Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Historical landmark in the city of Carlisle, England_P

The English Lake District and the Borders: Romance to Turbulence

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4.6 . Excellent
89%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
14 days
From: $ 4,139 $ 296 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • Join a member of the Pennington family for an exploration of their home.
  • 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.

Short Description

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.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Manchester
End City Manchester

Destinations

N/A

Cities & Attractions

London

N/A
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Trip Includes

  • 12 nights of accommodations
  • 5 expert-led lectures
  • 17 expert-led field trips
  • 1 hands-on experience
  • An experienced Group Leader
  • Customary gratuities throughout the program
  • The Road Scholar Travel Protection Plan, 24-hour-a-day emergency assistance coverage
  • Taxes

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Itinerary

Day 1: In Transit to Program

In Flight

Day 2: Arrival Day, Bowness on Windermere.

Meals: Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Lunch: Lunch will be taken in the hotel with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages will be available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time to check-in and unpack at the hotel before a pre-dinner Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. 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. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities and answer any questions you may have. We have set aside some free time in the schedule for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: A served three-course dinner in the hotel with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages will be available for purchase.

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

Day 3: Wordworth's Dove Cottage, Bowness on Windermere.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

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: Depart the hotel by mini coach after breakfast and drive to the picturesque village of 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. We then continue on to Keswick and the ancient stone circle at Castlerigg, before we stop for lunch.

Lunch: Lunch will be served in a local restaurant in Keswick.

Afternoon: This afternoon we continue to Borrowdale, via Ashness Bridge, ascend the Honister Pass and see Buttermere, as your Group Leader provides expert commentary.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 4: Beatrix Potter, Wordsworth's Rydal Mount, Bowness on Windermere.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Leaving at 9am, we drive to the Armitt Museum, in Ambleside. We'll explore this unique 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. Following this we drive to Grasemere, where you will have some free time for independent exploration.

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 House (home of Beatrix Potter) and the quintessential Lakeland village of Hawkshead. We then continue to Rydal Mount, the final home of William Wordsworth, for an expert led exploration and poetry reading.

Dinner: Dinner will served at Rydal Mount.

Evening: At leisure after we return to the hotel.

Day 5: Hardnott Pass, Muncaster Castle, Bowness on Windermere.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today is a day of high adventure, leaving the hotel we 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 adventurous enough, we can inspect the mountain top Hardknott Roman Fort.

Lunch: Taken in Muncaster Castle.

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

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 6: Steam Boat Cruise, Bowness on Windermere.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

Breakfast: Full English and continental breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: We gather at 9am and drive to 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. Here you will have time to explore the wonderful house and gardens, after which we'll take a short cruise on the beautiful lake adjacent to the property.

Lunch: Taken at the Blue Bird Cafe on Coniston Waters.

Afternoon: From here we explore Coniston Water and the Duddon Valley, topic of Wordsworth’s sonnets; and then into Langdale and to the Hotel.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 7: Free Day, Bowness on Windermere.

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Accommodation: Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel

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

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: A served dinner in the hotel as we bid farewell to the Lakes.

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

Day 8: Transfer to Otterburn, Carlisle: Otterburn

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we transfer by mini coach to the Otterburn Tower Hotel, but first we take a scenic drive to Carlisle, via Troutbeck and Ullswater. At Carlisle we visit the award winning Tullie House Museum, with its collection of Roman and Border Reiver relics.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken at Tullie House.

Afternoon: We continue to Otterburn via Lannercost and Bank Turret. We will arrive at Otterburn in plenty of time to settle in.

Dinner: A served three-course dinner in the hotel with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages will be available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 9: The Abbey Town of Jedburgh, Otterburn

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel

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 will board the mini coach 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.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken in Jedburgh.

Afternoon: The field trip continues in the abbey town of Jedburgh, where you will be free to explore independently. You may wish to visit Mary Queen of Scots House, the Norman Abbey, Victorian Castle and Jail. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: A served three-course dinner in the hotel with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages will be available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 10: Lindisfarne, The Northumberland Coast, Otterburn

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Today we go to the cradle of British Christianity, to Holy Island, also known as Lindisfarne. Cut off from the mainland by tides, we cross the causeway to the village and are free to explore the abbey, the church, the castle and take a coastal walk.

Lunch: Taken at the Barn at Beal.

Afternoon: The afternoon takes us along the scenic Northumberland Coastal Route, taking in castles, such as Bamburgh with its ‘Grace Darling’ Life Boat Museum. We'll then head to the fishing village of Seahouses, before making our way back to the hotel via Alnick.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: Enjoy a lecture on the Roman Occupation, in preparation for our day at Hadrian's Wall.

Day 11: Wallington Hall, Kielder Water, Otterburn

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: Our day starts with a journey across the moors on a scenic drive to Kielder Water and Black Midden fortified house, before heading to the ancestral home of the Trevelyan family, Wallington Hall. There are over 100 acres of gardens, including a wonderful walled garden and lake, and the house itself.

Lunch: Taken in Wallington Hall.

Afternoon: After Wallington Hall return to the hotel passing Winters Gibbett on the way.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: After dinner we have a talk with an expert about the turbulent times in the Scottish borders from the 13th century to the reign of Elizabeth 1st.

Day 12: Hadrian's Wall, Otterburn

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel

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 world heritage site. We follow the old Stanegate Road close to the Roman wall, before stopping at Vindolanda for a discussion with one of the team of archaeologists currently excavating the site.

Lunch: Lunch will be taken at Vindolanda.

Afternoon: After lunch we head for the wall itself, visiting several sections - Mile Castle 42 and Steel Rigg - with opportunities to walk along the wall itself.

Dinner: In the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 13: Transfer to Manchester & The Cathedral City of Durham, Manchester

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodation: Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport

Breakfast: In the hotel.

Morning: We leave Otterburn by mini coach, and drive to the great city of Durham. Stopping near the Cathedral, one of the most spectacular in the UK, we'll have time to visit explore this architectural masterpiece, famous for St Cuthbert’s burial place behind the high altar.

Lunch: Taken in the Cathedral Undercroft.

Afternoon: Free time in Durham before the transfer continues on to Manchester.

Dinner: A served three-course dinner in the hotel with coffee, tea and water. Other beverages will be available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

Day 14: Program Concludes

Meals: Breakfast

In Flight

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.

Availability

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Price From $ 4,139
Price Per Day: $ 296 per day
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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

38 Road Scholar Travel Reviews & Ratings

89%
4.6 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 31
Great 3
Average 1
Disappointing 1
Terrible 2
Value
4.6
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.6
Lodging
4.5
Transportation
4.5
Meals
4.4

The English Lake District and the Borders: Romance to Turbulence

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Company Reviews

Old Cuba is fantastic and should be seen before it's spoiled by capitalism.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals3.0
This was my wife's and my first trip with Road Scholar. At the time (April, 2012), it was not possible for Americans to directly visit Cuba. You had to do it with a cultural/educational group, often associated with a university. Or, you could fly to Canada, Mexico, or Europe first and then get a flight to Cuba from there (while risking a ~$10,000 fine from the US Government). We opted for the legal route with Road Scholar.

It was a fantastic trip! We had a small-ish group of about 20 people and a wonderful guide, José Luis (who, like most Cubans, had never been off the island).
The trip began in Miami where we had an orientation and spent the night. Then we flew to Havana and stayed in the Hotel Nacional for four nights. It doesn't get more historic -- or fun -- than the Nacional:
https://vimeo.com/41612444

While in Havana, we enjoyed great history/culture lectures from experts, toured various parts of Havana (including Hemmingway's home in the hills nearby), and, on our own, had the opportunity to have dinner at a paladar -- a restaurant inside someone's home.

The Cuban people are friendly but the infrastructure of their country is in shambles. It's been a long time since Russia's deep pockets left the island (1991), and you see poverty everywhere. But not the begging-in-the-street kind. Cuba provides universal health care, education (including room and board all the way through grad/med school!), food staples, and a very modest income (~$30/month) to everyone. Most people add to that income by working on the side.

After Havana, we traveled to Cienfuegos. From there we saw the infamous Bay Of Pigs, but also the wonderful Benny Moré Art School where we learned of the fantastic support for the arts by the Cuban government. Children are identified in grade school as having artistic talent and then funneled into magnet schools like Benny Moré to study art for their entire scholastic career!

Don't go to Cuba for the food. It's edible (and won't make you sick) but rather boring. You mainly get the "three amigos": fish, pork, or chicken, along with rice and/or black beans. But the aged rum is superb and so are the cigars!

Probably my favorite thing on the island, though, was the music -- whether on the street or in a more formal setting:
https://vimeo.com/43273083

Cuba is fantastic. Go enjoy it!
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Best trip I ever took!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Loved the variety of different hotels, the expertise of the individual tour guides, the meals and especially the beautiful countryside. All 17 of us on the t rip got to know each other well, thanks to the kindness, the personality and the organizational skill of Mark, our tour director. Keep up the good work!
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Sunrise, Sunset, Learning Photography

5.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation5.0
Meals4.0
Road Scholar offers many tours starting in Utah. The one I took focused of photography of the National Parks in Utah, with a professional photographer traveling with us. The schedule was set up such that we would get "the golden light" at each of the parks. Those not familiar with the term must know that the best light occurs at either sunrise or sunset, when the impact of the sun on objects is diffused by having to travel through the earth's atmosphere on a diagonal rather than vertically.

As such, you can now expect that sleep will be an issue as you will get to bed late and rise early. But the territory is beautiful at all times, and more so illuminated by the golden light.

In order to maximize your sleeping ability, the tour is only offered in the spring and the fall. Doing this in the winter would be pretty cold and require special equipment to traverse the snow. Doing it in the summer would basically mean no sleep as the daylight is so long.

A great learning experience in beautiful territory.
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Thank you Road Scholar

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Thank you Road Scholar Staff for planning a wonderful introduction to Cuba today. My previous knowledge was from people who felt they had to leave Cuba more than fifty years ago. I learned from qualified professors, tour guides and from talking to Cuban people from different parts of Cuba who work in different kinds of jobs. I could see how the Cuban people have come together to meet the challenges of the past and to prepare for a brighter future.
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Thank you Road Scholar!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Road Scholar tours are the best bang for your buck

Fabulous!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This is a fabulous program for young and old. The instructors are great with kids and adults. The activities are very well organized and varied. My grandson is already making plans for next year.

Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 24

Accomodations

Lindeth Howe Country House Hotel: 6 nights  Cumbria

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.

 

Otterburn Tower Country House Hotel: 5 nights  Northumberland

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.

 

Clayton Hotel Manchester Airport: 1 night  Manchester.

Near to aiport (Terminal 1).

Trip ID#:

TheEngRoa

Meals Included:

12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners

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