An easy self-led hiking tour in England's Lake District

For our more demanding Lake District Mountains tour page click here
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About self-led hiking and walking tours

An introductory hiking tour through England's most scenic National park.
Each day while you walk we move your bags on from one cosy B&B to the next.

Coniston (Day 3 of this tour)

Coniston (Day 3 of this tour)
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Tour details Tour prices

Lake District Valleys - tour description
When the famous children’s writer Beatrix Potter became successful (and rich), she could afford to make her home anywhere she wanted. She chose Hill Top Farm near Hawkshead in the English Lake District. After her death the property, including not just the farmhouse (now open to the public) but much sheep and cattle pasture interspersed with lakes and woodland, was inherited by the National Trust.
Also associated with this mild and gentle part of Lakeland was William Wordsworth, who attended school at Hawkshead and lived most of his life near Grasmere.

Our carefully designed short tour starts on the shore of Windermere Lake and links Hill Top Farm and Grasmere in one continuous walk. On the way you pass at least 9 other lakes, including Tarn Hows, Coniston Water, Rydal Water and Grasmere. Coniston Water was the setting of Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons, while the 19th century thinker John Ruskin lived at Brantwood (house and garden now open to the public) on the shore of the lake.
From Coniston's rugged Coppermines Valley you walk past Blea Tarn to the Great Langdale valley, overhung by the rock peaks of the Langdale Pikes and on to the classic English parkland landscape around Loughrigg Tarn, and Wordsworth’s own home at Dove Cottage, Grasmere (also open to the public).

This tour is suitable for those who are new to hiking tours. The maximum altitude when walking between overnight stops is only 300m/1000 feet, so low cloud is unlikely to cause problems when routefinding. For each day we describe additional walks and variations, as well as visits to points of interest such as houses and gardens. The 7 night tour is similar to the 5-night tour but with extra nights in Coniston and Grasmere. For each of these extra days we describe in detail a range of hikes/walks of different lengths and altitudes, including mountain-walking options from Coniston to the peak of Old Man of Coniston (803m/2635 feet) and from Grasmere to the peak of Helvellyn (950m/3118 feet).

What previous customers have told us about The Discerning Traveller Lake District Valleys walking tour

Again, a BIG THANK-YOU to The Discerning Traveller for an excellent tour. We enjoyed it immensely. The weather held out, more or less, which made our walks very enjoyable. Our 4th and last day of walking was a beautiful day. Our lunch was a trail snack at the Skelwith Falls. The highlight of the day was the beautiful view of Grasmere Lake from Loughrigg Terrace. [At Grasmere] we had a luxurious and spacious room with a wonderful view. For supper, we decided to treat ourselves to a restaurant meal and dined at the Rowan Tree vegetarian restaurant. We enjoyed a delicious soup and supper and dessert. We would rate this facility as excellent (and we're not even vegetarians!).
Mr and Mrs. Ozem.

I liked all [the accommodation]. It was very pleasant that they were situated at the outskirts of villages...[the route] was mostly away from the trodden path, so that you were alone a lot of the time, without feeling too lost. The descriptions were very clear and written in a not too dry style, so that it felt as a silent companion.
Ms L.Rijxman.

We also offer a more strenuous Lake District tour for the experienced hiker. Other ‘easy’ grade walks in England are in the Cotswolds   and Dorset

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Lake District Valleys tour details 2014
A Discerning Traveller walking tour
Duration. 5 or 7 nights. Tour code. V5, V7.
Dates. April to mid-October. Start any day, however for Saturday start a surcharge of £30 per person is made, unless a second night in Bowness is booked.
Note for Beatrix Potter fans. Enthusiasts can visit both the celebrated writer’s former home at Hill Top near Hawkshead on Day 2 of this tour, and the Beatrix Potter Gallery at Hawkshead on day 2 or day 3. However in 2011 both these National Trust houses are closed on Thursdays and Fridays. So Potter fans should avoid starting the tour at Bowness on a Wednesday or a Thursday – or else spend an extra night in Hawkshead (normally night 2 of the tour)!
Grade. Easy; around 8 miles/4 hours per day; with extensions possible for those who wish to walk further, up to 'Moderate' grade. There are some steep gradients.
Train station. Start and end of tour Windermere.
Train service. From Manchester Airport direct (2hrs) or change at Oxenholme (3 hrs). From London Euston change at Oxenholme (5hrs).
Overnight stops. 7-night tour: 1 Bowness-on-Windermere; 2 Hawkshead; 3 and 4 Coniston; 5 Great Langdale; 6 and 7 Grasmere. 5-night tour: I Bowness, 2 Hawkshead, 3 Coniston, 4 Great Langdale, 5 Grasmere.
Meals included. Breakfast each morning. Other meals and picnics can be obtained locally without pre-booking.
Extra nights. These can be added on when booking. Second nights in Coniston and Grasmere are already included on the 7-night tour, with detailed descriptions of a range of walks and visits. Devotees of Beatrix Potter may wish to spend more time at Hawkshead, while Wordsworth fans will find plenty of interest in Grasmere. An extra day in Great Langdale provides access to the wildest and most mountainous part of the Lake District - a good base for experienced mountain-walkers.
Factsheets. These are more detailed information sheets, one for each tour, which should be obtained from The Discerning Traveller before booking. The factsheet code for our Lake District Valleys tour is FSV. See Enquiry form
Reading. This tour has more literary associations than any of our other tours, with William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter all having lived and worked in this part of the Lake District. However for lively description of open-air adventure around Windermere and Coniston it is hard to better the children's novels of Arthur Ransome, notably Swallowdale and Pigeon Post.

Lake District Valleys - tour prices 2014

  • V5 (5 nights, ES or private facilities most nights) £480. SRS*: £85. STS**: £110.
  • V5E (5 nights tour, ES or private facilities every night) £530. SRS*: £100. STS**: £125.
  • V7 (7 nights, ES or private facilities most nights) £570. SRS*: £105. STS**: £130.
  • V7E (7 nights tour, ES or private facilities every night) £630. SRS*: £130. STS**: £155.
  • Extra nights: £45 per person per night (except at Great Langdale).
  • Extra nights at Great Langdale: V5, V7: £40; V5E, V7E: £70
  • SRS* = single room supplement (applicable when 3 or 5 persons book together).
  • STS** = single traveller supplement (applicable when booking is for one person only).
  • Prices quoted are per person on basis of two people in double or twin-bedded rooms. Included in the price are bed and breakfast each night, with baggage transfers, maps and route directions. ‘ES’ (en suite) facilities means that there is a private bathroom with shower or tub and toilet within the main door of your room. ‘Private facilities’ means that the private bathroom may be outside the main door of your room. When the booking is made for a party of 3 or 5 customers, a single room supplement is payable. When the booking is made for a single traveller, a single traveller supplement is payable. Maximum one single room per booking.
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For our more demanding Lake District Mountains tour page click here
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About self-led hiking and walking tours

Our postal address is The Discerning Traveller, 38 Canal Street, OXFORD OX2 6BQ, United Kingdom.
Telephone and fax 0(044) 1865 515618. E-mail:info@discerningtraveller.co.uk

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