The Lake District Explorer
3 day tour

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Enjoy the poetry of nature, learn to love England’s most inspirational landscapes, and follow in the footsteps of artists and writers.

Tour map


National Parks
Boat Cruises

Places you explore

Ullswater - The second largest lake in the English Lake District is famous for its sublime, tranquil beauty.

Aira Force Waterfall - A lovely stone bridge crosses the fabulously flowing waterfalls.

Castlerigg Stone Circle - It’s like a miniature Stonehenge. Although you can decide whether it’s more beautiful.

Lake Windermere - You can choose to wander the shores or put on your sailing hat and go for a cruise.

Derwent Water - This gorgeous location was used in Star Wars - The Force Awakens. But the lasers and spaceships seem a million miles away from this peaceful area.

Honister Pass - Simply relax and enjoy the gorgeous views of the monumental mountains.

Your journey

You may get a little poetic in the Lake District.

The lakes are so moving you’ll want to compose verses about their beauty. The silent Castlerigg standing stones are so mysterious you'll think about them for days. And the mountains are so magnificent you'll get lyrical about their rugged peaks and soothing slopes.

Take this tour and discover how and why this gorgeous area has inspired England's greatest poets and writers.

If you love this itinerary but want to start in England, this tour also departs from London and Manchester .

Tour Details

Check-in closes at 08:30 (tour departs at 08:45) - Edinburgh Bus Station Pick Up, Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Finishes (approx.)
19:00 - Edinburgh Bus Station Drop Off, Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This may consist of a small bag for onboard personal items and a larger suitcase or rucksack.

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • Attraction tickets may need to be purchased in advance. More information is provided in your booking confirmation e-mail
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation


Day 1

  • Travel over the smooth rolling hills of the Scottish Borders
  • Explore the ancient ruins of Penrith Castle
  • Take as many photographs as you can at ‘England’s most beautiful lake’, Ullswater
  • Relax in the market town of Keswick

You depart Edinburgh and head South through the Scottish Borders. You can enjoy the gorgeous rolling expanses of the Galloway Hills and Southern Uplands as we travel to our first stop of the day, the Victorian spa town of Moffat.

From Moffat you continue south over the border into England and head to the historic Cumbrian market town of Penrith. Here you have the chance to enjoy lunch and explore the imposing ruins of Penrith Castle. This uniquely coloured castle played a key role in defending the border from invading Scots.

After lunch we enter the Lake District National Park and travel along the northern shores of Ullswater. This lake is often described as England’s most beautiful lake, and it’s here we give you the chance to take a forest walk and see the mighty Aira Force waterfall.

You then travel towards Keswick, stopping outside the town to visit the mysterious Castlerigg standing stones, thought to have been built over 5,000 years ago and once a lively hub of ancient pagan rituals.

You have a short journey into the lively market town of Keswick* where you’re dropped off at your accommodation and free to explore the charming town.

(*Please note all tours that depart on 2nd and 5th August stay in Bowness-on-Windermere instead of Keswick.)

Day 2

  • Stare in wonder at the views on an optional boat trip, Lake Windermere
  • Wander around the cosy village of Hawkshead
  • Enjoy the peace of the Wordsworth Memorial Daffodill Garden

After breakfast, you take in views of Ullswater Lake as we head along country roads to its southern shores.

You continue further south and travel over the narrow and winding Kirkstone Pass towards the lovely Lake Windermere. Here you have the option to take a leisurely cruise on the Lake or eat lunch while enjoying sublime views of the surrounding scenery.

After lunch you travel around the southern tip of Windermere and on towards Coniston Water. Your next stop is the picturesque conservation village of Hawkshead, where the poet William Wordsworth attended Grammar School.

After exploring the cosy village, you take the narrow country lanes north towards Grasmere, which Wordsworth described as “the loveliest spot that man hath found”.

There's free time to visit Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage, taste the legendary gingerbread, or enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy.

In the late afternoon, you return to Keswick.*

(*Please note all tours that depart on 2nd and 5th August stay in Bowness-on-Windermere instead of Keswick.)

Day 3

  • Set your sights on sweepings views from atop the Whinlatter Pass
  • Learn about the slate mines at the Honister Mountain Pass

We pick you up from your accommodation and head for the Whinlatter Forest Park and over the Whinlatter Pass into the most dramatic landscapes that the Lake District has to offer.

You journey along winding lanes, through the rural village of High Lorton, past the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere, and towards the Honister Mountain Pass.

Stopping amongst the mountains you have the opportunity to visit old slate workings, where a small number of Cumbrians continue to make their living.

After refreshments, you continue through the forests of Borrowdale, passing Derwent Water, where there’s free time for lunch and shopping.

Once you’ve eaten lunch, you begin your return journey, heading towards Penrith and north towards the border. After crossing into Scotland you take a stop in the town of Biggar, a royal burgh since 1415. From here it’s a leisurely drive through the rolling border hills back to Edinburgh.

Customer Reviews

Olivia’s review

Olivia Goodfellow Posted on 28/07/2021

I have just finished a delightful 3 day lightning tour of the stunning Lake District. The driver guide James was a wealth of knowledge and looked after us all really well . My guest house “seven oaks” in Keswick was fantastic and faultless . Each day was packed with beautiful stops and little surprises. Wonderful short break - do it !!

Outstanding Tour

Rich, Mary and Mike Guenzel Posted on 14/09/2019

We had a wonderful tour from Edinburgh to the Lake District. Our guide, Jude, was outstanding. She was quite knowledgeable, a gifted storyteller, and had a wonderful and diverse music selection. Although not as wild as Scotlands Highlands, there are great scenery, hiking, and places of interest in the Lake District. The Castlerigg Stone Circle was much more impressive than the photos we had seen before our tour. Touring when the heather was in bloom made the hillsides extra beautiful and reminded us of our visits to the Highlands. An added benefit was our unscheduled visits to Hadrians Wall, Vindolanda, and Jedburgh Abbey. Our hosts and accommodations at Grassmoor Guesthouse in Keswick were wonderful. All of our previous tours with Rabbies have been excellent. While we have focused on Scotland, the Lake District tour was great and a bit different from our other tours. This was a great introduction to the Lake District and the southern border of Scotland.

Wonderful three day tour of the lake district

Carol Posted on 07/06/2017

On a side note: this is a tour of the lake district that does not include a stop at Hadrians Wall. Had a fantastic time touring the lake district in mid May. Our guide was James and he was brilliant. Gave us the history of places along the way, interesting stories and how things are now. I love this sort of stuff so it was great. We had a small group and several of us stayed in the same accommodation. James was attentive and really took care of us. Great guide. We were lucky and had sunny weather for most of the trip (rained a bit on and off the last day). The lake district was so beautiful and scenic and peaceful. We had some good time off the coach for picture stops and to walk around, including areas where sheep were (there were a lot of sheep everywhere). Keswick was a good place to stay in (Yew Tree House BB - Bob was a fantastic host). Really thoroughly enjoyed this tour.

Thank You, Rabbie's.

Govendram Premchand Posted on 09/05/2014

We're a family of four from Singapore. We booked two tours with Rabbie's on the internet - the Whiskey & Highlands Tour (3 May) and the Lake District Tour (7 - 9 May). We are indeed delighted with the service we received from its two two resentatives, Alan and Mav respectively. Both gentlemen were knowledgeable, service-oriented and friendly. We learnt so much about your beautiful country from them. We had such a great time that we have already informed our friends and relatives back home to travel with Rabbie's when they visit Scotland. Well done Rabbie's!

Unforgettable journey.

Jenny Tang Posted on 06/11/2012

We joined 2D1N to Bath and Oxford, and 3D2N to Isle of Skye. It was very good! The place, the service provided by our tour guide cum driver, and etc. Especially to Isle of skye, We were constantly entertained by Gus throughout the journey with his music, story-telling, his driving skills, politeness, and etc. Everything is just so, so, so good!

Pete was an excellent guide, historian and storyteller

Marcus & Anette Schmidt Posted on 20/07/2012

We went on the 3 day tour to the Lake District and Hadrian's Wall with Pete. Pete was an excellent guide, historian and storyteller, and he made sure that we all had a fabulous tour.

Thank you

GertraudeFreche Posted on 08/11/2011

A great time! Hallo you all in Edinburgh. Sorry, I couldn't write earlier because work caught me faster than I had expected. My daughter Jana and me went on the 3 Day tour down to Hadrian's Wall and the Lake District. What a great tour with our guide Peter! He was very friendly, helpful and not bored by answering my endless questions. It was a tour through an amazing countryside, through Scottish history. We learned a lot and were able to recreate in places we would never have seen on our own. Autumn is a wonderful time: all the bright colours and the peaceful places without any hustle and bustle. Back to Edinburgh we had another day to spend. What to do because we saw a lot last year on our trips to the western Highlands and Loch Ness and on our stay in Edinburgh? Having passed your office, we decided to ask for a day tour. And we got one to St. Andrews. Thanks to Sarah who took us there and made our Scotland experience perfect. We are planning to come back next year to explore either the Isle of Skye or the Orkney Islands. Scotland has us calm in its hand.

Big 'thank you' to Ally

Monika Bowditch Posted on 03/09/2011

Wow –we had three wonderful days – 24 – 26 Aug. My sister and I have just returned from the 3 day English Lake District Tour with Ally. We admired Ally’s knowledge of the geology of the Lake District, the history and relevant dates, all told with a lot of humour. He is a mine of information, history, poetry, geology, music etc. We learned a lot and laughed a lot. It was great. The group consisted of a wide variety of nationalities and ages but Ally managed to get everybody involved and nobody felt ‘alone’. If you have not seen the English Lake District, book a tour with Rabbies and I can assure you that you will not be disappointed. A big thank you to Ally and to Rabbies. Hope to see you again next year.

Ally Palmer

Viral Sodha Posted on 24/09/2010

Ally Rocks.. comments anyone?

Rabbie's is best

Khandoker Jelani Posted on 18/09/2010

I just had gr8 tour at lake district....our guide Ally was soooo good and he got excellent knowledge of everything...and he is funny aswell..i would love to go to another tour with him...this is my second tour with ribbie's.... and i can say rabbie's is the best of the best...i will definitely coming back to scotland again and next time and and and of course i will take rabbie's tour again. Again thanks to rabbie's team and specially Ally for the great tour....


Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay in the lively market town of Keswick*.

*Please be aware that Keswick is busy during the summer. You may need to be flexible with rooms we're able to reserve for you here. If you'd prefer to find your own accommodation for this location, please choose the 'book your own accommodation' option when you book your tour.

*Please note all tours that depart on the 2nd and 5th August stay in Bowness-on-Windermere instead of Keswick.

How does the accommodation work?

Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.

I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation directly. Most don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.

What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Plans can change, so we let you alter your accommodation choices for free within the first 48 hours of booking. After this time, amendments aren't guaranteed and carry a surcharge. Please contact if you have any questions.

I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in. Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central.

What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

You may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation for each separate accommodation booked. If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.

What are the accommodation types?

We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre. We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.

B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard

Please note, we're unable to book B&B standard rooms for this tour in 2021. Instead, the accommodation may be a room with a separate, private bathroom. The availability of this option will be reviewed for 2021 depending on government guidance. You may still be able to book B&B standard accommodation yourself if you choose to find your own accommodation for you tour.

The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is £35 - £40 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single standard room is £40 - £60 per night.

B&B En suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £45 - £60 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single en suite is £60 - £80 per night.


Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The cost is £70 - £85 per person per night based on shared accommodation. A single is £85 - £130 per night.


Please note, we're unable to book hostels for this tour in 2021. The availability of this option will be reviewed for 2022 depending on the government guidance. You may still be able to book hostel accommodation if you choose to find your own accommodation for your tour.

A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost based on dorm beds is £19 - £27 per person per night.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email


Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 48 hours for our one day tours, 15 days for two to nine day tours, and 21 days for 10+ day tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

Can Itineraries change?

Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. While there are ongoing coronavirus restrictions throughout the UK and Ireland, itineraries are more likely to change than usual as opening hours and capacities at many visitor attractions are reduced and subject to change. Your driver-guide will keep you up to up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email , or check out our full FAQs .

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel in small group tours with an average of 10 people.

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities

BTA_2018.png Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 TC_2018_WHITE_LL_R-112x105.png queens-award.png Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars
Download Rabbie's Brochures

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