From mirror-calm lakes to green-sloped mountains to tiny towns full of tea shops, on this full-day tour, with plenty of time for lunch, you explore the northwest area of the Lake District. Your private guide, who also acts as driver, will tailor your route to your particular interests and the weather. You can add in several short or medium walks along the way, as well as numerous stops at viewpoints to take photographs.
Your guide picks you up at your hotel and drives you toward the town of Keswick. You then head past Derwentwater toward the valleys of Borrowdale and Buttermere, hailed by many as the most beautiful area in the Lake District.
If weather conditions permit, you can travel on Hopebeck Road, a narrow, gated and rarely visited road that offers panoramas over the region’s characteristic moss-covered dry-stone walls. This joins the Whinlatter Pass, which takes you back through Keswick and to Castlerigg stone circle.
Unlike Stonehenge and Avebury, this 5,000-year-old megalithic circle (which, unusually, is in fact oval-shaped) is thought to have once been a marketplace, specifically for trading stone axes, which were a speciality of the area. Other historians believe the stones served as a form of early map; historically, the mountains themselves wouldn’t have been visible from the ground as the whole area was forested.
Beyond Castlerigg (again if the weather permits), you can stop at the impressive Aira Force waterfall, taking the pleasant path that leads down and around for different perspectives on the water.
You then skirt around Ullswater, the second largest of the Lake District’s lakes, to climb the Kirkstone Pass — pausing to gaze at the view toward the Coniston Fells — before returning to your hotel.