We stroll along footpaths, across fields and through tucked away villages enjoying tasty and hearty food everywhere. The local people are often as rugged as their native hills but they are kind and forthright, greeting you with openness and a good sense of humor. As we go, we walk in the footsteps of kings, merchants, monks and raiders, exploring castles, mills, abbeys and stately homes. The important historic legacies have inspired painters and writers to produce masterpieces of art and literature. Read, write, paint and take pictures as you go and gather a wealth of memories with which to return home.
Guided tour of York
We meet at 14.00 hrs at York train station to begin a walking tour of the city. Its rich history of monuments and remains include Roman, Anglo-Saxon and Medieval walls, the ruins of St Mary's Abbey, medieval cobbled streets of the Shambles, and York Minster - the gem of the city & the finest gothic cathedral in Britain.
Harewood House - Burnsall
After a leisurely free morning in York we travel to Harewood House, one of Britain's finest stately homes. Dating from the mid-seventeenth century, the house is built in Neo-classical style, with state rooms displaying many art treasures and one of the finest collections of Chippendale furniture. The grounds were landscaped by Capability Brown with a gracefully situated lake and extensive, gently undulating parkland. Relax and unwind in our charming Inn at Burnsall-in-Wharfedale.
Fountains Abbey - Ripon
We visit the spectacular ruins of 12th Century Fountains Abbey & the Studley Royal estate. A wonderful walk through the abbey and its grounds leads us to the glorious Georgian water gardens with elegant ornamental lakes, cascades and temples. Continuing through the deer park we follow a succession of medieval bridges and fords over the river Skell and reach the bustling market town of Ripon (3.5hrs/7miles)
Haworth, a walk in 'Bronte' Country
We walk across the Yorkshire moors to the ruins of Top Withins, said to have inspired Emily Bronte to write Wuthering Heights. A stop for a picnic among blueberry bushes and heather, then continue to the quaint town of Haworth. Visit the old Vicarage, home of Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne Bronte, the parish church and graveyard standing at the top of its steep, cobbled streets.(4.5hrs/9miles)
Bolton Abbey River Walk & Malham Cove
Follow a delightful trail along the River Wharfe towards 12th Century Bolton Abbey, part of the country estate of the Dukes of Devonshire. After a picnic by the river we drive to Malham Cove and walk to the foot of its formidable 250ft cliff. An optional short climb to the top for its splendid views & to see the clints and dykes, unusual limestone rock formations with time to enjoy a hot cup of tea at the end of our day. (5hrs/10miles)
We climb Ingleborough hill (2372ft), one of 'The Three Peaks' of the Yorkshire Dales, where once stood an Iron Age fort. Enjoy extensive views of the Lake District to the west; pass 'Gaping Gill' a large limestone sink-hole and pot-holing attraction with an underground cave (big enough to hold St Paul's Cathedral). Now descend gradually into the typical Dales village of Clapham to enjoy a refreshing pint or tea and scones. (5hrs/8miles) (elev. +/-1300ft)
Lake Derwentwater & Cat Bells
We drive into the Lake District National Park famous for its majestic mountains and blue lakes. Start with a gentle stroll around the peaceful depths of Derwentwater, climb up a short steep path onto 'Cat Bells' and then stride along its ridge for spectacular views of the mountains to the north-west. We descend to Grange village for refreshments and make our way to Hawkshead. (4.5 hrs/9miles) (elev. +/-1500ft)
Free half day; afternoon walk in the Langdales
Enjoy a leisurely morning in Hawkshead where William Wordsworth, the Lakeland poet, went to school. Optional visit Beatrix Potter's home, Hill Top, where she wrote her childrens' storybooks. From Grasmere we walk to picturesque Easedale Tarn and ascend to the top of the Langdale Pikes, carpeted with heather and fern, returning in time for a refreshing pint and meal at a local pub where all walkers enjoy the end of the day. (5hrs/10miles) (elev. +/-1100ft)
Coniston Old Man
Our last day is dominated by The Old Man. We drive to the top of Wrynose Pass, then make a steep ascent to Swirl How, and a ridge walk to the summit, where we have views of the Irish sea & all the surrounding Lakeland Peaks. Let's now go down, raise our glasses and say a fond farewell to this unforgettable part of England. (5hrs/9miles) (elev. +/-1300ft)
Depart from Windermere station/Manchester airport
Departure from our hotel at 9.00 for Manchester airport/station (2hrs). If you wish, we can help you to extend your stay and make other independent departure arrangements.
Dates for 2014 :- 16-25th July
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Europe England Outdoor: Land Rambler Hiking & Trekking Cultural Journey