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Hiking the National Parks of the UK

Duration
10 Days
Prices:
On request

Hike into the heart of the UK’s most stunning national parks on this outdoor adventure through England and Scotland. On this UK vacation, you’ll head on hikes through gorgeous landscapes of forests, lakes, and mountains in Cairngorms, Trossarchs, Yorkshire Dales, and the Lake District.


This 10-day United Kingdom vacation takes you to several national parks in England and Scotland to hike through enchanting landscapes.

Your Scotland vacation begins in Cairngorms National Park, where you’ll head on hikes through a picturesque landscape of pine forests and glens in Northern Scotland. Hike through a Caledonian pine forest to Fairy Lochan and climb the summit, where you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Cairngorm Mountains and the Moray Coast. Follow a trail in the shadows of Lochnagar Peak and complete a circuit around Connacraig. Pass through a landscape of glen and woodland to reach a waterfall where Queen Victoria was known to picnic. Continue through the hillside until you reach Glen Lui and finish near the Linn o’Dee Waterfall.

Transfer to Loch Lomond, where you’ll explore the glens of Trossarchs National Park and the famous West Highland Way Trek. Follow a route to a lookout where you’ll enjoy the best views of Loch Lomond and its wooded islands. Continue past the summit to reach another lookout where you’ll spot the Arrochar Alps and Ben Lomond along the horizon. Another day, hike through the north side of Trossarchs National Park to a peak where you’ll admire the best views of Scotland, according to Sir Walter Scott. Later, follow a trail that’s a local favourite, which takes you across the Southern Highlands before culminating with a vista over Loch Katrine.

Cross the border into England and explore the stretches of Hadrian’s Wall, hiking along this former border of the Roman Empire, which Emperor Hadrian built over 1,900 years ago to keep out northern tribes. Hike along the well-preserved wall and pass through the Sycamore Gap, one of the most scenic spots in the country. Pass into your third national park, Yorkshire Dales. Hike from the village of Askrigg to Aysgarth Falls in gorgeous Wensleydale, stopping by a local tearoom on the return journey where you can sample some famous Wensleydale cheese. Another day, rise early to pass through Eden Valley and see the landscape of rare plants, dwarf, trees, ancient stone circles, and forts of Orton Plateau.

Pass into the Lake District National Park and hike to St. Sunday Craig in the Eastern Fells. Follow along a ridge to the craggy summit and enjoy breathtaking views of the ridges of Helvellyn. Head west to Deepdale Hause and climb Cofa Pike to Fairfield, before descending to Grisedale Tame, the legendary resting place of the King of Cumbria. Pass by the Brothers Parting Stone, which marks the last place poet William Wordsworth saw his brother, John. Then hike back down the crags, keeping an eye open for rock climbers ascending the rock. On your final day, board a ferry to Howtown, stopping halfway and hiking back to Glenridding through a landscape of forests, rocky beaches, and lakes.


 

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Duration
10 Days
Prices:
On request

Itinerary View Trip Map

Day 1

Rothiemurchus and the Cairngorms

You will meet at the train station in the small town of Aviemore, in the Cairngorms National Park. You begin the trip with a favourite local hike over Meall a Buachaille. The route first takes you through a pass with beautiful Caledonian pine forest and the remarkable 'Fairy Lochan' before you reach a small bothy at the head of the pass. You will climb steeply but steadily from here on a good trail all the way to the summit, which offers wide-ranging views of the Cairngorm mountains and north to the Moray Coast. Completing the circuit, you will then transfer across the National Park to the pretty village of Ballater in Royal Deeside.

Hike details: 9km, 550 ascent, 4-5 hours

Meal Plan Lunch and Dinner
Day 2

Lochnagar & Loch Muick

The peak of Lochnagar in Royal Deeside is thought by many to be the finest in the Cairngorms. Its northern flank boasts spectacular cliffs that perfectly frame the small loch that gives the mountain its name. There are many options for great hikes in the shadow of Lochnagar, ranging from a circuit of the loch to hikes up the various peaks surrounding it, including Connacraig, which offers outstanding views. Of course, there's also Lochnagar itself! The guide will select a route to best show off the qualities of this beautiful glen and the princely peaks that surround it.

Hike details: From 12km-20km, up to 930m ascent, 4-7 hours - depending on route chosen

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 3

Braemar Glens then transfer to Loch Lomond

This morning you will enjoy a final Cairngorms hike, starting near the village of Braemar. The group will do a low level circuit through the nearby glens and woods. Starting with a wonderful waterfall where Queen Victoria was fond of picnicking, the hike takes you up Glen Quoich. You will hike through a deep cleft in the hillside which brings you into Glen Lui, finishing near the Linn o' Dee waterfall. You then head south as you transfer to Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. The accommodation is in the village of Balmaha nestled on the shore of the loch, a staging point on the famous West Highland Way trek.

Hike details: 16km, 400m ascent, 5 hours

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 4

Hiking Above Loch Lomond

Today you will enjoy a hike on a rarely trodden route that offers perhaps the best views of Loch Lomond. A short transfer takes you to the pretty village of Luss on the west shore. Leaving the village you strike up a grassy ridge. The ascent is slow and steady from the start, with views expanding all the time. Near the top, it levels off for a bit and the views over Loch Lomond and its many wooded islands is nothing short of stunning. Pushing on to the summit, the loch views are replaced by mountain vistas as you will gaze north towards the Arrochar Alps and across the loch to Ben Lomond. You will return to Luss through a glen and have some free time to explore this picture-postcard village. The group will then jump on a late afternoon water-taxi, which takes you across Loch Lomond and back to Balmaha.

Hike details: 12km, 725m ascent, 4-5 hours

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 5

Hiking in the Trossachs

You will explore the north side of the National Park today, with a hike up an iconic peak that the author Sir Walter Scott claimed to offer the finest views in all of Scotland -- and who are we to argue? This is another local favourite which follows a well-established trail. The ascent takes you through mixed forest and then onto open ground with views across the Southern Highlands. However, it was the vista over Loch Katrine that enamoured Sir Walter Scott to this hill -- and we're confident you'll be suitably impressed too. Back at the inn, enjoy a pint with hikers on the West Highland Way -- they are at the start of a trek north -- but tomorrow you'll head south over the border into England.

Hike details: 14km, 725m ascent, 5-6 hours

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 6

Hiking Hadrian's Wall

You will enjoy a leisurely transfer south and cross the border into England and Northumberland National Park. You will also cross the historic border of the Roman Empire, still visible in the ruins of Hadrian's Wall. Construction started on the wall around 1,900 years ago and some sections are still in remarkably good condition. After lunch in a nearby cafe the group will start walking from the remains of Housesteads Fort. The hike today takes you to one of the best-preserved and most scenic spots on the wall -- Sycamore Gap -- which has featured on the big screen many times. After the hike, a short transfer takes you to the third National Park -- the Yorkshire Dales.

Hike details: 6km, 150m ascent, 2 hours.

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch
Day 7

Hiking the Yorkshire Dales

Today you will head to the village of Askrigg in beautiful Wensleydale. From Askrigg the group will hike high along the valley walls to the the village of Aysgarth. Here you will admire Aysgarth Falls before wandering back to Askrigg along the peaceful riverside. You will stop at a local tearoom for lunch with a chance get a bite of the delicious local Wensleydale cheese!

Hike details: 18km, 320m ascent, 5-6 hours

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 8

Hiking the Yorkshire Dales and transfer to the Lakes

An early start for the last morning in the Dales -- the group will begin in the Eden valley, which is dominated by the limestone plateau at Orton and Great Asby. This wild and wonderful landscape is home to rare plants and dwarf trees which have adapted to survive in this harsh environment. With the remains of ancient stone circles and forts there is plenty to see as you wind your way across the limestone pavements. On returning to the village of Orton, you will visit the local chocolate shop and its tiny factory. The group will then transfer west into the Lake District. This afternoon you'll take a small ferry across Lake Windermere before visiting Hill Top, Beatrix Potter's 17th-century farmhouse.

Hike details: 6km, 200m ascent, 2 hours

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 9

Hiking the Lake District National Park

Today you'll hike to St Sunday Crag in the Fairfield group of the Eastern Fells. Starting from Patterdale you'll follow a long ridge that takes you to a craggy summit with dramatic gullies and beautiful views to the ridges of Helvellyn. Then you head west along the ridge to Deepdale Hause before a steep climb takes us over Cofa Pike to Fairfield. You'll descend to Grisedale Tarn, the legendary resting place of the crown of the king of Cumbria. You'll also visit the Brothers Parting Stone which marks the place William Wordsworth last saw his brother John. Hiking back down the valley the group will admire the rocky crags on either side, keeping an eye out for rock climbers as you go. Back at the comfortable inn you'll enjoy a farewell dinner this evening.

Hike details: 15km, 750m ascent, 5 -- 6 hours

Meal Plan Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
Day 10

Final Hike then Depart

After breakfast this morning you'll stroll a short distance to board a traditional steamer that will ferry you half way up Ullswater to Howtown. From here the group will hike back to Glenridding. You'll pass through forests and over and on to rocky beaches following the shoreline of the lake enjoying the view as you go. There will be time to stop for lunch at a local café before arriving back at the van. You'll then transfer to Penrith Railway Station to end the trip at 3:00pm.

Hike details: 11km, 250m ascent, 4 hours

Meal Plan Breakfast and Lunch

Other Information

DEPARTURES:

2018: Jul 22; Sep 9
2019: May 5; 23 Jun; 15 Sep

PRICE INCLUDES:

  • 9 nights accommodation in country inns and hotels
  • All meals, from lunch on Day 1 through to lunch on Day 7
  • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable guide / driver throughout
  • All transport throughout the trip starting in Aviemore and finishing in Penrith
  • Water taxi across Loch Lomond on day 4
  • Ferry across Windermere on day 8
  • Boat trip on Ullswater on day 10

PRICE EXCLUDES:

  • Travel insurance
  • International and domestic airfare & airfare taxes
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature

TERMS AND CONDITIONS:

Prices are "from" per person based on twin/double share accommodation and for travel in low season. Seasonal surcharges and blackout dates may apply. Limited seat/spaces and all pricing is subject to change and availability. Rates for single or triple travellers are available on request - please inquire.

TB WILDERNAVI18WA: HNPU
15 Sep 2019
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