The Lake District is renowned for being the most beautiful corner of England, and this full-day Ten Lakes Spectacular tour introduces you to just that. Sit back and enjoy the magnificent scenery of mountains, valleys, and lakes from the south to the north. See Ten Lakes including Windermere, Brotherswater, Ullswater, Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite, Buttermere, Crummockwater, Thirlmere, Grasmere and Rydal.
On this Lake District tour you will also travel over mountain passes, through beautiful valleys, see waterfalls, and traditional Lakeland villages. There will be plenty of stops for admiring the views and taking photographs. It provides a great introduction to the Lake District, and a taster for exploring further. Along the way, you will pass some of the region’s most spectacular sights, such as Borrowdale Valley, Newlands Valley, Thirlmere, and Grasmere. A highlight is the Castlerigg Stone Circle, one of the most famous and most visited stone circles in the country.
On departing Windermere Information Centre, you will make your way over the famous Kirkstone Pass. Kirkstone Pass has an altitude of 1,489 feet making it the highest tarmac road in the Lake District National Park, so as you can imagine – the views are spectacular from the summit! Kirkstone Pass connects Ambleside in the Rothay Valley to Patterdale in the Ullswater Valley; therefore it is a popular, scenic route for those exploring the National Park. On route you can also view the beautiful Troutbeck Valley, which was once the home to Children's author Beatrix Potter, where she bred Herdwick Sheep. Near the summit of Kirkstone Pass, built on the site of a 15th century Monastery, there is the old coaching inn, Kirkstone Pass Inn which is popular with tourists due to its low beams, open fires and good beer! As we drive by the old coaching inn, you will see the commanding view down to Lake Windermere and Morecambe Bay beyond.
As you descend the pass towards Ullswater, you will take in the fantastic views of Brotherswater and Place Fell. Brotherswater has inspired many people, including Dorothy Wordsworth who wrote about the area when writing to her brother William back in 1802: ‘the boughs of the bare old trees, the simplicity of the mountains, and the exquisite beauty of the path….the gentle flowing of the stream, the glittering, lively lake, green fields without a living creature to be seen on them.’ So as this quote suggests, this route really does offer some inspiring scenery.
The Ten Lakes Spectacular tour then travels on to Ullswater. Ullswater is the second largest lake in the Lake District, being approximately 9 miles long, it has also been described as the most beautiful lake in England. Referring to William Wordsworth, it was Glencoyne Park at Ullswater that gave him the inspiration to write his most famous poem, Daffodils. We visit Ullswater on a lot of our tours and it’s simply because it’s a must-see destination.
One of our favourite places to show visitors on our Ten Lakes Spectacular tour is Castlerigg Stone Circle, near Keswick. The main reason to visit this location is to enjoy the unrivalled 360 degree view taking in the surrounding fells, with Helvellyn, Skiddaw and Blencathra (Saddleback) all within view. It is said that Castlerigg Stone Circle is possibly one of the earliest stone circles in the country, it was constructed around 3000 BC and its main claim is its thought to be older than Stonehenge. Standing within the stone circle is very atmospheric and you will get picture-perfect views of some of the Lake District’s highest peaks.
You will stop in the market town of Keswick for approximately 1 hour for lunch (please note this is not included in the tour price), you will be dropped off closeby the Market Square, ringed round with shops and cafes. There are no cars in the pedestrianised area of Keswick and the town has a comprehensive choice of eateries to suit all needs including restaurants, pubs, cafes and takeaways for a snack or a leisurely lunch. Keswick Market is hosted every Saturday and Thursday with a great variety of local stalls to peruse.
From Keswick you will travel into the Borrowdale Valley and the first stop will be at Ashness Bridge, which is said to be the most photographed packhorse bridge in the Lake District. Travel over the bridge by Mountain Goat and onto Surprise View. At Surprise View you will be wowed by the spectacular views over Derwentwater, Keswick and beyond to Bassenthwaite Lake.
Continuing into the Borrowdale Valley and through the traditional villages of Rosthwaite and Seatoller before making your way over Honister Pass not before stopping at the top at Honister Slate Mine. Honister Pass connects Borrowdale Valley and Buttermere Valley and rises to 1167ft high with a gradient of 1 in 4. Honister Slate Mine is the last working slate mine in England, quarrying Westmorland green slate since 1728. From the top of the pass you will have the opportunity to take photos of the stunning scenery all around. You will then travel past Buttermere and onto Newlands Pass before passing by Keswick and traveling South.
On the return south you will travel past Thirlmere Reservoir, which was bought by Manchester City Corporation Waterwaters in 1889 and subsequently now provides water to the Manchester area. From Thirlmere you will travel over Dunmail Raise, a low level mountain pass connecting the north and south towards Grasmere.
Grasmere is a picture perfect Lakeland village, nestled between mountains and spectacular scenery this traditional village is a highlight of the tour. Enjoy time in the village, we recommend getting yourself some famous Grasmere Gingerbread which can only be purchased in this tiny shop located next to the St Oswald’s Churchyard. Still family owned and run, Victorian cook Sarah Nelson invited the delicious local delicacy, Grasmere Gingerbread in the village in 1854. Grasmere is also famed for its strong connection to William Wordsworth, one of Britain's most famous poets. William Wordsworth lived in the village at Dove Cottage and is buried in the churchyard at St Oswald’s.
N.B. Between Monday 19 September 2022 and Friday 18th November 2022 there are road closures on the A592 (Ullswater) this means between Mondays to Fridays during the dates above the tour will visit 8 lakes, missing out Ullswater and Brotherwaters. Diversions are via the A591. Our Driver Guides will use their experience showing the best of the Lakes. We apologise for this change, but it is completely out of our hands. For more information please visit our blog page, click here.