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The Lake District vs Hadrian’s Wall Area

Greetings!
I would appreciative your feedback concerning a choice between the Hadrian’s Wall area or the Lakes Region as we don’t have time to do both. We have visited England several times but have never been to either of those areas. I’ve read about these areas, have left them both out on previous trips. This time I want to at least see one of them.
This trip is for a month, and we will have a car. The first 2 weeks are in Scotland, starting in Edinburgh, up to the Orkney and Shetland Islands, back down through Scotland to Aberdeen. We’ve been to Scotland numerous times also, and this trip is filling in places we have not yet visited. We have been to England and Wales several times before as well.
We like scenery, nice drives, and some walks for an hour or more as opposed to true hikes. I have a knee that objects to that. We will look in shops along the way, but we don’t particularly like to shop. We enjoy museums, particularly small sort of quirky ones. We enjoy visiting with people. We are not tour people, although a day or half day tour from time to time can be interesting. We enjoy quaint towns, and generally prefer small to large, although we are going to York and London this time.
From Aberdeen we are driving either to the Lakes Region or to Hadrians Wall. We have 2 nights for one of these areas, and i don’t want to extend that.
From there we’re going to the Yorkshire Dales for a few days, on to the Cotswolds (where we have been but want to go again just because we want to go there), then to London for the last 5 days.
Help you have to offer with be appreciated and acknowledged. If you have thoughts on the other areas I’ve mentioned, I will be sure to pay attention to those as well.
Thank you for your help,
Best regards,
Bioboy48

Posted by
203 posts

You can easily spend two nights in the Lakes, though Hadrian's Wall, while great, isn't really a two day attraction unless you're planning to walk a long section of it. Based on your interests, perhaps you could go walking up at Kielder or the Cheviot Hills? Or have a drive through the small coastal towns of Northumberland like Alnmouth, Bamburgh and Seahouses.

In terms of choosing between the two options, Aberdeen to Lakes then Lakes to Cotswolds seems like quite a heavy drive, whereas the other option seems to be a bit easier.

Posted by
1005 posts

I agree that the Lake District seems to match your travel style better than Hadrian's Wall. If you are a Roman history fan, you might want to detour on your drive to see Vindolanda, which has active archaeological digs as well as an impressive museum. Then continue on your way to the Lakes.

Posted by
5489 posts

We recently spent four weeks in Wales and England driving (didn't go to London). We visited the North of England for a eight days.

We did three nights in York then on to Pickering where we overnighted after visiting Castle Howard. Pickering is on the edge of the Yorkshire Moors. We drove over the scenic road with all its sheep to Whitby and spent the day there then up to Durham to see that historic city and it wonderful Cathedral.

From Durham we planned an overnight in Haltwhistle with a day to see Hadrian's Wall. We didn't need a full day there, even through we saw the Wall, or what is left of it as well as the nearby fort along with museum, then on to the Roman Army Museum. We drove on to Keswick, our place to stay in the Lake District and arrived early in the afternoon. We could have skipped the overnight in Haltwhistle.

The Lake District is beautiful and attracts many hikers. We did this in late October and the chill with a bit of rain kept us from doing much hiking, but we did a drive around a lake that took 2-3 hours and we saw some wonderful scenery. If you go in the Summer, you can take the boat ride on the lake which is nice. If you don't plan to hike, you will likely be seeing the Lake District by car. It is very scenic, as is much of the North of England.

If you are driving from Aberdeen, you will probably not have time to see anything until the next day, regardless of where you go. You will pass the location of the Wall at some point and could simply stop and see it. That won't take long. Do your research on where your will cross the Wall, then I suggest going to the Lake District.

Here is my detailed review of our trip
28 days in Britain and Celebrity Eclipse home
https://www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/memberreview.cfm?EntryID=599139

Posted by
518 posts

Greetings!
Thank you very much! All of those replies are very helpful. I’ll be reading over them again and making reference in my notes of your suggestions. Guide books are helpful as are these forums in general, but answers to specific questions from either local people or people who have done what your thinking of doing is the most helpful.
We actually enjoy driving and just seeing how things work in other places. We’ve driven in England quite a lot. I’ve actually mastered the manual transmission while shifting with my left hand. Glad I already was comfortable with a standard at home before I tried it though.
I’m also accustomed to long distances, being from Texas. Also, we spent 2 months last fall in Australia (mostly with a car) where 5 a hour drive means you finally made it to the next little town! Australia a fantastic, by the way.
Thanks again for you help with
Best regards,
Bioboy48

Posted by
5552 posts

Bearing in mind your destinations before and after the days in question, Hadrian's Wall makes the most sense geographically. However, I would widen this to include more of Northumberland, one of the UK's gems.

Visit Holy Island on the way south, if the tides permit across the causeway. There are some fantastic walks in this area, which tends to be less hilly than the Lake District. There are castles aplenty too and some of the friendliest locals you will find.

Spend the second day exploring Hadrian's Wall and if time permits, see Thirsk or Ripon, pretty market towns.

Posted by
389 posts

Not sure if I missed what time of year you are going. I would give another vote for Northumberland - it needs your approach to be prepared to travel around and just take in the beauty.

Posted by
3621 posts

Hadrian's Wall, while impressive and historic, is sort of a one and done type thing. The lake district has much more to offer to fill up a couple of days.

Posted by
1672 posts

For Hadrian's Wall, try focusing on the area around Once Brewed. An easily accessed section of the wall is there (you hike east towards the huge sycamore tree where the boy hides in Robin Hood Prince of Thieves) , a good pub , Vindolanda, and Housesteads. The path along the wall is rather uneven, but quite interesting. If your knee is quirky (like mine), you might want to find a hiking stick.

We have been to both Northumberland and the Lakes District several times. Both are lovely - it depends on whether you would prefer castles and rugged seacoast (Northumberland) or pretty scenery (Lakes).

Posted by
5187 posts

The responses here certainly show the diverse interests of people. I practically choked on the idea that Hadrian's Wall was "one and done." We spent 3 days at Hadrian's Wall and easily could have spent more. If you chose Hadrian's Wall, connect with private guide Peter Carney. It will be worth it.

Posted by
518 posts

Hello!
I’m sorry I failed to mention that the trip is in July.
Thank you for the further information. We haven’t decided which way to go yet. We have a booking in Keswick, so we’ll decide soon if we are going a different way. All the different opinions help to see different sides.
Thanks again for your time.
Best regards,
Bioboy48