One of the best ways to tour England’s picturesque Lake District is with Rabbie’s Tours. The company made my three-day tour of the area’s towns, lakes, and mountains, easy and enjoyable. Here’s what you can see on a Lake District tour with Rabbie’s.
Day 1: Lake District National Park to Keswick
A round-trip train ticket from London takes you three hours north to the town of Penrith, where you can meet your Rabbie’s tour guide, tour group, and a comfy, 16-seater Mercedes mini-coach at the Penrith station.
Itineraries can vary from group to group, but you will probably head into the Lake District National Park first and drive along Ullswater. It’s the second largest lake in England and thought to be one of the most beautiful. Your guide will give you time to step out of the mini-coach and walk along the shore to take pictures.
Next stop will be Aira Force, a waterfall near the shore of Ullswater. It’s an easy hike on a trail to see the waterfall, so if you love to be surrounded by nature, then this is a must-see attraction which is also free!
Throughout the three-day tour, you will never tire of driving by open fields filled with sheep and lambs. Or maybe that’s just me? It was hard to get a close-up picture of the animals, because apparently they scare easy.
Another noteworthy spot will be Castlerigg, which according to English Heritage, is one of the earliest British stone circles, raised around 3000 B.C. The panorama views provide a great background to the stone circle itself.
You’ll be lucky to end the first day of your Rabbie’s tour through the Lake District with a drive over Ashness Bridge. The bridge is the most photographed bridge in the Lake District due to its background view.
The Surprise View as it’s called gives you an expansive view overlooking the towns of Keswick and Derwentwater. Furthermore, this vantage point won’t be that crowded so it’s as if you have the view all to yourself.
Finally, you’ll end your day in the town of Keswick (pronounced Kes-ick), where you will sleep both nights of the tour. I stayed at the wonderful Kings Arms Hotel located on the main street of Keswick, and within walking distance of all the quaint shops and restaurants.
If you are a Beatrix Potter fan, you’ll know that Beatrix lived in the Lake District. In every town of the Lake District, you will find a shop called Peter Rabbit and Friends which is filled with you guessed it, Peter Rabbit memorabilia. It’s a great place to stock up on souvenirs for your friends and family for sure.
Day 2: Literary icons of the Lake District
The second day of your Rabbie’s tour of the Lake District will start at Lake Windemere. It is the largest lake in the Lake District and England, and you can take an optional boat ride around the lake.
Literary lovers will enjoy an optional visit to Dove Cottage, home of the famous poet William Wordsworth. Located in the town of Grasmere, you can take a short tour of the home and then have lunch and shop in the town. Most noteworthy is the Grasmere Gingerbread Shop, which sells world-famous gingerbread.
Another notable town for William Wordsworth lovers is Hawkshead, where your group will travel to in the afternoon. You’ll have time to do some shopping and wander around the charming streets.
Also, I recommend visiting Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawskhead. You’ll find some of Beatrix’s original artwork on display in a building that was once the offices of her husband.
While there may be some rainy weather during your tour, no doubt there will be some breaks of sunshine. A tour stop at Tarn Hows will be most welcome.
This circular path around a lake is great for a leisurely and easy walk to get some exercise, fresh air, and admire the beautiful scenery.
In contrast, if you’re more of the adventurous type, you can take a crack at the challenging Stickle Tarn trail from Stickle Ghyll, a National Trust site famous for its waterfall. I hear the view at the end is amazing!
Day 3: Even more breathtaking views in the Lake District
While the skies may be gloomy, the views in the Lake District never disappoint. Your guide will drive you to Whinlatter Pass, where you will see Bassenthwaite Lake from afar.
Similarly, the views down near Buttermere Lake will be characteristically English. It’s an atmosphere of clouds and mist and sheep giving you the eye.
Due to all of the narrow and windy roads, you’ll be grateful for your Rabbie’s tour guide who will be an excellent driver and know how to navigate through the Lake District. As a result, you just get to enjoy the scenery whizzing by your window!
One of the best parts of the mini-coach journey will be through the impressive Honister Pass. Once you drive through to the end, you’ll have a chance to look at the pass behind you from a vantage point at the Honister Slate Mine, the last working slate mine in all of England.
Finally, your tour guide will drive you back to the town of Keswick. You’ll have time for a warm lunch in one of the cozy cafes before being driven to the Penrith station to return to London.
A couple of notes about this Rabbie’s Tour:
- The round-trip ticket to and from London is included in the tour price.
- Meals, accommodation, and attractions are NOT included in the tour price.
- Attractions are optional.
- You get to choose what type of accommodation you’d like and Rabbie’s can book it for you.
- Certainly, tips for your guide are welcome, but optional.
- Most noteworthy, Rabbie’s guarantees departures.
- Finally, bring a waterproof jacket and good walking shoes!
*I paid my own way on this Rabbie’s Tour and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Have you been to the Lake District? Share your experience in the comments below!