From: May 10 to May 18, 2018

Destination: Grasmere, UK

  • Tramping the Lake District

    The Lake District of England, with its myriad of hiking trails, glacial ribbon lakes, rugged fells, charming small villages, and outstanding beauty, has been a favorite of British hikers and vacationers longing to escape for over a century. Its beauty and serenity inspired both William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter, and in 1951 it became England's second National Park to protect it from overdevelopment. Spring is a particularly lovely time to visit, when lambs are everywhere and the forests are full of bluebells. Our trip combines vigorous hiking with eating in pubs, soaking in hot tubs, and wandering the town of Grasmere. Maximum group size: 10. 
  • Thursday, May 10: Arrival, transfer to Grasmere
    Our trip starts at 12 noon (make sure to arrive by 11:30 AM) at the Manchester, UK (MAN) airport. If you want to spend some time in London before the trip and then take a train to Windermere, we can pick you up there at about 1:30. We'll then continue on to Grasmere and Glenthorne Guest House, our home for the next four nights. Situated in a beautiful setting and a short walk from Grasmere, Glenthorne is owned by Quakers and exudes an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. We'll settle in and then meet for introductions and a brief trip orientation, with time to stretch our legs with a stroll up the valley. Tonight we'll eat at Glenthorne, known for its three course meals and delicious food, undoubtedly followed by an early bedtime. D

    Friday, May 11: Loughrigg Terrace
    The Lake District offers an amazing array of different hiking paths, all with options that can shorten or lengthen the hike depending on weather. Our hike today over Loughrigg Fell is an excellent introduction to the area, with commanding views of the entire area. Leaving directly from the Guest House, we'll traverse Loughrigg Terrace before taking a steepish climb on a good stepped path to the summit. Continuing across the top we'll reach a meandering descent to the Rothay River at the foot of Rydal Water. Our return path will overlook this lovely lake along the Coffin Trail, so named because it was used to take coffins to consecrated ground at Grasmere church. We will pass Dove Cottage, home of poet William Wordsworth for 8 years and open to the public, returning in time for the afternoon tea and cookies that are a Glenthorne ritual. Tonight we'll walk into Grasmere for dinner and perhaps visit the local pub. About 5.6 miles, 1150 ft elev.

    Saturday, May 12: Langdale Vale
    Today by just driving for about 15 minutes, we get a chance to walk in a different valley and see some of the Lake District's famous mountains. From the quiet hamlet of Elterwater, we climb gradually to a delightful grassy path which follows the flank of Lingmoor Fell. Suddenly we get a fabulous vista of the head of Langdale and the Coniston hills. A short steep descent takes us to the pine fringed Blea Tarn, then down to the valley for a low level return with ever changing views, through woodland and fields. To cap off our hike we might stop in at Wainwright's pub (Alfred Wainwright was the most famous hiker and guidebook writer in the Lake District) or decide on a drink at the Britannia Inn, Elterwater. Hiking: 7.5 miles, 1,200 ft elev

    Sunday, May 13: Helvellyn
    Now that our hiking legs are tuned up, on our final day in the area we'll tackle Helvellyn, one of only 4 Lake District peaks over 3,000 ft. It's quite a climb from its western side, which we'll take slowly, especially the initial steep ascent. We enjoy a 360-degree view from the summit of Helvellyn, but the fun isn't over yet. This is a circular route and we'll continue over High Crag and Dollywaggon Pike, where we have a panoramic view of Grisedale to Ullswater. We then descend steeply to Grisedale tarn and continue back down to the van at either Wythburn or Dunmail Raise. Hiking: 8 miles, elev 2,870 ft of ascent and descent.

    Monday, May 14: Cat Bells, Transfer to Lorton Vale
    Leaving the quiet and warm hospitality of Glenthorne is always difficult but our home for the next four days, high on a hill overlooking Lorton Vale, is equally enchanting. While only an hour's drive away, it is a much quieter part of the Lake District with its own distinct feel. Our transfer goes through the bustling tourist town of Keswick and we'll stop here for a classic walk: Cat Bells. We'll take the Keswick Launch across the lake to the base of the walk. Our hike today has a little bit of everything: a narrow ridge line, steep climbs, a great view of Derwent Water and Keswick below, and a straightforward but rocky ascent through meadows of Herdwick Sheep. After taking the boat back and enjoying tea, we continue to Lorton Valley and High Swinside Cottages, one of the most beautiful and peaceful places in the area. Hiking 3.2 miles, 1000 ft

    Tuesday, May 15: Whiteside Round
    We can start today's circular hike, Whiteside Round, directly from our cottages. Whiteside is comprised of three buttresses and our hike starts with a climb up to Whin Ben, the first one. From there we follow the summit ridge across to the other two. Here we have a choice to make our hike longer by detouring along the ridge to Hopegill Head, before descending more directly to Dodd Pass. In either case we'll end up back at the cottages where the hot tub will be ready to welcome us. If you enjoy hot tubs with gorgeous views, you'll love this one. Tonight we'll visit one of the small pub restaurants for some great food. Hiking 6.5 miles, 1850 ft elev

    Wednesday, May 16: Low Fell Hike, visit to Cockermouth 
    Our hike today is on Low Fell, so called because relative to the fells around it, it is only 1,387 feet and grass-covered rather than stony. Our trail starts ascending directly through meadows before reaching the summit ridge. As we walk along there are ever-changing views of Lorton Vale with its many lakes (Buttermere, Crummock Water, and Loweswater). Our trail descends to the Mosser Road, a now unused road that leads to a quarry. We can extend our hike by walking around Loweswater or walk more directly back to where our van awaits. Our walk is shorter today, which gives us time to visit the nearby town of Cockermouth. Cockermouth is an old and still thriving market town with medieval and Georgian Street beneath castle walls. It's known for specialty shops and art galleries, and you'll have some time to wander its streets before meeting up for dinner. Hiking 7 miles (direct route), elev gain 1440 ft

    Thursday, May 17: Haystacks Hike
    Our final hike is a Lake District classic, Haystacks. Alfred Wainwright was so taken with this hike and its fantastic views of Lorton Vale that he had his ashes scattered in one of the tarns at the top. The ascent is steadily up before reaching the final buttress where gentle scrambling is required to reach the top. From here Buttermere Lake stretches out below and Fleetwith Pike dominates the flank. We pass Innominate and Black Beck Tarns on our way down the other side. Returning to the cottages via Buttermere, we'll be sure to stop at Syke Farm Tea Room where the choice between the best ice cream in the valley versus a cream tea will be wrenching. Tonight we'll share our final farewell dinner at the Wheatsheaf Inn, famous for the fish it serves on Thursday night. Hiking 6 miles (direct route), elev gain 1440 ft

    Friday, May 18: Departure
    Is it time to leave already? Unfortunately it is. The Manchester Airport is about a 2.5 hour drive away and we'll arrive by 11AM for flights out after 12:30PM. You can also take a train back to London if you want to spend time in the big city before returning home.
  • $2295 (see this page for travel discounts) $400 deposit. Single supplement (only necessary if you want to assure a room to yourself) is available for $300; this does not guarantee an ensuite bathroom. There is also one deluxe single available which includes an ensuite bathroom every night and the Little Swinside cottage all to yourself for 4 nights for $450.You can read here about our payment and cancellation policies.

    Trip Includes

    • A local guide and an Adventures in Good Company guide
    • 8 nights double occupancy lodging
    • All meals from dinner on the first day through breakfast on the day of departure
    • Airport transfer for those arriving the first day
    • All transportation within the Lake District
    Not included: Transportation to the UK, alcoholic beverages, gratuities, optional activities not on the itinerary.
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  • Common Questions

    If you’ve never traveled with us before, you may have some questions about how we do things and what you can expect. We’ve answered the most common ones below and are always available by phone or email to answer any others.

    How do I pay for my trip?

    You can make the deposit by submitting a secure form with your credit card information after filling out the registration form or calling us with your card information. We will send you an invoice for the balance due with your Predeparture Information 4 months before an International trip and 3 months before a domestic trip. You can get a 3% discount for paying the balance by check.

    What if I’m coming alone?

    The majority of women who travel with us come by themselves. If you want to pay a single supplement to guarantee your own room, or if you want to share a room with someone with whom you are traveling, you can indicate that on the registration form. Otherwise we randomly assign roommates and rotate every time we change lodging – it’s a great way to get to know different women on the trip.

    Can you accommodate special diets?

    It depends on both the trip and on your specific needs. With advance notice, we can accommodate most dietary restrictions or allergies on our domestic trips, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten intolerant. This is not always true on international trips, so please contact us in advance if you have specific dietary needs. We've found that if you are willing to bring some of your own snacks and a couple of items to supplement what is on the menu (peanut butter is always good!) and possibly have less variety than you are used to at home, then dietary needs usually are no obstacle. If in doubt about your specific dietary needs, especially if you have Celiac disease, please give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email.

    What if I have to cancel my trip?

    The amount of your refund depends on how close to the trip you cancel and whether it is a domestic or an international trip. You can read our cancellation policies here. We highly recommend travel insurance because cancellations are always unexpected; we will send you additional information about insurance when you register.

    Will my family be able to get in touch with me in case of an emergency?

    Yes, we always send out emergency contact information. On a few trips, because of limitations in communication, the best approach is to give them the office number and let us make the contact.

    What other information will you send me?

    When you register, we’ll send you a Trip Summary that includes the itinerary, travel information, and a packing list. Three to four months before your trip we’ll send you Pre-Departure information that includes detailed information on how to get to the trip starting point, pre- or post-trip lodging suggestions, suggested books and websites etc. Four to six weeks before the trip, we’ll send you a list of everyone who is registered along with their travel plans; and a Pre-Trip letter with the name of your guide(s) and how to contact them if your arrival is delayed as well as any other important updates.

    Do you help with pre-trip and/or post-trip hotel reservations?

    For international trips, if you want to stay at the hotel where we’re staying the first night before the trip, or at the hotel we’re staying the last night after the trip, we’re happy to make a reservation for you. Otherwise our PreDeparture Information will have hotel suggestions. Our travel agent is also happy to help you with this.

    How does the waitlist process work and how often do people cancel?

    If you are interested in a trip that is full, you should sign up here. If there is a cancellation, we send out an email to everyone who has expressed interest and ask them to respond within 24 hours. If more than one person is interested, we give the space to the person who has traveled with us before or in the order of being put on the waitlist. Frequently, even when we have a long wait list, it is the last person to sign up who is still available to go. Whether or not there will be a cancellation is completely unpredictable, although not uncommon.

    What is the role of the guide(s)?

    On every trip, the primary roles of the guide(s) are to ensure your safety and to make sure that, to the extent possible, you are having the trip you want. The guide(s) will also make sure that you know what is happening each day and what you need to bring to be prepared. On domestic trips the guide(s) will also likely be driving, preparing picnic lunches and sometimes other meals, providing skills instruction, and giving you information about the natural history of the area. On any trip where we partner with another company (which is most international trips and some trips that require special equipment), the AGC guide will work with the local guide to make sure that the trip is conducted in accordance with the AGC philosophy.

    What if I have more questions?

    Give us a call (877/439-4042) or send us an email. A Program Manager is assigned to each trip. Once you have registered, she will send you a registration confirmation letter that includes her name and email, and she will be your primary contact. Her job is to make sure that you get all your questions answered and that you feel completely prepared for your adventure.

    What if I'm the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape/only single woman/only mom on the trip?

    You might be. Someone has to be the oldest/youngest/heaviest/least in shape person on the trip. And while the great majority of our trips have both single and non-single women, and moms and non-moms, sometimes they don't. But it doesn't matter if you're "different" in any of those ways - what you will share with everyone else is a desire to experience adventure in your life, and an appreciation of the joy and camaraderie of being in an all women's group.

Trip highlights

  • Hiking in England's storied Lake District
  • Enjoying Quaker hospitality and the lively town of Grasmere
  • Absorbing the peace and solitude of the Lorton Vale seep into your bones
  • Walking through bluebell forests and herds of sheep with lambs
  • Experiencing the delicious food and culture of local pubs

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