The Lake District, Edinburgh & the Isle of Arran
8 day tour

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Combine a train journey from Manchester with an adventure through the Lake District, three overnights in Edinburgh, and two nights amongst the landscapes of the Island of Arran.

Tour map

Highlights

Prehistoric Sites
Castles
Mountains
Lakes
UNESCO Heritage Sites
Distilleries

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.

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

Edinburgh – So much to see and do in Scotland’s capital city, probably the most dramatic cityscape in the world.

Culzean Castle - An 18th-century castle with beautiful grounds and gorgeously elegant rooms.

Robert Burns Country - Discover the locations that inspired Scotland’s most famous poet.

Brodick and Brodick Castle* - A quintessential Victorian castle said to be haunted by a ‘Grey Lady’.

Isle of Arran Distillery - There used to be around 50 distilleries on Arran. But now, this is the only distillery keeping the tradition alive.

Machrie Moor stone circles - These prehistoric stone circles are the most famous archaeological sites on the Isle of Arran.

Mull of Kintyre Peninsula - Admire gorgeous coastal views in this hidden away part of Scotland.

Your journey

This trip teaches you that ‘small is beautiful’.

You take the train from Manchester to the little Lake District. The quaint walled lanes here appear too tiny to be good for anything but beautiful photographs.

After the Lake District, you venture to Edinburgh. This city feels more like a bustling old country town than a capital of a European country.

And finally, you visit Arran. They call this ‘Scotland in Miniature’, because you’ll find everything everyone loves about Scotland squeezed into this wee island.

So, if you like picturesque towns, hidden gems, and the little local things, join this tour and discover the Lake District, Edinburgh, and Arran.


Tour Details

Departs
10.59 - Train from Manchester Airport Train Station, M90 3RR
11.22 Train Manchester Piccadilly to Penrith
Returns
18.30 approx Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Discounts

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
  • One 15 kilogram bag, and one carry-on bag per person
  • After booking your tour, we'll contact you about your train journey
  • Collect your ticket from the ticket machines using your bank or credit card and the 'collection reference' number we send you
  • You get picked up by a Rabbie's mini-coach from Penrith Train Station
Tour inclusions
  • Transportation by a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
  • Three nights' accommodation in Edinburgh
  • A one-way ticket from Manchester to Penrith
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Take as many photographs as you can at ‘England’s most beautiful lake’, Ullswater
  • Relax in the market town of Keswick

You collect your train ticket at the station and head north from Manchester to the historic Cumbrian market town of Penrith. The town’s uniquely coloured castle played a key role in defending the border from its invading Scottish neighbours.

After arriving in Penrith and meeting your Rabbie’s Guide, you 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 a 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. (**During July/early August this tour stays in Windermere).

Day 2

  • Stare in wonder at the views on an optional boat trip, Lake Windermere
  • Wander around the cosy village of Hawkshead

After breakfast, you take in views of Ullswater 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 wonderful 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 enjoy the peace and tranquillity of the Wordsworth Daffodil Garden by the River Rothy. In the late afternoon, you return to Keswick.

Day 3

  • Set your sights on sweeping 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 the Lake District has to offer.

You journey along winding lanes, past the shores of Crummock Water and Buttermere, and towards the Honister Mountain Pass.

Stopping amongst the mountains you have the opportunity to enjoy the views of the 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.

It’s a leisurely drive through the rolling border hills to Edinburgh where you overnight.

Day 4

  • Wander over cobbled lanes past medieval window panes and under Gothic spires in Scotland’s stunning capital city, Edinburgh
  • Join our city tour and get to know a few of Edinburgh’s local legends

Today is a free day to explore Edinburgh.

We think you should start with our included Edinburgh City Tour to familiarise yourself with the history, geography, and laugh-out-loud tales of the city.

And after that, what you do is up to you; You can venture deep under the city on ghost tours, hike to the lofty heights of Arthur’s Seat, or even just relax in the many beautiful gardens.

Just ensure you relax and prepare for your next part of your adventure.

Day 5

  • Admire the sweeping views and grand architecture of Culzean Castle
  • Learn about the life of Robert Burns, Scotland’s most famous poet

Your journey continues past Glasgow and the Whitelee Wind Farm, Europe’s largest wind farm.

You then leave the modern landscapes and travel into Ayrshire to visit Culzean Castle. Here you have time to enjoy its dramatic cliff-top setting, beautiful architecture, and elegant living spaces. You can also have lunch in the cafe or take a picnic in the beautiful castle grounds.

Travelling towards Robert Burns’ birthplace, you discover the places from his poems and songs. You stop at the visitor centre in Alloway, where you can find out more about this remarkable man.

You continue to Ardrossan where you catch the ferry to the Isle of Arran. You’re dropped off at your accommodation in Brodick.

Day 6

  • Discover everything everyone loves about Scotland in Arran, the famous ‘Scotland in Miniature’
  • Taste the local delicacies and soak up the flavours of Arran

Arran is alive with wildlife, mountains, beaches, pubs, and restaurants. Depending on the weather and your group's interest; your driver guide will arrange the best day out for you.

You may explore the mountainous north of the island, some of Arran’s best beaches, Lochranza Castle, and the Arran Distillery.

Arran is also home to many stone circles dating from the Neolithic period and the early Bronze Age. You visit Machrie Moor and its six stone circles; and after exploring this area you travel south through the harbour villages of Blackwaterfoot.

Travelling back to Brodick you see The Holy Isle across the water, owned by the Samye Ling Buddhist Community.

You may make a stop at the Arran Cheese shop, a family-owned business that’s now famous all over the world.

At Brodick, we find Brodick Castle*, and situated in the shadow of this imposing red sandstone castle is Arran Brewery. This microbrewery blends naturally with its stunning surroundings, combining the island’s unique water with the finest local ingredients. You can sample this ale in many of the local pubs and restaurants; a perfect way to round off your day!


*Please note that due to on-going restoration work Brodick Castle will remain closed for 2018. The gardens will remain open to the visitors.

Day 7

  • Discover the rugged beauty of the West Highlands
  • Learn about the delightful Victorian harbour town of Inveraray

You return to the mainland on the ferry running between Lochranza and Claonaig. This short 30-minute crossing takes you onto the Kintyre Peninsula.

You travel along the coastal road to the charming fishing village of Tarbert. The village sits on the narrowest strip of land between the two bodies of water, forming a natural harbour.

From Tarbert, you follow Loch Fyne toward the whitewashed village of Inveraray, where you have free time to explore and have lunch.

You continue over the ‘Rest and be Thankful’ mountain pass.

From here, it’s a short drive to Luss and the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond before returning to Edinburgh where you overnight.


Day 8

You decide what’s next on your travels. You’re welcome to join another one of our tours from Edinburgh. Or if you want to move on, Edinburgh is well connected by coach, rail, and air to the rest of the UK, Europe and the world.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Keswick*, three nights in Edinburgh, two nights in Brodick.(*During July/early August this tour stays in Windermere).


How does the accommodation work?

Your tour excludes your accommodation outside of Edinburgh; 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?

Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. An amendment charge will apply.


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

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. 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 - £55 per person per night. A single en suite is £60 - £80 per night.

Hotels

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. A single is £85 - £130 per night.

Hostels

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 - £25 per person per night.

Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together).


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 rooms@rabbies.com.

FAQs

Where does the tour depart from?

Unlike our other Manchester tour departures, this tour departs from either Manchester Airport Railway Station or Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station. From either of these stations, you catch an Express service train and meet one of our driver-guides at Penrith Railway Station.


How do I get to Manchester Airport Railway Station or Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station?

Depending on where your Manchester accommodation is located, there are several ways to get to these stations. You can easily access these stations using the local or Intercity rail network, local buses, or by taxi. If you’re travelling from Manchester Airport Railway Station you’re within walking distance of the following hotels: Clayton Hotel, Radisson Blu, Crowne Plaza, Hilton Hotel, Holiday Inn Express, Marriott Hotel, Premier Inn. Manchester Piccadilly Station is in central Manchester and is within walking distance of many major hotel chains.


What time does the train depart?

If you’re travelling from Manchester Airport Railway Station your train departs at 10.59 am. If you’re travelling from Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station your train departs at 11.22 am. We recommend that you arrive at the station at least 20 minutes before your departure. Whilst Manchester’s public transport system is extensive and reliable, it’s not immune to issues that can cause delays and cancellations. Try to arrive early so you have time to collect your tickets and purchase refreshments before you board the train. Your ticket is only valid to Penrith on the 10.59 service from Manchester Airport Railway Station or the 11.22 service from Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station. If you miss these trains, you’re responsible for purchasing new tickets for the next departure. The cost of a ticket on the day is over £100 per person.


Where do I collect my tickets?

In advance of your tour, we send you a unique ticket collection reference code. Please take this confirmation code with you when you collect your tickets. To collect your tickets at either railway station, just insert a credit or debit card into a ticket machine and enter your Ticket Collection Reference. If you have problems collecting your tickets, please go to a manned ticket window with your booking confirmation.


Do we have reserved seats?

In most cases, yes you have pre-assigned and reserved seats. If you booked your ticket within one week of departure, you may not have a seating reservation. If this is the case, you can choose from any of the unreserved seats on the train.


Can I buy food and drink on the train?

Yes, you can. The majority of services between Manchester Airport, Manchester Piccadilly and Penrith have a refreshment trolley service. If you require anything in particular, we recommend you pick up what you need from one of the various food and beverage outlets at your station of origin.


Which platform does the train leave from?

The platform changes every day. Please keep an eye on the departure boards in the main terminal. From Manchester Airport Railway Station your train is the 10.59 service for Glasgow Central train station. From Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station your train is the 11.22 service for Glasgow Central. The platform will be announced about 10 minutes before departure so please make your way to the train once you have seen which platform the train is departing from.


What happens if the train is cancelled?

If your train is cancelled, your ticket is valid on the next departure, however you’ll not have reserved seats. If this happens, please contact the Rabbie’s customer service team on +44(0)131 226 3133, so we can advise the guide and ensure they’re there to pick you up at the new time.


How long is the train trip?

The train takes 1 hour and 47 minutes from Manchester Airport and 1 hour 36 minutes from Manchester Piccadilly to Penrith Station.


Where do we meet the tour bus?

Your Rabbie’s driver-guide will meet you outside Penrith Station with other guests who started the tour in Edinburgh or London. Penrith Station is small, and you will see your bus waiting for you just outside the station. If you do have problems finding your bus just give us a call on +44(0)131 226 3133.


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. You can click here for excellent rates.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or less

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

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities



BTA_2017.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

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