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Discovery Tour: The Lake District at Work - the Real Cumbria - Itinerary May 11 - 21, 2025

The trip starts in southern Cumbria near Kendal and ends in Wetheral, close to Carlisle

Big Round World will provide additional information to registered participants. Below is our planned itinerary. Please, keep in mind that it could change due to weather conditions, or other local circumstances beyond our control.  Included meals shown by B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner.

Day 1  Sunday May 11, 2025  Arrival Day

We meet at our hotel located close to Kendal in the delightful Lyth Valley. Kendal is well served with train connections. Manchester International Airport is 70 miles away and the train from Manchester to Kendal takes about 2 hours. Check in is available from 3 pm. We’ll gather late afternoon for a welcome drink, a review of our trip and to answer questions before we adjourn for dinner, the first meal on our trip. D.

Day 2  Monday May 12  Heart of the Lake District

Our trip starts with a deep immersion into the heart of the Lake District. Nestled between Windermere and Coniston Water lies extensive forest and woodland whose Norse namesake meant “Valley of the Wild Boar”. This glorious landscape inspired the poetry of William Wordsworth and the fiction of Beatrix Potter. After a walk in the forest enjoying sculptures by contemporary artists, we visit Wordsworth’s school and Beatrix Potter’s favorite tarn, a small mountain lake. On our return journey we visit the only remaining example of a Lakeland bobbin mill built in 1835. B, D

Day 3  Tuesday May 13  Wensleydale Cheese

Today we enjoy a true taste of Yorkshire. The county of Cumbria encompasses the Yorkshire Dales National Park within which lies Wensleydale, famous for its cheese. We will learn about dairy farming and cheese making and understand more through tastings. Mills have been at the heart of communities and the bedrock of rural economies for hundreds of years. A tour of a nearby mill built in 1784 to process cotton, then later flax followed by wool and now wood demonstrates the impact of the Industrial Revolution on products and livelihoods. The common sustaining feature through each development has been the source of power - water from nearby becks (streams). Today this mill feeds electricity into the National Grid. B, D

Day 4  Wednesday May 14  Morecambe Bay

Morecambe Bay is an estuary covering 120 square miles and the largest expanse of intertidal mudflats and sand in the UK. Pending fine weather, a walk along Morecambe Bay beach provides renowned views of the Lake District hills while the famous Stone Jetty provides expansive views across the sands. The Art Deco Grade 2 listed hotel built by the London Midland and Scottish Railway in 1933 was the film set for Agatha Christie’s Poirot TV series. For generations cockles have been fished in these expansive sands. We will meet with a local fisherman to learn first hand about this fickle and dangerous business. A visit to 12th century Cartmel Priory and walk around the village followed by a hot drink and a taste of their famous sticky toffee pudding will be the grand finale to a fun day at the seaside. B, D

Day 5  Thursday May 15  Barrow in Furness

Today we head west to Barrow in Furness and the island of Walney featured in Thomas the Tank Engine books. Until 200 years ago Barrow was a small quiet fishing village until iron ore was discovered and the railway came. To explain this transformation we will visit The Dock Museum itself an iconic building being a dry dock for boat repairs. We will cross the only bridge to Walney Island to see the only black seal colony in the nature reserve and view the largest offshore wind farm in Europe. Heading back to our hotel we will visit Furness Abbey, monastery of the Cistercian monks with all their wealth from sheep farming on the large acres of land they owned in the area. B, D

Day 6  Friday May 16  Transfer to northern Cumbria

On our transfer day we visit nearby Kendal, famous for its restorative energy boosting Kendal Mint Cake which helped sustain both Shackleton and Edmund Hilary on their journeys. Before lunch we will climb Kendal Castle, the ancestral home of Katherine Parr the last and surviving wife of Henry VIII before sampling fish and chips in the Ring of Bells pub, only one of 2 pubs on consecrated ground in England. After lunch a visit to Kendal Parish church, widest Parish church in England and our railway journey on the main west coast line to Carlisle heading for our second hotel of the trip. B, L

Day 7  Saturday May 17  Settle-Carlisle Scenic Railway

The Settle-Carlisle railway line, constructed in the 1870s, is one of the UK's most famous scenic rail routes, taking in 20 viaducts, 14 tunnels and countless stunning vistas along its 73 mile track. The journey includes passage across the iconic Ribblehead Viaduct, built by a workforce of over 2,300 men. The route, which crosses remote, scenic regions of the Yorkshire Dales and the North Pennines, runs between Settle Junction, on the Leeds–Morecambe line, and Carlisle. We will make a stop along our train ride to visit Appleby which dates back to at least the 9th century, when the area was settled by Viking newcomers. The name Appleby is from the Norse words for 'place of the apples'. After our visit, we re-board the train and return to our hotel. B, D

Day 8  Sunday May 18  Discover Solway 

We travel west to the Solway Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty stopping to walk around and admire the Edward I statue and continue on to Burgh by the Sands church, restored in 1880-81, and where, in 1307, upon his death, Edward I’s body was held until being transported south. Passing Port Carlisle, terminus of the former significant Carlisle Canal we continue onto Bowness-on-Solway which marks the western reach of Hadrian’s Wall (we visit the wall tomorrow). We then head off to Holme Cultram Abbey Cistercian monastery before stopping for lunch at the Victorian seaside town of Silloth and a stroll along the promenade. For nearly 700 years, salt was made from seawater along the Cumbrian coast. We visit a well preserved example of an Elizabethan salt pan. Our way home is via Watchtree Nature Reserve. B, D 

Day 9  Monday May 19  Hadrian’s Wall

We start today with a tour of an Augustinian priory close by to Hadrian’s Wall. Founded almost 1000 years later, the location was thought to be ideal for building as it was close to a source of faced stone. However it was also close to the turbulent border between England and Scotland which proved troublesome. Hadrian’s Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage site, stretches 73 miles coast to coast across northern England. We visit the best preserved and visible milecastles and turrets and acclaimed Housesteads Fort along this Roman fortification begun in 122 BCE and which marked the boundary of Roman Britannia and unconquered Caledonia to the north. B, D

Day 10  Tuesday May 20  Bonnie Scotland and Robert Burns

Being so close to Scotland, it would be a shame not to visit. On our last full day, we cross the border into Scotland to visit Gretna Green and Dumfries where we'll learn about the tradition of young lovers escaping to this town to elope. Dumfries was the birthplace and home of Robert Burns, Scottish poet, lyricist and pioneer of the Romantic Movement. We tour where he was born and the home Burns built in 1788 for his future wife. B,D

Day 11  Wednesday May 21  Departure

Our Cumbrian Lake District immersion has come to an end. Check out by 11 am. B

On days 7, 8, 9 and 10 you have the option to stop off in Carlisle on the way home to self explore Carlisle Castle, cathedral and the first post box in England and then get the train back to Wetheral.

Pre trip bulletins will be provided prior to departure with more detailed and specific information to help you prepare for your journey. If you’d like advice on your in-country travel arrangements, please do ask, we are happy to help.

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Trip Dates:   May 11 - 21, 2025 | 11 days 

Group size: 12 

Trip Price: $4,185 per person  | Deposit: $600

Single supplement: $680

Balance to be paid by February 10, 2025. You will be sent a reminder.

Price is based on double occupancy of rooms. Same gender roommate will be assigned to participants traveling solo. Single supplements are limited. Your non-refundable deposit will hold your reservation. Either pay on line (credit/ debit cards accepted) using our secure PayPal payment system or write a check, payable to “Big Round World”, and mail it to: PO Box 1337, Lyons, CO 80540.

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