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The English Lake District and the Borders: Romance to Turbulence

Program Number: 20209RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/1/2015 - 6/14/2015; 5/30/2016 - 6/12/2016; 7/4/2016 - 7/17/2016; 7/25/2016 - 8/7/2016; 8/8/2016 - 8/21/2016; 9/5/2016 - 9/18/2016; 10/10/2016 - 10/23/2016;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: England
Price starting at: $4,294.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 35; 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Vegetarian; Low Salt; Gluten Free    

Follow in the footsteps of the famous Lake District poets and writers as you explore one of the most unspoiled corners of England. Discover the landscapes that inspired writers such as William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, visit their homes to view their private collections, and immerse yourself in the culture and history of this beautiful region. Cross to the wild North East Cheviot Mountains and coastline to “Border Reiver” country and learn the history of the Roman Hadrian’s Wall.


• Join a member of the Pennington family for an exploration of their home, Muncaster Castle.
• Cross the highest roads in England and see the Cumbrian coast, once home to Capt. John Paul Jones.
• Explore the beauty of the Northumberland Coast and learn about the spiritual history of Holy Island, or Lindisfarne.

Activity Particulars

Some walking and standing up to two hours, some uneven surfaces and stairs in historic buildings.

Date Specific Information

6-1-2015, 5-30-2016, 7-4-2016, 7-25-2016, 8-8-2016, 9-5-2016, 10-10-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Manchester, private minibuses to Bowness on Windermere, Lake District, 6 nights; private minibus to Otterburn, Northumberland, 5 nights; coach to Manchester, 1 night; departure.

Overnight flight from U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Manchester
Minibus to Bowness on Windermere, Lake District
6 nights

Traverse some of the most beautiful landscapes in England as you ascend the Honister, Wrynose and Hardknott Pass. In Grasmere, discover William Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage with a curator and in Sawrey, visit Hill Top, home to Beatrix Potter. Explore Muncaster Castle with a member of the Pennington family, and visit Brantwood House, the home of John Ruskin. Admire Tarn Hows, the “prettiest lake in England” and take a ride on the Victorian steam boat, “Gondola.” Enjoy a private evening of poetry and wine at Wordworth’s Rydal Mount.

Minibus to Otterburn, Northumberland
5 nights
Coach to Manchester
1 night

Journey to Northumberland to visit the award-winning Tully House Museum with its Roman and Border Reiver collections. In the heart of the spectacular Cheviot Mountains, see the small abbey town of Jedburgh. Make the pilgrimage across the tidal causeway to Holy Island and view the Lindisfarne Gospels. Take in the 100 acre gardens of Wallington Hall, Europe’s largest forest at Kielder. Explore Britain’s rich historic heritage on Hadrian’s Wall and the Cathedral city of Durham.

Bowness on Windermere: Classic Lakeland country house, once the vacation home of Beatrix Potter. Otterburn: Country house hotel dating back to 11th century. Manchester: Comfortable airport hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel
  Bowness on Windermere., UK:England 6 nights
   Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel
  Otterburn, UK:England 5 nights
   Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport
  Manchester, UK:England 1 night
 Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: A classic Lakeland country house hotel set in 6 acres of its own private garden. It was once a holiday home for the Potter family and then the permanent residence of Beatrix's mother, Mrs Helen Potter. Lindeth Howe is a tranquil place to relax and enjoy yourself, with breathtaking views to admire from the lounges and sun terrace. Lindeth Howe sits in the heart of the National Park overlooking the largest lake in the country, Lake Windermere.
  Contact info: Longtail
Bowness on Windermere
Cumbria,  LA23 3JF UK:England
phone: +44 15394 45759
  Room amenities: Direct dial telephone, tea and coffee making facilities, free of charge WiFi Internet connection, hair dryer and a digital flat screen TV with radio.
  Facility amenities: Hilltop and Bar lounges Award winning restaurant. Indoor heated pool with sauna and fitness room. Body therapies at additional cost and bookable.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The unique Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel and award winning restaurant is located in the beautiful Redesdale valley in rural Northumberland, Northern England, The original building dates back to the 11th century as a castle founded by a cousin of William the Conqueror. The Otterburn Tower nestles in 32 acres of its own estate, fronted by terraced lawns and surrounded by woodland. The gardens stretch down to the village of Otterburn with all the facilities close by. The hotel is beautifully restored with the original features of oak panelling, leaded panes and stained glass.
  Contact info: Otterburn
Northumberland,  NE19 1NS UK:England
phone: +441830520620
  Room amenities: Direct dial telephone, television, tea and coffee making facilities.
  Facility amenities: Award winning Oak Room restaurant. The Tower and Stables Inn is a recent addition to Otterburn, adjacent to the historic Hotel. Renovated from the old carriage house and stables. Extensive grounds sloping down to the village.
  Smoking allowed: No

 Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Near to aiport (Terminal 1).
  Contact info: Outwood Lane.
Manchester.,  M90 4HL. UK:England
phone: +44 161 498 0333
  Room amenities: Free Broadband Internet, Telephone & Voice mail, Sky TV, Tea & coffee facilities, Hairdryer, Iron & board, Trouser-press, Fax & Modem point, Hypoallergenic duvets.
  Facility amenities: Brasserie, hotel lounge with free wireless internet access.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBC For additional pre and post program accommodations, please contact Road Scholar Travel Services at (800) 241-1404 or via email to
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lunch at 12:30pm at the Lindeth Howe Hotel for those arriving in time. Welcome meeting and drinks reception prior to dinner. You will be staying at Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast on departure day. Breakfast ends at 10:00am and check-out is by 11:00pm. You will be staying at Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
No parking.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Bowness on Windermere.
  Nearest city or town:  Windermere.
  Nearest airport:  Manchester.
  Transportation to site: Direct train from Manchester Airport to Windermere. Takes 2 hrs, cost approx. GBP22.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Manchester
  Nearest city or town:  Manchester
  Nearest airport:  Manchester
  Transportation from site: Bewley’s Hotel Manchester Airport operates a free shuttle bus to all 3 terminals and the rail station. This service runs 24 hours.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1:
(Monday, June 1)
 In Transit: Overnight flight from North America.

Day 2:
(Tuesday, June 2)
 Arrive To: Manchester and transfer by coach or minibus to Bowness on Windermere.
 Lunch: In the hotel at 12:30pm.
 Afternoon: At leisure. Welcome meeting and drinks reception before dinner.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Wordworth's Dove Cottage.
(Wednesday, June 3)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Depart the hotel after breakfast at 9.30 and drive to Grasmere. Here we visit Dove cottage, home of William Wordsworth, Britain’s most famous ‘Romantic Poet’, and have a guided exploration of the museum and study centre with its world famous collection of manuscripts. Our tour continues to Keswick where we stop for lunch.
 Lunch: Taken out in Keswick.
 Afternoon: Continue to Borrowdale, via Ashness Bridge, ascend the Honister Pass, see Buttermere, before a visit to the Ancient Stone Circle of Castlerigg.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Beatrix Potter day. Private after hours visit to Wordsworth's Rydal Mount.
(Thursday, June 4)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Leaving at 9.30, we drive to the Armitt Museum, in Ambleside. Explore the collection compiled by two Victorian sisters and see at first hand the watercolour paintings of Beatrix Potter, once displayed at the Tate Gallery in London. Free time in Grasmere- you may wish to visit the famous Grasmere Gingerbread Shop or visit the graves of the Wordsworth family.
 Lunch: Taken at The Grasmere Garden Centre.
 Afternoon: The field trip continues with the Beatrix Potter theme, by visiting Wray Castle and its grounds, Hill Top (home of Beatrix Potter) and time to explore the quintessential Lakeland village of Hawkshead, before an early return to Lindeth Howe
 Dinner: Dinner will be a Vegetarian Pizza or pasta meal at Zefferellis in Ambleside.
 Evening: Tonight we head to Rydal Mount, the final home of William Wordsworth for a guided tour, poetry reading and glass of wine.
Accommodations: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: "High Adventure" day over Wrynose Pass and Hardnott Pass. A family member shows us around their home, Muncaster Castle.
(Friday, June 5)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: A day of High Adventure, leaving the hotel we head for the hills, along the Langdale Valley and up into the mountains. We have a picnic coffee stop on the top of the Wrynose Pass, before climbing the famous Hardknott Pass; here, for those adventurous enough, we can inspect the mountain top Hardknott Roman Fort. We then visit Britain's favourite view in Wasdale and Wastwater with its awesome scree slopes on the eastern side.
 Lunch: Taken in Muncaster Castle.
 Afternoon: A member of the Pennington family takes us around their home, Muncaster Castle. Head back to the hotel over Corney Fell to Coniston.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Victorian steam boat cruise.
(Saturday, June 6)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: At 9:30am head for Tarn Hows, often referred to as the ‘Prettiest lake in England’, then on to Brantwood House, home of the Pre-Raphaelite supporter and early ecologist John Ruskin. Take a cruise on the Victorian steam boat, "Gondola"
 Lunch: At the Blue Bird Cafe.
 Afternoon: Talk on Arthur Ransome, author of the Swallow and Amazon stories for children. From here we explore Coniston Water and the Duddon Valley, topic of Wordsworth’s sonnets; and then into Little Langdale and back to the Hotel.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Free day.
(Sunday, June 7)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Free day with transport available to take you into the village of Bowness and a pass to cruise the length of Lake Windermere.
 Lunch: Excluded.
 Afternoon: Free.
 Dinner: Farewell to the Lakes dinner in the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Carlisle.
(Monday, June 8)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Our transfer day to the Otterburn Tower Hotel, but first we take a scenic drive to Carlisle, via Greystoke, home of Tarzan! At Carlisle we visit the award winning Tully House Museum, with its collection of Roman and Border Reiver relics.
 Lunch: In Carlisle.
 Afternoon: Drive continues to Otterburn via Kirk Harle, home of Capability Brown. We arrive at Otterburn in plenty of time to settle in.
 Dinner: In the hotel at 7:00pm.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Jedburgh Abbey town.
(Tuesday, June 9)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: We will be in the heart of the Cheviot Mountains and see some very spectacular scenery. Enjoy a scenic drive through Kielder Forest with a visit to Hermitage Castle.
 Lunch: Taken out in Jedburgh.
 Afternoon: The field trip continues to the abbey town of Jedburgh to explore at leisure. Opportunity to visit Mary Queen of Scots House, the Norman Abbey, Castle and Jail.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Lindisfarne and the Northumberland coast.
(Wednesday, June 10)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Today we go to the heart of British Christianity, to Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne. We have to check the tides as the island is cut off twice a day. We cross the causeway to the village and are free to explore the abbey, the church, the castle and take a coastal walk.
 Lunch: In the Manor Inn.
 Afternoon: The afternoon takes us along the scenic Northumberland Coastal Route, taking in castles, such as Bamburgh with its ‘Grace Darling’ Life Boat Museum. On to the fishing village of Seahouses and Beadnell village; the only west facing harbour on the east coast of England.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: Talk on the Roman Occupation, in preparation for our day at Hadrian's Wall.
Accommodations: Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Wallington Hall and Kielder Forest.
(Thursday, June 11)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Our day starts with a tour across the moors and a scenic drive to Kielder Water and Black Midden fortified house on the way to the ancestral home of the Blackett family,Wallington Hall. There are over 100 acres of gardens, including a wonderful walled garden and lake, and the house itself-which a guide will take us round.
 Lunch: In Wallington Hall.
 Afternoon: After Wallington Hall return to the hotel passing Winters Gibbett (complete with head) on the way.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: After dinner we have a talk about the turbulent times in the Scottish borders from the 13C to the reign of Elizabeth 1st.
Accommodations: Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Roman day. Hadrian's Wall.
(Friday, June 12)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: A full Roman history day. Armed with the information from our talk on the Roman Occupation, we explore Hadrian's Wall. We drive west from Hexham to see the wall itself, small forts and milehouses.
 Lunch: At Vindolanda.
 Afternoon: There will be opportunities for those who wish to walk short sections of the wall itself, just as the Romans did. Field trip to two of the numerous museums.
 Dinner: In the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: The Cathedral City of Durham.
(Saturday, June 13)
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: Time to leave Otterburn, and drive to the great city of Durham. We park near the Cathedral, one of the most spectacular in the UK, and have time to visit the Cathedral, famous for St Cuthbert’s burial place behind the high altar.
 Lunch: In the Cathedral Precinct.
 Afternoon: Free time in Durham. The transfer continues on to Manchester.
 Dinner: In the Manchester hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14:
(Sunday, June 14)
 Depart From: Manchester for return flights to North America.
 Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

A Walker's Notebook

Author: Alfred Wainwright

Description: Published to coincide with the centenary of Wainwright's birth its small flexi format, with its splashproof cover, makes it ideal for slipping in a pocket and taking along with you. Whether a Sunday afternoon jaunt close to home or a hill walk on holiday, A Walker's Notebook has space to record details of nearly 100 walks including dates, routes, companions and what you experienced on the way. Also included are pages to make notes of favourite pubs, cafes and places to stay. Illustrated throughout with charming illustrations by A. Wainwright

Beatrix Potter's Lakeland

Author: Hunter Davies

Description: Reissued with Beatrix Potter illustrations and previously unpublished materials, this book combines authoritative text with colour photographs taken during the course of a complete year to show the Lake District in all its seasons and moods.

Beatrix Potter: Her Lakeland Years

Author: W.R.Mitchell

Description: This is the compelling story of the real Beatrix Potter, based on interviews with those who knew her. Spread over the 40 years that the author edited "Cumbria Magazine", these interviews recall memories stretching back to the time when Beatrix bought the now famous Hill Top farm at Sawrey in the heart of Lakeland. She was already internationally acclaimed for her series of 'Peter Rabbit' books and her local status was increased when she married William Heelis, a Hawkshead solicitor. The books gave her the means to purchase over 4,000 acres of land, which on her death in 1943 was bequeathed to the National Trust as her personal legacy to the Lake District. The many archive and present-day photographs in this fully illustrated book place a new light on the Lakeland years of Beatrix Potter. Pride of place is given to the breed of sheep that she did so much to foster - her beloved Herdwicks.

Beatrix Potter: The Complete Tales

Author: Beatrix Potter

Description: This complete and unabridged collection contains all 23 of Beatrix Potter's Tales in one deluxe volume with all their original illustrations. A perfect gift to introduce children to the world of Beatrix Potter, the Complete Tales is also an ideal christening present; traditional and timeless, it's a classic for any nursery shelf.

Hadrian's Wall: History and Guide

Author: Guy de la Bedoyere

Description: Stretching 73 miles from coast to coast and reaching a height of about 13 feet, Hadrian's Wall should have been counted as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Today, a World Heritage site, it stands as the most imposing monument north of the Alps and attracts millions of visitors a year. Yet, despite all the excavation and research that has been carried out, this is the first detailed guide to be written for many years. Having first dealt with the practical questions of transport, clothing and maps, Guy de la Bedoyere explains why and how the Wall was constructed. With the help of almost 100 sketch maps, drawings and photographs, he then conducts the visitor, stage by stage, along the full length of the Wall, providing map locations, route and parking instructions, details of access and opening times, and a full account of everything that can be seen. He also covers the outpost forts, the forts and settlements to the rear (South Shields, Corbridge and Vindolanda) and the local museums which house so many of the artefacts discovered along the Wall. This indispensable guide-book concludes with a list of dates, a glossary and a summary of all the key sources.

Lindisfarne: The Cradle Island

Author: Magnus Magnusson

Description: Lindisfarne has captured the imagination of visitors and residents alike for decades. Also know as 'Holy Island', the rich and eventful history of the area is explored in great depth in this fascinating account. The author takes us on a journey to 'the cradle island' - the ancient shrine of Celtic Christianity - to reveal the treasures of the island. He tells the story of people and nature from the beginning to the present day, exploring the natural history and archaeology of the region.

Swallows and Amazons

Author: Arthur Ransome

Description: The wholesome story of four young children, John, Susan, Titty and Roger, who set out in their boat (the Swallow of the title) to an island of adventure. All seems well until they encounter their enemy. At first they are angry at the invasion of their peaceful haven by these Amazon pirates, Nancy and Peggy, who claim ownership of the land. But in time a truce is called and the Swallows and Amazons become firm friends. Camping under open skies, swimming in clear water, fishing, exploring and making discoveries is the stuff of dreams which serves to make this so charming a tale. The author manages to capture the innocence of a time when all this was real and possible. Swallows and Amazons will transport children to a fantastical place where they can play safely and roam freely, without an adult in sight.

The Good Guide to the Lakes

Author: Tom Holman and Hunter Davies

Description: Revised and expanded edition of the bestselling guide to Lakeland. 'The Good Guide is the answer to every tourist's prayer, a comprehensive assessment which treads on toes as well as sparking off satisfied grins.' Lakescene 'I think he was most unfair to Barrow.' Town Clerk, Barrow 'You'll wonder how you managed without it.' Yorkshire Post Life is too short, holidays too precious, to waste time going to places which turn out draggy or boring. So the object is very simple - to guide you to all that is best to see and do in Lakeland, from mountains and lakes and walks to museums, hotels, restaurants and the latest tourist attractions. Amazing how each year new wonders appear, new places pop up, new services get offered. Also things close, go off, disappear. So it's vital, if you are one of Lakeland's 24 million visitors a year, to be as up to date, up to scratch as possible. Note well that this book contains no advertising, no payments have been received, unlike some guide books we could mention. And also that it has been written and researched here in Cumbria.

The Reivers: The Story of the Border Reivers

Author: Alistair Moffat

Description: Only one period in history is immediately, indelibly and uniquely linked to the whole area of the Scottish and English Border country, and that is the time of the Reivers. Whenever anyone mentions 'Reiver', no-one hesitates to add 'Border'. It is an inextricable association, and rightly so. Nowhere else in Britain in the modern era, or indeed in Europe, did civil order break down over such a wide area, or for such a long time. For more than a century the hoof-beats of countless raiding parties drummed over the border. From Dumfriesshire to the high wastes of East Cumbria, from Roxburghshire to Redesdale, from the lonely valley of Liddesdale to the fortress city of Carlisle, swords and spears spoke while the law remained silent. Fierce family loyalty counted for everything while the rules of nationality counted for nothing.The whole range of the Cheviot Hills, its watershed ridges and the river valleys which flowed out of them became the landscape of larceny while Maxwells, Grahams, Fenwicks, Carletons, Armstrongs and Elliots rode hard and often for plunder. These were the Riding Times and in modern European history, they have no parallel. This book tells the remarkable story of the Reivers and how they made the Borders.

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