Ireland and Lake District walking small group tour

A guided small group tour for senior walkers that starts in the capital of Ireland, Dublin. This escorted tour with local guides also explores the Giant's causeway, a UNESCO World heritage site. It transfers from Ireland to Scotland to head to walk in the National park of the Lake district.

From $16,079NZD



  1. 1. Enjoy a taste of Irish wilderness in the Glenveagh Valley.
  2. 2. Be astounded by the amazing geology of the Giant’s Causeway.
  3. 3. Hike around Tarn Hows, a beautiful glacial lake in the world famous Lakes District.
  4. 4. Explore Swaledale Valley.
Ireland and Lake District walking small group tour itinerary

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
18 August 2024

Ends 11 September 2024

$16,079 Twin

$19,322 Single

17 August 2025

Ends 10 September 2025

$16,886 Twin

$19,874 Single

16 August 2026

Ends 09 September 2026

$17,319 Twin

$19,874 Single


Ireland and the Lake District Walking Tour

Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group walking tours across Ireland and beyond. We explore Ireland's fairy-tale natural beauty, its ancient celtic, heritage, its World Heritage Sites, and world famous cities, all with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of Ireland and then the Romantic lake District, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people.

Join Odyssey Traveller on this nineteen-day small group walking tour of Ireland and England's Lake district, especially designed for the active mature & senior travellers. This tour is perfect for those interested in a guided walking tour through the beautiful countryside of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Northern England. This tour allows you to spend up to five nights in each locality and to go out each day to explore the area in some depth with like-minded people. A good level of fitness is required for this tour, but the effort expended will be well rewarded.

This walking tour begins in Eire (The Republic of Ireland). It then continues on in the UK’s Northern Ireland, the English Lake District and the Yorkshire Dales. These destinations provide dramatic scenery. There are remote wilderness areas and picturesque villages to be explored with our local guide. There is something here for everyone.

Ireland and Lake District Walking Tour Itinerary & Highlights

After meeting in Dublin, the tour heads west by coach to Donegal on the wild Atlantic coast accompanied by your Odyssey Program Leader and tour guide. Here the group will spend five nights giving ample time for a number of guided walks along cliff paths, beaches, valley floors and mountain tracks. Walk through some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery and enjoy a taste of remote and peaceful Irish wilderness.

Another highlight of any visit to Ireland is the extraordinary Giant’s Causeway on the east coast. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where octagonal volcanic basalt columns form one of the world’s most unusual landscapes. The area is steeped in myth and, according to legend, the columns were formed by feuding giants!

From Ireland the tour will take you by ferry to Scotland and then to northern England where you will have the chance to walk through the Lake District made famous by the Romantic Poets and loved by tourists ever since. You will stay for four nights in Keswick and use this picturesque village as a base for your exploration of the area.

The tour concludes in the Yorkshire Dales. Here you spend time in the beautiful Swaledale Valley, a favourite location of hiker and writer Alfred Wainwright. You will also have the opportunity to explore part of the North Yorkshire Moors National Park and the dramatic cliff paths of the east coast.

Walking Ireland and the Lake district tour has been offered for a number of years to the active mature walker. As a result, this is a holiday program suited to a senior couple or solo travellers who enjoy a good walk. The total number of participants in this tour will be 12 or fewer with the addition of an Odyssey program leader.

Walking in Ireland and the Lake district is only one of the many walking tours offered by Odyssey Traveller. You can learn more about Britain, Ireland, Northern Ireland and England with our profiles where all other tour departures are listed as well.

For more details about this tour, click the ‘Top 5’ or ‘Itinerary’ buttons above! If you’re keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

Articles published by Odyssey Traveller for Walking and Hiking tours for seniors

To help you prepare for any walking program whether with Odyssey or another company this ist if articles is intended to help you prepare for your holiday.

Articles about Great Britain published by Odyssey Traveller

The following list of articles are either published by Odyssey Traveller or are carefully selected external sources to maximise senior traveller's knowledge and enjoyment of Ireland and the Lake District when visiting on a walking tour:


25 days

Day 1-2: Dublin & Donegal

Accommodation: 1 night in Maldron Hotel Parnell Square, or similar 1 night in Ard na Breatha or similar

On arrival in Dublin, make your own way to the hotel where we meet for a welcome dinner. On the second day of the tour, we head westwards to the Wild Atlantic coast of Donegal. Along the way we will stop at Enniskillen, a island town on one of Ireland’s great waterways, where you will have a chance to stretch your legs, pick up some lunch and later meet to visit the 600 year old waterside castle. This evening the group will come together for a welcome dinner.

Day 3: Donegal

Accommodation: 2 nights Ard na Breatha or similar

Today we tour the southern part of the county, visiting the traditional village at Glencolumbkille. Here we will explore the village and learn about life in Ireland in times gone by, getting an overview of the history of the country and the area. Afterwards we will enjoy a 6km coastal walk over mountain tracks and small roads. The walk ends at a Martello watch tower which we will stop to explore and to admire the Atlantic ocean views. We will also find cross inscribed pillars, and impressive megalithic tomb along the way. After lunch, we will visit a hand weaver, whose family has been weaving Donegal tweed, a local speciality fabric for generations.

Day 4: Donegal

Accommodation: 3 nights Ard na Breatha or similar

This morning walk the highest sea cliffs in Europe where there is the option to arrive at the mountain of Slieve League by foot or by shuttle. For those that chose to do so, there is the option to explore further allow on foot, perhaps reaching the mountain’s summit for some of the most stunning scenery in Ireland, where views on a clear day are for miles southwards along the Atlantic west coast. After a packed lunch on the mountain, we make our way back down before heading into town for the rest of the afternoon where you will have the chance to explore the craft shops.

Day 5: Donegal

Accommodation: Accommodation: 2 Nights The Silver Tassie or similar

Transferring northwards we have a fantastic stop along the way at Glenveagh National Park. Here we will enjoy a 3.5km lakeside walk, along the floor of the Glenveagh Valley, taking in enviable views of the mountains and a taste of the remote and peaceful Irish wilderness. Along the way we will keep an eye out for the wildlife, including red deer and golden eagles, recently reintroduced to the park. The walk ends at the gothic-style Glenveagh Castle where the gardens work both in contrast and harmony to their wild surroundings. Here we will enjoy lunch before touring the castle where you will hear tales of trespassing sheep, evictions and ancient curses.

Day 6: Donegal

Accommodation: Accommodation: 2 Nights The Silver Tassie or similar

Today we make our way to Ireland’s most northerly point on the isolated headland of Inishowen where we spend the day exploring the peninsula. Our first port of call is Fort Dunree, a cliff-top military fort that has been a point of strategic importance since ancient times. After visiting the onsite museum we will wander the cliff path, alongside the nesting seabirds, fulmars and coughs before arriving at the guns which are still in place. After the chance to get some lunch and explore one of the nearby villages, we will spent the afternoon further exploring this wild coast with a 5 km beach walk on one of the fine white-sand beaches, breathing in some of the freshest air in Europe. On the way back to the hotel we will stop at the Grianan of Aileagh, one of Ireland’s most important pre-historic monuments, this hilltop fortress dates back almost 4000 years.

Day 7: Derry

Accommodation: Accommodation: Bayview Hotel or similar

The city of Derry is a completely walled city which has 1,500 years of history and culture enclosed within its walls. The city has long been associated with Northern Ireland’s ‘troubles’ the political and religious divide that ignited years of violent struggle after the Republic of Ireland gained independence from the UK and Northern Ireland’s catholic residents subsequently fought for their civil rights. You will join a Derry native for a walking tour of the city where you will learn of the city’s turbulent and emotive past as well as it’s positive present. Continuing onwards into Northern Ireland, we will arrive at the Causeway Coast where we will stop at the iconic ruins of Dunluce Castle before continuing on to our next accommodation.

Day 8: Giants Causeway coast

Accommodation: Accommodation: Bayview Hotel or similar

This morning we will set out from our hotel on foot along the coastal path towards the iconic Giant’s Causeway for a 4km walk which takes in some of the best scenery the area has to offer. Here octagonal volcanic basalt columns form one of the world’s most unique landscapes. This is a UNESCO world heritage site, the area is steeped in myth and you will learn how the columns were formed by feuding giants. Further exploring this iconic coastline, later we will stop at Carrick-a- Rede were the rope bridge was suspended 30m above the Atlantic Ocean 350 years ago- cross if you dare! Those who do will be rewarded with a birds eye view of the clear green waters flowing through ancient caves and caverns below.

Day 9: North Antrium

Accommodation: Accommodation: Malone Lodge or similar

We have one final stop along in North Antrim as we head eastwards towards Belfast. The Dark Hedges are a a compelling landscape feature where a beautiful avenue of beach trees have inexplicably intertwined. From there we will continue our journey to the Irish Sea coast, exploring the famous Glens of Antrim where we will enjoy a 5km walk through an old-growth forest where hundreds of varieties of moss and fern enjoy the cool shade beneath no fewer than three waterfalls. From here we spend some time exploring the village of Glenarm before travelling along the Irish Sea coast to our next hotel near Belfast City.

Day 10: Belfast

Accommodation: Accommodation: Malone Lodge or similar

Exploring Belfast City and surrounds today, our day starts at Hillsborough Castle, here we walk in the footsteps of presidents and princesses as we learn of this beautiful building’s place in Northern Ireland’s history. From here we head into the city of Belfast where, after visiting the Titanic Experience museum in the newly revived and reinvigorated Titanic Quarter you have the opportunity to explore the city alone on foot. A vibrant and cosmopolitan city, there is plenty of opportunities to pick up some final Irish souvenirs. We will celebrate our final night in Ireland with a fantastic group dinner in the city.

Day 11: Scotland to Lake District

Accommodation: Overnight The Skiddaw Hotel or similar

After breakfast, we make the short hop across the Irish Sea by ferry from Belfast to south west Scotland. We then transfer south into England and the Lake District, where our destination is the picturesque market town of Keswick. Transfer time: Ferry crossing then 3 hour transfer (plus a stop en route perhaps at Threave Gardens by Dumfries)

Day 12: Lake District

Accommodation: Overnight The Skiddaw Hotel or similar

Loughrigg Fell & Grasmere Today we tackle our first local “fell” (the local name for a hill). A short transfer after breakfast takes us south to Lake Grasmere where our 7km circular hike commences. The hike up Loughrigg Fell is fairly short but climbs to a height of 335m so is quite challenging. However, the wide-reaching views from the summit make it worth it. After our hike we visit one of the Lakes most famous villages, Grasmere, to enjoy some local highlights including a visit to Dove Cottage former home of acclaimed English poet William Wordsworth. We then return late afternoon to Keswick with a visit to prehistoric Castlerigg Stone Circle before returning to our accommodation for evening meal and overnight stay.

Day 13: St Bees

Accommodation: The Skiddaw Hotel or similar

The Lake District – St Bees After a short transfer to the west coast, we’ll enjoy our first hike in England by following part of the famous ‘Coast to Coast’ trail (10km, roughly 3-4 hours). We’ll start in traditional style at the village of St Bees, by dipping at least a toe in the Irish Sea! The route then follows the sandstone cliffs of St. Bees Head, where puffins, kittiwakes, and guillemots can sometimes be seen. Turning inland, we pass through a former coal and iron ore industrial area before returning to St Bees. There will be the chance to stop in a traditional village pub for a pint of local ale before transferring back to our hotel in Keswick

Day 14: The Lake District - Tarn Hows & Coniston Wate

Accommodation: Overnight The Skiddaw Hotel or similar

We transfer south to the village of Coniston and Coniston Water, one of England’s most beautiful lakes. Here, we take on a short but beautiful hike around Tarn Hows, a glacial lake. (Today’s walk is 4km, and will take roughly 1-2 hours.) Afterwards, we’ll enjoy lunch in Coniston with some time to relax and explore before an optional steam boat ride on Coniston Water. We then return to our hotel accommodation mid afternoon, allowing some free time to explore Keswick before we depart the next morning.

Day 15: Yorkshire Dales

Accommodation: Overnight Kings Head Hotel or similar

Yorkshire Dales A short transfer east takes us into the Eden Valley in the Yorkshire Dales. We enjoy a hike on the limestone plateau (9km, roughly 3-4 hours), seeking out the rare dwarf trees and other unusual plants which frequent this environment. We then continue east to the charming market town of Richmond, where some free time allows you to visit the historic castle or perhaps enjoy some shopping.

Day 16: Yorkshire Dales

Accommodation: Overnight Kings Head Hotel or similar

Today we venture into the beautiful Swaledale valley, a favourite location of hiker and writer Alfred Wainwright, who created the Coast to Coast hiking trail. We’ll hike a section of that trail, following the riverside past fields bounded by traditional stones walls, most likely populated by sheep which are a real feature of the landscape here. (Today’s hike is 10km, and will take roughly 3-4 hours.)

Day 17: Yorkshire Moors

Accommodation: Overnight The Victoria Hotel or similar

Mount Grace Priory & North Yorks Moors National Park We continue east in the morning to visit the ruins at Mount Grace Priory, located on the edge of the North Yorks Moors National Park. Afterwards, we venture into the park, we enjoy a hike across the bleak, heather-covered moors which give this park its unique character. (This walk is 8kms, taking roughly 3 hours to complete.)

Day 18: Yorkshire Moors

Accommodation: Overnight The Victoria Hotel or similar

Waking up on the east coast, the obvious place to explore is the dramatic coastline. We follow a trail which rises high above the cliffs, offering elevated sea views throughout. (This hike is 10km long, and take 3-4 hours.) With the sea breeze in our hair, this is the perfect hike to end the trip and reflect on a fascinating journey through Northern Ireland and England. In the evening, we enjoy a farewell dinner together as a group.

Day 19: Yorkshire Moors

Morning transfer to departure city, Manchester. Tour concludes.

Includes / Excludes


  • 18 nights accommodation including breakfast
  • Lunches and dinners as per itinerary
  • Entrances as per itinerary
  • Local expert guides
  • Transport in private coach
  • Gratuities and service charges
  • Services of an Odyssey Program Leader
  • Comprehensive preparatory material


  • International airfares and taxes
  • Comprehensive Travel Insurance
  • Meals or activities not listed on the itinerary
  • Items of personal nature
Level 3 - Moderate to Challenging

Participants must be in excellent health, extremely mobile and live an active lifestyle. Program activities may include up to 6 hours of continuous strenuous, moderate-to-fast paced activities per day on varied terrain.

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18 August 2024


Ends 11 September 2024 • 25 days

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$16,079 pp

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Reading List Download PDF


Thomas Bartlett

Ireland has rarely been out of the news during the past thirty years. Whether as a war-zone in which Catholic nationalists and Protestant Unionists struggled for supremacy, a case study in conflict resolution or an economy that for a time promised to make the Irish among the wealthiest people on the planet, the two Irelands have truly captured the world's imagination. Yet single-volume histories of Ireland are rare. Here, Thomas Bartlett, one of the country's leading historians, sets out a fascinating new history that ranges from prehistory to the present. Integrating politics, society and culture, he offers an authoritative historical road map that shows exactly how – and why – Ireland, north and south, arrived at where it is today. This is an indispensable guide to both the legacies of the past for Ireland's present and to the problems confronting north and south in the contemporary world.

Modern Ireland 1600-1972

R. Foster

Masterfully blending narrative and interpretation, and R.F. Foster's Modern Ireland: 1600-1972 looks at how key events in Irish history contributed to the creation of the 'Irish Nation'.

'The most brilliant and courageous Irish historian of his generation'
Colm Tóibín, London Review of Books

'Remarkable ... Foster gives a wise and balanced account of both forces of unity and forces of diversity ... a master work of scholarship'
Bernard Crick, New Statesman

'A tour de force ... Anyone who really wants to make sense of Ireland and the Irish must read Roy Foster's magnificent and accessible Modern Ireland'
Anthony Clare

'A magnificent book. It supersedes all other accounts of modern Irish history'
Conor Cruise O'Brien, Sunday Times

'Dazzling ... a masterly survey not so much of the events of Irish history over the past four centuries as of the way in which those events acted upon the peoples living in Ireland to produce in our own time an "Irish Nation" ... a gigantic and distinguished undertaking'
Robert Kee, Observer

'A work of gigantic importance. It is everything that a history book should be. It is beautifully and clearly written; it seeps wisdom through its every pore; it is full of the most elegant and scholarly insights; it is magnificently authoritative and confident ... Modern Ireland is quite simply the single most important book on Irish history written in this generation ... A masterpiece'
Kevin Myers, Irish Times

R. F. Foster is Carroll Professor of Irish History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of Hertford College, Oxford. His books include Modern Ireland: 1600-1972, Luck and the Irish and W. B. Yeats: A Life.

Ireland: The Autobiography: One Hundred Years of Irish Life, Told by Its People

John Bowman

Over the past hundred years, Ireland has undergone profound political, social and cultural changes. But one thing that has not changed is the Irish genius for observation and storytelling, invective and self-scrutiny. Ireland: The Autobiography draws upon this genius to create a portrait of a century of Irish life through the words of the people who lived it.

Broadcaster and historian John Bowman has mined archives, diaries and memoirs to create a remarkably varied and delightfully readable mosaic of voices and perspectives. Ireland: The Autobiography is a brilliantly selected, wide-ranging and engrossing take on the last century of Irish life. It gives us a portrait of Ireland unlike anything we've read before.

'Absorbing and illuminating ... John Bowman has selected a range of accounts of Irish life that do justice to what happened, what it felt like, and the personal and societal experiences alongside the "official" version.' Diarmaid Ferriter, Irish Times

'Very enjoyable' Philip Boucher-Hayes

The Ancient Paths: Discovering the Lost Map of Celtic Europe

Graham Robb

Graham Robb's new book will change the way you see European civilization.

Inspired by a chance discovery, Robb became fascinated with the world of the Celts: their gods, their art, and, most of all, their sophisticated knowledge of science. His investigations gradually revealed something extaordinary: a lost map, of an empire constructed with precision and beauty across vast tracts of Europe. The map had been forgotten for almost two millennia and its implications were astonishing.

Minutely researched and rich in revelations, The Ancient Paths brings to life centuries of our distant history and reinterprets pre-Roman Europe. Told with all of Robb's grace and verve, it is a dazzling, unforgettable book.

The Lake Poets

Gavin D. Smith

Many books have been written about The Lake Poets - those Romantic geniuses led by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, who made their homes in the beautiful north-west corner of England known as The Lake District during the first half of the nineteenth century. Some of these volumes have concentrated on their writing, others on their lives, and yet more have focused on places within the Lake District with which they were associated. Gavin D. Smith's The Lake Poets provides an indispensible 'one-stop shop' for anyone with an interest in the subject, offering biography, selections of work and an exploration of properties with literary associations. Gavin has also chosen to widen the traditional membership of the school of 'Lake Poets' to include William's sister Dorothy Wordsworth, Samuel's son Hartley Coleridge, and Thomas de Quincey. Apart from presenting an overview of The Lake Poets and their work, one aim of this book is to provide an opportunity for readers to discover more about writers like Robert Southey and Hartley Coleridge, who have been neglected in recent years, and whose writing is frequently difficult to find in print.


Life At Grasmere

Dorothy Wordsworth

The beautiful and peaceful heart of the Lake District, Grasmere was an inspiration to both Dorothy and William Wordsworth. Hills, lakes and orchards, letter writing, walks and welcome visitors (including fellow poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge) provoked in Dorothy's journal great, lyrical prose, which in turn influenced her brother's unsurpassed poetry. The two - journal entries and poems - are here set side by side, a glorious celebration of life and nature around Dove Cottage, over the first year they called it home.

Generations of inhabitants have helped shape the English countryside - but it has profoundly shaped us too.It has provoked a huge variety of responses from artists, writers, musicians and people who live and work on the land - as well as those who are travelling through it.English Journeys celebrates this long tradition with a series of twenty books on all aspects of the countryside, from stargazey pie and country churches, to man's relationship with nature and songs celebrating the patterns of the countryside (as well as ghosts and love-struck soldiers).


William and Dorothy Wordsworth: 'All in each other'

Lucy Newlyn

William Wordsworth's iconic relationship with his 'beloved Sister' spanned nearly fifty years. Separated after the death of their mother when Dorothy was six, and reunited as orphans after the death of their father, they became inseparable companions. This is the first literary biography to give each sibling the same level of detailed attention; with Dorothy's writings set fully alongside her brother's, we see her to be the poet's equal in a literary partnership of outstanding importance. But Newlyn shows that writing was just one element of their lifelong work to re-build their family and re-claim their communal identity; walking, talking, remembering, and grieving were just as important. This rich and holistic account celebrates the importance of mental and spiritual health, human relationships, and the environment.


Green Victorians: The Simple Life in John Ruskin's Lake District

Vicky Albritton (Author), Fredrik Albritton Jonsson (Author)

From Henry David Thoreau to Bill McKibben, critics and philosophers have long sought to demonstrate how a sufficient life—one without constant, environmentally damaging growth—might still be rich and satisfying. Yet one crucial episode in the history of sufficiency has been largely forgotten. Green Victorians tells the story of a circle of men and women in the English Lake District who attempted to create a new kind of economy, turning their backs on Victorian consumer society in order to live a life dependent not on material abundance and social prestige but on artful simplicity and the bonds of community.

At the center of their social experiment was the charismatic art critic and political economist John Ruskin. Albritton and Albritton Jonsson show how Ruskin’s followers turned his theory into practice in a series of ambitious local projects ranging from hand spinning and woodworking to gardening, archaeology, and pedagogy. This is a lively yet unsettling story, for there was a dark side to Ruskin’s community as well—racist thinking, paternalism, and technophobia. Richly illustrated, Green Victorians breaks new ground, connecting the ideas and practices of Ruskin’s utopian community with the problems of ethical consumption then and now.


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