We drive to the medieval village of Cartmel with its imposing 12th-Century Priory church and take a short walk along the bay promenade. Walk through delightful limestone woodland and up grassy slopes to the top of Hampsfell escarpment to gain spectacular views across the bay and towards the Lakeland mountains. In the afternoon, follow country byways through the gentle Cartmel valley to our next inn at Newby Bridge.
Next walk includes a delightful variety of countryside, with ever-changing views. Woodland, green fields and a moorland ridge bring us to our lunch point in the peaceful Rusland valley. Then an enchanting walk across heather-clad Bethecar Moor, until Coniston Water opens up below. Drive in our minibus to reach the next inn by the shore of Coniston Water, where two nights are spent.
We enjoy a short cruise across Coniston Water to Brantwood, home of the poet and artist John Ruskin. Then choose between a walk up the Coppermines Valley to enjoy the spectacular scenery (and a fascinating insight into an industry which supported the local economy for over 300 years) or sightseeing in Hawkshead and Sawrey, where Beatrix Potter’s Hilltop Farm is situated.
Leave Coniston for a ramble over lush green rises to Tarn Hows, a jewel-like lake built by a Victorian landowner to enhance the view. Walk up the Tilberthwaite valley, perhaps with a diversion to Holme Fell to admire the incomparable views. Reach our inn in Little Langdale for the next two nights' stay.
We motor along England's steepest road across spectacular Wrynose and Hardknott Passes, stopping to tour a 2nd-Century Roman fort. Drive down into the Eskdale valley for a traditional pub lunch. Then on to the Irish Sea coast at Ravenglass and a walk through rolling pastures, past the ruins of a Roman bath house, for a visit to medieval Muncaster Castle and its world-famous Owl Center.
Walk by Elterwater and follow in Wordsworth's footsteps along Loughrigg Terrace for a superb view of Grasmere lake and vale, inspiration for many of his great poems. In the afternoon we visit Dove Cottage, Wordsworth’s home during his nine most productive years as a poet, and walk to Rydal Mount, his last home, to admire the grounds he lovingly landscaped. Drive in our minibus to the last inn for the final night, and our Farewell Dinner.
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