Autumn Celebration in South Lakeland - 9th to 12th October 2016
Join us in beautiful South Lakeland to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Langdale Walking Holidays. We’ll be staying at a newly opened luxury hotel, The Villa, near the village of Levens. This will be the perfect place to relax after a days walking and enjoy fun filled evenings in the fabulous restaurants the area is renowned for.
Your guides, David and Amanda - partners in Langdale Walking Holidays - have selected a few of their favourite walks in the area, along routes you may be unfamiliar with. The spectacular early autumn scenery will form a stunning backdrop to the walks that include Arnside’s coastal path, the River Kent, Scout and Whitbarrow Scars.
Our short breaks are a great opportunity to share walking, cultural and travel experiences. Indeed, many lifelong friendships have evolved on Langdale Walking Holidays since we took our very first trek to Nepal in 1991 - this occasion is a great opportunity to meet up with some of these friends as well as get to know new ones.
Each day you can choose between the option of an easy or a moderate graded walk.
- Dramatic coastal views
- Spectacular autumn scenery
- Meet up with acquaintances, old and new
- Guided tour of Sizergh Castle gardens
- Luxury hotel accommodation
- Dine in fabulous local restaurants
- Choice of moderate and easy walks
We begin with a leisurely guided afternoon walk through the historic Levens Hall Deer Park. Laid out between 1694 and 1710 by Guillaume Beaumont the park’s design marks the beginning of the natural landscape style that dominated English gardening for at least a century. As we walk along its ancient avenue of oaks we’ll be looking out for the local residents - an unusual herd of black fallow deer, a rare herd of Bagot goats live here along with many other species of woodland and riverside wildlife. After our circular walk we’ll return to the hotel for a welcome reception and dinner.
On Monday there will be a choice of a full day’s easy graded walk in the beautiful coastal surroundings of Arnside and Silverdale, an AONB on the shores of Morecambe Bay. There is an impressive array of wildflowers and birds for us to spot as we walk. For those who want to step out, something more challenging across Whitbarrow Scar, described in Wainwright’s The Outlying Fells of Lakeland as “the most beautiful in this book: beautiful it is every step of the way”. In the evening we’ll dine in a delightful hostelry in the village of Brigsteer.
Tuesday’s walks offer a choice of a half-day easy/moderate graded walk, followed by a light lunch at Sizergh Castle. Both routes will visit the ‘Mushroom’ Shelter on the carboniferous limestone escarpment of Scout Scar where there are stunning views across the Lyth Valley to Morecambe Bay, and a dramatic panorama of the whole of the South Lakes fells, including the Langdale Pikes. Within the shelter is a toposcope of the surrounding fells - a good test is to align yourself and try to identify the many fells. In the afternoon we’ll enjoy a guided tour of the gardens at Sizergh Castle, followed by dinner in a fabulous local restaurant before enjoying our final night at the Villa.
You are free to take part in all or just some of the walks and for those of you who prefer not to participate in the walking programme, there are many places of interest to visit in the area, including the market town of Kendal, just a 10 minute drive away.
The grading of the walks on this holiday is both EASY and MODERATE.
In order to cater for serious walkers and those who wish to take it easier, we have planned an easy walk on the Sunday, and a choice of easy and moderate walks on Monday and Tuesday.
Day 1 - Sunday 9th October - Travel to Levens – Levens Hall Deer Park walk (D)
Arrive at your leisure; rooms will be available from 3pm. We’ll leave the hotel by foot at 3.30pm for a circular walk through Levens Hall Estate Deer Park along the River Kent.
Walking: Easy - distance: 3.5 miles
After time to freshen up we’ll meet in the hotel’s foyer for a welcome reception followed by dinner in the hotel.
Day 2 - Monday 10th October - Arnside and Silverdale coastal walk or Whitbarrow Scar (BLD)
After enjoying a full Cumbrian breakfast we’ll meet in the lobby to depart for the short journey to the start point of today’s walks in our own cars.
Picnic lunch is provided.
Option 1: Arnside and Silverdale, EASY, 5.6 miles - From Arnside’s Promenade, the start point of today’s easy walk, we’ll walk along the shoreline, heading along the scenic cliff-top path to Far Arnside before entering National Trust woodland and starting the slow climb up onto The Knott. There’s time to linger here and admire the wonderful views of Morecambe Bay, the Lakeland fells and Arnside’s Viaduct. Leaving the woods we’ll make our way downhill through fields into Arnside, stopping for optional refreshments in one of the local cafes.
Option 2; Whitbarrow Scar, MODERATE, 7 miles, ascent: 1,260 feet, time: 4-5 hours - A short drive to Mill Side takes us to our start point, from where we’ll make our way up the southern cliffs of the Scar through Buckhouse Woods to Lord’s Seat continuing on our circular route down through Park Wood and along the Winster Valley to Mill Side. The views of the Lake District and Howgill Fells, Morecambe Bay and the Lyth Valley as we walk across the summit are simply stunning and the Scar, an SSSI and national nature reserve is rich in flora and fauna.
After returning to the hotel there is time to freshen up before our transport arrives to take us to The Wheatsheaf Inn, Brigsteer for dinner.
Day 3 - Tuesday 11th October - Scout Scar (BLD)
After breakfast we set off for today’s walks across Scout Scar, you can choose either the easy or moderate option
Option 1: Grade EASY, 4 miles - Drive (10 minutes) to Helsington Church, the start point of our walk. From here we follow the stone track over Burnbarrow Scar and Scout Scar to the Mushroom. We return along the same route to our cars for the short drive to Sizergh Castle for a light lunch.
Option 2: Grade MODERATE, 8 miles, ascent: 900 feet, time: 4 hours - Leaving the hotel on foot we’ll make our way towards Scout Scar, passing through Brigsteer Woods to the hide at Park End Moss Wetland Habitat, before climbing up to Helsington Church, crossing Helsington Barrows and Scout Scar towards the Mushroom. We’ll then make our way back across the eastern side of the Scar to Sizergh Castle for lunch.
After lunch there’s a guided tour of the fabulous gardens of Sizergh Castle, a National Trust property - which includes a rock garden, herbaceous border, kitchen garden, orchard and beehives, hens, wild flower bank and more. Optional visit to Sizergh Castle - entrance free to National Trust members.
In the evening we’ll meet in the foyer and drive by taxi for dinner in tonight’s restaurant, Number 17 in Milnthorpe.
Day 4 - Wednesday 12th October - Return home (B)
After enjoying a full Cumbrian breakfast in the hotel it’s time to check out and make our way home.
B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner
The Villa, Levens, Cumbria
Our base is a newly opened luxury hotel - The Villa, on the outskirts of Levens. The 140 year old Victorian house is set in 14 acres of grounds and features 22 stylish en-suite bedrooms tastefully designed and furnished to 5-star standard to create an ideal atmosphere for a relaxing visit.