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This walking holiday explores the trails and scenery of the beautiful Northern Lake District. From our comfortable 3-star hotel base located in the beautiful Borrowdale Valley, we have easy access to some of the best walking in Wainwright country such as Scafell Pike, Haystacks and Cat Bells.
Explore Tour Leader
6 nights comfortable hotel
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
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 3 pm. There is a car park for hotel guests. If arriving by train, Penrith Station is around 40 minutes away by taxi.
The Tour Leader plans to meet you in reception at 6 pm for the introductory briefing, followed by a chance to get acquainted with your fellow guests over dinner.
Glaramara House (or similar)
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/8.70 mile with a total ascent of 700 meter/2297 feet and 530 meter/1739 feet descent.
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 (597 meter/1959 feet) 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/6.80 mile with a total ascent of 700 meter/2297 feet and 600 meter/1969 feet descent.
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/9.30 with a total ascent of 970 meter/3183 feet and 970 meter/3183 feet descent.
Please note that if you prefer an easier guided walk, there is the option to do the 2 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/6.20 mile with a total ascent and descent of 510 meter/1673 feet.
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/8.70 mile with a total ascent and descent of 350 meter/1148 feet.
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/8.10 mile with a total ascent and descent of 650 meter/2133 feet.
The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel.
Total distance : 67 kilometres
The UK has a temperate but very variable climate. In general the summers are warm with July and August being the warmest. The winters are cool and the lowest temperatures are recorded during January and February. Whatever the season it is advisable to be prepared for rain!
3 Pin Flat
A warm sweater or fleece and long trousers are advisable, especially in early and late season when the weather tends to be cooler. Come prepared for all weather - waterproof jacket and trousers, fleece, warm layers, hat, gloves as well T-shirts, sunhat, good sun cream and sunglasses.
We recommend you bring walking boots - leather or fabric are both fine. Waterproof boots are advisable. Some of the paths are rocky underfoot and you could twist an ankle if not wearing boots. Trainers are not recommended. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Comfortable footwear to change into after the walk.
One main piece of baggage and a waterproof rucksack large enough to carry what you need for the day - waterproofs, warm layer, water, picnic, sun-cream, phone etc. On hot days you will carry more drinking water.
Bring a rucksack for the walks and a water bottle. You may like to bring trekking poles. If your rucksack doesn't have a waterproof cover then consider plastic bags to keep things dry should it rain. It is important to stay well hydrated during the walks. Tap water is fine to drink but there won't always be places to refill on the walks. We encourage our clients not to buy mineral water because of the negative environmental impact with plastic bottles.
Bus, On Foot
We stay at the comfortable and inviting Glaramara House located in the heart of the Northern Lake District on the doorstep of the fells amongst some outstanding scenery. All of the rooms are en-suite and recently refurbished to a good standard. There is ample parking, a restaurant, lounge and a bar with real ales and plenty of wines. There are log fires, Wi-Fi (intermittent) and a drying room for wet gear. Don't rely on having mobile phone coverage, if urgent reception has a landline. All breakfasts, picnic lunches and dinners are included. Meals are prepared using local in-season ingredients. The hotels caters to most diets and have a range of vegetarian options.
Transfers to and from our accommodation are not provided for this trip. If you are planning to arrive or depart by train, this information may be useful to you. Whilst we are unable to make a reservation for you, we have provided contact numbers to enable you to make a direct booking. Arrival from Penrith railway station: Our accommodation recommends using one of the following taxi companies, based in Keswick. The journey should take about 45 minutes. Ashness Taxis: 07729149046 Iain's Taxis: 07540530466 or 01768736333 Davies Taxis: 017687 72676 Alternatively, Stagecoach buses run a service from Penrith Train Station to Keswick (40mins) and from Keswick to Borrowdale (30mins). Please check the timetables and costs for this journey ahead of time directly on the Stagecoach website - https://www.stagecoachbus.com/ If you are joining the trip from overseas, the best way to get here is by flying to either Newcastle International Airport or Manchester International Airport where you can then rent a car and drive approximately 2 and a half hours to the start hotel. If you arrive at Manchester airport and do not want to rent a car, you can get a direct 2-hour train (book in advance) to Penrith Station where you can then get a 40-minute taxi to the start hotel. If you are coming from London, there is a train from London Euston to Penrith which takes under four hours.
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Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.
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UK: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.
If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See www.travcour.com to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.
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Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information.
You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.
Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.
The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.
Free transfers are not available for Polar customers.
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For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here
It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.
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You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.
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