Mountain Goat's High Adventure tour lives up to its name
With the summer season underway Mountain Goat buses can be seen lining the mountain passes and undiscovered roads of the Lake District as they take travellers on once in a lifetime adventures.
The High Adventure, one of the company's most popular tours, is one such awaited itenararies to take to the roads for the summer months.
Monday's trip from Windermere proved to be popular as the bus reached near full capacity, with travelles from China and the UK climbing aboard, alongside myself.
The tour got underway underneath a bright blue sky with the pale spring sun beating down onto the bus, it was not a hot day, the wind blowing of the snow covered peaks saw to that, but in the sun it was pleasant enough.
Our driver guide for the day Tony was proffessional, funny and knowledgable. From the get go he provided us with interesting information and drove us carefully on narrow roads through incredible mountain passes which provided some of the most incredible views the Lake District has to offer.
We travelled through the Langdales passing the majectic Langdale Pikes topped with a dusting of snow. Tony navigated the roads with precision when some would have clentched the wheel in fright.
The passes themselves are breathtaking, surrounded on all sides by craggy mountains and dotted with hardy Herdwick sheep the scenery is special to behold, especially for the few first time travellers on the Mountain Goat mini-bus.
Hardknott pass itself takes the title of "Steepest Pass in England" achieving a gradient of 33% as it snakes its way up from the Duddon Valley.
Photo stops on the High Adventure tour were abundant and Tony had a knack for choosing the most picturesque spots on the tour.
From the passes Tony took us down meandering Cumbrian roads to stop for a pub lunch at The Brook House Inn, a quaint pub nestled in the heart of the Eskdale Valley, a short walk from the La'al Ratty.
An hour was the perfect length of time to enjoy a tasy sandwich with some chunky chips before sauntering down the road towards the train station, a soft breeze wafted across the fields filled with lush grass.
Herdwicks with their newborn lambs stood grazing in the fields as we milled around waiting to board the steam train which would take us to the next leg of our journey.
The train took us through the tranquil valley at a leisurely pace allowing for plenty of time to take in the area and relax on the heritage railway.
After disembarking the train and jumping on the bus Tony took us towards Wasdale to Wastwater.
Surrounded by scree covered mountains the lake is the deepest in the national park and is overlooked by Great Gable, one of the mountains seen in Lake District National Park Authority's logo. The view along Wastwater towards Great Gable was possibly one of the most beautiful and majestic sights of the whole tour, and is definitely not to be missed.
Our final stop on the journey was Muncaster Castle, the historic castle is still a lived in family home, even after nine centuries and is situated in 77 acres of woodland with stunning views across Ravenglass.
One highlight of the tour was the bird of prey show, where a display of the castles Kites, Eagles, Vultures, Owls and Falcons was put on for visitors as part of their on-going conservation efforts.
The Hawk and Owl centre at the castle aims to protect endangered birds and teach children and adults the dangers that they face in the wild.
It truely was a sight to behold.