Twixmas Winter Walking Holiday 2017
We’re pleased to announce this year’s Twixmas Winter Walking holiday 27-30 December 2017 will be based from Ambleside in the Lake District, Cumbria, recently awarded World Heritage Site status. Ambleside offers an enviable location in which to access many scenic Lakeland walks and is a great location for enjoying group social evenings.
- Fully guided Christmas walking holiday
- Dramatic mountain landscapes
- 3 days of scenic guided walks
- Panoramic vistas
- Relaxed and friendly social evenings
Accommodation at YHA Ambleside (Optional)
YHA Ambleside, situated on the shores of Lake Windermere, offers an unbeatable location, stunning views and state of the art facilities for people looking for a base right in the centre of the Lake District National Park. YHA Ambleside is a 4 Star YHA shared bunkroom type accommodation with modern restaurant and bar area. The hostel has a private onsite car park, with alternative Pay & Display and free roadside parking nearby. For YHA Ambleside private room enquiries please contact us prior to booking.
If you prefer to find your own accommodation, please click on the ‘Trip Notes’ tab for alternative accommodation suggestions.
Wednesday – Welcome Evening
Guests can check in to YHA Ambleside from 2pm and the holiday will start at 8.30pm with a welcome introduction at YHA Ambleside. It’s a chance for everyone on the Twixmas walking holiday to meet and the Country Adventures tour leader will be on hand to answer any questions about the planned walks.
Thursday - Walk Day
A choice between a Grade 4 or Grade 2 guided walk is available today: –
Grade 4 walk – High Raise & Easedale Tarn 9.4 miles (15km), with 2696 ft (822m) of ascent
Grade 2 walk – Loughrigg Terrace & Grasmere 8 miles (12.8km), with 1128 ft (344m) of ascent
Country Adventures transport will take us to the start of todays guided walks. The Grade 4 route starts in the village of Grasmere and quickly enters a mountain setting with stunning topography, waterfalls and mountain tarns as we steadily ascend into the mountains along a very good mountain footpath. The footpath levels out at Easedale tarn, a scenic setting overlooking Grasmere village, before we gain more height to a stunning view of the Langdale Pikes before traversing our way to the trig point on High Raise, which commands a wonderful position in the Lake District Central Fells. A truly rewarding guided walk with numerous Wainwright fells along the way including the descent off Helm Crag back into Grasmere village where the Country Adventures transport will return us to Ambleside at the end of the day.
Today’s Grade 2 alternative guided walk is a picturesque walk taking in the beautiful lakes of Rydal and Grasmere, Loughrigg Terrace with its stunning views, together with the historic homes of William Wordsworth and the idyllic village of Grasmere, before returning to Ambleside via the wonderful Rydal Hall estate.
Tonight’s evening meal and social evening at YHA Ambleside is included in the Twixmas walking holiday.
Friday - Walk Day
Grade 4 walk – Kentmere, Mardale Bell & High Street 10 miles (16.5km), with 2647 ft (807m) of ascent
It may be possible to offer a lower level Grade 1-2 walk today but please contact us prior to booking, alternatively you may opt to have a free day to yourself and for example explore Lake Windermere on a boat cruise which depart next to YHA Ambleside.
Country Adventures transport will take us to the start of today’s guided walk starting from the remote Lakeland setting of the Kentmere valley. Our route takes in Kentmere reservoir, Mardale Ill Bell, Nan Bield Pass and the top of the old Roman Road of High Street. The terrain is a mix of grassy paths and rugged mountain trails that offer a stunning panorama including mountain tarns and lakes and the home of the last Golden Eagle that resided in the Lake District. The walk finishes in Troutbeck, nr Windermere, at the Mortal Man Lakeland Inn where the transport for the day will take us back to Ambleside.
For tonight’s social evening, Country Adventures will organise meeting up for drinks and an optional meal in Ambleside.
Saturday - Walk Day & Departure Day
Grade 2 – Loughrigg Fell via Clappersgate 6.5 miles (10.4km), with 1440 ft (439m) of ascent
Departure day. Check out is 10am but for anybody wishing to spend a little more time in the area there is an (optional) 3rd day of walking. From the shore of Windermere lake we pass Fort Galava, the ruins of a Roman Fort, before heading onto Loughrigg Fell via the quieter route from Clappersgate. We will reach the trig point at the summit of Loughrigg Fell which stands at 335m above sea level and offers stunning 360 degree panoramic vistas of the surrounding Lakeland landscape. Descending, the route continues into Ambleside before returning back to YHA Ambleside.
The holiday finishes back at YHA Ambleside between 2-3pm.
The optional accommodation for the Twixmas winter walking holiday is YHA Ambleside, Lake District. Rooms are shared male and shared female bunkrooms and the package includes 3 nights bed with breakfast.
If you require help with booking alternative accommodation you may find the following links useful:
Ambleside Online Selection of Hotels and Guest Houses in Ambleside
Booking.com Search for accommodation in or near to Ambleside, Cumbria
Food & Drink
Meals included during the holiday: Thursday evening meal at YHA Ambleside, and (with YHA Ambleside accommodation option) all breakfasts.
For the walk(s) please bring with you a packed lunch and refreshments. Occasionally on some guided walks (Grade 1 to 2 walks) we may pass a country inn or tea room where if we have time we can call in, however having a packed lunch with you gives the group the freedom to have lunch wherever we are on the walking route. YHA Ambleside has a well equipped self catering kitchen with fridges and storage space to enable you to store snacks and packed lunch items if you wish to prepare your own packed lunches. Alternatively, packed lunches for the walks can be purchased from the hostel (approx. £6.25) or from the local convenience stores in Ambleside.
On Friday evening we will go and eat in the town of Ambleside (optional extra) where there are several restaurants to choose from.
For guided walking tours that require transport from the meeting point to the start of the walk, we use a minibus or where necessary local transport. There is no extra charge for this, it is included in the tour price.
Our walks are by no means designed to be endurance tests where everyone sets off at a blistering pace. Far from it, it’s about a fine day in the hills in good company enjoying the best of fell walking with exceptional views but it is important to state that for everyone’s walking enjoyment walking does require a minimum level of fitness and stamina. Hill / Mountain walking experience is not essential as long as you have a reasonable level of fitness. For the higher level graded walks (i.e. Challenging Grade) it is advisable that you are someone who enjoys regular cardio exercise or have experience of mountain walking and have the stamina/ leg strength in order to be better prepared for longer sections of uphill & downhill walking associated with higher mountain treks.
Walking Grades Explained
Grade 1 (Leisurely) Normally 5-8 miles, may include gentle ascents and descents of up to a total 1100ft of ascent and similar descent over a day’s walk. Easier scenic walking at lower altitudes along paths and tracks.
Grade 2 (Moderate) Normally 6-10 miles on paths and tracks, between 800ft – 1700ft of total ascent and similar descent. Longer walks, on hills and moorland.
Grade 3 (Moderate Mountain) Normally ranging from 6-10 miles, between 1700ft – 2600ft of ascent, similar descent. Longer walks, over higher ground with possibly steeper ups and downs on paths and tracks.
Grade 4 (Challenging) Normally ranging from 8-13 miles, between 1500ft – 3000+ft of ascent, similar descent, over undulating mountain terrain, walking at higher levels with steep ups and downs. Suitable for people with a good level of fitness.
What you need to bring with you for the walks
- Good, comfortable walking boots with a cleated sole and good ankle support are essential.
- Waterproof jacket and over-trousers.
- Warm, dry walking clothing. Unsuitable clothing includes Jeans or cotton tracksuit bottoms and cotton t-shirts (cotton is a poor insulating fabric and when wet it takes a long time to dry, which can lead to a rapid loss of body heat as well as being uncomfortable).
- A number of thin layers are better than one thick/ heavy jumper. We suggest a fleece for extra warmth especially when we stop on the hills for lunch.
- Hat and gloves (even in summer – any wind chill on the mountain tops will lead to cooler temperatures).
- Sunglasses, sun cream.
- Hot or cold drinks (i.e. a minimum of 2 litres of water).
- Plenty of food and drink for lunch and snacks.
- A rucksack large enough to carry it all in (20-30 litres), ideally with a waterproof liner.
- Any medication you need.
- Thermos flask. We recommend bringing warm drinks with you, as even on sunny days it can occasionally feel cooler, especially on the summits of the higher-level mountain walks.
- Walking poles (if you use them).
We want you to enjoy your time with Country Adventures and have the best possible adventure experience. Please be aware that if any participants are not properly equipped for the walk (i.e. with walking boots and waterproofs), at the guide’s discretion we reserve the right to not allow them on the walk for reasons of safety for both the individual and the group. If you need clarification any of the equipment requirements, please don’t hesitate to ask.
Tour Schedule & Activity Meeting Times
Please ensure you give yourself plenty of time to get to the meeting point at the required time. The transport for our day walks will leave promptly at the stated time and due to the nature of scheduled tours, we are unable to provide refunds if unfortunately, you miss the departure time.
Please meet at YHA Ambleside, details will be included with your final booking confirmation.
Address: YHA Ambleside, Waterhead, Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 0EU