Witness the grandeur of the Lake District’s central mountains and western fells on this full-day High Mountain Passes tour from Keswick. Traveling in small groups, follow a route first traced by the Romans over the Wrynose and Hardknott Passes, two of Britain’s steepest. Ascend through breathtaking fells, visit Roman Hardknott Fort and ride the heritage Ravenglass and Eskdale railway. After a lunch break, admire spectacular views of Wastwater and stroll through the gardens of Muncaster Castle, home to the World Owls Trust before returning to Keswick.
Your tour will depart from Keswick and will head into the western swathes of the Lake District. On route you will drive alongside the beautiful Thirlmere, Grasmere and Rydal Water before driving through the little town of Ambleside. As you drive through Ambleside you will be able to see the Bridge House, which stands over Stock Beck and has been around since the 17th century. From Ambleside you will travel through the Langdale Valley, a favourite of rock climbers and walkers, as your guide shares information about the region and its culture. Ascend both the steep Wrynose and Hardknott Passes and soak up the spectacular views of the remote fells as you trace the narrow, twisting roads through the peaks.Stop briefly at the top of the passes, take the opportunity to marvel at the awe-inspiring views to Upper Eskdale, Scafell and Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountains.Arrive in the Eskdale Valley, and take a memorable ride on the heritage Ravenglass and Eskdale railway, affectionately nicknamed ‘La’al Ratty’ (little railway). Trundle through picturesque woodlands and countryside, and stop for lunch (at own expense) at one of the quaint valley inns.Afterward, continue to Wastwater, a beauty spot once voted as commanding ‘Britain’s favorite view.’ Drink in the panoramas that encompass Wastwater, England’s deepest lake, and the surrounding high screes and mountains, including epic Scafell Pike. Then, stop at 14th-century Muncaster Castle, owned by the Pennington family. Stretch your legs around the castle's gorgeous, 18th-century gardens, famous for their azaleas, camelias and rhododendrons; and admire the castle exterior as you stroll. If you wish, pay a visit to the Hawk and Owl Centre, home to a variety of prize owls and hawks, located in the grounds.Then, relax on your return journey to Keswick, passing the beautiful Loweswater and Crummock water!