7. Lake District 3-Day Small Group Tour from Edinburgh
Day 1 Depart Edinburgh and head south through the Scottish Borders. Take in the gorgeous rolling expanses of the Galloway Hills and Southern Uplands as you travel to the first stop of the day, the Victorian spa town of Moffat. From Moffat you’ll continue south over the border into England and head to the historic Cumbrian market town of Penrith. Enjoy lunch and explore the imposing ruins of Penrith Castle. After lunch you'll enter the Lake District National Park and travel along the northern shores of Ullswater. Often described as England’s most beautiful lake, it’s here you’ll enjoy a forest walk and see the mighty Aira Force Waterfall. Continue towards Keswick, stopping outside the town to visit the mysterious Castlerigg Standing Stones, thought to have been built over 5,000 years ago and once a hub of ancient pagan rituals. Head into the lively market town of Keswick where you’ll be dropped off at your accommodation, with free time to explore the charming town. Note that in July and early August your accommodation may be in Windermere. Day 2 After breakfast, you take in views of Ullswater Lake as we head along country roads to its southern shores. You continue further south and travel over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass towards the lovely Lake Windermere. Here you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the Lake or eat lunch while enjoying sublime views of the surrounding scenery. After lunch you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water. Your next stop is the picturesque conservation village of Hawkshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School. After exploring the cosy village, you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which 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 tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. In the late afternoon, you return to Keswick. Day 3 You’ll be picked up at your accommodation and head to the Whinlatter Forest Park and over the Whinlatter Pass into the most dramatic landscapes that the Lake District has to offer. The drive takes you along winding lanes, through the rural village of High Lorton, past the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere and toward the Honister Mountain Pass. Stopping in the mountains, you’ll have the opportunity to visit old slate workings, where a small number of Cumbrians continue to make their living. After refreshments, the drive continues through the forests of Borrowdale, passing Derwent Water, where there will be free time for lunch and shopping. After lunch, you’ll begin the return journey, heading toward Penrith and north to the border. After crossing into Scotland you’ll stop in the town of Biggar, a royal burgh since 1415. From there it’s a leisurely drive through the rolling border hills back to Edinburgh.