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itinerary help between events Northern England

We arrive at the Manchester airport about 2pm and have 3 days before needing to land in York on Aug 11th. We were thinking of getting up into the Lake District but it seems a tad far. We can rent a car or take trains. We just don't know the area well enough to figure out a fun/beautiful place to be for those nights. It doesn't need to be in between Manchester and York, just make it possible to get to York without it taking all day on the 11th...We like big towns and small. Love being on foot. Have teens with us but they aren't the big-adrenaline junkie types...and are happiest when they easily walk around on there own sometimes...

Any ideas?
THanks so much!

Posted by
5024 posts

Manchester airport to the Lake District is c 2 hours driving. It’s not a good idea to hire a car if you are straight off a long transatlantic flight. The Lake District will be very busy in August and the best accommodation will have been taken months ago plus the roads will be grid locked with traffic.

Other options include Chester and north Wales - plenty of castles and history and walk up Snowdon; the Peak District including the towns of Bakewell and Buxton and Chatsworth House; stay in trendy Hebden Bridge and have day trips to Howarth (Brontes), walk round Hardcastle Crags, which is stunning countryside with a 19th century mill and visitor centre and a day in the Yorkshire Dales (as stunning as the Lake District but with fewer tourists clogging up the roads) and Harrogate. I would opt for Hebden Bridge.

Posted by
19378 posts

There are many people on the forum with much more experience in the UK than I have, but last August I spent several nights in Chester (picturesque, walled), making two day-trips to northern Wales. Liverpool is right there, too. That's one geographically viable option.

Posted by
1207 posts

I agree with the above posters. Skip the overcrowded Lake District and stay in Chester and go to see Castles in Wales. And or you can go through Peaks District and visit Chatsworth before going north to York.

Posted by
4876 posts

Those are all good suggestions, including the one about not driving the day after an overnight flight. Maybe a train to Liverpool or Chester for that first night, then rent the car and visit some of the places others have recommended. You can drive to York in a short day from the Manchester area -- we did it from Conwy in north Wales, would take less time from east of there.

The Lake District is wonderful but I expect it would be hard to find accommodations this late, and it would be crowded. Our visit was in May a few years ago.