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Cumbria Small group activities

Our most recommended Cumbria Small group activities

From Manchester: Lake District Tour

1. 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.

Ultimate Lake District Tour Visiting 10 Lakes

2. 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.

Half-Day Tour of Beatrix Potter Country and Places

3. 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".

From Liverpool: Lake District Tour

4. 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.

Scenic Tour of the Lake District in Winter

5. Scenic Tour of the Lake District in Winter

Start your day with a climb up to the Kirkstone Pass Inn, where you will take in the scenic view of Lake Windermere and Ambleside. Then descend into Kirkstone Pass and down to Brothers Water, along the Ullswater shore with a stop for photos. Head north and west towards Castlerigg, where a natural plateau commands a superb 360-degree view over the surrounding fells. A short walk then takes you to the head of Derwentwater for lunch before traveling to 'Surprise View,' one of the most stunning viewpoints in the Lake District. From there, the road rises toward the Honister Slate Mine at the head of the pass. After a brief stop, descend slowly down the path as it twists and turns towards the Vale of Lorton, one of the lushest and prettiest parts of the Northern Lakes. The spectacular scenery continues as we move on to Moss Force Waterfall. The scenery softens and the fells decline into hills as we descend into the Newlands Valley, then head back towards Keswick and start the journey down towards Ambleside. On the way, we will pass Thirlmere and then along the picturesque mountain pass of Dunmail Raise. We will journey past Grasmere village along the shores of Grasmere. The road winds along the shore until we arrive at Rydal Water, the tenth and final lake on our tour.

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.

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What people are saying about Cumbria

It was an absolutely unforgettable day - my first introduction to the Lake District, and I couldn’t have asked for a better guide than Jean for it! She is not only an inexhaustible source of knowledge about the culture and history of the region, but also a great driver, amazing storyteller and overall lovely person. I loved the day and will be back to explore more. The tour is warmly recommended to everyone who has a day in the area - it will give you a great first impression and provide you with plenty of ideas and inspiration for longer stays.

The local guide Jeenie very pleasant, excellent behind the wheel and gave us time to enjoy each place to the fullest.

Amazing trip! The guide was so friendly and helpful! A good size of travel group! I’ve enjoyed the day very much!

Tim was a delightful guide and very informative. He was kind and respectful. We had plenty of time at each stop.

Beautiful tour, wonderful places! Jane fantastic driver!