Cumbria Culture & history

Our most recommended Cumbria Culture & history

From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

1. From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

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."  There's free time to visit Wordsworth's Dove Cottage, taste the legendary gingerbread, or enjoy the peace and tranquility of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy.  We then take in spectacular views of Ullswater Lake as we head along country roads to its southern shores before returning to Manchester in the early evening.

Half-Day Tour of Beatrix Potter Country and Places

2. 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".

Lake District: Western Lakes Full-Day Tour

3. 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.

From London: Lake District Tour with Cream Tea & Cruise

4. 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.

Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman Fort Entry Ticket

5. 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.

William Wordsworth and Dove Cottage Half-Day Tour

6. 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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Cumbria

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What people are saying about Cumbria

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 425 reviews

Great driver/guide, the explanations were interesting and the stops great. Lots of lovely picture opportunities. I highly recommend tours in the Lake District, especially if you want to do minimal walking, are short on time, budget conscious, and not a confident driver along narrow, winding and steep routes.

Despite the "fun" weather, from raining, sun came out, and hailstorm for a few seconds, the scenery, the food, the village, were lovely to explore. Darren our tour guide was fun and informative. Overall, it was a nice trip. Got lost to the meeting point though, but came just on time.

Clive was a great guide! He shared with us the history of the sights throughout the tour. My friends and I really enjoyed the tour and will definitely recommend it to anyone who wants a short day trip to Lake District! Thank you Clive!

Breathtaking landscapes Very picturesque villages Friendly, polite, helpful guide who knows local and English history. Very good at imparting knowledge

A wonderful experience. Driver/guide was excellent. A day to remember. Well done and thank you.