Cumbria Tourist Guides. This organization of Blue Badge–accredited guides, who are all experts on the area, offers a large range of customized tours, from low-impact country ambles to brewery crawls. 01228/562096; www.cumbriatouristguides.org. From £25.
English Lakeland Ramblers. Arrange single-base and inn-to-inn guided tours of the Lake District from the United States through this organization. 800/724--8801; www.ramblers.com. From $2,850.
Head to the Hills. With more than 80 lakes, meres, and tarns, Cumbria is a great place for open-water swimming. Head to the Hills has specialized swimming wet suits and a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm about the best places to swim. Guided trips range from a couple of hours to weekends with accommodation and food included. As a way to see the lakes, the view and the experience from the water is hard to beat. 2 Compston Rd., Ambleside, Cumbria, LA22 9DJ. 015394/33826 ; www.headtothehills.co.uk.
Lake District Walker. This outfitter offers guided day hikes for different abilities. 01900/826291; www.thelakedistrictwalker.co.uk. From £16.
Lakes Supertours. This company offers minibus sightseeing tours with skilled local guides. 1 High St., Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 1AF. 015394/42751; www.lakes-supertours.com. From £35.
Mountain Goat. Half- and full-day tours, some of which really get off the beaten track, depart from Bowness, Windermere, Ambleside, and Grasmere. Victoria St., Windermere, Cumbria, LA23 1AD. 015394/45161; www.mountain-goat.co.uk. From £29.