Active Lakeland Hike and Bike Tour
7 day/6 night (3 nights in Windermere, 3 nights in Ambleside)
Windermere and Ambleside
Small Hotel or Guest House
Bed and Breakfast
£495 per person - Check Availability
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Explore the Lake District on foot and by bike, and cruise England’s largest lake by steamer. This self-guided itinerary is eco-friendly and “active” packed.
Arrival - Day 1
We suggest you catch the train to Windermere and plan to arrive early evening for your first night's accommodation. Our Country Lanes cycle centre is located at Windermere railway station and your accommodation is a short walk away in the town at the heart of the Lake District.
At a time that suits you, simply make your way to the Cycle Centre to pick up your cycling equipment. We’re open 09.00 to 17.00 every day. A Country Lanes rep will introduce you to your bicycles and accessories and review the rules for safe cycling in the U.K. He’ll also explain how to read our route sheets and provide you with a set of Ordnance Survey maps for your self-guided tour.
Day 2 - 10 or 17 miles
You’ll start your Lake District break by ferrying across Lake Windermere and pedalling along the shore where you’ll get fabulous views of the lake and the surrounding fells. The route continues to the picturesque village of Hawkshead, an ideal place to stop for lunch and visit the Beatrix Potter Gallery Museum, which displays original illustrations from her famous storybooks. Then it’s on to Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s home which is preserved exactly as she left by The National Trust.
Day 3 - 17 or 21 miles
Freewheel into Bowness-on-Windermere, Lakeland’s boating centre and then sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery during the 45-minute cruise to Lakeside at the southern tip of Lake Windermere. Cartmel Priory, dating back to the 13th C provides fascination for history buffs and gardening enthusiasts will want to linger at Holker Hall. For an off-road challenge, Grizedale Forest is within easy reach. Whatever your choice, you’re in for a lazy day at Lakeside before the scenic return cruise to Bowness and short cycle back to Windermere.
Day 4 - 17 or 21 miles
Today you’ll explore the quiet side of Windermere taking in Crosthwaite and Knipe Tarn. After a steep climb (walking is allowed!) you’re rewarded with fabulous views stretching to the Yorkshire Dales National Park. Traffic-free bridleways and a glimpse of the sea in the distance provide a total escape. Challenge-seekers will enjoy the Strawberry Bank option with its up valley climb and descent through woodland to a ford, with a footbridge for those not wanting to get their feet wet.
Return your cycling equipment to the Cycle Centre at Windermere railway station and climb aboard the open top double-decker bus for the scenic 30 minute journey to Ambleside. It’s here at the north end of Lake Windermere, that you’ll be based for three delightful days, walking the fells.
Day 5 - 5 or 8 miles
Lace up your boots and explore the land that inspired Wordsworth. It’s a short walk (or open top bus ride) from Ambleside to Rydal Mount, Wordsworth’s home from 1818 until his death in 1850. Near-by Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum provide insight into the poet’s personal life and house a unique collection of original manuscripts and books. En route to Rydal Water is Grasmere, one of the Lake District’s prettiest villages and an ideal pub lunch stop. At Rydal Water you’ll be rewarded with beautiful lake views before catching the open top bus back to Ambleside.
Day 6 - 7 miles
Today’s first highlight is Loughrigg Tarn (102m), a sky-mirroring pool surrounded by sloping pasture at the foot of Loughrigg Fell. Climbing 160m onto the lower slopes of Loughrigg Fell you’ll pass small tarns and rocky outcrops before the path reaches the meadow that surrounds the tarn. It’s a beautiful descent into Skelwith Bridge, with time for lunch and browsing for local crafts before tramping the lower fells on the return to Ambleside.
Day 7 - 9 miles
Today you will meander along fell-side tracks through Skelghyll Wood to the National Trust property at Townend. This 17th century farmhouse once belonged to a wealthy yeoman and contains a fascinating collection of carved woodwork, books, furniture and domestic implements. It’s a short stroll into Troutbeck for refreshments before tramping along bridleways and country lanes to the final spectacular viewpoint of Orrest Head, overlooking Windermere town and lake. It is then only a short descent to our Cycle Centre in Windermere to collect your luggage for your onward journey.
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