars here are amazing!

Included meals: Breakfast, Packed Lunch & Pub Dinner 
Accommodation: Kirkstyle Inn, Loweswater (or similar) 

DAY 9 - The Lakes Distillery, Walk with Alpacas to Afternoon Tea at Armathwaite Hall

This morning we will enjoy a more leisurely start to the day after a late night last night. After breakfast, we will be collected from our hotel to visit the Lakes Distillery. Here, they say that the nature of their art is whisky and the inspiration of their art is nature. In the setting of a beautifully renovated Victorian farmstead on the shore of Bassenthwaite Lake, you can immerse yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of this working distillery on a short tour.

We will make a stop at Lowther Castle and gardens for a late lunch stop and to explore the dramatic ruins and the gardens within gardens at this Cumbrian gem. We will be met by a local guide for an introductory talk, putting the castle and estate’s 850 year history into context and explaining the castle’s recent journey from ruins to riches.

After this very full day, we head back to The Low Wood Bay Hotel for our Farewell Dinner and our last night in the English Lake District this evening.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner  
Accommodation: Low Wood Bay Hotel & Spa, Windermere (or similar) 

DAY 10 - Farewell to the Lakes and Home

After a final breakfast at the hotel, today we say goodbye to the Lake District. There will be transfers to Manchester Airport to meet flights for the onward travel you have arranged.

Included meals: Breakfast 
Accommodation: none 


More information

What's includedWhat's not includedImportant information

What's included

  • Private airport transfer with Meet and Greet Assitance from Manchester Airport [MAN] or group transfer from Iconic Scotland tour on Day 1 to the first hotel
  • All transportion and transfers as detailed in the itinerary
  • Accommodation as detailed in the itinerary
  • Meals as detailed in the itinerary 
  • Professional local mountain leader on walking days
  • All activities, visits and excursions as detailed in the itinerary
  • Services of a Big Journey Company Tour Director throughout (subject to minimum numbers being reached)

What's not included

  • International flights arriving and departing from Manchester Airport [MAN]
  • Gratuities
  • All entrance fees to non-stipulated attractions
  • Visas, travel or personal medical insurance
  • Any personal items and anything not mentioned under included in price above
  • Any meals or drinks not mentioned in itinerary
  • Any optional activities offered
  • Any COVID tests or related entry & exit requirements

Important information

  • Please let The Big Journey Company know prior to travelling if you have any medical needs or take any medication that we need to be made aware of to ensure that you have a safe and pleasant tour.
  • Check in is after 2-3pm and check out is before 10am unless otherwise specified in the itinerary.
  • Cancellation 90 – 0 days prior to departure cancellation fee is 100%. It is your responsibility to ensure the correct travel insurance in place to protect you against the need to cancel your holiday. Deposits are non-refundable.
  • Further terms and conditions apply and will be provided upon request or at the time of booking. The Big Journey Company reserves the right to withdraw any offer prior to accepting a reservation request. This does not affect your statutory rights. This offer is subject to availability and space is limited.
  • Please consult your doctor for advice before travel.

The big journey promise

The big journey company was set up with one goal in mind, to share our passion for inspirational cultures, destinations and experiences. Over the last 10 years we have had the privilege to escort thousands of travellers on awe inspiring and sometimes life changing journeys. Our promise to every guest who joins us is that we will do everything possible to make sure your journey not only exceeds expectations but delivers at least one moment of true amazement.

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Holiday tours are operated by The Big Journey Company Limited. Registered in England. Registered office: Marron Bank, Branthwaite, Cumbria, CA14 4SZ. Registered number: 6532140. The Big Journey Company Limited is a member of The Travel Trust Association member number U5675 and holds an Air Travel Organiser’s License number T7282.

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