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Day One – The Lake District
We’ll make sure your holiday gets off to a worthwhile start along a route carefully plotted just for you, whether you’d prefer meandering or more direct. Just a couple of hours north of Manchester, your first destination is the village of Glenridding, in the shadow of Helvellyn, on the shores of glistening Ullswater, regarded as the prettiest of all the lakes.
Your Accommodation in Glenridding
15 acres of beautifully manicured gardens sweep towards the lake at this endlessly appealing, family-owned hotel. Picture windows like only the Victorians knew how to install, allow the vast scenery to tumble towards your carefully appointed Lake View room. Dining options range from the appealing lounge bar via the bright orangery to the more refined fine-dining restaurant, all enveloped in glass, of course, giving a range of perspectives on the outside world.
Day Two – A Day on the Lake
A few short steps from the front door of your hotel will find you at Glenridding jetty, launch-point for one of our favourite excursions. Take to the water in a classic steamer, the evocative vessel chuffing its way around Ullswater, allowing guests to take in the surrounding landscape from this unique perspective. Hop on and off at any of five stops along the way, perhaps at the classic Lake District village of Pooley Bridge or the intense Aira Force waterfall, from which the more intrepid might prefer the hour-long country ramble back to your hotel. Don your boots, pack a lunch and make a day of it.
Day Three – Explore England’s Finest Driving Routes
Take our advice and enjoy breakfast in the privacy of your room, the dazzling views seemingly adding tang to the marmalade, before setting off on a day behind the wheel. Just 30 minutes from your hotel you’ll find the archetypal Lake District town of Ambleside, close to the home of William Wordsworth and wonderful Windermere. A little further you’ll find two of the UK’s greatest mountain passes, Hardknott and Wrynose, these twin Tarmac tickers twisting and plummeting through heart-stopping scenery. We’ll provide routes and recommendations to help you make the most of every minute.
Day Four – Discover the Secrets of Solway & Northumberland
Wave goodbye to Glenridding this morning and travel 45 minutes to the very north-western tip of England. Largely untouched by tourism, we’ve found the Solway coast a captivating place to explore. Meet a friendly and knowledgeable local guide here, and enjoy a four-hour private tour, including plenty of gentle walking, during which you’ll discover rich history both ancient and modern, as well as a unique landscape populated by welcoming locals and fascinating wildlife. Tour over, it’s just an hour’s drive east to your next base in the heart of Northumberland.
Your Castle Accommodation in Historic Hexham
We’ve been lucky enough to enjoy laying down our heads for the night in some historic castles all over the UK and Ireland; few can match this one for sheer drama and authenticity. This 14th-century tower house with a sometimes alarming history, has been in the hands of the same private owner for 35 years, lovingly restored and skilfully extended during his tenure. Bedrooms incorporate atmospheric original masonry and timbers, beautifully blended with every modern feature, while the quite staggering drawing room and restaurant will help you feel transported back through the centuries during your two-night stay.
Day Five – Under the Bricks of Hadrian’s Wall
A wonderful day out today in the company of a lifelong native of the area, and whom we consider one of England’s best tour guides. Meeting just a short drive from your hotel, you’ll be taken on a private guided walk of some of the most arresting features of Hadrian’s Wall, relic of Roman Britain. The stories of innovative engineering and the thousands of people who made it all happen never fail to leave their mark. Along the way, you’ll feast on a picnic, or lunch at a local inn if the weather is less clement.
Day Six – Southwards in to Yorkshire
Driving the direct route today, it’s only 100 miles to your final stop, though we’d think it a pity not to take the opportunity to detour slightly through the North Pennines and Yorkshire Dales on your way to the jewel-like spa town of Harrogate. Again, we’ll make sure you have every scenic route at your disposal, complete with our favourite places to stop along the way
Your Accommodation in Harrogate
It’s fair to say you won’t find accommodation like this anywhere else in the UK. A former chapel around 10 minutes’ stroll from the centre of town, this family owned property takes the breath away the moment you step across the threshold. Furnished and decorated from your friendly local hosts’ lifelong-assembled collection of antiques and art, the attention to detail is simply staggering and leaves an impression visitors find impossible to forget. A wonderful place to stay
Day Seven – Flavours of Harrogate
The extensive continental breakfast on offer is one of the best, featuring an array of choices, but we’d take caution today, as lunch is quite an event. Saunter into town and meet your local guide for a private tour around some of Harrogate’s best foodie spots, where local produce meets artisan creators and chefs add their own signature to the classics. Your friendly guide provides commentary on the history of Harrogate along the way. After lunch, perhaps walk it off at one of the town’s glorious public gardens, or browse for a trinket or two at one of dozens of long-established antique shops and galleries
Day Eight– Onward Journey Home
Enjoy a final holiday breakfast this morning before commencing your homeward leg. We’ll point out our favourite driving routes to take you back to the motorway system, making the most of your last day on the road.
If you have more time to linger, do let us know, as we can tailor your North England road trip to include the city of York or perhaps add a coastal stop at the classic resort of Whitby, famed not only for the freshest catch of the day but also for the legend of Dracula.
Your North England road trip begins in the heart of the Lake District, by Ullswater. You then head north to Cumbria and onwards to Northumberland for a two-night castle stay. Complete your self-drive English tour with a stop in well-heeled Harrogate.
Premier Lake District, Hadrian’s Wall & Yorkshire Road Trip costs £1495 in April and October, £1595 May to September. Price is per person, based on two adults sharing a double or twin en-suite room for seven nights on a bed and breakfast basis. You will stay in our hand-picked selection of four and five star hotels and guest houses, including two nights in a castle.
The price includes an Ullswater Round the Lake pass, a private half-day guided tour of the Solway Coast, a private guided tour of Hadrian’s Wall with lunch provided and a private food tour of Harrogate.
Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions and recommended routes from your specified starting point, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.
All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.
All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.
We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.
Earlier in the year, on an exceptionally sunny July day, I left the city of Glasgow behind and ventured south across the border to the small English t...
My guide brought Hadrian's Wall to life...the picnic lunch was also a lovely touch. Marvellous, I shall never forget it.Janet, Ontario, Canada
The holiday was most enjoyable. The scenery was amazing and your directions are excellent. It is great to have ideas of places to visit.Michael & Sally, Kent, England
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