Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays

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The Lake District in Style Self Guided Walking Holiday


  • Walking in the footsteps of Wainwright to admire Lake Windermere from Orrest Head
  • Breathtaking panoramic view of Ullswater from the Grisedale Valley
  • Wandering ‘as lonely as a cloud’ as you traverse dramatic mountain passes
  • Enjoying the famous Cumbrian hospitality
  • Sharing John Ruskin’s view of Derwent Water, ‘the creation of the world for me’

Walk the Lake District Trail staying in impressive hotels. Follow the route from the shores of Lake Windermere through the rugged Central and Eastern Lakeland fells to the market town of Keswick, an area noted for its literary pedigree.

This self guided walking holiday starts in the bustling Lake District town of Ambleside situated at the head of England’s largest Lake, Windermere. The views here were noted by Wainwright as an ’introduction to a dream’, a fitting portent for the walk ahead. Moving northward through the Central and Eastern fells the trail passes through the charming village of Grasmere, once home to William Wordsworth who described it as ‘the loveliest spot that man hath ever found’.

Moving on along the Grisedale Valley amidst the imposing, craggy, mountain peaks of the Helvellyn range, the trail brings you to the villages of Patterdale and Glenridding. Perfectly situated at the head of Ullswater this peaceful area provides much scope for exploring the lakeside fells. The Lake District In Style walk finishes in the market town of Keswick nestled on the shores of Derwent Water where the rugged peak of Skiddaw dominates the skyline.

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. At each of the overnight locations of Ambleside, Glenridding and Keswick we have specifically chosen the best possible hotel accommodations. The 3 star and 4 star properties provide exceptional comfort and facilities. Ideally situated with well appointed rooms and quality dining you are assured a relaxing stay. Each hotel offers a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.

Day 1: Arrive Ambleside

Ambleside is a bustling lakeside town and a great location for your starting point on your adventure through the Lake District. The train from London to Windermere takes approx 2.5hrs and from there the frequent Lakeslink bus runs to Ambleside or alternatively, it is just a 10-minute taxi journey.

Overnight: Rothay Manor Hotel., 3 Star Hotel - Ambleside. Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis.

With a country house setting in landscaped gardens close to shores of Lake Windermere this grade 2 listed early 19th Century Regency property provides the perfect place to spend your first 2 nights. Friendly and informal with excellent service and spacious, comfortable rooms you are assured a warm welcome and a relaxing stay. The AA Rosette awarded restaurant will surely appeal after a good days walk.

Day 2: Ferry to Bowness/Walk to Ambleside - 9.5 miles

Catch an early ferry from Ambleside to Bowness on Windermere before setting out from Bowness Bay and walking back to Ambleside.

After walking through Bowness on Windermere on footpaths, you will soon head into the hills on this delightful days’ walking. You will take in some of the most breathtaking views of the Lake District from vantage points such as Orrest Head (described by Wainwright after completing this walk as the  ‘introduction to a dream.’) This is known as the walk that inspired Wainwright.

Combine this with the high point of Wansfell Pike and this really does make for an exhilarating day's walking.

Overnight: Rothay Manor Hotel, 3 Star Hotel - Ambleside. Bed and Breakfast basis.

Day 3: Ambleside to Patterdale - 11.5 miles

From Ambleside the trail heads North through Rydal Park gently undulating through trees to Rydal Mount, home of Wordsworth.

At the north end of Rydal Water, the views ahead to Grasmere are spectacular and you will see why this was a favourite place of Wordsworth’s sister, Dorothy. Following the trail down into Grasmere you arrive at famous Dove Cottage, also home to Wordsworth, and you may also visit his final resting place at St Oswald’s Church.

Leaving Grasmere, the trail follows the Grisedale Pass, with an exhilarating walk up to Grisedale Tarn affording wonderful views back down to Grasmere and north toward Ullswater. The impressive craggy heights of Helvellyn fill the skyline to your left as you descend along the valley into Glenridding.

Overnight: Inn On The Lake , 4 Star Hotel - Glenridding. Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis.

The perfectly situated Inn on the Lake sits on the shores of Lake Ullswater. Relax and enjoy the menu in the award-winning Lake View Restaurant or sample the local real ale in the Ramblers Bar. You may wish to rejuvenate in the Leisure Suite jacuzzi and sauna or simply take in the panoramic views of the Helvellyn peaks from your room.

Day 4: Ullswater Lake and Place Fell circular walk - 8 miles

Today’s walk is one of the most beautiful in all Lakeland, circumnavigating the peak of Place Fell and following the stunning lakeshore path of Ullswater. The trail initially climbs to the grassy coll of Boredale Hause framed by the  mountains of Place Fell and Angletarn Pikes. The walk ahead down the Boredale glaciated valley is superb and as you descend you experience the magnificent view unfolding ahead. The route turns to follow the lakeside of Ullswater, a real highlight of the day, with unsurpassed views across the quiet waters to the peaks beyond as you walk back to Patterdale and on to Glenridding.

Overnight: Inn On The Lake , 4 Star Hotel - Glenridding. Bed and Breakfast basis.

Day 5: Patterdale to Keswick - 12 miles

You spend this day surrounded by the mountain peaks, crags and cliffs which epitomise the Lake District. Walking up Glenridding away from Ullswater you are rewarded with views back to the Lake and across the Eastern Fells. The trail follows a bridleway along the Sticks Pass with the peak of Helvellyn to the south.

A steep descent brings you out to St John's in the Vale, an arable area in a wide glacial valley at the head of Thirlmere surrounded by perhaps the most striking of the Lakeland Fells. Here you follow the St John’s Beck river northward between the rocky flanks of Clough Head to the east and the rugged neighbours, High Rigg and Low Rigg to the west.

A real highlight of the day’s walk is the Castlerigg Stone Circle just east of Keswick, described as ‘one of the most visually impressive prehistoric monuments in Britain’. You finish this exhilarating day upon arrival at the market town of Keswick situated in an idyllic location on Derwent Water.

Overnight: Keswick Country House Hotel, Keswick, 3 Star Hotel - Keswick. Dinner, Bed and Breakfast basis.

Day 6: Derwent Water, Walla Crag and Friars Crag circular walk - 6.5 miles

Following a fairly steep climb up to the heather clad summit of Walla Crag you are rewarded with one of the finest views in all of Lakeland. The sparkling surface of Derwent Water below and the Skiddaw range rising behind Keswick are sights to behold!  Walking onward you skirt the Cat Gill ravine before descending to reach Ashness Bridge fording the torrents of Ashness Gill. This much admired and photographed single arched bridge is a reminder of once busy packhorse routes across the Fells.

The Lakeshore path back to Keswick is a delightful hike through woodland and along wide bays. At the rocky outcrop of Friar’s Crag, you will find a memorial to John Ruskin who thought the views some of the finest in all Europe.

Overnight: Keswick Country House Hotel, Keswick 3 Star Hotel - Keswick. Bed and Breakfast basis.

Day 7: Onward Travel

Your holiday finishes after breakfast although if you feel energetic and suitably prepared you may wish to tackle the peaks of the Skiddaw range to the North of the town.


One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. We specifically choose the 3* and 4* hotels to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.

If the hotels mentioned in the itinerary do not have availability we may use alternative accommodation of the same or better standard. We would always inform you of this before confirming your booking.

Single Rooms

This independent walking holiday is not available to solo walkers but if you require single rooms within your party we will, of course, try to accommodate your request subject to a single supplement payable to cover the additional costs we incur.


A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Dinner is also included on the first night at each of the overnight locations, Ambleside, Glenridding and Keswick. For the second night at each of the overnight locations dinner is not included though is available at your accommodation or at nearby pubs and restaurants. Lunch is not included, though your hotels will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch.




Rothay Manor Hotel - Ambleside

Nestled in the heart of the English Lake District, Rothay Manor is an elegant country house retreat, the perfect escape from the stresses of modern living. Step into a realm of old-world charm: relax by one of the roaring fires and indulge in some fine dining cuisine.







Inn On The Lake - Glenridding

This award winning 4 star hotel in Glenridding enjoys one of the most spectacular settings in the Lake District, in 15 acres of grounds with lawns sweeping to the shores of Lake Ullswater.







Keswick Country House Hotel - Keswick

The Keswick Country House Hotel is set within four acres of tended gardens and walkways. Dinner is included on the first night of your stay in the sumptuous Londsale restaurant.




Baggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 17kg per person.


Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes and a day pack.


Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers do not accept pets.


The Lake District Trail is not waymarked but you be supplied with turn by turn route notes and detailed maps so you will have no problem following the route on each day. GPX tracks are also accessible on the Macs Smartphone App, so you can simply follow the route on your phone if you wish.


This holiday is graded from moderate to strenuous. You will cover a variety of terrain including rocky  mountainous terrain, some boggy sections and lakeside and woodland paths. Most days will involve a couple of steep ascents and descents.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

 General Information 

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard cycling gear such as warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Getting to Ambleside

By Air - The closest regional airport to Ambleside is Manchester (approx 3h by train and bus).

By Rail/Bus - Ambleside is easily reached by train via Windermere (approx 3hrs from London, 2hr from Manchester or 2hr from Glasgow.

By Car - Parking is very limited in Ambleside but if you need to you may be able to park your car at your first night's accommodation.

Onward travel from Keswick

By Bus -  If you have left your vehicle in Ambleside you may return via the Lakeslink 555 bus from Keswick with a journey time of approximately 50 minutes.  There are also bus services to Penrith and Carlisle whereupon there are onward train and bus ravel options.

You can find information for travelling to and from the Lake District by visiting the Traveline Website.


  • 6 Nights in 3* or 4* hotels
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • 3 dinners - First night at each hotel
  • Detailed Information Pack, Route Notes and maps, access to the GPX tracks via the Macs Smartphone App
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem


  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk.
  • Lunches, second nights dinner at each overnight location, snacks and drinks.
  • Ferry crossing from Ambleside to Bowness on Windermere.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Transport when you need to skip a stage.


  • Single room supplement - If you require a single room in your party there is a single room supplement payable for each single room required.
  • Extra nights - We suggest you extend your stay in the Lakes with an extra nights in either Ambleside, Patterdale or Keswick.

We are often asked the following questions by walkers planning The Lake District In Comfort trip and I hope that you will find the following information useful.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

How fit do I need to be?

If you currently don’t enjoy an active lifestyle we suggest regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardiovascular exercise for at least six months before your walk. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

How far in advance do I need to book?

As far in advance as possible! We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as The Lakes are extremely popular. If booking at short notice, we will always try and accommodate your plans.

Do I need to be able to navigate?

Yes, some navigation skills are necessary as the route is not way-marked. You follow route notes and a map that are provided.

What are the paths like on this trip?

You will cover a variety of terrain including rocky, mountainous terrain, some boggy sections and lakeside and woodland paths. Most days will involve a couple of steep ascents and descents.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. You can download a full equipment list from the downloads page of our website.

When is the best time of year?

The Lake District In Comfort itinerary is very enjoyable at any time between April and beginning of October although our favourite time of year is late spring and early Autumn.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use local bus services or local taxis to continue to your next overnight stop.

A dream from beginning to end. We will be back.


My lovely wife and I celebrated our 25th anniversary by going on this fantastic adventure to the Lake District of England. Our tour company was Mac's Adventure; Lake District in Comfort walk. They made all the Lake District reservations for us including luggage transfers between accommodations, three in total over six days. We walked about 60 miles total. It was wonderful!!! Our general itinerary was as follows. We flew in and out of London, saying a couple of days to take in the sights. We took the West Coast train up to Windermere and cab to Rothay Manor at Ambleside for our first and second nights. After a clockwise day hike loop to Bowness with ferry ride back to Ambleside, our second day involved a cross country walk to Glenridding where we stayed at Inn on the Ullswater (Lake). Day 3 involved a day hike/loop in the Ullswater Fell area, wonderful. Day 4 involved another cross country walk over 2,500' Sticks Pass to Keswick. One of the absolute highlights for me along the way was walking right by a 4,500 year old stone circle (similar to Stonehenge). Our walk for the day ended our wonderful accommodation, the Keswick Country Hotel. A former train station hotel which is now the Coast-to-coast trail. On Day 5 We opted not to do the final day hike (sore feet) but rather toured charming Keswick and its museums, including the one-of-a-kind, Derwent pencil museum. My wife is a teacher so we really got a kick out of this place. We had a wonderful lunch at a Vegan restaurant and all around had a great time on this stay in Keswick. Day 6, The onward travel day involved heading back to London via train where we stayed in Hounslow neighborhood near Heathrow airport and had a safe flight home the following day.


Covington, WA


We had a great time


The hikes were all great. The one into Kesick did seem to take forever. The last hotel we had was not quite as nice as the first two. All the hotels had old carpet. The first two hotels were really into creative, award-winning food.


Western U.S.


The trip delivered indeed "The Lake District in Comfort"


I'd strongly recommend Macs Adventure to anyone who wants freedom of movement combined with reliable support and guidance for a great escape.

John M



Great routes and scenery, Macs is the best


We needed map, directions and GPS to stay on routes as Lake District is not well waymarked. Combination of high mountain passes and accessible crags with views is a great moderate to strenuous hiking vacation. Beautiful scenery. Macs so much easier than planning your own trip.


New York


Yes, I would buy this product again.


This was just a great hiking tour. It was super well organized and very easy to follow your route and gps grids.




Superbly organised


Superbly organised. All accommodation was very good; the Rothay Manor in Ambleside was excellent. The walking directions were excellent, especially important out on the open fells. The problem must be in rating the difficulty of the walks; those walks rated moderate to strenuous were at our limit of ability (50ish, reasonably active, but not properly fit), whereas fit individuals under 30 would probably scoff at the rating. Very enjoyable and hope to book again.




A really great holiday


We loved the diversity of the 5 days of walking. Each day was different. All included beautiful scenery, some included challenging rises and similarly challenging descents. We loved the 3 Lakes we stayed on. All the accommodation was superb and all the food was top class. Amazingly, the sun shone on us every day! Macs Adventures have put together a great itinerary.

Robin and Jim



The Lake District in Comfort

4.9 7


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