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Lake District Tours for group organisers

Blue Badge Tourist guides in the Lake District can offer your group that little extra touch to make a visit truly memorable, whether it is a private farm visit, garden tour, hiking, literary, culinary, industrial heritage, castle tours, or entertaining with little known facts and stories.

This page is aimed at group organisers arranging a visit to the Lake District who wish to employ the services of a Cumbia Tourist Guide

We can help with the following:

Below are a sample of tried and tested group tours that make for a wonderful excursion in the Lake District.  There are many other options for tours in Cumbria and we work closely with you to create a special tour for your group. As each groups needs are different pricing is customised depending on size of group and services required. 

‘Hi Andy,

Thanks for this. All the feedback we got was also good – it was a shame about the weather, but many commented that this added to the experience. Thanks for organising these for us and please thank all the guides and drivers. I will certainly recommend you for future excursions and our conference coordinator will do likewise.’

Lancaster University

Good morning Andy,

 I have been very remiss in not sending you a BIG THANK YOU! For the most amazing day in the Lake District. Really impressed and look forward to working with you and your team.  A really wonderfull day and THANK YOU again. 

Jeanette

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The Lake District Experience

Highlights – Scenic tour in the National Park – Castlerigg Stone Circle - Keswick - Borrowdale – Farm tour – sheep dog demonstration – Grasmere - Windermere

We travel up one of the most scenic stretches of motorway in the country to Penrith with wonderful views of the eastern fells and western dales to Rheged and a short visit and toilet break. On leaving Rheged, we travel into the heart of the Lake District stopping near Castlerigg on the outskirts of Keswick. A 20 minute walk from the coach park is the stone circle of Castlerigg Stone Circle. This is one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain, and is the most visited stone circle in Cumbria with awesome mountain views.

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A short drive brings us to Keswick and another brief stop (~30 minutes) for a toilet break.

We then travel down scenic Borrowdale to Yew Tree Farm Rosthwaite arriving at approximately 1pm. Here, there will be a guided tour of the farm and a sheep dog demonstration followed by lunch of Herdwick lamb stew (there is vegetarian soup available). Joe Relph is a world champion sheep dog handler and provides a fascinating insight into farming in the Lake District, both past and present.

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Depart Rosthwaite early afternoon to travel through the heart of the Lake District to Grasmere where we stay for an hour or so. There is a chance to walk around this pretty village and perhaps visit the famous Grasmere gingerbread shop or the church of St. Oswald.

This tour can start either in the north or south Lake District and can even be arranged as a day trip from London meeting off the train at Oxenholme or Penrith station. 

Steam to the Hills

Highlights - Lakes Tour - Steam Train and Boat - Optional visit to Dove Cottage

Travel across the southern edge of the Lake District to Haverthwaite. There we take a steam train to Lakeside. The Lakeside and Haverthwaite steam railway is part of the old Furness Line which was built in the 1860s to serve the many industries in the area. Today it is an important visitor attraction that provides an insight into the industrial heritage of Lakeland.

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From Lakeside we take the Windermere Steamer to Bowness. The cruise on Windermere, the longest lake in England, continues your journey into the heart of the Lake District. 

On arrival at Bowness, we transfer back to the coach for a scenic drive to the village of Grasmere where we stay for just under 2 hours.

Grasmere is a justifiably popular village that is associated with the poet William Wordsworth. There is the option to visit Dove Cottage where Wordsworth lived from 1799 to 1808 and the Wordsworth museum . Lunch may be purchased in Grasmere.

Early afternoon, depart to Glenridding via St. Johns in the Vale. We travel a scenic route over the pass of Dunmail Raise and alongside Thirlmere. This lake is a reservoir built to supply drinking water to the industrial town of Manchester. We continue with a beautiful drive alongside Ullswater, a lake that provided the inspiration for Wordsworth’s most famous poem ‘Daffodils’, and follow the lake shore to Glenridding.

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After a short stop in Glenridding, toilets, we travel up the narrow roads over the Kirkstone Pass, at a height of almost 1500ft, the views from here can be stunning.  Descend to Windermere through the picturesque Troutbeck Valley.

 

Lake District Gardens and Tour

Highlights – Holker Hall private guided tours – Cartmel village – steam train and cruise

We will visit Holker Hall, home of Lord and Lady Cavendish, and one of the best-loved stately homes in Britain. Magnificently situated only a short distance from Grange-over-Sands and the expanse of Morecambe Bay, Holker Hall is set in exceptionally beautiful countryside with gardens that merge into parkland framed by the Lakeland Hills.

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Holker is at the heart of 17,000 acres of rural Cumbria encompassing a major proportion of the Cartmel Peninsula. The Estate has a long tradition of farming through the craftsmanship of tenant farmers who produce cheese, honey, prime shorthorn beef, seasonal venison and game and the famous Holker saltmarsh lamb. Packed lunches can be provided on request. Alternatively, lunch may be purchased at a wonderful cafe and there are gift shops selling local produce. 

There is a choice of the special tours of approximately 1 hour duration:

Tour 1: Special Hall Tour. This fascinating tour focuses on the history of the Preston, Lowther & Cavendish families who have lived in, developed and cherished the Hall and Estate from the beginning of the 17th century to the present day.

Tour 2: Garden Tour. Discover the history and development of the gardens, learn about the wonderful trees plants and flowers. Your guide will adapt the tour according to season so that you experience the best seasonal colours, textures and scents.

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In the afternoon we take a steam train on the Lakeside and Haverthwaite Railway and cruise up Windermere, the longest lake in England, to Bowness. Time to explore the shops or visit the World of Beatrix Potter Attraction before meeting your coach for onward travel.

A Lakeland Walk

Experience the real Lake District on a guided walk through spectacular scenery.

Walk from the town of Ambleside up the slopes of Wansfell Pike (482m). The climb is quite steep but the effort of getting to the top is well rewarded with fantastic views over Windermere, England's largest lake, and up into the rocky mountains of the central Lake District.

The walk then continues down the other side into the delightful 17th century village of Troutbeck. Refreshments may be purchased in a traditional Lake District pub, The Mortal Man. After lunch we will make our way back to Ambleside via a lower path with more breathtaking views out over Windermere and the surrounding countryside.

On return to Ambleside there will be time to explore the town and find out more about its history or buy souvenirs to take home.

Equipment required: stout walking shoes or boots, waterproof jacket, drinks and snacks.

Distance: 10 km/ 6 miles long with some fairly steep ground. It may be muddy or wet underfoot.

Walk difficulty: moderate

Time: approx. 4 – 5 hours including lunch

 

Yorkshire Dales (with optional walk)

Tour highlights - the unique limestone scenery of the remote valleys of the Yorkshire Dales, views of the Ribble Head viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle railway line and an opportunity to walk to see the highest single drop waterfall in England, Hardraw Force.

Outline itinerary – M6 to Jct 37, A684 to Sedbergh for coffee and toilet stop. Continue through Garsdale to Wensleydale and Hawes. Return via Ingleton with a stop to view, and if possible take a short walk, Ribblehead Viaduct and see the marvellous views of the limestone pavements.

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If time permits, there can be an afternoon tea/toilet stop in Ingleton.

Walk from Hawes (difficulty – easy)

There is an option to complete a circular walk of approximately 4 miles (7 kms) on well trodden footpaths over farmland to the tiny hamlet of Hardraw where you can follow in the footsteps of some of England’s greatest writers and artists of their day such as Wordsworth and Turner, and watch the waters of Hardraw Force cascade over a spectacular single drop of 86ft(29m).

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The falls are set in a natural amphitheatre, the setting for an annual brass band competition. Now in its 130th year the world famous Hardraw Scar Brass Band Festival is Britain's second oldest outdoor contest

Why Lake District Tours?

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Andy is a great guide! Our day with him was definitely the highlight of our time in the Lake District, worth every penny. On a private tour we had the opportunity to see some real hidden gems off the tourist trail, we had the opportunity for a few nice walks, a great boat trip -- a million times better than the small group tour we took with another company, where we felt like herded cattle. I highly recommend private touring and Andy specifically!

Barrie Wallace
USA

Superb day out! We wanted to go off the beaten track on a private tour to all the hidden places that a coach can't reach and where you wont find crowds, and Andy certainly did that! He drove down roads that were so narrow I would never take my car there! We found all sorts of hidden and wonderful places. Andy was attentive, knows the area like the back of his hand, pointed out all sorts of interesting things to us and was a careful and considerate driver. It was the highlight of our break. Thanks Andy
Pauline Phipps. 

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Your private Lake District Tour Guide is Andy Binns, a professional tour guide who holds the prestigious Blue Badge guiding qualification for Cumbria.
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The Blue Badge is Britain's premier guiding qualification - recognised by quality tour operators and travel companies, its professional status being acknowledged and respected by official and unofficial bodies throughout the travel industry.

Blue Badge Guide

Andy is a member of the Guild of Registered Tourist Guides the Institute of Tourist Guiding and Cumbria Tourist Guides