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Self Drive Collection

The Lake District

Duration: 6 Days / 5 Nights

From £1,395 Book Now

Travel Planning & Advice

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Trip created by Anna Brownlow
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Region: The Lake District
Trip Type: Self Drive
Accommodation: Classic
Confirmed: When 2 Traveller(s) Book
Deposit From: £348.75 £348.75

Grading: Your Own Pace

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All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

Download Itinerary

The Lake District is well known for its stunning scenery, beautiful mountains and lakes, picturesque valleys, picture-postcard villages and breathtaking views. England’s largest national park is the perfect choice for anyone who loves the outdoors. With over 3,100 kilometres of rights of way giving access to much of the mesmerising countryside, there is endless opportunity to walk and cycle through the landscape that inspired so many writers and artists, including William Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter, Arthur Ransome, Samuel Taylor Coleridge and the immensely talented Alfred Wainwright.

On this holiday you can choose to explore hidden places, and hike or scramble on the fells, cycle on country lanes and trails. Admire the scenery around England’s largest lake, Windermere, and highest mountain, Scafell Pike, visit wonderful museums and discover the joys of Lakeland towns and villages such as Ambleside, Keswick, Coniston and Hawkshead. Make sure you try out the local delicacies – Grasmere gingerbread is a firm favourite.

The Lake District trip is part of our inspiring collection of self-drive itineraries. You can enjoy this trip as a short break, or choose to extend your holiday by adding on one or more of our other itineraries in this range. Suitable for families, couples and groups of friends, the exciting and varied activities on these trips will be tailored to your interests and preferences, making them accessible to all ages and levels of experience. With the option to upgrade accommodation and add on extra days and activities, you are sure to find your perfect adventure.

This price is based on a group of 4, prices will vary depending on group size. Please get in touch with the team to confirm the trip price for your group.

Trip Highlights

  • Experience incredible hiking in the Lakeland Fells with an expert guide.
  • Explore the beautiful countryside and historic villages of the Lakes.
  • Relax in handpicked accommodation and enjoy great local produce.
  • Explore at your own pace with self-guided options.
  • Upgrade the accommodation and add on extra days and activities.

Day by Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Windermere

There is so much to see and do around Windermere that you’ll be spoiled for choice. Make your way to Lake Windermere itself and discover the beauty of the surroundings from the shore or on the water. There are numerous walks to choose from though on your first day; we recommend a low-level lakeside stroll, which would still give you time to relax on a classic Windermere cruise. This is a fantastic way to appreciate the mountain scenery, beautiful shoreline and lovely bays. Another great option is a visit to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s historic farmhouse, and combine that with a walk to one of her favourite places, Moss Eccles Tarn. This is where she spent much of her time painting and inventing stories for Peter Rabbit and her other characters. She left the house to the National Trust with strict instructions on keeping the house exactly as it was when she stayed there. You don’t need to be a child to be captivated by the world she created.

Day 2 - Free Day to Explore

It’s unlikely you’ll have managed to fit in as much as you wanted yesterday, so today you could continue to explore the immediate area or venture a bit further afield. There are so many wonderful walks such as the High Sweden Bridge circular trail, featuring an ancient and picturesque old packhorse bridge, or the short but sweet waterfall walk to Stockghyll Force. This afternoon continue further north to Grasmere to visit Dove Cottage and museum where William Wordsworth lived for 8 years as well as his grave in the churchyard of St Oswald’s. Explore the village shops and make sure to stop at Sarah Nelson’s Grasmere Gingerbread shop to pick up some of this special treat before returning to your accommodation this evening. (B)

Day 3 - Guided Hiking

Your experienced hiking guide will meet you this morning for the first of two days hiking together. There are endless options to choose from, and you’ll enjoy a hike in the southern part of the Lakes before heading further north tomorrow. Depending on your experience and preference, one great option could be the Fairfield Horseshoe, a high level fell walk. This is a classic Lake District mountain hike, with spectacular views, long winding ridges and even a short scramble. Have a relaxed evening before an earlier start tomorrow. (B)

Day 4 - Guided Hiking - Helvellyn and Striding Edge

An early start this morning sees you leave Windermere and head north and further into the heart of the Lakes to the high mountains that are our goal for today. There are many fantastic hikes in the Lakes but few would disagree that Helvellyn, the area’s third highest mountain, and the dramatic sweeping ridge of Striding Edge, are one of the very best. At just over one and a half kilometres/just under a mile long, walking and scrambling on this exposed, rocky crest is a truly memorable and exhilarating experience and, with the experience of your expert guide, one which can be enjoyed by those attempting a first time ridge walk. If you’d prefer something a bit more relaxed there are plenty of other options for a fantastic day in the Lakeland fells and your experienced guide will be able to advise on how to get the very best out of the day. Whatever you choose, you’ll be sure to enjoy relaxing in your new accommodation tonight in the northern lakes. (B)

Day 5 - Free Day to Explore

Today is a free day to explore this area of the Lake District. There are countless fantastic things to see and do. One option is to take the wonderful Ullswater Steamer to Howtown and then walk back to Glenridding, stopping on the way for a cream tea. Or head north towards Derwent Water where you can spend the day with alpacas. Head out for a hilltop or forest walk with these amazing animals where you’ll learn about their care as well as have a chance to lead them on the walk and feed them; it’s a wonderful experience. This afternoon, enjoy the wonderful cafe, shop and grounds of the Lingholm Estate. The walled kitchen garden here was the original inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in Beatrix Potter’s early books. (B)

Day 6 - Explore and Depart

After a relaxed breakfast this morning, spend time exploring the lovely old market town of Keswick, beautifully situated between the peaceful Derwent Water and Skiddaw, the mountain which dominates this part of the northern lakes. While you’re in the area you could visit Castlerigg stone circle, dating back to the Neolithic period, or the quirky but brilliant Derwent Pencil Museum, home to the world’s first ever pencil. After lunch, head for home or extend your trip by adding one or more of the additional activities on offer. You may also want to link this trip with one of our other Self-Drive Collection itineraries for a longer adventure. (B)

Optional Extra - Guided Hiking

Join our expert hiking guide for another day exploring this incredible area on foot. One option is England’s most famous mountain, Scafell Pike, at 977m (3,205ft) above sea level. The 360-degree views from the top are stunning, and it is a very special feeling to be standing on top of England’s highest peak.

Optional Extra - Guided Cycling

The winding roads through jaw-dropping scenery or the quiet forests of the Lakes are both perfect for exploration by bike. Along with your expert guide you can choose from road cycling, trail riding or mountain biking with the route tailored to your ability and experience.

Optional Extra - Spa Day

Spend the day in total relaxation at one of the Lake District’s premier spas. Enjoy saunas, hot tubs and pools as well as relaxing treatments. Treat yourself to dinner tonight at the Michelin-starred Gilpin restaurant.

Optional Extra - Honister Slate Mine

For those looking for more adventure, drive up Honister Pass, one of the highest and steepest mountain passes in the Lake District, and visit the Honister Slate Mine. Here you can go deep underground and, using a series of rope bridge crossings and steel ladders, explore a secret world of hidden passages and magnificent caverns. Above ground try out the thrilling Via Ferrata or infinity bridge.

Self Drive
The Lake District

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Price from: £1,395
Duration: 6 Days 5 Nights

Trip Details

Accommodation Read More

You will be based in the Lake District at one of our excellent, hand-picked accommodation partners. The accommodation on this trip will generally be in a small hotel or guest house. However, if you would like to upgrade the accommodation on this trip to deluxe or 5 star luxury, please get in touch.

Single Rooms

Single occupancy rooms are available for a small supplement. Please get in touch with the team to book.

Meals Read More

At all stages of your trip, you will be able to enjoy delicious meals prepared from superb local ingredients.

Breakfasts are included at your accommodation. Packed lunches are not included in the trip, but will be available from your hotel if requested the night before or a local cafe/ deli. Your guide can help make local restaurant suggestions.

Inclusions Read More
  • 5 nights accommodation with breakfast each day
  • 2 days of privately guided activities, led by an expert Wilderness guide
  • Personalised trip design and delivery
  • Expert local suggestions for restaurants and activities
  • Detailed trip itinerary and map
  • Pre-trip care and 24 hour in-country support from the Wilderness team
Travel Read More
  • This trip starts in Windermere
  • This is a self drive holiday – you can bring your own car or we can recommend car hire companies.
Upgrade and Customise Your Trip Read More

This trip is designed to be tailored to your preferences. Choose to upgrade the accommodation, add on extra days and activities to create your perfect adventure.

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Speak to an Expert

Lizzie Zawinski

Our friendly office team hail from across the world but share a passion for the outdoor and wild spaces of Britain & Ireland. We are committed to providing you with the best customer service and are more than happy to chat through options and provide help and advice. Get in touch to find your perfect adventure.

Ask Lizzie a Question

Difficulty Grades Explained

At Your Own Pace

On this adventure you will be accompanied by a Wilderness Scotland hiking guide for several days, who will be able to suggest and lead you on a range of hikes from gentle low level rambles to challenging days visiting remote summits. Just let them know what type of hike you would like to do and they will be ready!

On the other days of the trip you will self guided and can explore at whatever pace you feel comfortable.

Our holidays reviewed
in your own words

I selected this tour because it provided the opportunity to combine a holiday in Scotland with an opportunity to also explore the Yorkshire Dales and Lakes. It was a very well designed tour, providing a good variety of landscapes and walking challenges. Staying two or more nights in each area allowed us to adjust the walking itinerary to allow for the changing weather conditions. Our guide Dave, the accommodation, food and additional touring experiences all combined to provide a wonderful experience. Cant wait to come back!

Katharine Tighe
Wilderness Walking - National Parks of the UK
Reviewed on 09/10/2018

Rated 4.95 out of 5 based on 703 reviews

Read More Reviews

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