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The paths and beauty of the magnificent Northern Lake District are explored on this walking holiday. We have easy access to some of the best walking in Wainwright country, including Scafell Pike, Haystacks, and Cat Bells, from our comfortable 3-star hotel base in the lovely Borrowdale Valley.
- Breakfast x6, Lunch x5, Dinner x6
- Explore Tour Leader & Driver(s)
- Transportation (bus)
- 6 nights at a comfortable hotel
DAY 1 - Join trip in Seatoller in the Borrowdale Valley
Arrive at the hotel in Seatoller, a hamlet with a handful of houses and farms. Our peaceful and comfortable base for the week is located in the Borrowdale Valley with commanding views of the surrounding fells. It is a perfect location for exploring the hiking trails of the northern Lakes.
Check in is possible from 3pm. There is a car park for hotel guests. If arriving by train, Penrith Station is around 40 minutes away by taxi - advance booking through the hotel is better value than picking up at station.
The Tour Leader plans to meet you in reception at 6pm for the introductory briefing, followed by a chance to get acquainted with your fellow guests over dinner.
DAY 2 - Hike to Keswick via Cat Bells
We start our first walk from the door of our hotel after breakfast. Heading up through open countryside we hike for 45 minutes and then make a short, steep ascent to a mountain pass over-looking Dale Head and the tarn below. We continue up to High Spy and then ramble along the top of this wide ridge for an hour to reach Maiden Moor and then on to Cat Bells. There are fabulous views over Derwent Water and mountain peaks in all directions. At Cat Bells there are 360-degree views of the surrounding fells and from here we descend to the valley floor and continue walking to Keswick. This pretty market town is home to some great shops, cafés, pubs and restaurants. Later this afternoon we head back to the hotel in our minibus.
Today's moderately-graded walk will take approximately 6 hours and will cover a distance of 14 kilometres with a total ascent of 700m and 530m descent.
DAY 3 - Hike Buttermere and Haystacks
A short drive from the hotel over Honister Pass takes us past stark, rocky scenery towards Buttermere Lake. From here, we start our hike up towards the imposing band of rocks that stand like the wall of a fortress. Our route ascends through the hills and soon we reach the top of Haystacks (597m) with fabulous views across Ennerdale Valley and to the great peaks of Pillar and Great Gable. Haystacks gained fame thanks to the writings of Alfred Wainwright as his favourite fell-top of all, and his ashes were scattered here. We continue towards High Crag on the Red Pike Ridge before descending along a different route with beautiful views of Buttermere and Crummock Water.
Today's moderately-graded walk will take approximately 5-6 hours and will cover a distance of 11 kilometres with a total ascent of 700m and 600m descent.
DAY 4 - Scafell Pike: highest mountain in England (978m)
The ascent of Scafell Pike is the most challenging hike of the week and takes us to some of the most spectacular scenery in the UK. After a very short drive we start at the hamlet of Seathwaite and follow the river to the 18th century packhorse Stockley Bridge. We continue beside Grains Ghyll to the impressive gullies of Great End and then to Sprinkling Tarn. From here we make our way through heather and grasslands and on to rocky terrain following a good path through the scree and boulders. We reach the summit plateau of Scafell Pike in around 4 hours. The views from the top on a clear day are outstanding with Moasdale and Wast Water below us and the Irish Sea and Southern Lakes in the distance. We will descend, steeply at first, with some scree to join up with the classic Corridor Route that leads us past Styhead Tarn and eventually back to our start point. There is one very short section of easy scrambling.
Today's challenging-graded walk will take approximately 7 hours and will cover a distance of 15 kilometres with a total ascent of 970m and 970m descent.
Please note that if you prefer an easier guided walk, there is the option to do the two tarns hike which follows the same route from Seathwaite and along Grains Ghyll to the impressive gullies of Great End. We descend to Sprinkling Tarn and enjoy the views of some of the highest mountains in England before descending to Styhead Tarn. We then follow the path down Styhead Pass, past the lovely waterfall of Taylor Ghyll Force, and the famous Stockley Bridge back to Seathwaite.
This alternative easy-moderate graded walk will take approximately 4 hours and will cover a distance of 10 kilometres with a total ascent and descent of 510m.
DAY 5 - Drive to Keswick; Walk up Latrigg and Lonscale Craggs
We drive the short distance back to Keswick where our circular hike commences. After crossing the River Greta we gently climb through the forest on the Cumbria Way. There are lots of birds and wildlife and the views of Derwent Water get better as we climb. We will take a breather at Latrigg, with wonderful views over Keswick and Derwent Water below and Skiddaw and Blencathra above us. We continue up above Latrigg and on to Lonscale Craggs. Our return route takes us through Brindholme wood and eventually we join the dismantled railway and follow its course, crossing the river a number of times. We end back in Keswick with time for visits to teashops and pubs before driving back to our hotel.
Today's moderate-graded walk will take approximately 5 hours and will cover a distance of 14 kilometres with a total ascent and descent of 350m.
DAY 6 - Walk from Stonethwaite to Grasmere
For our final walk of the holiday, we make a short journey by bus to the pretty hamlet of Stonethwaite. Starting here, we cross the river and briefly follow the Cumbria Way and then the path south that runs next to the river. Very gently we gain height as we head towards a small pass at Greenup Edge, just under High Raise. There are wide views of the valley that we just hiked up and over to the valley on the other side. Hike amongst the hills of Grasmere Common and on to the beautiful Easedale Tarn before heading into Grasmere itself. Grasmere is associated with the Lake Poets, most notably William Wordsworth. Finally, we drive back to our hotel.
Today's moderate-graded walk will take approximately 5-6 hours and will cover a distance of 13 kilometres with a total ascent and descent of 650m.
DAY 7 - Trip ends in Seatoller
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel.
We may need to change the order of the hikes according to the weather.
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