Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours

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  • Enjoy a short getaway in the English Lake District hiking from Lake Windermere to charming Keswick
  • Overnight in hand-selected boutique country hotels offering a warm welcome and delicious food
  • Walk in the footsteps of Alfred Wainwright to admire Lake Windermere from Orrest Head
  • In the words of William Wordsworth, “wander lonely as a cloud” as you traverse the dramatic fells
  • The charming Lake District villages of Ambleside, Grasmere and Keswick

From the shores of Lake Windermere, through the rugged Lakeland fells, to the charming market town of Keswick, this short break features 33 miles of some of the best hikes and finest lodging in the Lake District.

Start in the bustling Lake District town of Ambleside, with its idyllic location at the head of England’s largest lake, Windermere. Take in breathtaking views from vantage points high above the lake, described by Alfred Wainwright as “an introduction to a dream”. Move north through the wild and rugged Lakeland fells (mountains), passing the charming village of Grasmere, once home to the famous poet Wordsworth and the perfect place for a hearty lunch in a welcoming pub!

Continue through the Grisedale Valley, surrounded by craggy mountain peaks to the village of Glenridding on England’s prettiest lake, Ullswater. Walk past ancient prehistoric stone circles and typically English countryside dotted with grazing cattle, before arriving in Keswick at the head of Derwent Water, your final stop in the enchanting English Lake District.

Day 1: Arrive Windermere and transfer to Ambleside

A private transfer brings you from Windermere Railway Station to the town of Ambleside (15min).

Set in an idyllic location at the head of England’s largest lake, Windermere, Ambleside is your typical, bustling little Lake District town complete with many welcoming pubs offering traditional food and drinks. Check in to your country house hotel and enjoy a delicious dinner in their award-winning restaurant.

Dinner & Overnight: Ambleside

Day 2: Ferry to Bowness, Walk to Ambleside

Enjoy a short ferry ride on one of the traditional Windermere “Steamers” this morning, heading across the lake to Bowness.

After a stroll through Bowness, you soon head into the hills on a walk which is said to have been the first to inspire famous writer Alfred Wainwright. Reach Orrest Head, a wonderful vantage point over Lake Windermere, and take in some of the most breathtaking views in the Lake District—as Wainwright said, “an introduction to a dream”. Continue to the village of Troutbeck, and perhaps enjoy a pint sitting in the garden of the Mortal Man pub, before continuing over Wansfell Pike to descend into Ambleside.

Walk: 9.5 miles / 15 km, 2100 ft ascent, 1978 ft descent

Overnight: Ambleside

Day 3:
Walk to Glenridding

Head north on gently undulating paths through the tranquil Rydal Park, to Rydal Mount, former country home of poet William Wordsworth. At the far end of Rydal Water, the views to the next village of Grasmere are spectacular and it is easy to see why this was a favorite place of Wordsworth’s sister, Dorothy. Follow the trail down into Grasmere, passing Dove Cottage, another home of Wordsworth’s and his final resting place at St Oswald’s Church.

Grasmere is another bustling little Lake District village, filled with tearooms and pubs and plenty of fellow hikers—the perfect place to stop and re-fuel with a hearty pub lunch! Continue with an exhilarating walk up to Grisedale Tarn (a small mountain lake) which offers wonderful views back down to Grasmere and on to Lake Ullswater. As you descend to Glenridding, the impressive craggy heights of Helvellyn fill the skyline to your left.

Walk: 12.5 miles / 20 km, 2214 ft ascent, 1919 ft, descent

Dinner & Overnight: Glenridding

Day 4: Walk to Keswick

Spend today surrounded by the mountain peaks, crags and cliffs which epitomize the Lake District. Walking away from Ullswater, don’t forget to look back for wonderful views across the rugged Eastern Fells, before following a trail along the Sticks Pass, one of the highest passes in the Lake District. A steep descent brings you out to St John’s in the Vale, a farming area in an exceptionally beautiful wide, glaciated valley. Admire the pretty church built in 1845 before following the river north. Just before Keswick, pass the Castlerigg Stone Circle, dating back to 3000BC and one of the most atmospheric prehistoric monuments in Britain.

Finish your day in the charming market town of Keswick, sitting on the edge of Derwent Water. Thought to be the landscapes which inspired a lot of her writing, this is where Beatrix Potter spent many of her summer holidays.

Walk: 12 miles / 19 km, 2424 ft ascent, 2664 ft descent

Dinner & Overnight: Keswick

Day 5: Onward Travel

Check out after breakfast and you will be privately transferred to Penrith Railway Station for onward travel connections.


One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodations. We have hand-selected some of the finest hotels in the Lake District to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a very warm welcome, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.

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.


4 Breakfasts are included. Breakfast tends to be a hearty affair ranging from a selection of cereals and pastries, to a full cooked English breakfast with eggs, sausages, bacon and much more—the perfect fuel for a day on the hills!

Dinner is included at each of your hotels who all serve the most fantastic local cuisine made from the finest produce. On your second night in Ambleside, dinner is not included so you are free to choose from the available options which include plenty of traditional Lakeland pubs serving delicious hearty food!




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.





This tour is available to start on any day of the week apart from Wednesday and Thursday subject to availability. This is due to weekend availability restrictions in Glenridding


Your bags will be transferred as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 37lbs 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.


Some of the trails will be way-marked and we do provide detailed turn-by-turn route notes. You can also navigate using the Macs Adventure Navigation Smartphone App, so you can simply download the GPX tracks for offline use and follow the route with your phone with the assurance that you will not get lost.


This tour has a moderate grading. There are some substantial elevations gains of up to 2400ft and elevations losses of up to 2600ft. You will cover a variety of terrain including rocky  mountainous terrain, some boggy sections and lakeside and woodland paths Progress can be slower in wetter conditions.

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

The closest and most convenient airport to fly into is Manchester Airport. From here you can take a train to Windermere via Oxenholme (2.5hrs). A private transfer will then collect you and take you to your hotel in Ambleside (15min). You can also make your way from London by train to Windermere via Oxenholme (3h 45m).

Onward travel from Keswick

From your hotel in Keswick, a private transfer will take you to the nearby town of Penrith (45min). From here jump on a train back to Manchester (2hrs) or London (3hrs).


  • 4 Nights in hand-selected boutique hotels
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • 3 Dinners
  • Luggage transfers
  • Transfer from Windermere Railway Station to Ambleside and from Keswick to Penrith Railway Staiton
  • Ferry from Ambleside to Bowness
  • Information Pack, GPX tracks, access to the Macs smartphone app • 24/7 telephone support from our UK office


  • Travel insurance
  • Travel to Windermere and from Penrith
  • Lunches and 1 Dinner
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Public transport or taxi transfers should you need to skip a stage
  • Personal equipment
  • Transport when you need to skip a stage.


  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Single room and solo supplement

How fit do I need to be?

This tour has a moderate grading. There are some substantial elevations gains of up to 2400ft and elevations losses of up to 2600ft. You will cover a variety of terrain including rocky  mountainous terrain, some boggy sections and lakeside and woodland paths Progress can be slower in wetter conditions.

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.

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 is very enjoyable at any time between April and beginning of October although our favourite time of year is late spring and early Autumn.

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.

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Macs Adventure - US Office: 3200 Carbon Place Suite 102, Boulder, CO 80301