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Things to do in
Cumbria

Our most recommended things to do in Cumbria

From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

1. From Manchester: Lake District and Windermere

You leave manic Manchester behind and head straight for the lovely Lake District. Your first stop of the day is at Bowness that sits on the shores of Windermere. You have time here to take a leisurely cruise upon the lake or wander around the town and admire the sublime views of the landscapes. You travel around the southern tip of Windermere and towards Coniston Water. You enjoy the views of this body of water before arriving in the picturesque conservation village of Hawkshead. This is where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School. After exploring the cosy village, you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, a place Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”. There's free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, taste the legendary gingerbread, or enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. We then take in spectacular views of Ullswater Lake as we head along country roads to its southern shores before returning to Manchester in the early evening.

Lake District: Ten Lakes Full-Day Tour

2. Lake District: Ten Lakes Full-Day Tour

The Lake District is renowned for being the most beautiful corner of England and this full-day tour introduces you to just that; magnificent scenery of mountains, valleys and lakes from the south to the north. From within the circle, get picture-perfect views of some of the Lake District’s highest peaks. Travel over the famous Kirkstone and Honister passes whilst enjoying some spectacular mountain scenery. From beautiful valleys to waterfalls and traditional Lakeland villages, enjoy plenty of stops for admiring the views and taking photographs.  Eat lunch at the market town of Keswick, where you can try a typical pub lunch, or seek out a charming restaurant. Get the chance to stretch your legs at either the magnificent lake of Derwent water or Ullswater, where you can see the tranquility of the Lake.

From Liverpool: Lake District Sightseeing Adventure Day Trip

3. From Liverpool: Lake District Sightseeing Adventure Day Trip

The tour departs from Liverpool and drives out of the city into the luscious surrounding countryside. Admire the views as you travel to the UK’s largest national park, the Lake District, stopping at the underground Rheged Discovery Center along the way. During the partially narrated 2-hour journey to the Lake District, the tour also stops by the famous Castlerigg Neolithic Stone Circle where you can feel ancient mythical energy flowing around you. Continue onto Grasmere Village, which boasts an array of beautiful 19th-century architecture, as well as the grave of well-known poet William Wordsworth. Afterward, let your nose lead the way to Sarah Nelson’s Gingerbread Shop, where you can taste a selection of traditional sweet treats. Once you’ve filled up on gingerbread, it’s time to explore the national park and navigate through the Langdales, also known as "Little Switzerland". As you wander around the park, marvel at breathtaking views over the landscape, consisting of some of the most dramatic and diverse scenery in the UK. Throughout the tour, enjoy plenty of stops both on and off the bus to make the most of your trip to the Lake District. One of the highlights of the day includes an amble around Blea Tarn and a stop at Ambleside, where you can get lost in the maze of twisting streets or shop at a selection of picturesque stores.

The Yorkshire Dales Tour from York

4. The Yorkshire Dales Tour from York

Escape the crowded streets of York for a full-day sightseeing tour of the Yorkshire Dales, and discover one of England’s most dramatic landscapes. Departing York in the morning, trave; to Yorkshire Dales national park, well known for its beautiful rolling hills and lazy rivers which flow down the dales (or valleys). The first stop will be in the market town of Masham in Lower Wensleydale. Famous for its family-run breweries, steam engines, and annual sheep fair, its thriving market (Wednesdays and Saturdays) is still going strong 762 years since its 1st charter. Continue towards Middleham, nestled between 2 rivers. Travel through the gently sloping Dales towards Castle Bolton, where you will see some of the best scenery Yorkshire has to offer. Admire one of Britain’s best-preserved medieval castles at Castle Bolton, built by Sir Richard Le Scrope to rival the most luxurious homes in the land. See the scars of its 600-year history, including its involvement in the Pilgrimage of Grace, Mary Queen of Scot’s imprisonment, and a Civil War siege. Afterward continue the journey through the stunning landscapes of Yorkshire traveling towards Aysgarth Falls on the River Ure. Here you will have the chance to view the famous waterfalls, which drop over three major falls in less than one mile. An amazingly scenic stop, the falls are a showcase of the beauty of nature. For lunch, head to the charming market town of Hawes. Nestled in Upper Wensleydale in North Yorkshire this beautiful place is surrounded on all sides by scenery the Yorkshire Dales is famous for. Travel over the Buttertubs pass which connects Hawes and the hamlet of Thwaite with spectacular views over the surrounding valleys and fells. In recent days, the pass was featured as the second King of the Mountains climb of the 2014 Grand Depart of the Tour de France. Hawes is also home to the Wensleydale Creamery, famous for its array of cheeses which are much loved by fictional, animated characters, Wallace and Gromit. Hawes marketplace was first recorded in 1307 and still has a lively market every Tuesday. Enjoy the delights of Wensleydale Creamery including the visitors center and cheese tasting room. Explore the creamery and have a taste of the real Dales in their sample room. There is plenty of time to shop for your favorite cheeses and marvel at the beautiful surroundings. Finally, follow the Dales scenic route back to the medieval city of York, driving through picturesque villages and classic Dales villages, with stops along the way so you can photograph the memorable landscapes.

From Manchester: Lake District Tour

5. From Manchester: Lake District Tour

This tour gives you a day in the Lake District National Park, from Manchester. It’s an ideal way to see the spectacular landscape that makes the National Park so special. Leaving Manchester, the tour heads North via the M6 Motorway, in approximately two hours you will arrive in the Lake District. As you start your Lake District tour, you'll enjoy a heritage steam railway ride from Haverthwaite to Lakeside (1st April - 29th October only) followed by a lake cruise. You can sit back and enjoy the unrivalled views of the lake and the fells beyond! With stops at Wray Castle and Tarn Hows you’ll have ample opportunity to take wonderful pictures and take in the beautiful views. You’ll visit the mediaeval village of Hawkshead, famous for its connection with Beatrix Potter and William Wordsworth. As your Lake District tour comes to an end, we will then continue our journey back to Manchester. Highlights -Lake Cruise -Wray Castle -Tarn Hows -Hawkshead Please note the heritage railway is only available 1st April - 29th October, during the winter the tour will include a lake cruise only.

From Liverpool: Lake District Tour

6. From Liverpool: Lake District Tour

This fantastic Lake District tour from Liverpool gives you the chance to escape into spectacular landscapes and breathtaking scenery that makes the Lake District National Park such a special and remarkable place. Back in 2017 the national park achieved UNESCO World Heritage Status. This tour will give you a taster of just some of the beauty that makes up the Lake District. The tour starts with a heritage steam railway ride on lakeside & haverthwaite railway (1st April - 29th October only). Travel back in time when you climb aboard the steam train. Following this you will enjoy a lake cruise on England's largest lake, Windermere, to Bowness enjoying the spectacular scenery. (Please note it is the passenger’s responsibility to transfer from lakeside station to the windermere lake cruise vessel, as the driver-guide will not be present. The train ends at lakeside where the Lake Cruise starts) From here, you will enjoy lunch in the bustling village of Bowness which has plenty of shops and cafes for you to explore. Then you shall be collected by your driver guide and head to wray castle. This national trust owned castle stands overlooking the lake. Once a holiday home of a teenage Beatrix Potter and her family, it boasts beautiful grounds, glorious views and makes a fascinating stop on your tour. We’ll head to tarn hows, this truly is a remarkable gem in the lake district, where you can stretch your legs and get plenty of photos. We’ll make our way along the winding country lanes to Hawkhead, a mediaeval chocolate box village bursting with charm and character. The village has plenty of charming shops, cafes and pubs for you to enjoy. After you’ve had a wander around the village, we’ll start our journey back towards Liverpool.

English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

7. English Heritage: Attractions Pass for Overseas Visitors

Get a range of benefits with a 9-day or 16-day single or family English Heritage Overseas Visitor Pass, offering free entry to more than 100 stately homes, castles, prehistoric remains and gardens the length and breadth of England. Only available to non-UK residents, the great value pass will save you money even if you only visit 2 or 3 attractions, making a 9-day pass suitable for a weekend break. You can visit as many English Heritage attractions as you like, and come back as many times as you want to. But the more places you visit, the more money you save! Plan your vacation with the help of our overseas visitor Guidebook. The English Heritage website will also help you plan your visit before you travel. Once you have decided which attractions to explore, there is no need to get your money out at every attraction, and no need to keep track of your spending. The monuments bring the story of England to life, and have all been selected for their historic significance. Located in some of the most beautiful settings in England, they include mighty castles, tranquil monastic ruins, pleasant gardens and grand stately homes. Many host special events throughout the year, and your pass also gives you free or reduced price entry. You might even come face-to-face with a knight in shining armor. All sites have reduced opening times during the winter months (October to March). Detailed information available after booking. The full list of places you can access with your pass is as follows: In London: Apsley HouseChiswick HouseEltham Palace and GardensJewel TowerMarble Hill HouseRanger’s House - The Wernher CollectionWellington ArchIn the South East: 1066 Battle of Hastings, Abbey & BattlefieldBayham Old AbbeyCarisbrooke CastleDeal CastleDover CastleFort Brockhurst (as part of a pre-booked group)Home of Charles Darwin (Down House)Lullingstone Roman VillaMedieval Merchant’s HouseOsborne HousePevensey CastlePortchester CastleRichborough Roman FortRochester CastleSt Augustine’s AbbeyWalmer Castle & GardensYarmouth CastleIn the South West: Berry Pomeroy CastleChysauster Ancient VillageCleeve AbbeyDartmouth CastleFarleigh Hungerford CastleHailes AbbeyLaunceston CastleMuchelney AbbeyOkehampton CastleOld SarumOld Wardour CastlePendennis CastlePortland CastleRestormel CastleSt Mawes CastleSherborne Old CastleStonehengeTintagel CastleTotnes Castle In the East of England: Audley End House & GardensBerney Arms Windmill (as part of a pre-booked group)Castle Acre PrioryDenny Abbey and the Farmland MuseumGreat Yarmouth Row Houses and Greyfriars’ CloisterGrime’s GravesFramlingham CastleOrford CastleSaxtead Green Post MillTilbury FortWrest Park In the East Midlands: Ashby de la Zouch CastleBolsover CastleHardwick Old HallKirby HallKirby Muxloe CastleLyddington Bede HousePeveril CastleSibsey Trader WindmillLincoln Medieval Bishops’ PalaceRushton Triangular LodgeIn the West Midlands: Boscobel House and the Royal OakBuildwas AbbeyGoodrich CastleHaughmond AbbeyKenilworth Castle and Elizabethan GardenStokesay CastleWenlock PrioryWitley Court and GardensWroxeter Roman CityIn Yorkshire: Aldborough Roman SiteBrodsworth Hall and GardensByland AbbeyClifford's TowerHelmsley CastleKirkham PrioryMiddleham CastleMount Grace PrioryPickering CastleRichmond CastleRievaulx AbbeyRoche AbbeySt Peter's ChurchScarborough CastleThornton Abbey and GatehouseWhitby AbbeyYork Cold War Bunker (pre-booked visits only)In the North West: Beeston Castle and Woodland ParkBrougham CastleCarlisle CastleFurness AbbeyLanercost PrioryStott Park Bobbin MillAt Hadrian's Wall: Birdoswald Roman FortChesters Roman FortCorbridge Roman TownHousesteads Roman FortIn the North East: Aydon CastleBarnard CastleBerwick-Upon-Tweed-BarracksBelsay Hall, Castle and GardensBrinkburn PrioryDunstanburgh CastleEtal CastleLindisfarne PrioryPrudhoe CastleTynemouth Priory and CastleWarkworth Castle

Lake District: Beatrix Potter Half-Day Tour

8. Lake District: Beatrix Potter Half-Day Tour

Surround yourself with the scenery that inspired Beatrix Potter's enchanting tales during a half-day tour of the Lake District National Park. Visit the author's home and explore the medieval Hawkshead and the scenic Tarn Hows. Start by making your way to Hill Top, the 17th-century home that Beatrix Potter used as an artistic retreat. Stroll through the charming garden, home to various flowers and which featured in several of her little stories. ~Please note, Hill Top House is closed on Fridays out of the UK school holidays and from November-February. In this case you will visit the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction in Bowness, here you will discover more of the authors life and about the characters she created. After exploring Miss Potter’s extraordinary house, continue to the medieval village of Hawkshead, and get some time to explore the fascinating village. Drive through the renowned beauty spot of Tarn Hows. Conclude with a lake cruise offering unrivaled views of the mountains.

From Manchester: North Wales & Snowdonia Day Trip by Minibus

9. From Manchester: North Wales & Snowdonia Day Trip by Minibus

Discover the major sights of North Wales as you travel away from Manchester on a guided tour with live commentary. Admire the scenery of the Snowdonia National Park, gaze at the iconic Conwy Castle, and explore the charming village of Betws-y-Coed. Board a minibus in Manchester and look forward to a day of exploring the Snowdonia National Park. Starting off with Conwy, this historic seaside town is filled with character and history. Wonder around, popping into the shops or having a walk down to the harbour. The market town is filled with rich history and is made famous by the mediaeval Conwy Castle that overlooks the sea. Next we'll head to Llanberis Slate Museum where you can discover more of Wales' rich heritage. Before enjoying a ride along a heritage railway, the Llanberis Lake Railway, which takes passengers along the side of the lake with views of the mountains that surround the area. Then we'll drive over Pen-y-pass, this drive truly is spectacular with the breathtaking landscape. There'll be plenty of photo opportunities for you and a chance to see the incredible scenery. Then finally we'll arrive in the village of Betws-y-coed. This will be a chance for you to have a good wonder around and explore the picturesque Welsh village. It has been a place of inspiration for authors and artists for centuries. After a day of exploring we'll make our way back to Manchester.

Lake District: Six Lakes Morning Tour from Windermere

10. Lake District: Six Lakes Morning Tour from Windermere

Start off by travelling over the famous Kirkstone Pass which is the highest mountain road in the Lakes, before making your way down to take in the beautiful Ullswater. You’ll have the chance to stretch your legs at Castlerigg Stone Circle, taking in the panoramic views of the fells. The tour returns travelling south along the vast Thirlmere whilst learning all about its interesting story. There is then time to wander around the historic village of Grasmere before travelling back to Windermere. This half-day tour is perfect for those who are short on time but want to see as much of this beautiful area as possible.

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What people are saying about Cumbria

Overall rating

4.8
(1,057 reviews)

This day trip was a perfect experience. It was absolutely worth the price. John S was our guide and he was fabulous. He packed our day with so much to do and was great with our group. He is very knowledgeable. I appreciated the historical information and interesting stories he shared about the Dales. The highlight of the day for me was seeing the falconry exhibition at Bolton Castle. I highly recommend this tour. Thank you John for a fantastic day!

We had a lovely day! Our guide, Elliot, was very helpful and made sure we could enjoy the places and take advantage of the sunny day - lucky us. At the end of the tour, he even dropped us off next to our hotel, which was very kind of him. I totally recommend the tour, if you don’t have a lot of time to explore, but still want to have an overview of the Lake District!

Loved how informative and friendly our guide was. She didn't bother to answer our queries and stop in locations for photographs. I absolutely recommend this tour as a lot of landmarks and beautiful spots can be covered in a short window. Thank you 😁

This was definitely one of the best trips I have done in a long time! Tim our guide was great and really knowledgeable! Definitely would recommend this trip. Many thanks, Connor

Thoroughly enjoyed my trip. Adam and Chris, the drivers of both vehicles, were superb.