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Lakes and Dales by Steam

4.0 stars(226 reviews)

Enjoy the breathtaking panoramas of the north of England

5 days From £429 £399 per person
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Save up to £100pp on selected UK and European 2023 holidays when you book before 31st of March 2023.

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2023 Tour code: 23LKL

About the tour

From your base in Carlisle, travel on heritage railways, enjoying the striking countryside of the north and delighting in the natural beauty of England's Lake District.


What’s included


Day 1 - Carlisle

Begin your holiday at the Crown Hotel, Wetheral, where you meet your Tour Manager. Your hotel is situated in a picturesque village, close to the Scottish border and the city of Carlisle. With the Lake District, Yorkshire Dales, and Hadrian's Wall just a train ride away, this is the perfect place from which to explore. You enjoy dinner at your hotel this evening.

Carlisle dates back to Roman times and boasts a myriad of ancient buildings and beautiful architecture. Carlisle Castle, which was built during the reign of William II, son of William the Conqueror, is well worth a visit. Many of the streets are also infused with more modern history, thanks to Carlisle's place as a centre of textile manufacturing during the Industrial Revolution, when it became a hub for the railways.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - Windermere

Journey by steam train from Haverthwaite to Lakeside today, on the southern shore of Windermere. On arrival in Lakeside, sail across the lake to Bowness. Windermere is one of the Lake District's most famous bodies of water and is recognised by UNESCO for its outstanding natural beauty, which has been inspiring artists and writers for centuries. You have free time in Bowness, famous for inspiring the fictional town of 'Rio' in Arthur Ransome's novel series 'Swallows and Amazons'. You could also visit the house of one of the Lake District's most renowned inhabitants, Beatrix Potter. On your way back to Carlisle, stop at pretty Grasmere. Close to Grasmere Lake, the village was once home to William Wordsworth. You could take a wander along the river or through the village, and maybe treat yourself to a local specialty - Grasmere Gingerbread, which has been made here using an authentic Victorian recipe since 1854.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 3 - The Settle to Carlisle Railway

Enjoy a spectacular journey on the Settle to Carlisle Line to Skipton. It took seven years to complete this route before its opening in 1875. The line cuts through hills, mountains, and valleys, over marshland and rivers; the very scenery that made it difficult to complete is exactly what makes it worth experiencing. Enjoy miles of untouched beauty from your carriage as the line enters the Yorkshire Dales and passes over the majestic Ribblehead Viaduct, one of the undoubted icons of the Yorkshire landscape. Watched over by atmospheric Whernside, one of Yorkshire's highest peaks, the viaduct opened in 1876 and stretches more than 1,300 feet over the boggy land below. After some free time in the pretty market town of Skipton - maybe visiting a tea shop, bakery or delicatessen - return to Carlisle by rail.

  • Breakfast
Day 4 - The Ravenglass & Eskdale Railway

After travelling to Ravenglass by train, take a steam-hauled rail journey to Dalegarth aboard the Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway. One of the oldest minimum-gauge heritage railways in England, the line originally opened in 1875 and boasts some truly incredible scenery. Enjoy fantastic views across undulating hills and the highest mountain range in England, before you arrive in Ravenglass. This afternoon, transfer to Muncaster to visit its castle. Owned by the Pennington family for over 800 years and set in picture-perfect surroundings, this fortress is almost Arthurian in appearance, with square towers topped by parapets. Enjoy some free time to explore before returning to the hotel. Enjoy a final dinner this evening at your hotel.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 5 - Home

After a leisurely breakfast, your holiday comes to an end.

  • Breakfast

Additional information

Departure times

On many of our UK & Ireland tours, you may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; your Tour Manager will be available between 16:00 and 18:00. However, if you are arriving later, you can meet your Tour Manager before dinner from 19:00.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


Crown Hotel Wetheral, Wetheral

Crown Hotel Wetheral, Wetheral

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Haverthwaite Railway
Ravenglass and Eskdale Railway
Settle to Carlisle Line

Enhance your holiday


UK rail connections
Extend your UK & Ireland holiday


4.0 stars4.0 / 5 · 226 reviews

  1. 5 stars
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  5. 1 star

Mr Gerald Thorne

3 stars

Submitted 19 Oct 2022

We felt the hotel in Wetheral was rather out of the way. We had been looking forward to staying in Carlisle as we'd never been there and were very disappointed that the hotel venue had been changed. Also the holiday was brought forward by 2 weeks, at relatively short notice. We felt there was far too much coach travel. I know the rail strike necessitated an extra day on the coach, but the places we visited were so far from the hotel. Perhaps we should have stayed further South, nearer the places we were to visit. We have enjoyed previous Great Rail/Rail Discoveries holidays, but will probably not be booking another as this was by far the worse one we have been on. Having said that our tour manager could not have been better. He was courteous, helpful and cheerful all the time.

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Ann Henstock

4 stars

Submitted 18 Oct 2022

Very good hotel with excellent breakfasts. The tours were good. Pity we hit a day of train strikes. Would recommend the holiday. Ann Henstock

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J Hall

3 stars

Submitted 18 Oct 2022

Not a holiday for relaxation. Early breakfasts and dinners made everything feel rushed. The hotel was good and the group leader was excellent. However there was not much steam and long coach journeys ( 2 hours plus )to get to it

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Stephen Lewis

4 stars

Submitted 13 Oct 2022

I have already provided a review.

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4 stars

Submitted 13 Oct 2022

Excellent trips but not enough time at some locations. Need more time at Ravenglass and some free time to explore the area.

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4 stars

Submitted 27 Sep 2022

Good overall tour. Hotel lovely but very understaffed. Some of the trips were very good & saw some amazing sights.

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Lakes and Dales by Steam

Enjoy the breathtaking panoramas of the north of England


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