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England

The English Lake District and the Borders: Romance to Turbulence

Discover the story of England’s famous Lake District as you learn about its poets and writers, explore Muncaster Castle, visit the Northumberland Coast and see historic Hadrian’s Wall.
Rating (4.43)
Program No. 20209RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
4,759
Flights start at
900
England

The English Lake District and the Borders: Romance to Turbulence

Discover the story of England’s famous Lake District as you learn about its poets and writers, explore Muncaster Castle, visit the Northumberland Coast and see historic Hadrian’s Wall.
Length
14 days
Starts at
4,759
Flights start at
900
Length
14 days
Rating (4.43)
Starts at
4,759
Flights start at
900
Program No. 20209RJ

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To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

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Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 10 - Oct 23, 2022
Starting at
4,759
Apr 24 - May 7, 2023
Starting at
5,649
May 22 - Jun 4, 2023
Starting at
5,649
Jun 12 - Jun 25, 2023
Starting at
5,649
Jul 31 - Aug 13, 2023
Starting at
5,649
Sep 4 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
5,649
Oct 9 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
5,649
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Oct 10 - Oct 23, 2022
Starting at
5,279
Apr 24 - May 7, 2023
Starting at
6,279
May 22 - Jun 4, 2023
Starting at
6,279
Jun 12 - Jun 25, 2023
Starting at
6,279
Jul 31 - Aug 13, 2023
Starting at
6,279
Sep 4 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
6,279
Oct 9 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
6,279

At a Glance

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.
Activity Level
On Your Feet
Some walking and standing up to two hours, some uneven surfaces and stairs in historic buildings.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Join an expert for an exploration of the Pennington family 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 history of Lindisfarne.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Beatrix Potter: Her Lakeland Years
by W.R.Mitchell
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.
Hadrian's Wall: History and Guide
by Guy de la Bedoyere
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.
Beatrix Potter's Lakeland
by Hunter Davies
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: The Complete Tales
by Beatrix Potter
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.
Lindisfarne: The Cradle Island
by Magnus Magnusson
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.
A Walker's Notebook
by Alfred Wainwright
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
The Reivers: The Story of the Border Reivers
by Alistair Moffat
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.
The Good Guide to the Lakes
by Tom Holman and Hunter Davies
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.
Swallows and Amazons
by Arthur Ransome
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.
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14 days
13 nights
32 meals
12 B 9 L 11 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Manchester, Lunch, Check-in, Orientation
Bowness on Windermere
L,D
Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 3:00 p.m.

Lunch: At the hotel, we’ll have a 2-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We'll have some time to check in and unpack at the hotel before a pre-dinner orientation. Orientation: 5:00 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. This program is staffed with a Group Leader, who will accompany us throughout the program and deal with logistics, lecture, conduct field trips, and serve as an information resource on program-related topics. Periods in the schedule designated as "Free time" and "At leisure" offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, we'll have a plated and served 3-course meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure to relax and prepare for the program ahead.

DAY
3
Wordsworth's Dove Cottage, Castlerigg, Borrowdale
Bowness on Windermere
B,L,D
Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a minibus; driving about 70 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Walking about 2 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including paved streets, gravel paths, uneven grassy areas.

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast buffet in the hotel. A wide range of hot and cold options, as well as coffee, tea, water and fruit juices.

Morning: We'll set out from the hotel by minibus after breakfast and drive to the picturesque village of Grasmere. Dove Cottage on the outskirts of the village is the former home of William Wordsworth, Britain's most famous Romantic poet. Here we'll learn about Wordsworth's life and work from local experts. We will then continue by minibus to Keswick and the ancient stone circle at Castlerigg, before we stop for lunch.

Lunch: At a local restaurant in Keswick, we’ll have a light lunch of soup and sandwiches with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we’ll continue by minibus to Borrowdale via Ashness Bridge, ascending the Honister Pass and seeing Buttermere with expert commentary from our Group Leader. We’ll return to the hotel at the end of our field trip, with some time to relax before dinner.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Beatrix Potter, Wordsworth's Rydal Mount
Bowness on Windermere
B,D
Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a minibus; driving about 40 miles, approximately 2.5 hours. Walking about 1.5 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including paved streets, gravel paths, uneven grassy areas. Extent and duration of independent exploration according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we’ll board our minibus and drive to the Armitt Museum in Ambleside. We’ll explore this unique collection compiled by two Victorian sisters, and see at first hand the watercolor paintings of Beatrix Potter, once displayed at the Tate Gallery in London. Following this, we will drive to Grasmere, where we’ll have some time for independent exploration in the village.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our exploration of sites in the life of Beatrix Potter, as we’ll visit Wray Castle and its grounds, Hill Top House (home of Beatrix Potter) and the quintessential Lakeland village of Hawkshead. We’ll then continue to Rydal Mount, the final home of William Wordsworth, for an expert-led exploration and poetry reading.

Dinner: At Rydal Mount we’ll have a 2-course plated and served meal with wine, coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: After returning to the hotel by minibus, the remainder of the evening is at leisure.

DAY
5
Hardnott Pass, Muncaster Castle
Bowness on Windermere
B,L,D
Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a minibus; driving about 65 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Walking about 2 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including uneven grassy areas with some steep sections, gravel paths.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Today is a day of high adventure! Leaving the hotel we'll head for the hills, along the Little Langdale Valley and up into the mountains. We will drive up the famous Hardknott Pass and here, for those of us wishing to walk over the rugged terrain, we can inspect the hilltop Hardknott Roman Fort.

Lunch: At Muncaster Castle, we’ll have a light lunch with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: This afternoon, a local expert will lead us around the historic home of the Pennington family, Muncaster Castle. We’ll then return to the hotel over Corney Fell to Coniston.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Tarn Hows, Brantwood, Cruise, Duddon Valley
Bowness on Windermere
B,L,D
Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a minibus; driving about 55 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Getting on/off a boat. Walking about 2 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including tarmac and gravel paths, grass lawns.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll travel by minibus to Tarn Hows, often referred to as the "prettiest lake in England," then on to Brantwood, home of the Pre-Raphaelite supporter and early ecologist John Ruskin. Here we will have some time to explore the wonderful house and gardens, after which we'll take a short study cruise on the beautiful lake adjacent to the property — Coniston Water — aboard a rebuilt Victorian steam-powered yacht.

Lunch: We’ll have vouchers allowing us to choose from a range of food and drinks at Brantwood’s Terrace Coffee House and Restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll board the minibus to explore the shores of Coniston Water and the Duddon Valley, topic of Wordsworth’s sonnets, then proceed into Langdale and return to the hotel.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Free Time
Bowness on Windermere
B
Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Activity note: Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Free time. This block of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Transport will be available to the village of Bowness, and we’ll receive passes to cruise the length of Lake Windermere.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free time to continue our full day of independent exploration.

Dinner: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At leisure to prepare for tomorrow's transfer.

DAY
8
Transfer to Otterburn, Carlisle, Tullie House Museum
Kelso.
B,L,D
Cross Keys.

Activity note: Getting on/off a minibus; driving about 100 miles, approximately 3.5 hours. Walking about 2 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including paved streets, gravel and grass paths, flagstone floors; low steps to some areas at Lanercost Priory.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll board a minibus to begin our transfer to Otterburn, starting with a scenic drive to Carlisle via Troutbeck and Ullswater. At Carlisle, we will visit the award-winning Tullie House Museum, with its collections of Roman and Border Reiver relics. After an introduction to the museum by our Group Leader, we’ll have some time to explore its collections independently.

Lunch: We’ll have vouchers allowing us to choose from a range of food and drinks from the café at Tullie House.

Afternoon: We'll board the minibus to continue our transfer to Otterburn, stopping en route for a field trip with our Group Leader to Lanercost and the nearby Banks East Turret. Lanercost is the site of the remains of a 13th-century Augustinian Priory, where the mortally sick King Edward I rested shortly before his death during the Anglo-Scottish wars. Banks East Turret is the best preserved observation tower on the western stretch of Hadrian’s Wall. We’ll explore both of these sites on foot with our Group Leader before completing our minibus transfer, and arrive at the hotel with plenty of time to settle in.

Dinner: At the hotel, we'll have a 3-course plated and served dinner with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Scottish Borders, The Abbey Town of Jedburgh
Kelso.
B,D
Cross Keys.

Activity note: Getting on/off a minibus; driving about 90 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking about 1 mile, periods of standing; varied terrain including paved streets, gravel and grass paths. Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice.

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast buffet in the hotel. A wide range of hot and cold options, as well as coffee, tea, water and fruit juices.

Morning: We'll board the minibus and head for the Scottish Borders, where we'll enjoy some very spectacular scenery. We'll travel through Kielder Forest, and pay a visit to the Hunting Lodge and 13th-century Hermitage Castle across the Scottish border, before continuing to the abbey town of Jedburgh.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Jedburgh.

Afternoon: We'll have some free time for independent exploration in Jedburgh. Points of interest in the town include the Mary Queen of Scots House, the Norman Abbey, the Victorian Castle, and the historic Jail. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. We’ll return to the hotel by minibus after our field trip.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Lindisfarne, The Northumberland Coast, Seahouses
Kelso.
B,L,D
Cross Keys.

Activity note: Getting on/off a minibus; driving about 115 miles, approximately 4 hours. Walking about 2 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including gravel and grass paths, uneven grassy areas, sand and pebble beach, paved streets, flagstone floors; wooden steps with handrails to some areas at Lindisfarne Abbey.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: This morning we'll ride the minibus to the cradle of British Christianity, Lindisfarne, also known as Holy Island. We'll cross the causeway to the village, which is periodically cut off from the mainland by high tides. After an introduction by our Group Leader, we'll have some time to explore the ruined monastery, the church, and the castle, and take a coastal walk.

Lunch: At The Barn at Beal, we’ll have a light lunch with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: The afternoon takes us along the scenic Northumberland Coastal Route. We'll take in castles such as Bamburgh with the nearby Grace Darling lifeboat museum. We'll then head to the fishing village of Seahouses, before making our way back to the hotel via Alnwick.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Wallington, Kielder Water, Black Middens
Kelso.
B,L,D
Cross Keys.

Activity note: Getting on/off a minibus; driving about 70 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking about 2 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including gravel and grass paths, flagstone floors, uneven grassy areas; uneven stone steps with handrail to upper floor viewing platform at Black Middens Bastle House.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We'll begin our day with a journey across the moors on a scenic drive to Kielder Water and Black Middens Bastle House, a fortified farmhouse of a type built during the 16th and 17th centuries to defend against raids by Border Reivers and rival families. We'll then head to the ancestral home of the Trevelyan family, Wallington. There are over 100 acres of gardens, including a wonderful walled garden and lake, and the house itself.

Lunch: We’ll have vouchers allowing us to choose from a range of food and drinks from the café at Wallington.

Afternoon: We'll return to the hotel by minibus. On our way we'll pass Winter's Gibbet, where murderer William Winter was executed in 1791. This grisly local landmark stands at the site of a Saxon cross that marked the high point of an ancient cattle-driving road.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Hadrian's Wall
Kelso.
B,L,D
Cross Keys.

Activity note: Getting on/off a minibus; driving about 80 miles, approximately 3 hours. Walking about 2 miles, periods of standing; varied terrain including gravel and grass paths with uneven remains of flagstone Roman road surfaces, uneven grassy areas, some steeps sections of path.

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today is a full day spent learning just how the Romans lived in the region, and visiting Hadrian's Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We'll follow the old Stanegate road close to the Roman wall, to the Roman Army Museum, where we’ll learn more about life on the Roman frontier from a 3D film, replicas, and authentic artefacts. We’ll continue along Stanegate to Vindolanda for a discussion with one of the team of archaeologists currently excavating the fort and its “vicus,” the settlement that grew outside the fort's walls.

Lunch: We’ll have vouchers allowing us to choose from a range of food and drinks from the café at Vindolanda.

Afternoon: After lunch, we'll head for the wall itself, visiting several sections — including Milecastle 42 and Steel Rigg — with opportunities to walk along it.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and transfer to Manchester in the morning.

DAY
13
Transfer to Manchester, The Cathedral City of Durham
Manchester
B,L,D
Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport

Activity note: Getting on/off a minibus; driving about 195 miles, approximately 4 hours. Extent and duration of free time activities according to personal choice. Some areas at Durham Cathedral are only accessible by steps (Shrine of St Cuthbert, Chapel of Nine Altars, Gregory Chapel, Durham Light Infantry Chapel, North West Tower).

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We'll check out of our hotel and board the minibus to begin our transfer to Manchester. En route, we'll take a field trip to the great city of Durham. Stopping near the Cathedral, one of the most spectacular in the UK, we'll have time to explore this architectural masterpiece, famous for St Cuthbert's burial place behind the high altar.

Lunch: We’ll have vouchers allowing us to choose from a range of food and drinks at the Cathedral Undercroft.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration in Durham before we continue our transfer to Manchester. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a 3-course plated and served meal with coffee, tea, water included; other beverages available for purchase. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
14
Program Concludes, In Transit From Program
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m. See your program's "Transportation Information" regarding transfers.

Breakfast: In the hotel. Some participants may depart prior to breakfast.

Morning: Shuttle bus to Manchester Airport for onward flights. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don't forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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