The deep lakes and jagged fells of the Lake District have proved an inspiring backdrop for some of Britain’s greatest poets, writers and artists. Classified as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, we explore this spectacular part of England with its magnificent scenery, while discovering how it influenced the life
and work of the famous romantic poet, William Wordsworth.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Individual Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
- Departure Dates
- Jul 5, 2020 - Jul 13, 2020
1 night at the Macdonald Windsor Hotel
1 night at the New Hall Hotel
5 nights at the Lakeside Hotel
1 night at the Hartwell House Hotel
Airport private transfers to/from London Heathrow
- day 1
July 5: Arrival (depart U.S. on 7/4)
On arrival at Heathrow airport, a private transfer will take you to our overnight hotel, the Macdonald Windsor Hotel. Tonight, join the group
for a welcome drink followed by dinner.
- day 2
July 6: Baddesley Clinton and Stratford-upon-Avon
Set timelessly in its own secluded parkland, Baddesley Clinton is a moated, medieval manor house dating back to the 13th century. Its extensive formal gardens are steeped in history, from its use as a place of hiding and refuge for Catholic priests to the story of the Victorian Quartet; four writers and artists who used Baddesley as a retreat from the modern world. We then visit the beautiful, riverside town of Stratford-upon-Avon, forever associated with William Shakespeare. We take a guided walking tour to see some of the town’s highlights before time at leisure. Fans of Shakespeare can visit the house in which he was born or discover the local theaters including the Swan Theatre, home of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Later we check in to our overnight hotel, the New Hall Hotel.
- day 3
July 7: Rufford Old Hall and Sizergh Castle
Beginning our journey north, we make our way to Rufford Old Hall. This magnificent Tudor Great Hall, with later additions, was home to the Hesketh family for 500 years and reveals the family’s lives, loves and fortunes. Surrounded by formal Victorian and Edwardian gardens, the hall has a fantastic collection of arms, armor and tapestries. After, we visit Sizergh Castle, associated with the Strickland family since the 13th century. The castle’s imposing grey stone walls rise up out of a beautiful garden with a pond, lake and a wonderful limestone rock garden while inside, we find portraits and fine furniture in this much-loved family home. We then continue to the Newby Bridge Hotel, our base for the next five nights. This evening after dinner, we enjoy a fascinating talk by a guest speaker.
- day 4
July 8: Brantwood House, Coniston Water Cruise, Ambleside, Lake Windermere Cruise and Bowness-on-Windermere
Brantwood House is the former home of John Ruskin and we visit the house just over 200 years after his birth. Filled with many fine paintings, beautiful furniture and Ruskin’s personal treasures, gain a fascinating insight into the world of the famous writer, artist and social reformer on our guided tour. We then enjoy a scenic cruise on Coniston Water with its backdrop of spectacular scenery towards Brantwood, before continuing on by coach to Ambleside, a pretty town situated at the head of Lake Windermere, the largest natural lake in England. From here we take a picturesque cruise to Bowness-on-Windermere, a charming enclave on the eastern shores of the lake, where we have free time to enjoy the craft and gift shops, lakeside cafés and tea rooms. Tonight we enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.
- day 5
July 9: Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum
Today we head to Dove Cottage, home to Wordsworth from 1799 to 1808 and his first family home. The famous poet fell in love with the cottage and Grasmere while on a walking tour of the Lake District in 1799. Little changed since Wordsworth’s tenure, the story of the house and family is vividly told here, with many of Wordsworth’s furniture and possessions on display. Our day continues at the Wordsworth Museum, home to original letters, journals, manuscripts and artworks. We enjoy an exclusive talk from a member of the senior curatorial team here, where we have the opportunity to see items from the collection which are not ordinarily viewed by the public, including first edition books. After lunch together we will also have the chance to see a printing press in action as well as enjoy some of Wordsworth’s poetry.
- day 6
July 10: Rydal Mount, Abbot Hall Art Gallery & Museum and Kendal
This morning begins at Rydal Mount, Wordsworth’s family home for the greater part of his life from 1813 until his death in 1850. Lying between Ambleside and Grasmere, the house commands glorious views of Lake Windermere and retains a lived-in, family atmosphere plus portraits, personal possessions and first editions of the poet’s work. We then head to Windermere to take the train to Kendal where we visit Abbot Hall Art Gallery & Museum, originally designed as an opulent house by architect John Carr in 1759. Kendal’s finest historic house is now an award-winning art gallery, showcasing a variety of works by a wealth of artists including George Romney, Daniel Gardner and John Ruskin. Afterwards we have free time to enjoy the market town of Kendal at leisure. Dinner will be in a local restaurant tonight.
- day 7
July 11: Blackwell and Holker Hall
Our day begins with a guided tour of Blackwell, one of Britain’s finest Arts and Crafts houses. Designed by MH Baillie Scott, Blackwell retains many of its original decorative features, including spectacular plasterwork and stained glass while the rooms contain furniture and objects by many of the leading Arts and Crafts designers. Finally, we visit Holker Hall, home of Lord and Lady Cavendish. Dating back to the 16th century, with alterations and additions in the 18th and 19th centuries, it is a delightful family home with fine displays of antique furniture and art. We enjoy a guided tour here.
- day 8
July 12: Shugborough Estate
On our journey south, we stop at the Shugborough Estate, a rare survival of a complete estate that was returned to the care of the National Trust in 2017. We enjoy a genuine glimpse into the past; with an operational Victorian servants’ quarter, dairy and Georgian Park Farm complete with watermill, this imposing 17th-century house is also a sensory treat, while the parkland is scattered with mysterious monuments. Later we check in to the Hartwell House Hotel, one of the National Trust’s Historic House Hotels, before a farewell dinner together this evening.
- day 9
July 13: Departure
A private transfer will take you back to Heathrow airport for your return flight home.
Everything you need to know about the tour
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