ENGLAND’S LITERARY LAKE DISTRICT WALK
If anywhere is the heart and soul of walking in England, it’s the Lake District in the northwest of the county-a wonderful area of high mountains, deep valleys and of course, deep blue glacially formed lakes.
The reason for its popularity may be historical with a strong connection to the literature of England; this is where Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth and the Romantic writers first engaged in walking and enjoying the outdoors for aesthetic or spiritual reasons only, rather than just a means of transportation. Many famous walkers from Sir Walter Scott to Queen Victoria became frequent visitors of this “earthly paradise that only England knows.”
Another reason this particular Lake District Walk is popular may be appearances. You will be walking in the very heart of the Lake District: The incredibly charming village of Hawkshead, the “Vale of Grasmere”, with is lovely town and tranquil lake, Rydal Mount—The Wordsworth home, and beautiful Borrowdale. Each day walkers are surrounded by ever-watchful mountains and fells, wild and rugged, with the quiet lapping waters of the Lakes Grasmere, Windermere, Rydal Water, and Derwentwater-created by glaciers 10,000 years ago, now reflecting each day’s moods-dazzling blue, deep green, slate grey.
The walk you will experience gives you the best of the Lake District-to walk the valleys, dream beside the shining stretches of water, climb the hills, see the homes and villages of the great writers, and feel their influence.
An introductory tour of Hawkshead, a delightful Lakeland viilage. See Hawkshead’s historic church and the 16th century grammar school that William Wordsworth (the 19th centur”, romantic poet) attended. Walkers have a chance to explore local shops. Overnight in Hawkshead.
Follow in the footsteps of Beatrix Potter, writer of exquisitely illustrated children’s stories, farmer and conservationist. See Wray Castle where Beatrix stayed on her very first visit to the Lake District when her love affair with the area began. Make your way to Moss Eccles Tarn, where Beatrix spent hours fishing, via England’s largest lake-Windermere. Descend into Near Sawrey and Hill Top, a typical Lakeland farmhouse which became the setting for several of Beatrix’s stories. Walkers have the opportunity to view Esthwaite Water, the inspiration for the “Tale of Jeremy Fisher.” 7 miles, 4 hours plus stops and visits. Overnight in Hawkshead.
Tarn Hows’ taking in its beautiful views and make your way to Little Langdale and the wonderful English pub—The Three Shires Inn. Continue through pastoral scenery to the villages of Elterwater and Skelwith Bridge, where you may see a local craftsman at work. End the day in the Vale of Grasmere, described by Wordsworth as “the loveliest spot that man hash ever seen.” 8 miles, 5 hours plus stops and visits. Overnight in Grasmere.
You will walk the Rydal Round in the footsteps of the famous poet William Wordsworth: This area inspired some of his best poetry. Visit Dove Cottage where Wordsworth lived with his sister Dorothy whose journal describes their life. Continue along the Coffin Route to Rydal Mount, the elegant final home of the Words worths with its beautiful gardens which remain as Wordsworth designed them. Walk by the shores of Rydal Water and Grasmere, a path trod by the Words worths almost daily. There is a chance to explore the village of Grasmere and enjoy the shops including the Famous Gingerbread Shop. Walkers may want to pay their respects in St. Oswald’s church where Wordsworth is buried. 6 miles, 3-4 hours plus stops and visits. Overnight in Grasmere.
This day begins with a dramatic drive over Mrksrone Pass, and descends to the beautiful Ullswater Valley. Walkers visit the unique Lakeland hamlet of Hartsop where the locals will welcome you. Continue down to the lake where William Wordsworth first saw the daffodils inspiring his most famous poem. Hike up to the dramatic waterfalls
Aira Force. End the day in Borrowdale famous for covery of graphite from which the pencil industry began. 5 miles, 3 hours plus stops and visits. Overnight Borrowdale.
Walker have a dramatic beginning, walking above Derwentwater, the Queen of the English Lakes andsettingfor more of Beatrix Potter’s characters. Route starts from Rosthwaite in Borrowdale, an area immortalized by Huge Walpole in his Rougue Herries Chronicles. Walkers visit the hamlet of Watendlath where one of Walpole’s characters, Judith paris Lived. Many classic views from Ashness Bridge and Surprise View will delight walkers. The day ends with a cruise on the lake with one imagining Beatrix Potter’s Squirrel Nutkin paddling over to Owl Island. Overnight in borrowdale, 6 miles 3-4 hours plus stops and visits. Overnight in Borrowdale.
Depart after a leisurely breakfast.
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