Private Tour Scotland News
Private Tours - the best way to see Scotland.
THE LAKE DISTRICT
Venture across the border and have the opportunity to see the famous Hadrians Wall which runs for 73 miles between Wallsend and Bowness-on-Solway. There were once over 30 forts on the Roman frontier along with Milecastles, turrets, a ditch to the north and great Vallum earthwork to the south. To discover the history behind it you can visit Birdoswald Roman Fort. You can explore the longest continuous remaining stretch of this magnificent World Heritage Site here. You can only see the perimeter walls, gateways, granaries and the remains of a drill hall here. It also shows clear evidence of post-Roman occupation – more than any other fort. Inside, the visitor centre has interesting interactive displays and artefacts, as well as a model of the Wall at its full height.
Visit Gretna and step inside the World Famous Old Blacksmiths Shop in Gretna Green to hear about the couples who ran away to tie the knot. This village, just on the Scottish side of the border, is famous for the weddings that have been held here. Due to the more relaxed marriage laws in Scotland, many couples made their way up north to tie the knot. The exhibition contains a number of different rooms filled with authentic items. See the ‘Repentance Stool’, a gallery of ‘Blacksmith Priests’ and even the original anvil, which the priest used to strike to declare the couple officially married.
Your journey will continue north and take you through the Border towns of Hawick and Selkirk to Melrose where you can visit Melrose Abbey, a magnificent ruin on a grand scale with lavishly decorated masonry. The graceful lines are among the best late 14th-century church architecture in the British Isles. Famously, the Chapter House is where the heart of Robert the Bruce is believed to be buried marked with a commemorative carved stone plaque within the grounds. Also not be missed are the famous bagpipe-playing Melrose pig and the Commendator’s House Museum which houses a rich collection of the abbey's medieval objects.
From Windermere, we climb up the Kirkstone Pass with a brief stop at the top to admire the views before descending to Patterdale through dramatic mountain scenery. Ullswater soon comes into view, often acclaimed as England's most beautiful lake. We then follow the lake shore to Aira Force, where we can walk through landscaped grounds to see the glorious sight of the falls cascading down a rocky ravine. As we head north, some stunning views of the lake in its mountain setting can be enjoyed. Our next stop takes us back to prehistoric times and the mystery of Castlerigg stone circle – a ring of 38 stones surrounded by a majestic cradle of mountains. From Castlerigg, we head south over the Dunmail Pass to Grasmere. Here we enter William Wordsworth country, with options to visit Dove Cottage (where he spent his most creative years), Allan Bank (another Wordsworth house) and St Oswald’s Church where William and other members of his family are buried. Lunch can be taken in Grasmere, rounded off with a taste of the famous Grasmere Gingerbread. From Grasmere, if you wish to continue the Wordsworth trail, it is a short journey to Rydal Mount – Wordsworth’s home for the last 37 years of his life. We can visit the picturesque village of Hawkshead with its 16th century grammar school (attended by Wordsworth as a boy), the Beatrix Potter Gallery and the lofty church set on a hill overlooking the village. You may wish to drive to the nearby renowned beauty spot of Tarn Hows for a chance to stretch your legs and admire the views. On our return, we can call in at Beatrix Potter’s much loved house – Hill Top Farm – where she wrote many of her well-known children’s books. From here, it’s just a short drive down to the car ferry which will take across Windermere.
Take a Lake Windermere Cruise – there are many options. Take a quick sail around the Lake, travel to Lakeside where you can disembark and return on a later boat or sail up to Ambleside and once again have the option of disembarking and returning later, the decision is yours. Within Bowness you may wish to visit The Blackwell Arts & Crafts House. Blackwell retains many of its original decorative features, including a rare hessian wall-hanging in the Dining Room, leaf-shaped door handles, curious window catches, spectacular plasterwork, stained glass and carved wooden panelling by Simpsons of Kendal. The rooms contain furniture and objects by many of the leading Arts & Crafts designers and studios - metalwork by WAS Benson, ceramics by Pilkingtons and Ruskin Pottery and furniture by Morris & Co., Stanley Webb Davies, Ernest Gimson and Baillie Scott himself. A visit to the World of Beatrix Potter may also be of interest.
For those interested in machinery and mechanical things in general you can include Stott Park Bobbin Mill (last working bobbin mill in the world), the Lakeland Motor Museum and a cruise on SY Gondola and/or a steam train ride.
We work closely with Discover Lakeland