Lake District Explorer: Tour 3
Although this can be driven in a day, it is much better to take at least a few days. If you like big walks then it could take a week!
Catch a car ferry from Bowness across Windermere, the King of the Lakes, before climbing steeply up to Hill Top, the home of one of Britain’s best-loved author: Beatrix Potter. Lovers of Peter Rabbit will instantly recognize Mr. Mcgregor’s vegetable garden.
After a relaxing stroll around traffic-free Hawkshead, drive down to the leafy edge of Coniston water and on to Coniston Village for steamboat rides, gentle walks around the water, stiffer climbs to glorious views and the best museum in The Lakes.
Next stop Glen Mary Bridge car park for a spell-binding walk to Tarn Hows lake alongside a wooded stream with several small but invigorating waterfalls. The grass banks of Tarn Hows itself are a popular spot for picnics.
Back in the car, the route twists through the bucolic charm of Little Langdale, past an iron age hill fort and Viking Moot hill on the way to the Hardknott Pass, considered to be THE most dramatic road in England.
The pass drops down to the Hardknott Roman Fort whose striking location gives commanding views of the Eskdale valley and peaks of the Scafell Range.
Further down the road is Wasdale Head, home to Britain’s favourite view and the birthplace of British mountain-climbing.
Returning to the loop, the route cuts along the lower slopes of Lingmore Fell to desolate Blea tarn with fine views and walks all around.
A stopping place on the road to Great Langdale affords dramatic views of the U-shaped Great Langdale valley. Dubbed ‘Little Switzerland’, this was once the green axe capital of Europe.
Dropping rapidly to the valley floor you can get hearty fare at the walkers institution: Dungeon Ghyll Inn or equally welcoming Stickle Barn.
Then either take an unforgettable hike around the Langdale Pikes or it’s back in the car for a breath-taking drive along the length of Great Langdale with multiple opportunities to stop and explore the waterfalls, peaks and pretty hamlets of this famous area.
Then it’s on to Ambleside to take stock of this epic journey!