The English Lake District – The Poetry of Landscape (EGT6 / LL1)


Now in it’s 9th season!

On this tour participants study the concept of ‘Nature perfected’ in the works of William Wordsworth, John Ruskin and Beatrix Potter. Picturesque landscape, romantic poetry, philosophy and fables are all explored in a sublime setting.

The mild English climate prolongs garden visiting into the autumn months. Nowhere is there more beautiful than the Lake District and no greater testimony to this than the literature it inspired.

The gardens that surround cottages and houses in the vernacular architecture concentrate natural beauty into a contained space. These spaces however, are extended by panoramic ‘borrowed’ views that invite exploration of the wider landscape. Mountains, lakes and waterfalls are strong attractions and the scale of this scenery makes them easily accessible.

English tourism started in the Lake District and it was William Wordsworth who invented the idea of a national park, inviting all people so inclined to visit this unique national landscape property as long as they had “an eye to perceive and a heart to enjoy”. Walking shoes/boots are a must for this tour and the stimulus of the landscape will transform conversation into poetry and photographs into works of art!

Price: £1,250 (UK pounds sterling); £160 single room supplement

The package includes:

  • English lessons preparing for each day’s excursion
  • Bed & breakfast accommodation in Rydal
  • Seven nights evening meals in local restaurants
  • Transport and entrance charges on excursions
  • Theatre ticket (Theatre by the Lake)
  • Manchester Airport transfers
  • Personal & baggage insurance (see Terms)


Manchester Language School reserves the right to change the programmes according to the availability of the gardens, personnel and venues listed and substitute appropriate alternatives


MorningStudy group The Grand Tour in England.
Derwentwater launch to Lodore Falls before continuing to Watendlath for light lunch at Caffle House

Day Period Activity
Sunday 9/10 ARRIVALS
Arrivals Manchester Airport or Railway Station.
Transfer to host families.
Evening Dinner at Moor Cottage, Manchester
Monday 10/10 GRASMERE & RYDAL
The tour starts at Dove Cottage where Wordsworth wrote his famous Prelude and lived the “romantic” life. This included creating a wild flower garden. Walking via the ‘Coffin Path’ to Rydal Mount, his later home, reveals a more contemplative garden with Zen-like features.
Morning Depart Manchester for the Lake District.

Visit Wordsworth Museum and Dove Cottage, home of William Wordsworth from 1799 to 1808. Lunch and walk to Rydal Mount, home of William Wordsworth from 1813 to 1850.

Tea and visit to Thomas Mawson’s garden at Rydal Hall.

Evening Dinner at Tarn Cottage
Tuesday 11/10 SAWREY
Introduction to Beatrix Potter and the history of conservation in the Lake District. Hill Top is perhaps the most popular tourist destination in the Lakes but maintains all the charm of a farmhouse and cottage garden in true vernacular style. Afternoon walk to Hawkshead to visit the Grammar School attended by the Wordsworth.
Morning Study group: The life and influence of Beatrix Potter.

Visit to Hill Top, Sawrey.

Afternoon Weather permitting, optional walk to Hawkshead via Moss Eccles Tarn (two half hours). Picnic lunch

Non-walkers may explore the Beatrix Potter Gallery in Hawkshead.

The afternoon ends in Wordsworth’s Grammar School (1779 – 1787). with a short talk by the custodian, David Warren.

Evening Dinner at Nab Cottage.

Film night: Pandaemonium – a film that depicts the poetry, love and betrayal that characterised the friendship between the two giant poets of English Romanticism, Wordsworth and Coleridge.

Wednesday 12/10 DERWENTWATER
A lake cruise on Derwentwater to Lodore Falls (waterfall) to re-enact the excursions of late eighteenth century gentlemen who considered the scenery sublime and commissioned watercolours by Turner as souvenirs. The group then drives to the pretty hamlet of Watendlath. Weather-permitting, walkers may choose to walk over to Borrowdale bore returning home.

Cruising on the lake reveals many houses with attractive gardens all built on viewpoints.

Afternoon Optional walk to Jopperty How and Borrowdale
Evening Keswick Theatre by the Lake production of Agatha Christie’s Dial M for Murder
A private visit to the garden of David and Diana Kinsman. For over 20 years David, a geologist, and Diana, an ecologist, have created moss and woodland gardens extending from densely planted terraces close to their home. The visit is followed by a light lunch at the Strickland Arms before moving to Levens Hall.

In autumn the world famous topiary garden is having its annual clipping and this visit sees the culmination of the summer season’s growth in the garden. The fruit and nut trees hang heavy with their harvest. In the picturesque park we walk through a ‘gentleman’s paradise’ of mature trees, wild goats and black deer grazing by a fish filled river.

Morning Study group. The gardens of Levens Hall. Private visit to Windy Hall garden accompanied by David Kinsman.
Afternoon Lunch Strickland Arms.
Walk across the park to Levens Hall.
Evening Dinner Nab Cottage.
A relaxing day with opportunities to create a very personal souvenir of the week, go fell walking or simply shopping! Our last morning at Nab Cottage before transferring to Waterhead Hotel, Coniston, Ruskin Country, for our final night in the Lakes
Morning Study group: Life and Work of John Ruskin

Optional Watercolour workshop

Afternoon Optional walk Tilberthwaite Ghyll or visit to Holehird, the garden of the Lakeland Horticultural Society.

Visit to Ruskin Museum, Coniston.

Evening Dinner Waterhead Hotel
Tolstoy called Ruskin “One of those rare men who think with their hearts”. His final home, Brantwood, is the private library, museum and garden of an art critic, defender of Venice, champion of Turner and the Pre-Raphaelites and radical social philosopher. It is also a place of great beauty and can be approached from (Lake) Coniston in a steam Gondola. The garden has been recently restored and its ascent gives panoramic views across the lake to the Coniston Fells beyond.

“Truth to materials, truth to nature and context and above all truth to beauty.”  Many of Ruskin’s architectural theories are recognised in the “Arts & Crafts” masterpiece of Blackwell designed by the international architect M.H.Baillie-Scott.

Morning Depart for Coniston with luggage.  Cruise on the Steam Yacht Gondola across Coniston Water to Brantwood, home of John Ruskin (born 1819) from 1872 to his death in 1900.

Visit to Brantwood House.

Lunch in the Brantwood Jumping Jenny restaurant or picnic lunch for walkers.

Optional walk through the Brantwood estate to Crag Head (233m).

Afternoon Depart for Blackwell via the Windermere Ferry.

Blackwell is an iconic building of the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Evening Return to Manchester.
Farewell Curry Night.
Sunday 16/10 DEPARTURES

Accommodation in Manchester at start and end of the course:

Moor Cottage, Grange Lane, Didsbury M20 6RW or local hotel

Accommodation in the Lake District:

4 nights at Nab Cottage, Rydal   LA22 9SD  Tel: 00 44 15394 35311

1 night at Waterhead Hotel, Coniston, LA21 8AJ Tel: 00 44 15394 41244

Manchester Language School reserves the right to change the programme according to the availability of gardens, venues and speakers listed.

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