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Ultimate Full Day Tour visiting 10 Lakes, 4 passes and magnificent scenery

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    Pass By: Lake Windermere, Windermere England

    Your day starts with a climb up from the shores of Windermere

    Stop At: Kirkstone Pass, Ambleside England

    all the way up to the Kirkstone Inn,the highest inhabited building in the Lake District, for a stop to take in the views back down the valley right the way down to Lake Windermere and Ambleside. This once important coaching inn sits almost at the summit of the Lake District's highest pass that is open to motor traffic.

    From here the road plunges down into the Kirkstone Pass properly with the valley walls rising up steeply on either side, past the church shaped rock from which the valley gets its name and on to the viewpoint for a photo stop of the ribbon of road as it descends down to Brothers Water. This lake was one of the first places in the Lakes to be acquired by the National Trust.

    We stop in 2 places on the Pass to allow you to take photos.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: Ullswater Lake, England

    The thin strip of road winds past the lake, down to the Ullswater valley and on to the charming and popular village of Patterdale. This the starting point for a number of popular hill-walks, most notably the Striding Edge path up to Helvellyn, the third highest mountain in the Lakes. The only other village in this valley is Glenridding and it is here that we get our first glimpse of the National Park's second largest lake, Ullswater.

    Here 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.

    Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Stop At: Castlerigg Stone Circle, Castle Lane Underskiddaw, Keswick CA12 4RN England

    You now rejoin your minibus as we leave Ullswater and head north and west towards Keswick. As we pass the impressive mountains and fells, looking up at Blencathra one cannot help but be moved by its shear scale, and those slender fingers of rock running southwards from its high ridge line must either frighten, or excite. Blencathra is one of the most northerly mountains in the Lakes with six separate fell tops, the highest standing at 868-metres. One of the famous features of Blencathra is the steep ridge called Sharp Edge which you will see as we pass the foot of the mountain. This is a walker's paradise and some of the fells in this area are challenging and difficult even on a mild summer's day. Your next stop is right in among these rugged mountains at one of the most spectacularly located Neolithic stone circles anywhere, 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. The spectacular and atmospheric location will take your breath away but we only have a short stop here before we head onwards to the shores of Derwentwater for your next destination.

    Duration: 20 minutes

    Stop At: Derwent Water House Keswick on Derwentwater Nbiughl, Keswick CA12 5RF England

    Our journey now takes us a short distance to the head of Derwentwater where we stop at Lakeside near Keswick, for lunch. This is a tiny, hidden corner of the Lakes with lots going on. The theatre here, hailed by The Independent newspaper as "the most beautifully located and friendly theatre in Britain", opened in 1999. It sits only a short stroll from Derwentwater on the edge of Keswick, amid the magnificent western fells of the Lake District. The Lakeside Café Restaurant is perched between the theatre and Derwentwater. Lofty, light and airy, its large windows give spectacular views across the lake to Cat Bells and beyond, it's the perfect setting for you to enjoy lunch.

    Duration: 1 hour 10 minutes

    Stop At: Surprise View, Borrowdale, Keswick England

    We now travel to 'Surprise View', one of the most stunning viewpoints in the Lake District. From here you can see Derwentwater, one of the principal bodies of water in the Lakes. Derwentwater has four permanent islands: Derwent, Lord's, Rampsholme and St. Herbert's. It also has (reputedly) one floating island which sporadically appears towards the end of summer consisting of a mass of vegetable matter that rises to the surface on a cushion of methane gas! Visitors have flocked here for generations to admire the beauty and climb the fells. Two of the favourite holiday homes of Beatrix Potter, Lingholm and Fawe Park, lie on the far shore of Derwentwater. The lake was also used as a filming location for the 2015 Star Wars blockbuster 'The Force Awakens'.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: Ashness Bridge, Keswick England

    We then drop down the hill to Ashness Bridge, one of the most photographed packhorse bridges in the Lakes.

    Duration: 10 minutes

    Stop At: Honister Slate Mine, Honister Pass, Keswick CA12 5XN England

    We now move on to Seatoller, a small hamlet in Borrowdale valley next to Seathwaite which is the wettest inhabited place in England. Despite its remote location, this tiny farm settlement is a magnet for walkers.

    The road now rises higher and higher as we climb the fell to the Honister Slate Mine at the head of the pass. We have a brief stop here for you to capture the view down the valley on your camera.

    Duration: 15 minutes

    Stop At: Buttermere Lake, Buttermere, Cockermouth CA13 9XA England

    Passing the slate sculptures of the Guardians of the Pass, we now climb slowly down the steep track as it twists and turns into the Honister Pass itself. Beautiful, remote and desolate, the pass winds through the fells, the green-tinged slate shining in the sun and the curved rock faces looming above us.

    The pass itself connects the Buttermere valley with the eastern end of the Borrowdale valley. Rising to 1167 feet in height at the summit, it is one of Cumbria's highest passes, with a gradient of 1 in 4. Flowing through the pass from the summit to Buttermere is Gatesgarthdale Beck and in the valley bottom we stop for another photo opportunity.

    Buttermere could not be more of a contrast to the magnificent yet hard scenery of Honister. We are now entering the Vale of Lorton, one of the lushest and prettiest parts of the Northern Lakes, the valley contains the lakes Loweswater, Crummock Water and Buttermere. We see two of these, and driving down the eastern shores of the lakes with the sun glinting off the water is one of the loveliest places to be in the Lakes; it is still beautiful even in the rain.

    Duration: 5 minutes

    Stop At: Moss Force, Buttermere, Cockermouth England

    A steep climb takes us up the Newlands Pass with stunning views over the adjoining valleys. At the top of the pass we will stop to admire Moss Force Waterfall.

    Duration: 10 minutes

    Stop At: Whinlatter Forest Park, Braithwaite, Keswick CA12 5TW England

    We travel onwards to the Whinlatter Viewpoint where we will stop again to allow you to admire the magnificent views of Bassenthwaite.

    Duration: 10 minutes

    Stop At: Bassenthwaite Lake, A66, Bassenthwaite, Keswick England

    The view of Bassenthwaite Lake is impressive from the viewpoint

    Duration: 5 minutes

    Pass By: Lake Grasmere, Grasmere England

    We 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, we then head back along your fourth, and last, mountain pass of Dunmail Raise.

    Now the road drops steadily down from the fells and before long, we pass Grasmere village to drive along the shores of Grasmere, your ninth lake. William Wordsworth lived here at Dove Cottage and as we continue on, we pass Nab Cottage, the home of his friend and author, Thomas de Quincey.

    Pass By: Rydal Water, Windermere England

    The road winds along the shore until we come to Rydal Water, your tenth and final lake. The water here is often mirror-like still with beautiful reflections of the surrounding fells. We pass Wordsworth's last and favourite home which is situated off the road at Rydal as we return to Ambleside for the first of our drop-off points.

    Pass By: Bridge House Rydal Road, Ambleside LA22 9AN England

    As we pass through Ambleside you will get views of the iconic Bridge House, the smallest house in Cumbria.
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    1 - 5 of 14 reviews
    Reviewed 1 week ago

    We took three full-day tours with Gillian and Tim: “The Brontes”, “Lakeland Poets” and “Ultimate 10 lakes, 4 passes”. Al. Were excellent. Gillian led the first two and Tim the last. Gillian is a historian and is well versed in the life and times of...More

    Date of experience: August 2019
    Thank 852patm
    englishlakestours, Manager at English Lake District Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

    We are so pleased that you had a great time with us. Unfortunately, the weather in the Lake District can be very changeable but it sounds like you still enjoyed the tour despite the weather!

    Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

    So this is a review from a 7 months pregnant woman. :-) Myself and my husband had a fantastic day with Tim as our guide and driver. First, he is a great driver! There are super narrow roads out there, and the van he is...More

    Date of experience: July 2019
    Thank Rigmoraaa
    englishlakestours, Manager at English Lake District Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 1 week ago

    One thing about taking a tour with us is that the car driver finally gets to see the scenery! As you say, the roads are often narrow and twisting so it is so much easier to let us take the strain. We always try to...More

    Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

    Our short break to the lakes was the first time and very last minute booked. We booked the tour day, 2 days prior and it did not disappoint. The tour bus and small group adds to the personal experience. We feel that we were shown...More

    Date of experience: July 2019
    Thank Joanna B
    englishlakestours, Manager at English Lake District Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

    As you say, our smaller tour buses make the day so much better than bigger vehicles as all our guests get a personal experience. We stop at so many places for photos and our itineraries are flexible enough that everyone gets plenty of time at...More

    Reviewed 4 weeks ago

    I am a visitor and my trip departed from Keswick. The tour has 3 people, and the guide is so nice and the tour is EXCELLENT. The only thing need to improve is the confirmation should better show the details of departure, as I have...More

    Date of experience: June 2019
    Thank gchkhk
    englishlakestours, Manager at English Lake District Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 3 weeks ago

    Glad that you enjoyed the tour so much. We are addressing the departure details as this is because TripAdvisor have altered their paperwork.

    Reviewed 11 July 2019

    Only two of us on the tour and the guide-driver was great. We went all over, saw so much and had lots of laughs. The Lakes district is truly amazing. Wild, magnificent, bleak, gorgeous, mountains and valleys and so many bodies of water.

    Date of experience: June 2019
    Thank Queen-Bee2020
    englishlakestours, Manager at English Lake District Tours, responded to this reviewResponded 13 July 2019

    Great that you had such a good time with our guide. We all love to show the Lake District to our visitors.

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