||Yorkshire Dales and Lake District
Jun 2, 2019 - Jun 9, 2019
|Single Supp Cost
Hiking Trip Summary
During this 8-day hotel-based trip, we will divide our time between the two of England’s best-loved national parks, the Yorkshire Dales National Park and the Lake District National Park.
Beginning in the Yorkshire Dales, we’ll base ourselves near the market town of Hawes, in the broad gentle valley of Wensleydale. This is the Yorkshire countryside of James Herriot’s books, a landscape of green pastures checked with ancient stone walls and stalwart barns, high windswept moors, and tumbling waterfalls. Our walks will take us to the well-preserved medieval Castle Bolton, the impressively stepped Aysgarth Falls, and up to the high moorlands of Great Shunner Fell.
Nestled in the heart of the romantic and rugged Lake District, Grasmere will be our base for the second half of our trip. From this village of attractive grey-stone houses and narrow streets, once the home of the poet William Wordsworth, we’ll walk the valleys, fells and lakes that were his inspiration. As well as visiting Wordsworth’s former residences of Dove Cottage and Rydal Mount, our walks will take us through classic Wordsworth territory as we hike over the Coffin Route between Grasmere and Rydal, to the rugged beautiful mountain lake of Easedale Tarn, by way of the falling waters of Sour Milk Gyll and to the mystical stone circle of Castlerigg.
From the tranquil countryside of the Yorkshire Dales to the brooding lakes and mountains of the Lake District, this trip holds all the essential elements of a classic English walking holiday. We hope you’ll join us.
Day 1: Rendezvous at 10:00am at the Manchester Airport, followed by group transfer to our hotel near Hawes in the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Our base for the next several days will be the Stone House Hotel, a comfortable Edwardian country house set amidst old English gardens and offering expansive views of the Valley.
After getting settled into our hotel, we will take a 15-minute walk into the village of Hawes. Located at the upper end of the Wensleydale valley in the Northern Yorkshire Dales, Hawes is an active market town. Its attractive main street is lined with old stone buildings, cafes, pubs, and shops. The Wensleydale Creamery, famous for its cheese, is located here, as is the Dales Countryside Museum.
After getting a bite to eat for lunch we will head back to the hotel by way of Hardraw Force, often referred to as England’s largest “single drop” waterfall. Welcome dinner.
Days 2, 3 & 4: Hikes around Hawes
The broad valley of Wensleydale, lying just to east of the Pennines, is largely agricultural, with idyllic green pastureland checked with endless stone walls. Located at the upper end of the valley and surrounded by fells to the north, west and south, our hotel offers any number of good walks leading from its doorstep.
Each day we will offer guided walking options geared to the interest and abilities of the group. Group members will also have time to relax at the hotel, explore the shops of Hawes, and visit the Wensleydale Creamery and Dales Countryside Museum.
Hiking options may include:
Whether Fell: A walk through Hawes and past the Wensleydale Creamery will take us up Whether Fell. Part of our route follows Cam High Road, an old Roman way. Contouring Whether Fell, with fine views back over Hawes and the valley, we’ll then descend back into town and return to the hotel. Hiking Time: 4 hrs. 30 mins; Elev. gain: 1,298′; Elev. loss: 1,298′; Distance: 8 miles.
Aysgarth Falls – Carperby – Bolton Castle: Further down the valley, a fine walk will take us through the heart of James Herriot country. From the stepped falls of Aysgarth, we’ll continue through the village of Carperby, where James Herriot, author of All Creature’s Great and Small, spent his honeymoon, and on to Bolton Castle, one of England’s best-preserved medieval castles. Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned here after the Battle of Langside. The walk offers wonderful views of Bolton Castle, as well as upper and lower Wensleydale. Hiking Time: 4 hrs. 30 mins; Elev. gain: 160′; Elev. loss: 160′; Distance: 6 miles.
Stags Fell: Heading up the north side of the valley from our hotel, we’ll walk through the tiny hamlet of Sedbusk on our way up to Stags Fell. As we cross the fell we’ll have more expansive views down the valley. Dropping down through Shaw Gyll and Shaw Gyll Wood, we’ll return to the Stone House through a series of fields and stone walls dotted by old field barns typical of this area. Hiking Time: 4 hrs; Elev. gain: 900′; Elev. loss: 900′; Distance: 7 miles.
Day 5: After breakfast we will have a morning transfer to our next hotel in Grasmere, in the heart of the Lake District. A popular hiking and walking center, Grasmere has long attracted artists and writers, most notably, William Wordsworth. A bustling village of shops and galleries, Grasmere is set at the edge of a diminutive lake surrounded by high fells. Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage is located here and he is buried in the cemetery at St. Oswald’s Church.
After settling into the Gold Rill Hotel, a traditional English hotel surrounded by fields and with view of the lake, we’ll have time for lunch in town before walking to the Wordsworth Trust for a tour of Dove Cottage and visit to the Wordsworth Museum. Driving time: 1 hr. 30 mins.; Hiking Time: 30 mins.
Days 6 & 7: Hikes around Grasmere
Once again, there are many great hiking and walking options in and around Grasmere. Each day we will offer guided walking options geared to the interests and abilities of the group, and we will also have time to relax at the hotel and explore the shops and galleries of Grasmere.
Hiking options may include:
Easedale Tarn: The walk up to the mountain lake of Easedale Tarn is a typical Lake District walk. We’ll follow the valley of Easedale, skirting the cascading waters of Sour Milk Gyll, as we climb to the isolated mountain lake Easedale Tarn, set in a crescent of craggy fells. Hiking Time: 4 hrs.; Elev. gain: 740′; Elev. loss: 740′; Distance: 4.5 miles.
Grasmere to Rydal: Also known as Wordsworth’s Walk, this circular route links two of Wordsworth’s homes, Dove Cottage in Grasmere and Rydal Mount in the village of Rydal, and circumnavigates both Grasmere and Rydal Lakes. First following the old “Coffin Route” on the north side of Rydal Lake, our route passes by Rydal Mount and Rydal Hall before looping back to Grasmere, passing by Loughrigg caves and along the southern shore of Grasmere Lake. Hiking Times: 3 – 4 hrs.; Elev. gain: 950′; Elev. loss: 950′; Distance: 6 miles.
Keswick – Castlerigg Stone Circle – Derwent Water: A 30-minute van transfer will bring us to town Keswick. This old market town is tucked between north end of idyllic Derwent Water lake and the Skiddaw Mountains. We’ll have time to poke around before heading off on our walk. Keswick is host to such whimsical attractions as the Cars of the Stars Motor Museum, Bond Museum, and the Pencil Museum.
Our walk will take us first to the impressive Castlerigg Stone Circle, lying on an open plane just east of the village. Erected four or five thousand years ago, it is thought to be one of the oldest stone circles in Britain. From the circle we’ll head across to Derwent Water, possibly over Walla Crag and down to the dry stone packhorse bridge of Ashness. If our timing is right, we may be able to catch one the Keswick launches for a boat ride back to Keswick, followed by our return Grasmere. Driving time: 1 hr.; Hiking Time: 3 – 5 hrs., depending on option; Elev. gain: 360′ – 1,230′, depending on option; Elev. loss: 360′ – 1,230′, depending on option; Distance: 3.5 – 10 miles depending on option.
Day 8: Transfer to Manchester Airport
After breakfast there will a morning transfer to Manchester Airport, arriving at the airport at around 10:30am. Driving time is just under 2 hours.
- Group transfers to and from the Manchester Airport
- All accommodations with private baths when available
- All breakfasts (full English)
- All dinners
- All group transfers on buses and vans as described in the itinerary
- Luggage transfer
- Great hiking and great memories
Air fare, lunches, optional/individual transfers between inns or individual excursions, 6 dinners, items not on set dinner menus, beverages, insurance, tips to guides, items of a personal nature.
During this trip we will be based in two different locations. As our luggage will be transferred from location to location along with the group, you will only need to carry a day pack during our walks. We still encourage our trip members to bring only one medium-sized bag you can manage easily by yourself, keeping in mind that our hotels will have narrow hallways and no elevators.
A sample packing list is posted on our website, and we are happy to provide one on request. A detailed packing list, along with other pertinent information, will be provided upon registration.
ACCOMMODATIONS AND FACILITIES
Hotels: In Hawes we will be staying at the Stone House Hotel, a comfortable family-run hotel set on a gentle hillside overlooking Hawes. In Grasmere we will be staying at The Grand at Grasmere, a traditional-style 3 star English hotel with outdoor pool and quaint putting green. All rooms have private facilities.
Meals: All our accommodations offer a “Full English Breakfast,” typically consisting of cereal, eggs, toast, bacon, sausage, tomatoes, mushrooms, coffee and tea, or choice thereof. A vegetarian option is always available.
Lunches will either be picnic style or at local tea rooms, cafes or pubs. Most days, either morning or afternoon, there will be an opportunity to shop for food and other supplies. Village markets provide a wide selection of local fare for picnic lunches. The hotels will also provide packed picnic lunches on request.
Dinners typically consist of a choice of starters, main courses, and desserts, including vegetarian options.
It is easiest to fly to Manchester, England. However, there are frequent trains from London; just be sure to allow for extra travel time.
Manchester Airport at 10:00 am on Day 1 for a group transfer to our hotel near Whitby.
Group transfer to the Manchester Airport, arriving about 10:30 am.
Reserving a Trip
A deposit of $400 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept
MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one
of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the
area provided when completing your registration forms.
The balance is due 60 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 60 days prior to
departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as
As confirmation of receipt of your deposit and registrations, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information
pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form,
medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment, you will receive trip
rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most
Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.