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About Your Host
English Lakeland Walks is operated and administered by Alan Heppenstall. Alan is a qualified Blue Badge Guide for Cumbria, and has lived in the area for over 35 years.
During much of the time I have lived and worked in this beautiful corner of England I have walked the fells and valleys, and in the process acquired a close knowledge of what to me is a uniquely wonderful area. I hope the routes I have chosen for English Lakeland Walks reflect the enthusiasm and passion I feel for them myself.
Both the point to point tours described start in Windermere. Windermere is accessible by train, and the journey takes as little as four hours from London, and under two hours from Manchester (airport or city centre). The nearest airport is Manchester, which is well served by both European and North American cities.
About the Walks
The Heart of Lakeland is a 6 day/7 night journey of discovery through this magical landscape. It starts in Windermere and ends with a boat ride into Keswick, after visiting Hawkshead, Coniston and the valleys of Dunnerdale, Eskdale, Wasdale and Borrowdale. From Keswick the preferred choice is to hop on one of the regular buses, probably a double-decker, for the return to Windermere through the central Lake District.
The Heart of Lakeland can be extended for a day to allow further exploration to take place in the valleys of Ennerdale, Buttermere and Newlands.
The Cross Lakes Ramble follows the Heart of Lakeland as far as Eskdale, then branches off to head down to the west coast, and ends at Ravenglass on the Cumbrian Coastal railway. From here it is possible to catch a train northwards, for Whitehaven, Carlisle, Scotland and destinations in NE England; or southwards for Barrow-in-Furness, Lancaster, London and other destinations in England.
Just Walk is based in Grasmere, right at the centre of the Lake District. It is easily reached by train to Windermere, then a bus or taxi.
A popular conclusion to the Heart of Lakeland is to finish this not in Windermere or Keswick, but in Grasmere, and to spend a few days there of relaxation, with gentle walking (or even not so gentle) available as required through Just Walk. Grasmere is easily reached from Keswick by bus after the completion of the Heart of Lakeland, and luggage will be delivered there at no additional charge.
All three tours work well taken in combination with public transport. So why not leave the car behind, and let the trains do the work?