Lakeland Days Out

Lakeland Days Out
The vegetable garden at Hill Top Farm on a damp but atmospheric day in March. Photo by Alison Pickering "Ambleside Alison".
"The greatest thing a human soul ever does in this world is to see something and tell what it saw in a plain way" - John Ruskin, Modern Painters Vol.3 , 1856.

Not all guided tours around the Lake District are the same. I like to offer something a little different to make my tours authentic and memorable. Scroll down through this page for some ideas that might just make memories.

2023 marks the 100th anniversary of the death of Charlotte Mason and the 300th anniversary of the death of John Kelsick - who were these people and what incredible legacies have they left in Ambleside for future generations? I can also give an in-depth tour of St Mary's Church and tell the stories of great personalities who are remembered there. Or perhaps you are visiting Ambleside and want to discover its industrial history or its connections with Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth or John Ruskin.

If factual and fun is what the customer orders you are in the right place. Whether travelling by coach, mini-bus or private vehicle with a chauffeur, my clients rely on me to give an engaging commentary. The Lake District covers 912 square miles with a network of roads, often either narrow or steep and as a local I can recommend the best routes to take, even which direction to travel in to maximise the views or minimise delays en-route to our destinations.

I am a friendly and professional Tourist Guide (MITG) - qualified, insured and registered with the British Guild of Tourist Guides - I am one of Britain's best guides. I work collaboratively with tour operators who are looking to expand into tours with a focus on something out of the ordinary. Tours will be delivered to match your own interests for a day or a few hours away from the everyday normal. If you are looking for a factually accurate yet enjoyable and interesting commentary on a journey around the Lake District taking in places of interest, then I can help you.

A summer scene of Herdwick sheep just after they have been sheared

For example on some of last summer's tours I delivered an enjoyable coach commentary for my cruise ship guests with a focus on farming - we had the pleasure of hugging Herdwick sheep, visiting a soap dairy and watching a farmer skilfully shear his sheep.

As a professional and local tour guide based in the Lake District I can offer a wide choice of itineraries - have a look at these samples - let me know what you would like your day to include? A cream tea, a boat trip, Gin tasting, up close with friendly animals such as Herdwick sheep or Alpacas, a Waterfall walk, or perhaps a guided tour of one of the many museums, gardens or historic houses in the area?

Beatrix Potter : Tales and Tails - Children's author, scientist, artist, conservationist and Lake District sheep breeder/farmer. On this tour we could be getting up close to the iconic Herdwick Sheep on a working farm, or visiting her favourite locations and galleries showcasing her fine drawings, to understanding her legacy to the National Trust and how it continues to shape the Lake District. Let me show you the real-life locations of the drawings in her story books that look just the same today as they did when she drew them. Discover if you are more like Johnny Town-Mouse or the little country mouse - Timmy Willie.

As Beatrix herself said: "One place suits one person, another place suits another person. For my part I prefer to live in the country, like Timmy Willie".

Spires, Saints and Stained Glass - Abbeys, Cathedrals, Churches and Priories - Cumbria is home to the finest buildings designed for worship and set amongst spectacular scenery. With a passion to tell the stories the past can be revealed through structure, saints and gravestones!

Ambleside Guided Walking Tour - why not listen to the Countrystride podcast episode #103 in which you will hear me talking with guide book author Mark Richards about the culture, heritage and history of the place I call home.

Perhaps join one of my regular guided walks exploring "old" Ambleside "Vikings to Victorians" for groups of up to 10 persons.

The Wordsworth Trail - From radical to conventional, we follow in the poet's footsteps as we travel in comfort around the Lake District to see his many homes and the sights that inspired him.

Farmyard Wander - depending on the season we might watch a sheepdog demonstration, a sheep being sheared or young lambs playing in the field, or mob grazing Belted Galloway cattle. Farming in the Lake District can be tough and we see how diversification is the way forward from creating tweed products to cheese making.

If these ideas inspire your imagination, then please do contact me so that we can build a perfect visit together.

Client happiness is the most important thing to me and I ensure a "good day out" is actually a "great day out". I am used to being flexible and adapting plans especially as the weather changes or a photo opportunity beckons. I am ready and willing to listen to your ideas, let's start planning for that memorable trip.