Lake District - Abbey Lands Way
This guided walking trip starts at the Abbey House Hotel (designed by Lutyens). A visit to Furness Abbey is followed by walking across fields to Dalton, where George Romney the painter is buried. Then across limestone pastures to reach the ancient Stone Walls settlement. As the day draws on, we climb past reservoirs onto the moors, and follow well-defined packhorse trails, with increasingly splendid views of the Lake District fells ahead, to descend through old woods, formerly coppiced by charcoal-burners, to reach the Greyhound Inn at Grizebeck.
(12 miles. Height gain 975 feet.)
From Grizebeck, we ascend onto the Woodland Fells, past Heathwaite Bronze Age settlement, and continue via old tracks over the hills, through woods and across fields. We visit the ancient settlement of the Hawk, perched on its wooded hill, and follow clear pony trails to Seathwaite in the Duddon Valley.
(9 miles. Height gain 1,100 feet.)
Leaving Seathwaite we cross the Duddon and follow the old packhorse route to Eskdale and our overnight at the Woolpack Inn. We may take the opportunity to climb Harter Fell on the way. Alternatively we can walk straight to Eskdale to allow time for a trip on the La'al Ratty narrow-gauge steam train down to Ravenglass and Muncaster Castle.
(6 miles. Height gain 800ft.)
This longish day leads us into Upper Eskdale, a remote and dramatic place, where the old Cistercian sheep-walk boundaries can still be seen. We may either ascend the rocky cleft to Esk Hause, or take the fine grassy ridge up to Esk Pike. From the meeting of ways at Esk Hause, we descend past Sprinkling Tarn and Sty Head Tarn to Stockley Beck Bridge and our overnight accommodation at the Langstrath Hotel in Stonethwaite.
(11 miles. Height gain 2,000 feet.)
A half-day stroll to journey’s end at Grange-in-Borrowdale and its fine double-arched bridge, with time to ascend Castle Crag and visit Millican Dalton’s Cave. Possible detour via Dock Tarn.
(3 miles and 650 feet; or 6 miles and 1,700 feet via Dock Tarn)Grade, Terrain, Weather.
This route is within the capabilities of any fit hill-walker, although it should be noted that Day 4 can seem quite long. It has been evolved to follow historic paths as far as possible; after Day 1 you will see only a few minor roads. No scrambling is involved, but walks with Pathways will often take you over rough grass away from obvious paths and some quite steep ascents and descents are involved. We therefore recommend that your boots give you good ankle support and are fully waterproof to protect you against boggy sections.
Lake District weather can be fickle; you may be walking one day in warm sunshine and a few hours later suffering heavy rain, so reliable comfortable waterproofs are required, as well as a spare jumper or fleece, a hat and gloves.
Accommodation and Meals.
Overnight accommodation has been chosen for the welcome and comfort provided, as well as its historic significance for travellers in the area. Three-course evening meals and a full breakfast are provided by the inns; individual packed lunches will be collected after breakfast from the leader. Prices are based on sharing a twin-bedded room. Where single rooms are taken from choice, a supplement may be payable as required by the establishment.
You will find your bags awaiting you at your accommodation. During each day you need carry only a light daypack
Each morning after breakfast (normally served at 8 a.m.) we ask you to bring your bags downstairs for the driver to collect. We suggest that you bring just one bag each, preferably of the soft "sports" style, as these are easier than suitcases to load into the vehicle.
We set off at 9 a.m. and walk for about an hour, when we stop for a short break. Then we continue walking until lunch, probablybetween 12 and 1p.m., which is usually at a viewpoint, by a stream, or some similar pleasant spot. Other breaks are taken as required.
We arrive at our overnight accommodation between 3.30 and 5 p.m., and you will find your bags awaiting you.
Dinner is usually at 7.30 - 8.00 p.m. We ask that you pay for any drinks yourselves, if possible the same night.
Insurance is compulsory for guided walking or trekking holidays. Details of a company specialising in activity holidays will be sent with your booking confirmation.
Walking boots, well broken-in, fully waterproof, good support
Boot wax and cloth (for reproofing if necessary)
Rucksack with waterproof liner
Waterproofs (jacket & trousers)
Hat & gloves
Fleece jacket or similar
Shorts (you may be lucky!)
Casual clothes for evening wear
Water bottle and/or flask
Trail food e.g. cereal bars, nuts & raisins, dried fruit
First Aid kit (including blister treatment)
You may want to bring:
(Includes 5 nights Bed & Breakfast, baggage transfer; and 5 days guided walking.)