Northern Lakes and Borrowdale- Autumn's Glory

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The Lake District is an area of immense beauty, great diversity and striking contrast from its high fells to deep valleys, by its cascading rivers, tarns and great lakes, by woods, fields and its lovely quaint villages and hamlets. Cumbria’s mountainous landscape, deepest valleys and longest lakes have provided inspiration for generations of artists, poets and writers from Wordsworth, Ruskin, Wainwright and Beatrix Potter

England's largest National Park is now a World Heritage Site, home to Scafell Pike - its highest mountain, Wastwater - its deepest lake and thriving communities like Keswick and Bowness-on-Windermere.

Walking in the Lakes is a lifelong ever changing experience. It offers a vast range of very good, well maintained paths which give you full access to the hills, fells and lakes. No matter where you walk, whether it be along the valley, or to the crest of a low level hill you are rewarded with a 360 degree panorama of fells and beauty.

Whatever the weather, throughout the seasons the Lake District offers an ever changing kaleidoscope of mood and colour. It really is one of the most special places on earth and really needs to be visited and its paths walked.

It is hard to believe that Borrowdale, now part of the National Park, was once a hive of industrial activity with iron smelting, charcoal burning, and mining for copper and graphite.  Scattered hamlets reflect the Nordic influence in their names, while stone walls and vernacular buildings chronicle centuries of farming.  Today farming struggles to make a living Leading south from Derwent water, Borrowdale is surrounded by rugged crags, inviting fells, old mine workings and wooded valleys with clean rivers.  The fine sessile oak woodlands are of particular ecological interest, and the damp, western climate supports internationally important lichens, mosses and insects.  An alder woodland and marsh along the shores of Derwentwater provide an ideal nesting site for wildfowl and waders and visitors play an important role in sustaining the local community.

Accommodation and food

 

 

We stay at the Glaramara Hotel in Borrowdale - see  www.glaramarahouse.co.uk

Glaramara is a privately owned hotel which is run by an experienced and professional team whose aim is to make your visit a memorable and rewarding one.

The serene setting of Glaramara offers you the most perfect Lakeland retreat.The location of the hotel is particularly striking with commanding views of the Borrowdale Fells and the hotel is nestled into the hillside.The hotel is set in over 5 acres of private ground with stunning views from all aspects and nearly all of the hotels elegant rooms provide magnificent views of the surrounding Cumbrian Fells

The hotel facilities include a spacious lounge and bar each with log fires, a wrap around sun terrace to soak up the views, a drying room and free wi fi throughout.

It really is a very tranquil retreat.

The hotel bedrooms are equipped to a very high standard and have been very recently all been renovated. The bedrooms we have been allocted are single rooms - should you wish to guarantee a twin, or double room for sole occupation then please request this when you book as the hotel has many single rooms for us.However there is a charge of £10 per night for these rooms.

Dinner is a feature of our holiday with a three course evening meal with a changing daily menu complimenting our walking and is part of our social atmosphere.

Lunch is either a hearty packed lunch or we aim to xcall at local pubs where appropriate to the selected walk.

 

Your holiday walking programme

Autumnal beautiful Borrowdale

Autumn is a glorious time in Borrowdale- reds, browns, russets, gold and orange abound- and Autumns light filters through the leaves to leave the eye with a sense of wonderment at the natural beauty of nature.

Join us at this fabulous time.

This holiday starts on Monday afternoon October 25 , when we have a half day walk in Borrowdale.

We walk on Tuesday, Wednesday, full  days- and a half day walk on Thursday before you depart for home. Staying at the hotel on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.

Our North Lakes holiday is based from the most stunning Lakeland retreat Hotel in Borrowdale which is situated 8 miles south of Keswick in the picturesque hamlet of Seatoller in the very beautiful Borrowdale Valley. Our hotel location offers us a great variety of great walks straight from the hotel door and offers us either low level valley walks or the opportunity to ascend fantastic mid level fells and peaks. Our location opens up the options of visiting the following valleys of  Honister, Buttermere, Crummock Water, Langstrath and walking through the pretty hamlets of Rosthwaite, Seathwaite, Grange and Watendlath. We will also be able to visit some very well known landmarks such as Ashness Bridge, castle crag, Honister slate mine and Borrowdale Bowder Stone and walk some parts of the Coast to Coast and Cumbria Way path networks.

Our options are endless and we will match our walks to the weather and to the needs of the group. 

Great reasons to join us

- meet new friends in a relaxed walking and social  atmosphere

- beautiful countryside to walk through and enjoy

- super value for money- no single supplement

- professional, friendly walk leaders who are passionate and knowledeable about this area

- lovely country hotel with super food

 

 

Holiday Highlights

 Fabulous Lake District scenery-  Borrowdale, Skiddaw, Derwentwater

- Fabulous Autumn scenery- the russets, browns and oranges that make our Lake District autumn so vibrant

- Simply superb vista's every day.

- Some of the best walking in this country

- Lovely country house hotel and fabulous food.

- No single supplement 

- Our relaxed social approach

- Meet new friends that turn into old friends

What's included in your holiday

What you get on a Secret Hills break

  • Hotel bed and breakfast– en suite
  • Sole occupancy- no single supplement
  • Three course dinner
  • Lunch
  • Personal service
  • Expert guiding
  • Transport to walks start if necessary
  • Flexibility
  • A social, relaxed approach
  • No single supplement
  • Joining details prior to the holiday
  • Administration support from reservation to the date of your holiday

Great reasons to join us

Great reasons to join us

There are other walking holiday companies that cover the Lake District but we believe we offer the best value for many reasons….

  • We are a small friendly company
  • We have a loyal customer base who return again and again (so we must be doing something right) – read our testimonials page on the website
  • We offer a lot of flexibility – you can stay extra nights which we are happy to organise for you. We are also very flexible on the walks we provide, adapting to suit walkers and weather conditions
  • Our walk leading is second to none. Unlike some other large Walking Companies, we use LOCAL leaders who live in the area and who love their surroundings. They have expert knowledge of everything you need to know to make an area come alive.
  • You are safe in our hands – our guides are experts, fully qualified in first aid. Also, because of their local knowledge of the hills, they can respond to any situation that might for example demand cutting short a route. They don’t need to consult maps – they know the hills intimately.
  • Our leaders are all easy-going, genuinely sociable people who want to ensure that you have the best time you can with the rest of the group. They make the weekend fun by engaging with all members of a group, and ensuring that everyone feels part of the group experience.
  • We give great value for money. Because we recognise that lots of walkers holiday on their own, we have negotiated no single supplement deals with all our hotels to ensure the best possible deal.
  • We always use good hotels. Our hotel in beautiful Borrowdale is set in lovely surroundings  and the standard is really good.
  • We have smaller groups than some of the larger walking companies, because we believe the social experience is much better in a smaller group. People can talk to everyone, especially at dinner where you can all sit on one table in a small group. Our numbers vary from holiday to holiday but an average group size would be 8-12.

Customer Reviews

 

Kelly McIntyre – Northern Lakes, October 2021. Hi Alan Thank you to you and Alvina for a great time, just wish it hadn’t been cut short. With best wishes Kelly

 

John Everett – Northern Lakes, October 2021. HI Alan, it certainly was a good introduction to walking holidays. Our walk leader was brilliant and even guided us back to the A66 when mostly every road was cut off she really did go out of her way to help us all. Despite the weather I thoroughly enjoyed my time with you and I will very soon be booking with you again many thanks

 

 

Sarah Blaydon – Northern Lakes, October 2021. Hello Alan Thank you for your email. I am home safely and it was all perfect timing… I understand the weather wasn’t at all good for walking but I had a lovely experience, the group were fabulous, the food and accommodation was great…It was a lovely break and I hope to get back to the lakes another time and look at some of the other holidays you have. Many thanks, Sarah

 

Beryl Allen Northern Lakes October 2021. Hi Alan, I would like to pass on my thanks to Alvina for making the most of a nearly impossible situation.  I have been to the Lakes before in wet conditions but NEVER in floods like we had this time. Alvina still managed to get us out in the open air and I learned a lot about wearing double waterproofs!?!  There were literally lakes across the road outside of our hotel, so it really paid dividends having a local leader. I don’t think anyone else could have managed as well. She was naturally safety aware, but was also very concerned that everyone should still manage to get the best possible experience, within the limitations that nature had set for us. I don’t often give lots of feed back but she deserves a huge pat on the back. Keep up the good work with Secret Hills. Beryl

 

Janet Long - Northern Lakes, October 2019.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Very enjoyable few days – thanks, Janet

 

Margaret Leach - Northern Lakes September 2019.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Hotel was excellent. Very comfortable and welcoming. Staff very friendly. Food choices excellent. Great quality. The guides were very informative. Took us on very scenic routes. Well organised. The briefing each evening was useful. Yes, would definitely consider Secret Hills holiday again. The perfect holiday for me as a solo traveller. I was well looked after in a safe and friendly environment.

 

Sharan Macdonald - Northern Lakes September 2019.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 The walks were fantastic and Jill was an excellent guide, supported by Joe. Organization of holiday was perfect. I felt it was neither under or over organised, as Jill regularly checked out how we are doing whilst providing the structure. Very much enjoyed the Northern Lakes, not having known what to expect. The small group was great, and I hope to repeat the experience at some point in the future. Big thanks to Jill in particular!

 

Arthur Hasler - Northern Lakes September 2019.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      A very pleasant break. Thanks to Jill for making it all work so well. The hotel was very good. Helpful and friendly staff, and a good standard of catering. Organizing of holiday? It all worked well for me, so I can’t find fault with any of it.

 

Keith Barker - Northern Lakes September 2019.

The Glaramara hotel was excellent – I couldn’t fault it. Everything about it exceeded my expectations.  As a first-timer on walking holidays, the guides were the most important part for me. Both Jill and Joe were very friendly, knowledgeable and accommodating, and great hosts. Organisation very good – everything was very well run. I was a slightly apprehensive first-timer walker. Jill was very welcoming and made us all feel at ease from the start. It was really good to know you were in safe hands, and there is no way I could have found all the places we visited on my own. Everyone in the group was really friendly, the hotel was amazing and I had a great time.

 

 

Jayne Wood Lakes May 2018

Well organised, nice range, gorgeous scenery, views explained. Jill was very informative, and the walks were well organized .The hotel food, bar and public areas very nice, my room was a bit small but then it was a single.

Sarah Trevis Lakes May 2018 

Loved the guided walking.  Jill is v passionate about the area and Tom was helpful about plants and birds

I have to say for me personally the pace and the level of walking was just right.  And the guides were fantastic.

Sally bouwman Lakes Easter break 2018

Some of the best walking I have ever done. Felt in really good hands the walking guides were fantastic... knowledgeable, friendly, sensitive, supportive, fun, very approachable....

Once again I would like to stress how thoughtful and lovely Gill and Tom were. They really made everyone feel at ease, it was great to see their passion for the area. They were sooo helpful and inspiring. I now have a confirmed passion of my own! Loved that Gill leant me her jacket for the weekend. Thought we were so lucky with the group of 9 lovely women and one delightful young chap.

 

 

Glenys Thompson Lakes Easter break 2018

I thoroughly enjoyed the guided walks. Jill is very knowledgeable of and enthusiastic about the area, which was great. She clearly explained the walks and the options and was flexible in terms of changing things around to suit guests and/or the weather.

Freda Caslin Easter 2018 

Wonderful,  the guided walking experience was excellent, both Jill and Tom were extremely knowledgeable on the area, wildlife and vegetation. They were friendly and very professional,  excellent guides

Philip Veit Lakes New Year 2017/18

Food very good, customer service good, my room very good. Drinks at the bar reasonable. good selection of local ales. I must conclude and say how I was impressed with Jill and Tom's leadership qualities. Briefings explained well and regular checks during walks if everyone was alright, also I thought the number in group was just right for this walking holiday. thank you.

 

Ray Ducker Lakes New Year 2017/18

Very good holiday. Hotel room was comfortable. Had a great time as usual with Jill and Tom.

 

Michael Smith  New Year 2017/18

The staff were very friendly and efficient, there were different walks available. The guides were very knowledgeable

 

John Pallot Lakes October 2017 - October 2017

My second Secret Hills holiday and the second time with Jill. I cannot fault the leadership of her, Joe and Di. I felt safe at all times and their local knowledge was extensive. Unfortunately, it was rather boggy in numerous places, which made the going difficult. However, this did not spoil the overall experience which I can only describe as incredible. Thanks to everyone involved in the planning and running of this holiday."

 

Dr Keith Stonier-Lake District August 2017

The substantial benefit was the proximity to the walks, all of which could be accessed from the front door of the hotel without car travel. The room (in an outbuilding, close to my car) was just right for me. I felt very much at home. The meals were extremely satisfying (especially the ‘sticky toffee pudding’!). I rate the hotel highly – among the most comfortable and convenient of any in which I have stayed. Jill and Tom explained, guided, supported and socialised to the highest levels. I cannot think of anything that they could have done better. I have the highest regard for how they organised the entire experience.

 

Debbie Tasker- August Bank holiday Lakes

Very straightforward. I had a couple of chats with Alan beforehand, who was very helpful in providing useful information as well as handy hints and tips on travel etc.

 The Skelwith Bridge hotel was a great base for the holiday. All the staff were friendly and welcoming.

The room was comfortable and clean - not that you spend a lot of time in it, making the most of a full day’s walking. Special mention about the evening meals - the quality of the food was excellent during the entire weekend

Jill and Tom were excellent throughout the weekend - very friendly, welcoming and have great local knowledge to make the experience even more special. Each day we were given a clear explanation of the day's walking locations, as well as the option of a low/mid level or higher level walk. This enabled all levels in the group to be catered for. Jill was very good at checking that we were ok throughout the weekend, so I always felt well looked after. For me, Jill and Tom made the weekend special - thank you both

 

Claire Houchin - August Bank holiday Lakes

The hotel was excellent. Staff friendly and helpful.

Food excellent, and good choices.

Brill, after my visit last August I returned Easter and again this August. Jill goes out of her way to accommodate all levels and is very perceptive. There were plenty of stops to look at the scenery which is emphasized by both Jill and Tom. To add Toms knowledge of the local plants.

 

I did feel more relaxed returning, but only did so because of my previous experience.

Thanks for a great time. It felt it was  like going home. Two great people who put everything into making the holiday great.

 

Thanks Jill and Tom, see you in the new year.

 

 

Judith Hanks Lakes April 2017 - May 2017

Jill and Tom were so enthusiastic,and took great care to ensure flexibility, choice, and safety at all times.Really excellent guides!"
 

 

 

Harriet Aitchinson - Lakes March 2017

Gill and Tom were magnificent and were constantly attentive to our comfort and safety in adverse weather conditions; whilst ensuring we were actually offered walks.

 

Joanne French Lakes March 2017

This was my first Secret Hills holiday and I am almost certain I will book another. My concern before booking was that I would find the distance difficult, as it's been many years since I've walked over about 8 miles, but my mind was put at rest so I booked! From the moment I arrived I felt welcome and included. The whole group were very friendly. The service at the hotel and the food were excellent. The full day walk on the Saturday was probably the furthest I have walked for many years and although I was mostly the 'back marker' I was encouraged by Jill and Tom all the way and therefore didn't find it as difficult as I thought I might. It is a shame that the weather was so wet as another member of the group mentioned that there are usually a few more stops to admire the view etc. along the way. The rain also meant the walk had to be cut short on the Sunday but it didn't spoil my enjoyment in any way!! Thank-you everyone for a most enjoyable weekend

 

Graham & Morag Hartwell Lakes March 2017

We have just returned from our weekend walking in the lake district. Our first Secret Hills holiday...Won't be the last. The weather was awful but if anything it added to the experience. We would of never ventured out on our own. We felt safe and supported by Tom and Jill and saw some sights in the rain that we would of never seen any other time. I have to say that the rain soaked Sunday was our favourite. Thank you for a wonderful time.

Pauline Nicholson Lakes New year 2016/2017
The two guides Jill and Tom did a fantastic job. They explained the plan for each day and gave options. They were excellent company and looked after everyone in the group very well. Excellent organisation so that I didn't have to worry about anything.
Keep up the good work. As someone who has done a lot of group travel over the years, it is a challenge to get the balance of these trips right.
 But you seem to work your magic to make these trips a really enjoyable experience for everyone.

Elaine Millar- Lakes New Year 2016/17

The holiday was very well organised as always and as always a brilliant time with Jill and Tom . Thank you for the choccies and everything else 

 

Judith Mulcahy Lakes New Year 2016/17

Hotel was excellent. Room was comfortable and the standard of food exceptional. New Year’s Eve entertainment was just right & created a very lively party atmosphere. The walks were superb and enhanced by wall to wall blue skies and sunshine. Tom & Jill provided interesting & varied walks along with informative snippets of information en route without information overload!

Jill & Tom as ever went the extra mile to ensure the trip was enjoyable for everybody. It is obvious they care about their clients. A thoroughly enjoyable trip at Newby Bridge & I’d be very happy to return there next New Year. It was a nice size group of 10 which was much more manageable & easier to get to know people. Also Jill & Tom definitely know how to arrange a good party!!

 

John Pallot Lakes October 2017 - October 2017

My second Secret Hills holiday and the second time with Jill. I cannot fault the leadership of her, Joe and Di. I felt safe at all times and their local knowledge was extensive. Unfortunately, it was rather boggy in numerous places, which made the going difficult. However, this did not spoil the overall experience which I can only describe as incredible. Thanks to everyone involved in the planning and running of this holiday."

 

Dr Keith Stonier-Lake District August 2017

The substantial benefit was the proximity to the walks, all of which could be accessed from the front door of the hotel without car travel. The room (in an outbuilding, close to my car) was just right for me. I felt very much at home. The meals were extremely satisfying (especially the ‘sticky toffee pudding’!). I rate the hotel highly – among the most comfortable and convenient of any in which I have stayed. Jill and Tom explained, guided, supported and socialised to the highest levels. I cannot think of anything that they could have done better. I have the highest regard for how they organised the entire experience.

 

Debbie Tasker- August Bank holiday Lakes

Very straightforward. I had a couple of chats with Alan beforehand, who was very helpful in providing useful information as well as handy hints and tips on travel etc.

 The Skelwith Bridge hotel was a great base for the holiday. All the staff were friendly and welcoming.

The room was comfortable and clean - not that you spend a lot of time in it, making the most of a full day’s walking. Special mention about the evening meals - the quality of the food was excellent during the entire weekend

Jill and Tom were excellent throughout the weekend - very friendly, welcoming and have great local knowledge to make the experience even more special. Each day we were given a clear explanation of the day's walking locations, as well as the option of a low/mid level or higher level walk. This enabled all levels in the group to be catered for. Jill was very good at checking that we were ok throughout the weekend, so I always felt well looked after. For me, Jill and Tom made the weekend special - thank you both

 

Claire Houchin - August Bank holiday Lakes

The hotel was excellent. Staff friendly and helpful.

Food excellent, and good choices.

Brill, after my visit last August I returned Easter and again this August. Jill goes out of her way to accommodate all levels and is very perceptive. There were plenty of stops to look at the scenery which is emphasized by both Jill and Tom. To add Toms knowledge of the local plants.

 

I did feel more relaxed returning, but only did so because of my previous experience.

Thanks for a great time. It felt it was  like going home. Two great people who put everything into making the holiday great.

 

Thanks Jill and Tom, see you in the new year.

 

 

Judith Hanks Lakes April 2017 - May 2017

Jill and Tom were so enthusiastic,and took great care to ensure flexibility, choice, and safety at all times.Really excellent guides!"
 

 

 

Harriet Aitchinson - Lakes March 2017

Gill and Tom were magnificent and were constantly attentive to our comfort and safety in adverse weather conditions; whilst ensuring we were actually offered walks.

 

Joanne French Lakes March 2017

This was my first Secret Hills holiday and I am almost certain I will book another. My concern before booking was that I would find the distance difficult, as it's been many years since I've walked over about 8 miles, but my mind was put at rest so I booked! From the moment I arrived I felt welcome and included. The whole group were very friendly. The service at the hotel and the food were excellent. The full day walk on the Saturday was probably the furthest I have walked for many years and although I was mostly the 'back marker' I was encouraged by Jill and Tom all the way and therefore didn't find it as difficult as I thought I might. It is a shame that the weather was so wet as another member of the group mentioned that there are usually a few more stops to admire the view etc. along the way. The rain also meant the walk had to be cut short on the Sunday but it didn't spoil my enjoyment in any way!! Thank-you everyone for a most enjoyable weekend

 

Graham & Morag Hartwell Lakes March 2017

We have just returned from our weekend walking in the lake district. Our first Secret Hills holiday...Won't be the last. The weather was awful but if anything it added to the experience. We would of never ventured out on our own. We felt safe and supported by Tom and Jill and saw some sights in the rain that we would of never seen any other time. I have to say that the rain soaked Sunday was our favourite. Thank you for a wonderful time.

Pauline Nicholson Lakes New year 2016/2017
The two guides Jill and Tom did a fantastic job. They explained the plan for each day and gave options. They were excellent company and looked after everyone in the group very well. Excellent organisation so that I didn't have to worry about anything.
Keep up the good work. As someone who has done a lot of group travel over the years, it is a challenge to get the balance of these trips right.
 But you seem to work your magic to make these trips a really enjoyable experience for everyone.

Elaine Millar- Lakes New Year 2016/17

The holiday was very well organised as always and as always a brilliant time with Jill and Tom . Thank you for the choccies and everything else 

 

Judith Mulcahy Lakes New Year 2016/17

Hotel was excellent. Room was comfortable and the standard of food exceptional. New Year’s Eve entertainment was just right & created a very lively party atmosphere. The walks were superb and enhanced by wall to wall blue skies and sunshine. Tom & Jill provided interesting & varied walks along with informative snippets of information en route without information overload!

Jill & Tom as ever went the extra mile to ensure the trip was enjoyable for everybody. It is obvious they care about their clients. A thoroughly enjoyable trip at Newby Bridge & I’d be very happy to return there next New Year. It was a nice size group of 10 which was much more manageable & easier to get to know people. Also Jill & Tom definitely know how to arrange a good party!!

John Pallot Lakes October 2017 - October 2017

My second Secret Hills holiday and the second time with Jill. I cannot fault the leadership of her, Joe and Di. I felt safe at all times and their local knowledge was extensive. Unfortunately, it was rather boggy in numerous places, which made the going difficult. However, this did not spoil the overall experience which I can only describe as incredible. Thanks to everyone involved in the planning and running of this holiday."

 

Dr Keith Stonier-Lake District August 2017

The substantial benefit was the proximity to the walks, all of which could be accessed from the front door of the hotel without car travel. The room (in an outbuilding, close to my car) was just right for me. I felt very much at home. The meals were extremely satisfying (especially the ‘sticky toffee pudding’!). I rate the hotel highly – among the most comfortable and convenient of any in which I have stayed. Jill and Tom explained, guided, supported and socialised to the highest levels. I cannot think of anything that they could have done better. I have the highest regard for how they organised the entire experience.

 

Debbie Tasker- August Bank holiday Lakes

Very straightforward. I had a couple of chats with Alan beforehand, who was very helpful in providing useful information as well as handy hints and tips on travel etc.

 The Skelwith Bridge hotel was a great base for the holiday. All the staff were friendly and welcoming.

The room was comfortable and clean - not that you spend a lot of time in it, making the most of a full day’s walking. Special mention about the evening meals - the quality of the food was excellent during the entire weekend

Jill and Tom were excellent throughout the weekend - very friendly, welcoming and have great local knowledge to make the experience even more special. Each day we were given a clear explanation of the day's walking locations, as well as the option of a low/mid level or higher level walk. This enabled all levels in the group to be catered for. Jill was very good at checking that we were ok throughout the weekend, so I always felt well looked after. For me, Jill and Tom made the weekend special - thank you both

 

Claire Houchin - August Bank holiday Lakes

The hotel was excellent. Staff friendly and helpful.

Food excellent, and good choices.

Brill, after my visit last August I returned Easter and again this August. Jill goes out of her way to accommodate all levels and is very perceptive. There were plenty of stops to look at the scenery which is emphasized by both Jill and Tom. To add Toms knowledge of the local plants.

 

I did feel more relaxed returning, but only did so because of my previous experience.

Thanks for a great time. It felt it was  like going home. Two great people who put everything into making the holiday great.

 

Thanks Jill and Tom, see you in the new year.

 

 

Judith Hanks Lakes April 2017 - May 2017

Jill and Tom were so enthusiastic,and took great care to ensure flexibility, choice, and safety at all times.Really excellent guides!"
 

 

 

Harriet Aitchinson - Lakes March 2017

Gill and Tom were magnificent and were constantly attentive to our comfort and safety in adverse weather conditions; whilst ensuring we were actually offered walks.

 

Joanne French Lakes March 2017

This was my first Secret Hills holiday and I am almost certain I will book another. My concern before booking was that I would find the distance difficult, as it's been many years since I've walked over about 8 miles, but my mind was put at rest so I booked! From the moment I arrived I felt welcome and included. The whole group were very friendly. The service at the hotel and the food were excellent. The full day walk on the Saturday was probably the furthest I have walked for many years and although I was mostly the 'back marker' I was encouraged by Jill and Tom all the way and therefore didn't find it as difficult as I thought I might. It is a shame that the weather was so wet as another member of the group mentioned that there are usually a few more stops to admire the view etc. along the way. The rain also meant the walk had to be cut short on the Sunday but it didn't spoil my enjoyment in any way!! Thank-you everyone for a most enjoyable weekend

 

Graham & Morag Hartwell Lakes March 2017

We have just returned from our weekend walking in the lake district. Our first Secret Hills holiday...Won't be the last. The weather was awful but if anything it added to the experience. We would of never ventured out on our own. We felt safe and supported by Tom and Jill and saw some sights in the rain that we would of never seen any other time. I have to say that the rain soaked Sunday was our favourite. Thank you for a wonderful time.

Pauline Nicholson Lakes New year 2016/2017
The two guides Jill and Tom did a fantastic job. They explained the plan for each day and gave options. They were excellent company and looked after everyone in the group very well. Excellent organisation so that I didn't have to worry about anything.
Keep up the good work. As someone who has done a lot of group travel over the years, it is a challenge to get the balance of these trips right.
 But you seem to work your magic to make these trips a really enjoyable experience for everyone.

Elaine Millar- Lakes New Year 2016/17

The holiday was very well organised as always and as always a brilliant time with Jill and Tom . Thank you for the choccies and everything else 

 

Judith Mulcahy Lakes New Year 2016/17

Hotel was excellent. Room was comfortable and the standard of food exceptional. New Year’s Eve entertainment was just right & created a very lively party atmosphere. The walks were superb and enhanced by wall to wall blue skies and sunshine. Tom & Jill provided interesting & varied walks along with informative snippets of information en route without information overload!

Jill & Tom as ever went the extra mile to ensure the trip was enjoyable for everybody. It is obvious they care about their clients. A thoroughly enjoyable trip at Newby Bridge & I’d be very happy to return there next New Year. It was a nice size group of 10 which was much more manageable & easier to get to know people. Also Jill & Tom definitely know how to arrange a good party!!

 

Ray Ducker Lakes New Year January 2017.
Another really good holiday with smashing guides and friendly walkers.
A great way to spend the new year weekend

John Kent September 2016

Definitely the best Secret Hills break yet (not easy - they've all been great) due to a combination of expert guiding (thanks Jill and Joe) and a fun group.

CTYuen May 2016

Guided walking experience was Fantastic.  Jill and Graham our leaders were wonderfully considerate with everyone and Jill's knowledge of the area is amazing. She knows everything!!
The guided treks suits all either "moderate" or "easy" and we all had a choice.  Well done

Jill Kent May 2016
A big thank you to Jill. She's brilliant. And Graeme too. A pleasure to meet him and his guiding skills are perfect. All together a wonderful weekend with lovely people. I'm so glad I booked.”

Jeanette Stark June 2016

I enjoyed the guided walking experience very much. Our guides were flexible and able to offer different levels of walks. They were also informative, encouraging and enthusiastic.

Ruth Holmes

Lake District June 2016

Jill and Graeme both made excellent guides and could not have done more to make it a wonderful holiday. Lovely weather and great company as well as fantastic walking. Thanks very much indeed.

Barry Gregory Lakes August Bank Holiday 2014

Very well organised by Jill and Tom.  Very clear programme with options for split walks on most days. ?  The Newby Bridge Hotel was comfortable with helpful staff and good food. It's nice to have a pool to unwind after a days walking.

Pam McEwen Lakes August Bank Holiday weekend 2014

 Fabulous weekend. Great location, lovely hotel, fabulous group of people and wonderfully attentive walk guides. The attention to detail was incredible, they arranged everything …. even the weather apparently. What more can you ask from a weekend? :) FAB, FAB, FAB xxx

Vejay Pal Lakes August Bank Holiday 2014

Thanks for email. Was a great weekend thanks . Have sent feedback form by email. 

Jane Smallwood Lake District April 2014

It was great group and the weather was excellent.  Altogether a really enjoyable break.

Shirley Turner Lake District April 2014

The holiday was very well organized, we were met by Jill as soon as we arrived and made to feel very welcome. The hotel was fantastic and our Group Leaders Jill, Tom and Dawn were great. They were friendly, encouraging and nothing seemed too much trouble. We really appreciated having options on different walks to fit individuals’ abilities’

Toni

I wanted to say what a lovely experience I had staying in the Lake District over the weekend. Jill was a fantastic guide and host, I can't praise her enough. She was knowledgeable, attentive, and ensured our holiday was comfortable and stress free. Just a lovely person! We made the most of the sunshine from Friday and throughout Saturday before the rain set in, and even then we had an entertaining tour around the lakes! Saturday was a full day and the views were gorgeous. A well-deserved mid-morning tea break was enjoyed by all on top of a mountain where the scenery could be taken in and our achievement reflected on. The Swan Hotel was great. Lovely, cosy rooms, great food and warm welcoming staff.

So, I'm afraid I have no constructive criticism! Keep doing the Lake District walks! Thanks very much for a memorable holiday.

Ruth Holmes

Hi Alan Thanks for a great holiday. Form attached.

Mary Hynes

For it was not only the direct experience of the hotel and the walks but the whole experience, from receiving information prior to leaving, to the convenience of getting to Grasmere via train. It was Wonderful relaxing experience and I would definitely recommend it to my friends and colleagues.  

The local area - The Northern Lakes and Borrowdale

The Northern region of the English Lake District National Park is an area of outstanding natural beauty. With lakes, mountains, delightful small towns, villages and hamlets set amongst magnificent landscape this is somewhere to escape from the pressures of modern living. Visitors to this area come for many different reasons, some simply enjoy looking at the scenery, some will paint or use camaras to capture the views, while others will walk the valleys and climb the fells. Cycling as well as walking  is a popular activity here, either on the roads or "mountain biking" on lanes, bridleways and specially created tracks. Open water swimming, kayaking and sailing takes place on some of the lakes, and some of the fells provide perfect "launch platforms" for those who like to paraglide over the valleys and lower fells.

The normally accepted boundary between the North and South areas of the Lake District is a line through Dunmail Raise. This is the pass which connects the Vale of Grasmere in the South to the Thirlmere valley in the North. This is the only low level route between North and South Lakes, reaching only 238 metres above sea level, and is the route for the A591 Keswick to Kendal road. The "Raise" is a stone cairn which is at the top of the pass, now on the reservation between the dual carriageways of the A591. This is the dividing line used for the content of this website.

The region around Keswick including Borrowdale an Derwentwater is probably the most visited in the Lake District after Windermere on account of its dramatic scenery and particularly the manner n whch natural attractions such as Lodore Falls, Bowder Stone were dramatised by the Lakeland literary circle of Wordsworth, Coleridge and Southey and so on, and the Lakeland Painters. Keswick is also a magnet for climbers  while nearby Catbells is probably the most-climbind peak in the lake District. This region also provides a huge diversity of scenery from the high peaks of Scafell and Great Gable above Borrowdale, to the ancient woodlands aound Lodore, and tranquil meadows around Bassenthwaite and Wythop. There are also numerous attractions and distractions from sailing and climbing schools, to the boats on Derwentwater, the Cars of the Stars museum in Keswick, the mining museum and railway at Threlkeld, the visitors centre and osprey watch at Whinlatter, the slate mines at Honister and cultural attractions such as Castlerigg Stone Circle, Mirehouse and St Bega's church at Bassenthwaite.
Leading south from Derwent water, Borrowdale is surrounded by rugged crags, inviting fells, old mine workings and wooded valleys with clean rivers.  The fine sessile oak woodlands are of particular ecological interest, and the damp, western climate supports internationally important lichens, mosses and insects.  An alder woodland and marsh along the shores of Derwentwater provide an ideal nesting site for wildfowl and waders

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Our Promise To You
You matter to us & we promise to provide you with a superb walking & social holiday, tailored specifically to your needs. We provide walking holidays for walkers & as walkers ourselves, we appreciate & understand the requirements of a walking holiday.

What Others Said...

Ullswater Way - September 2020. Straightforward reservation. Hotel very enjoyable. Comfortable room, good food and attractive venue. Guided walking useful and friendly way of enjoying the Lakes. Very well organised.

Ann Andrews

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