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How to Spend 3 Days in the Lake District

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How to Spend 3 Days in the Lake District
With three days in the Lake District, a vast national park that covers much of England’s county of Cumbria, you can enjoy its crystal-clear lakes, craggy mountains, outdoor activities, stone-built villages, and literary heritage to the full. Here are a few ways to spend your 72 hours in this stunning region.

Day 1: Get an Overview
For a hassle-free introduction to the Lake District’s widely dispersed attractions, take a full- or half-day group or private overview tour. Choose a 10-lake foray into green valleys, high passes, and villages, seeing lakes such as Grasmere and Buttermere and highlights such as pretty Ambleside and Keswick. Prefer your three days planned out? Departing from Windermere, London, and Edinburgh, 3-day Lake District tours cover all the highlights. Alternatively, Beatrix Potter fans can choose a 3-day package focused on the life of the author and botanist, exploring Hill Top farmhouse, where she wrote books such as The Tale of Jemima Puddle-Duck.

Day 2: Delve Deeper  
Day two is prime for in-depth exploration. Perhaps fix on a particular area such as the sometimes-overlooked Western Lakes, riding the Ravenglass and Eskdale railway and visiting the reputedly haunted Muncaster Castle. Or, make tracks for the South Lakes to admire Lake Coniston and the craggy Langdale Valley. Hikers, meanwhile, might relish the chance to summit Scafell Pike—England’s highest peak. If you haven’t already explored Beatrix Potter’s legacy, take an afternoon tour her former home and other places she frequented, such as Esthwaite Water. Or, explore the William Wordsworth country of Grasmere, where the English poet spent much of his life. Peeking into Dove Cottage, where he lived with his sister, Dorothy, and visit his later home of Rydal House.  

Day 3: Day Trips and Pursuits
Spend your last day exploring outside the Lakes. In neighboring Yorkshire Dales National Park, wind through limestone valleys and emerald pastures and visit villages such as Wensleydale, famed for its cheese, and Bolton Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots, was imprisoned. Alternatively, journey north to what was Roman Britain’s frontier—Hadrian’s Wall. Outdoor enthusiasts may prefer to climb a fell stream on a gill (stream) scramble or take a cruise on Ullswater, the region’s second-largest lake. This evening, enjoy dinner at one of the Lake District’s historical restaurants or inns, recalling your adventures over regional culinary delights.
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Lake District Tours & Activities (15)
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3-Day Lake District Explorer Small-Group Tour from EdinburghMulti-day Tours

3-Day Lake District Explorer Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

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Experience the rugged beauty of England’s Lake District on 3-day small-group trip from Edinburgh. Aboard a comfortable coach, wind through the picturesque borderlands into England, visiting the Victorian Spa town of Moffat en route. Then cozy up in the town of Keswick, and spend three days relaxing and visiting idyllic lakes like Lake Windermere, Grasmere, and Ullswater.
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Booked by 86 travelers
  • 3 days
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  • 3 days

Mountain Goat Full Day Tour: Ten Lakes Tour of the Lake District Day Trips

Mountain Goat Full Day Tour: Ten Lakes Tour of the Lake District

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Experience some of the highlights of the Lake District National Park on this full-day Ten Lakes Spectacular small-group tour from Windermere. Traveling by air-conditioned minivan with an expert guide, explore the beauty spots and villages of central Lakeland as you learn about its history. Ascend high mountain passes, visit a waterfall, take a sightseeing cruise, and see ten of the most beautiful lakes, including Buttermere and Thirlmere. Discover Borrowdale and quaint villages such as Grasmere; visit Castlerigg Stone Circle; and enjoy free time for lunch in the market town of Keswick.
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Booked by 2,832 travelers
  • 8 hours 30 minutes
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
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Full-Day Scafell Pike Guided Mountain WalkHiking & Camping

Full-Day Scafell Pike Guided Mountain Walk

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Climbing Scafell Pike, England’s highest mountain, isn’t recommended alone or without proper planning and equipment. This guided small-group full-day hike is led by a qualified mountain guide for route-planning, safety, and pointers on the views, leaving you to just enjoy the walk and scenery stress-free. Climb via the Corridor Route, and at the 3,209ft-high (978-meter) summit, admire the panoramas over forests, fells, and lakes before descending.
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Booked by 130 travelers
  • 7 hours
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  • 7 hours
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Beatrix Potter: Afternoon Half Day All-Inclusive Tour with an Expert GuideHalf-day Tours

Beatrix Potter: Afternoon Half Day All-Inclusive Tour with an Expert Guide

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Without a rental car, rounding up the Lake District spots beloved by Beatrix Potter in a half-day is near-impossible. Ideal for time-crunched visitors, this small-group tour from Windermere, Bowness, and Ambleside visits many such places in a few hours. Explore Beatrix’s Hill Top home, see Esthwaite Lake where she fished, visit Hawkshead, and learn detail about her life and characters via the onboard commentary that you might never otherwise hear.
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Booked by 41 travelers
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  • 4 hours
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  • 4 hours
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The Romans and Hadrian's Wall Day Tour from WindermereDay Trips

The Romans and Hadrian's Wall Day Tour from Windermere

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Spend a day at Hadrian’s Wall, a site that was once the northern frontier of the Roman Empire. With a guide, you’ll travel north from Windermere, through the Lake District towards the region known as the Debateable Lands. After a stop at Lanercost Priory, you’ll spend most of your day at Hadrian’s Wall, discovering the ruins and beauty spots that abound. A stop at the Roman Army Museum and a visit to the Vindolanda fort is also included.
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Booked by 33 travelers
  • 8 hours 30 minutes
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  • 8 hours 30 minutes
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3 Day Lake District Tour including Lake CruiseMulti-day Tours

3 Day Lake District Tour including Lake Cruise

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Succumb to the beauty of England’s Lake District National Park on this 3-day experience including two nights at a 4-star accommodation, free time, and a full-day tour. Enjoy time to absorb the Lake Windermere views, and perhaps explore nearby Bowness-on-Windermere. Plus, go on a guided day trip around the region’s highlights. Traveling by comfortable minivan, see ten lakes including Buttermere and Grasmere, cross high passes, visit Keswick, and more. Round-trip hotel transfers and two days of breakfast are included on this small-group experience limited to 16 people.
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Booked by 124 travelers
  • 3 days
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US$488.12 
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  • 3 days

3-Day Lake District Explorer Small-Group Tour from LondonMulti-day Tours

3-Day Lake District Explorer Small-Group Tour from London

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Discover the best of British history and nature on a 3-day small-group tour to the Lake District. Round-trip train fare from London, all ground transportation, and provided accommodation ensure that your adventure is comfortable and stress-free. The well-rounded itinerary is perfect for travelers who want to take advantage of every moment in the rural paradise. See Ullswater Lake, Kirkstone Pass, Wordsworth's Dove Cottage, and much more.
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Booked by 9 travelers
  • 3 days
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US$492.42 
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  • 3 days

3 Day Beatrix Potter Experience Tour including Hill Top FarmMulti-day Tours

3 Day Beatrix Potter Experience Tour including Hill Top Farm

Explore the Lake District of Beatrix Potter without having to organize transport on this 2-night tour. Spend both nights at the 4-star Lindeth Howe hotel—once owned by the beloved writer—and enjoy time to explore independently punctuated by a half-day tour of Beatrix-linked locations, including her former home, Hill Top Farm; Hawkshead, and Tarn Hows. Breakfasts, dinners, a cream tea, and return transfers from Windermere railway station are included.
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  • 3 days
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  • 3 days

Ghyll Scrambling Water Adventure in the Lake DistrictClimbing

Ghyll Scrambling Water Adventure in the Lake District

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Immerse yourself in the wild scenery of the Lake District—and try out an outdoor activity that’s unique to the area—on this adventurous tour. Ghyll scrambling involves donning a wetsuit, helmet, and other equipment, and climbing, sliding down, and hopping from pool to pool in the Lake District’s ghylls, or mountain streams. For this small-group activity, choose from morning or afternoon departure times—and prepare to get wet.
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Booked by 40 travelers
Small group
  • 3 hours
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US$62.58 
Price varies by group size
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  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation

The Yorkshire Dales Tour from WindermereDay Trips

The Yorkshire Dales Tour from Windermere

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Discover the dramatic limestone valleys and emerald countryside of the Yorkshire Dales National Park on an 8-hour tour from Windermere. Travel with ease from the Lake District and visit the quaint towns of Hardraw and Wensleydale, famed for its cheese, and Bolton Castle, in which Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned. See, too, Aysgarth Falls and the lovely English village of Dent.
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Booked by 41 travelers
  • 8 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 8 hours
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William Wordsworth: Afternoon Half Day Tour with an Expert GuideHalf-day Tours

William Wordsworth: Afternoon Half Day Tour with an Expert Guide

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During this 3-hour tour, admirers of the poet William Wordsworth will have the pleasure of visiting some of the Lake District sites where he lived. With the benefit of a guide’s specialized knowledge you'll gain insight about the environment that influenced Wordsworth’s poetry. Explore the villages of Grasmere and Rydal, with admission to Dove Cottage and the Wordsworth Museum included for your convenience. 
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Booked by 13 travelers
Small group
  • 3 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 3 hours
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Coniston and The Langdale Valley - Morning Half Day TourHalf-day Tours

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Coniston and The Langdale Valley - Morning Half Day Tour

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Spend a half day exploring the scenic surroundings of the Lake District while a guide provides commentary throughout the tour. Visit highlights such as Tarn Hows, Coniston Water, and Coniston village; then head over to Great Langdale and Little Langdale to admire these valleys. You’ll get a more informed glimpse with a sightseeing tour than going solo, and relax with the ease of transport between destinations.
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Booked by 10 travelers
Small group
  • 4 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 4 hours
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Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway: Ride All Day TicketAttraction Tickets

Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway: Ride All Day Ticket

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Enjoy a day on the railways and discover centuries of engineering heritage with this full-day Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway ticket. Hop aboard your train in Ravenglass and take a seat to begin your rail adventure. As you chug through the English countryside, enjoy panoramic views over the Lake District’s ancient woodland and rolling hillsides. Gaze over soaring peaks such as the Scafells, and perhaps hop out at any of the seven stops to explore further on foot. Afterward, visit the museum at Ravenglass to learn of England’s rich railway history. 
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Booked by 97 travelers
  • 2 hours
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  • Free Cancellation
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  • 2 hours
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Skip the Line: Muncaster Castle Admission TicketAttraction Tickets

Skip the Line: Muncaster Castle Admission Ticket

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Breeze past any on-the-day ticket lines with skip-the-line entry to Muncaster Castle, a medieval stronghold in the Cumbrian countryside. Dedicate your day to exploring the landscaped gardens, soaking up views of the Lakeland fells, or browsing the castle’s collection of art and antiques, with an on-site playground, maze, and bird centre providing plenty to keep the whole family entertained.
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Booked by 7 travelers
  • 2 to 3 hours
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  • 2 to 3 hours
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