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Transport: Lake District-Yorkshire-London

We are planning a trip in June-come into London, go directly to Keswick and spend several days in the Lake District and then travel to Yorkshire. We are considering train travel from London to Penrith, and after our time in Keswick renting a car to travel in Yorkshire. We are also considering taking the Settle train southbound when we leave. Any advice on the best place to rent a car and return? We do not wish to drive into London. In fact, we are considering driving to Bury St. Edmunds en route to London.

Any other advice--places to see or stay--is also appreciated. Cynthia

Posted by
16890 posts

Is this arrival day flying into Heathrow from North America? If so, I would not try to book an advance-discount train ticket for a specific time, due to the risk of delays. A BritRail England flexipass for three days of travel within a month is a more flexible option at $228 per adult (or cheaper if you have more than two people; sorry there's no 2-day pass). See other discount-card options at the bottom of the same page.

Airport transfer: That first rail pass travel day could cover the Heathrow Express to London Paddington station and the next train from London Euston to Penrith, but not a taxi or Tube between the two stations. You might prefer to travel from the airport to Euston by Tube with one connection, such as at Green Park.

The US consolidator that we use most to find rental cars is Auto Europe. Here are some car rental notes from the Lakes District chapter of Rick's England guidebook:

To rent a car here, try Enterprise in Penrith. They'll pick you up in Keswick and drive you back to their office to get the car, and also drive you back to Keswick after you've dropped it off (Sat open 9:00-12:00 only, closed Sun). Larger outfits are more likely to have a branch in Carlisle, which is a bit to the north but well-served by train (on the same Glasgow-Birmingham line as Penrith) and only a few minutes farther from the Keswick area.

Posted by
6113 posts

The best way to the Lakes from London and back from Yorkshire is by train. If you don't want to spend time in London, why not fly into Manchester? It will save half a day's travel. If you are going to London, fly open jaw.

I think that the Lakes are best explored by car, otherwise you don't get to see the best areas, such as Eskdale, which won't be as overrun with tourists as say Windermere will be. Cartmel is another pretty village without the hoardes of tourists.

Get the train back to London from Yorkshire. Buy rail tickets 12 weeks out and travel off peak for the best fares.

Posted by
33 posts

Thanks so much for the information--we have frequent flier tickets; that's why we are flying into London, none were available for Manchester. I think we will rent locally as suggested in order to go to the suggested LD locales. And take the train as suggested to Penrith.