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Edinburgh to the Lake District

Going to be in Scotland June 10-24 (St. Andrews 4, Edinburgh 4, and ?? It was suggested to us that we spend 2-3 days in the Lake District of north England, driving the 122 miles from Edinburgh. Another option is to take the train there and use public transportation (busses, taxi, etc.) to get around. I will have a car for the SA part of the trip and I'm OK with the right-side steering wheel left side of the road thing, but still a bit uncomfortable on the country roads, which are most of this trip. We would be returning to Edinburgh to catch our flight home.

First, is it worth the time and money to go to the Lake District? The only thing I've seen about it is in a Rick Steves video. Second, if you were going there from Edinburgh, what mode of transportation would you/or have you taken. BTW, our only other choice was to go the the islands on the west coast. Train from Edinburgh to Oban. Thoughts on that too? Thank you.

Jim

Posted by
6718 posts

The fact that you have the mileage as 122 says that you are headed for Keswick.

On the train there is an hourly train service- alternately to London and Manchester Airport. You should get advanced fares for about £15 each to Penrith, then a £2 bus fare each to Keswick, hourly. Carlisle is about 1 hour 10 minutes by train, Penrith 1:30, then a 50 minute bus ride.
To Carlisle or Penrith that is faster than you legally drive it. Train also avoids the expensive and scarce parking in Keswick.

It is unlikely you would need to use taxis in Keswick.

On the way back you could get a bus at 0930 or 1030 to Carlisle for the train there.
The main roads are good, it's the country roads which are a bit skinny.

Keswick is a good hub for bus services throughout the lakes, also the Derwentwater launches.

Edinburgh to Oban is a change in Glasgow.

Posted by
15696 posts

Is this your first visit to Scotland? If so, as much as I like the Lake District, I'd spend the extra few days in Scotland focusing on the highlands and islands. An absolute must if you haven't been there.

Oban/Mull, Skye, and Glencoe are popular favorites. The roads aren't bad at all.

While it can be done by public transit, I'd suggest keeping the car for this area.

Posted by
1302 posts

Keep the car ,drive to the Lakes
Uts a different more settled landscape than the Highlands.
From Edinburgh is/ can be/ all pretty much motorway and divided highway to within a mile of Keswick.
Dont be fearfull of the country lanes.
The nights are drawing in be a little lighter than in the north ,I write this from far north Skye

Posted by
2500 posts

I would keep the car for the Lake District. It will get you to some spectacular scenery and make your travels easier/less complicated. Some of the roads are narrow so just drive slowly and take your time.

Posted by
7016 posts

I'm with those who are telling you to spend that time in Scotland. The Lake District is very pretty but not compared to the incredible scenery you will find in the Scottish Highlands and the Hebrides.

I was in Scotland in May of this year and rented a car for 16 days. I did not have any real problems getting the hang of it; which involved not only driving on the left, but also maneuvering the one track roads. It becomes second nature after a day or so.

Actually I just realized I responded to another thread of yours asking about heading there. I would recommend one of the Rabbies tours - they have tours lasting anywhere from 1-8 or more days that visit the Highlands, and some of the islands to the west. They are highly recommended and it would be easier (and probably cheaper) than renting a car and driving there and around.

Posted by
2063 posts

Much as I love the Lake District, I'm not sure if for 2-3 days it is worth the time needed to drive there and back. Think instead about the Borders or Northumberland. They are a lot closer and have some excellent scenery too!

Posted by
7016 posts

Think instead about the Borders or Northumberland. They are a lot closer and have some excellent scenery too!

That's a good idea! I will be heading there (Northumberland) in April of next year and can't wait. I've been watching the show "Vera" on BritBox, which is filmed there, and the scenery is breathtaking.

Posted by
1320 posts

I've had good experience taking the reliable buses around the Lake District, from one town to another. And I took the train from Edinburgh to Windemere and then a bus to Grasmere. I LOVE the Lake District.