January 11th 2016

"The fleeting hour of life of those who love the hills is quickly spent, but the hills are eternal. Always there will be the lonely ridge, the dancing beck, the silent forest; always there will be the exhilaration of the summits. These are for the seeking, and those who seek and find while there is still time will be blessed in both mind and body."

England’s most prolific hiker and writer Alfred Wainwright was describing the landscape of his beloved English Lake District in his book The Western Fells. The Wayfarers have for many years offered a walking tour taking in the English Lake District and our groups have always admired those lofty hills from afar while walking the lush valleys or crossing the placid lakes by ferry. This year we actually get to hike some of those fells as described by Wainwright. Walk Leader Alan Pinkney says: 'You are probably already asking what is a fell? There are many interpretations, however, the best definition of a fell is probably a moorland hill specifically located in the North of England.

The English District Walking Vacations with The Wayfarers

Blencathra (Saddleback)

'Our brand new walk includes trails to the peaks of two of England’s most majestic mountains, the Old Man of Coniston and Blencathra. For sale at £1.75 million, Blencathra also known to the locals as Saddleback, brings with it the title of ‘The Lord of the Manor of Threlkeld! "Both mountains are classified as ‘Marilyns’, ie summits above 500 ft. 'We are never far from the mountains, however, our first day is a gentle walk in the Winster Valley, a landscape of unspoilt pastoral delights, damson trees clustered in small orchards close to white-washed farmhouses, woodlands brimming with wild flowers, green pastures & the sweet scent of yellow gorse on the limestone crag

"At the end of the day we rest our legs on an historic steamer cruise along Windermere back to our luxury country house hotel. 'Later in the week, we take to the water on Britain’s oldest working steam yacht and visit Brantwood House on Lake Coniston, home of the controversial Victorian artist, philosopher, utopian, conservationist and ‘prophet of pollution’, John Ruskin. 'We are, of course, in sheep country, where the unique Viking breed known as Herdwicks still survive today and where a good shepherd is judged by the ability of his sheepdog! "This is where the romantic poet William Wordsworth described the Lake District as a ‘perfect republic of shepherds!'

2016 is an extra-special year to visit the Lake District as it is the 150th anniversary of the birth of Beatrix Potter, with special events happening to mark the occasion. So it’s only appropriate that we start our Walk with a stay at Lindeth Howe, once owned by Potter and where she illustrated some of her famous children’s books. Join us in The Lakes - to find out more, visit our Walking Vacation in the Lake District.

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