WALKING & WILDLIFE HOLIDAYS - LAKE DISTRICT

Short break walking holidays that aim to showcase the best of the Lake District's wildlife on beautiful walks. This holiday is not for scientists - it's aimed at people who enjoy walking who would like to find out more about the wildlife around them. If you enjoy watching wildlife documentaries on TV, this holiday will give you the opportunity for you to see it all live!

The Cumbrian Fells and Lakes are home to a wide range of nature reserves and habitats that host some very special wildlife. Ospreys are now established at at least two sites while peregrine falcons inhabit the fells in good numbers, often alongside ravens. Although our only golden eagle was not sighted last year there have been gaps in occupancy in the past, and there is still hope that another pair will settle. At lower levels Lake District favourites include the charming dipper, the wheatear, stonechat and nuthatch.

Otters have made something of a comeback in recent years and the red deer of Martindale provide one of the most spectacular of our wildlife sights. Rich in forests, the Lake District also has plenty of wetlands where you can see insectivorous plants and an abundance of flowers in the springtime. Specialist habitats include steep crags and gorges that split the fellsides.

Though there's always something to see, our Walking & Wildlife holidays run during the spring and autumn only, enabling us to see the very best of the Lake District's wonderful wildlife.

SPRING: 23-26 April; May 7-10; 2017: £395pp The fells and dales come alive after the snows and gales of winter. Summer visitors such as the wheatear arrive and the red deer are getting close to calving time. New life and growth is everywhere - a fantastic time of year that's full of promise. Includes 3 nights accommodation at the Haweswater Hotel with packed lunch, transfers from Penrith station if required, local transport and guiding.

AUTUMN: 29 October - 1 November 2017: £395pp Watch the red deer during the annual deer rut as the summer visitors move out and the skeins of geese move in. Includes 3 nights accommodation at the Haweswater Hotel with packed lunch, transfers from Penrith station if required, local transport and guiding.

WHAT ARE WE LIKELY TO SEE? Spring flowers throughout the area at all levels, summer visitors, birds of prey, red deer, wildfowl, badgers, roe deer, bats, deer rut, stags, insectivorous plants, fungi - time of year, time of day, weather and luck (!) will determine what we see!

SAMPLE WALKS:

MARTINDALE: A classic walk through this delightful valley, home to the largest herds of wild red deer in England. We'll see plenty of deer on this walk, plus a wide range of wild flowers typical of the Lakeland spring. We could also see peregrines, buzzards and ravens along with the classic small mountain birds such as wheatear and stonechat. On some days in Martindale we have also seen hare, fox, eagle, stoat and weasel.

HAWESWATER: This large reservoir was controversially formed by damming the Mardale valley. Home to a range of wildfowl, it's a great place to see red squirrels and a walk up to one of the mid-level tarns such as Small Water reveals much about the way in wildlife adapts to different altitudes.

HIGH CLOSE WOODS: A night walk taking in a Badger Watch session. We usually see roe deer and bats and hear plenty of owls though they are not always easy to spot!

LOWTHER VALLEY: A delightful circular walk taking in the limestone of Knipe Scar and the quintessentially English waters of the River Lowther.

Walks are always deisgned to take into account the season, the weather, time of day and the group.